In the artificially " shaded " skin this high-water mark is an absolutely straight line, for the dye has been evenly brushed along the surface of the over-hair, and unless the tips are darkened one by one - which is practically impossible - the result must, of course, be uniform. Where the darkness of the tips is natural the mark is, however, broken by a series of curves and lines. Another test is to pluck out a few of the blackest hairs and dip them into a strong acid. Natural sable hairs will fade to a lighter shade, just as would hair from the human head; but in the case of any dye now in use it is probable that the acid would not merely fade the tips of the dyed hair, but would bring out a tinge of green or orangedress purple. The word " probable " is written with intention, as no test has yet been found which will infallibly reveal dyed sable to the untrained observer.

Fraud, however, is apt to go much further. The skins of mink, hare, squirrel, rabbit, marmot, and musquash are often dyed and substituted for those of sable. In this case the trick is more easy to discover, as there is a palpable difference in texture. If the hairs are blown apart, or if the hand is run up and down the skin, the fraud may be easily detected.

A woman who buys sable ought to insist that the skins sold her should be specifically described as " natural and not dyed," and this statement must be made in writing. A salesman who has no scruple as to a verbal guarantee will refuse to make out a bill in this form, and thereby run the risk of either civil or criminal proceedings.

Good furriers may be found in London whose word is their bond; and such as these would lose and not gain by unfair proceedings. Furs and the fur trade are now under the aegis of an Act of Parliament.