a bystander defends Higgins with "It's aw rawt: e's a gentleman: look at his boots" (page9). what does this observation signify about social class and crime?

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The bystander's observation of Higgin's boots, and the fact their quality marks Higgins as a gentleman, signifies that people from the upper social strata were believed to be safe and honorable. Note.... "boots" do not make a gentleman, behavior defines a gentleman. None-the-less, in the eyes of the bystander, his preconceived notion talls him that Higgins is an alright guy.