A scarper is a rat-catcher. To do this they smear a sticky mix of sugared fruit juices over their hands and arms to lure the rats into their grasp, which gives them a unique smell. The lack of any protection however leaves many with infected wounds on their hands. Scarpers use a pole to hang their catches from and may also catch mice and rabbits.
When Rossamünd Bookchild visited the Dogget & Block in Brandenbrass in search of Fransitart and Craumpalin, he nearly tripped over a scarper's pole that was left outside with dead mice, rats, and rabbits hanging from it. The pole's owner, who was inside taking a break and having a drink, looked remarkably clean.
Scarper is British slang for to run away or flee.
- ↑ Factotum, Chapter 6 - Rossamünd goes to search for his masters.
- Rat-catcher on Wikipedia