"Madam, is there anything dutiable in this bag?"
Custom Inspections on the Canadian Frontier.
To be rudely awakened from one’s slumber at anytime, and under any circumstances, is harrowing, but to be shaken into a doubtful wakefulness by a grim official in order that your baggage may be examined for the purpose of ascertaining if you are concealing contraband or dutiable articles in you impediments, is the worst form of awaking: a clear exemplification of adding insult to injury. On the border line which divides Canada from the United States the unhappy traveler is subjected to the “uncanny” hands of the vigilant and lynx-eyed Custom House officer, a creature in whose leathern bosom no spark of human sympathy remains. Remorselessly and with wooden visage he informs you, in a dull sing-song, that you most expose the contents of your baggage to his gimlet gaze. What matters it to him that you protest—that you solemnly assert that you have nothing to declare? He has a certain duty to perform, and this duty he means to get through, not caring a whit for the outraged feelings of the rudely awakened sleeper. Elderly ladies of excitable and fretful temperament are his daintiest morsels. To their protests, examinations and treats of vengeance, he turns the deafest of ears. Funny old gentlemen ,he calmly sits upon. Irate youths he harries. Tearful maidens he treats with disdain. He is a fiend of the most exasperating type—unendurably exasperating, he never affords the satisfaction of “talking back.”
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, February 10, 1883.