In a side-room of the main hall of the Central Police Headquarters, on the second story, in Mulberry street, is a desk at which sits an old rosy-cheeked, white-headed police officer, named McWaters. McWaters is famous in New York. He is the theatrical critic of the Police Department. His opinions on music and the drama are of weighty authority among members of the force, and, like most critics, he is dogmatic and forcible.

But, McWaters is at present known to fame as being the officer detailed, by Inspector George Dilks, to take charge of a department organized in November, 1867, to supply a great want, and which is now in successful operation. This department is known as the "Bureau for the Recovery of Lost Persons." Officer McWaters was formerly in the City Hall Precinct, under Captains Thorne and Brackett, and is very well acquainted with the city, so his services have been made available in this new bureau.

                     MISSING MEN AND WOMEN.

The manner of investigation in regard to a missing relative or friend, is as follows: As soon as a person disappears from home, the nearest relative, on learning of the missing person, goes to police headquarters, and makes application to the 'Missing Bureau' for information. The age, height, build - whiskers, if any - color of eyes, dress, hair, the place where last seen - the habits and disposition of the person? - are given to the inspectors, and officer McWaters makes proper entries on his register, which he keeps for that purpose, of all these facts. The personal description of the missing person is compared with the returns made by the Morgue every twenty-four hours to the police inspectors. Should the description answer to the person and clothing of any person found at the Morgue, word is at once sent to the relatives of the joyful news. Besides this, another very necessary precaution is taken to find the person or persons missing. Cards are printed, five or six hundred in number, and sent to all the police officers on special duty in the different metropolitan precincts, with instructions to the captains to have his men make active and energetic search for the person.

                     THEORIES ABOUT LOST PEOPLE.

Over seven hundred people have been reported as missing to police headquarters during the past twelve months. Of this number, a majority have been found, it is believed, as no record can be kept of those who are not reported when found, by their relatives or friends, to headquarters. Occasionally, a person who reports some one missing, belonging to them, will give all the details about him - but, if found, will fail to notify the authorities, from a sense of shame, where domestic difficulties have occurred in families, or from laziness, or a sense of forgetfulness. Thus, all track is lost of those who have been found, unknown to the police, and accurate statistics are baffled in the matter of inquiry.

                     WHERE AND HOW PEOPLE ARE LOST.

The manner in which missing men are advertised is as follows. A card, of which the following are fair examples, is circulated among the police: 
                     NEW YORK, January 11,1868.

MISSING. - Since Thursday evening last - Mary Agnes Walsh; twenty-three years of age, residing at 281-1/2 Elizabeth street, five feet high, medium size, slim built, dark complexion, dark brown hair, dark eyes, had on a black alpaca dress, black plush coat (or cloak), black velvet hat. It is supposed she is wandering about the city in a temporary state of insanity, as she has just returned from the Lunatic Asylum, where she has been temporarily confined for the last three weeks. Any information of the above to be sent to her brother, Andrew Walsh, 2811/2 Elizabeth street, or to Inspector Dilks, 300 Mulberry street.

MISSING. - Morton D. Gifford, about twenty-five years of age, light hazel eyes, brown hair, full beard and moustache same color, height five feet six and three quarter inches, has lost the two first joints off the middle fingers of right hand. Had on a light brown cloth suit bound with black, the vest cut without a collar, a black cloth overcoat made sack fashion, with black velvet buttons. Was last seen on board the steamer City of Norfolk, running between Norfolk and Crisfield, in connection with the Crisfield, Wilmington, and Philadelphia Railroad, Annamesic line, on the 3d of February, 1868. Had with him a black leather satchel, containing a full suit of black clothes, hat, linen, etc. Was a soldier in the Union army, and has recently been in business in Plymouth, North Carolina. Any person having any information regarding him will please communicate with Inspector Dilks, 300 Mulberry street, New York.

MISSING - Since Thursday, November 14 - John F. McCormack; when last seen he was on board the steam-tug Yankee, at the foot of Charlton street; age twenty-four years, eyes and hair dark brown, height five feet four inches, heavy eyebrows. He was dressed in a brown sack coat and brown vest, black pants, flat-crowned black hat. Any person knowing his whereabouts, or having seen him since the above date, will please call at the residence of his uncle, Robert McCormack, No. 12 Talman street, Brooklyn, or on Inspector Dilks, police headquarters, 300 Mulberry street. November 30, 1867.

FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD. - Missing from Bay street, Stapleton, Staten Island, since Wednesday, November 25, 1868, Willy Hard grove, a boy eight years of age, medium size, dark hair, dark, clear complexion, blue eyes; has a recent scar on his cheek, made by the scratch of a pin; dressed in a dark striped jacket and pants; the pants button on the jacket with light bone buttons; old, strong boots, no hat. He is rather an attractive boy and very familiar with strangers. It is feared he has been abducted, from the fact of his musical abilities. He can sing in a good tenor voice any tune he may hear once played, but can't speak plain. The above reward will be paid by his father, Terence M. Hardgrove, Stapleton, for such information as will lead to his recovery. Information may be sent to Inspector Dilks, police headquarters, 300 Mulberry street.

MISSING. - Annie Hearn left her home on Monday last. She is ten years of age, dark blue eyes, black hair cut short, has a slight scar on her left temple. Was dressed in a dark alpaca frock, black woollen sontag with white border, black velvet hat, no-trimming, high laced boots, striped stockings. Any information relative to her will be gratefully received by Richard Burk, 217 Madison street, or Inspector Dilks, 300 Mulberry street.

LEFT HER HOME, at Hyde Park, Scranton City, Pa., on Monday June 14, Sarah Hannaghan, aged fifteen, tall for her age, short brown hair, light eyes and fair complexion. Had on a tan-colored dress, light cape, drab hat, trimmed with ribbon of the same color. Had with her a dress with a yellow stripe, made short. Information to be sent to Inspector Dilks, 300 Mulberry street, New York, or to James Hannaghan, 152 Leonard street.

TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD, will be paid for information that will lead to the arrest or recovery of Henrietta Voss, aged sixteen years. She left Seacusus, Hudson county, New Jersey, Tuesday, July 21, about 7 A. M. She is tall, slim built, and a little stooped; brown hair, blue eyes, long thin pale face. Dressed in a full suit of black. The gratitude of a father, who desires to save his daughter, will be added to the above reward. JOHN Voss.

TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD. - Missing, an insane man, named Frederick Liebrich, native of Germany, speaks English, German, and French. Supposed to lodge at night in the police station houses about the lower part of the city, is very stupid looking, and clothed in rags. Was last seen in Washington market, about the middle of last November. He is about thirty-eight years of age, eyes and hair black, large regular features, and very dark complexion, about five feet ten inches high, stout built, straight and well made. The above reward will be paid for his recovery, or direct evidence of his death; by Frederick Cummick, 82 Washington street, Brooklyn. Information to be sent to Inspector Dilks, police headquarters, 300 Mulberry street.

                     LOST CHILDREN.

"Hundreds of 'Lost Children' bear testimony to the carelessness of mothers and nurses who are more intent on other business, when their charges stray off to be found afterwards in out of the way places by stray policemen. Quite often a pedestrian will notice, on going along one of our side streets, a young child, its eyes bubbling over with tears, and red from irritation and inflammation, who has strayed from its parents' residence. Sometimes it will have a stick of candy in its infantile fists, or else an apple, or a slice of bread, butter, and molasses to console it in its wanderings. It is very seldom, however, that these children do not find their way back to their parents, unless that there is foul play, as in such instances where a child may be kidnapped by people who are childless, or through their agency, for the purpose of adoption in barren families. The practice of baby-farming has not as yet attained, in America, the height that it has reached in England, and therefore the lives of children are not yet so endangered as they are across the water. It is calculated that at least one thousand children are missing every year in this city, but they are nearly all returned before the close of the day on which they are first missed."

                     THE DENS OF MIDNIGHT.

"If the thousand and one noisome crannies, nooks, and dens of this great city could be exposed to view, day after day, the bodies of many a missing man and woman might be found festering and rotting, or their bones bleaching for want of decent burial. Where do the bodies come from that are fished up, bloated and disfigured, night after night, by the harbor police, in haunts of the docks and from the slime of the Hudson? It is fearful to think of men influenced by liquor, who, with their gold watches, pocket-books, and other valuables exposed in the most foolish manner, are to be seen, night after night, in the dens and hells of this great, sinful city. Many of these men are from far off country villages and happy homes, and when thrown into our streets at night under the flare of the gas lamps, and among crowds of showily dressed women, whose feet are ever downward into the abyss, it becomes almost impossible for them to resist the thousand and one meretricious temptations that are placed before them."

                     THE HORROR OF A BREAKING DAWN.

"Instances may be related of how men disappear and are never heard of to be recognized. A well-to-do person from Ohio, who had never visited New York before, pays a visit to this city, and, stopping at a down- town hotel, sallies out in the evening in search of what he has been taught by his limited course of reading to call 'adventures.' He believes, in his Ohio simplicity, that he will meet with a beautiful and rich young lady in New York who, struck with his rural graces and charms, will at once accept his hand and farm. Well, he takes a look at the 'Black Crook,' or 'White Fawn,' or 'Genevieve de Brabant,' and returning late to his down-town hotel is struck by the beauty and grace of a female form that glides before him on his way down town. Pretty soon she makes a signal to him that cannot be mistaken, and our Ohio friend, rather astonished at the freedom of the aristocratic and well-bred ladies of the metropolis, but nothing loth, hastens to her side, and accompanies her to her richly voluptuous mansion in Bleecker, Green, Mercer, or Crosby streets. In the watches of the night he awakens to find the aristocratic lady fastened on his throat, and a male friend of hers, with a villainous countenance, poising a knife for a plunge in his neck. The work is done quickly, a barrel well packed, or a furniture chest, placed in a carriage at night, can be taken up the Hudson River road and there dropped in the river, and after a day or so the head of another dead man will be found eddying and floating around the rolling piers near the Battery, his face a pulp, and no longer recognizable. The sun shines down on the plashing water, but the eyes are sightless, and never another sun can dim their brilliancy or splendor. It is only another missing man without watch, pocket-book, or money on his person."

                     MISERY, SHAME, AND DEATH.

Another missing instance. A beautiful maiden, born in a village on the Sound, where the waters of that inland sea beat and play around the sandy pebbles of a land-locked inlet, is reared in innocence and virtue until she reaches her seventeenth year. She is as lovely as the dawn, and her life, peaceful and happy, with no greater excitement than the Sunday prayer-meeting, has never been tainted by the novelty of desire. At seventeen, she visits New York for the first eventful time in her life. She is dazzled with its theatres, its balls, its Central Park, the Broadway confuses and intoxicates her, but opera has divine charms for her musical ear, and she is escorted night after night by a man with a pleasing face and a ready tongue. She is yet pure as the undriven snow. One night she takes a midnight sleigh ride on the road, and they stop at a fashionable-looking restaurant in Harlem Lane or on the road. She is persuaded to take a glass of champagne. She is finally persuaded to drink an entire bottle of champagne. That night the world is torn from under her feet. She has tasted of the apples of death. She returns to her peaceful home by the silken waves of the Sound a dishonored woman. To hide her shame she returns to New York, but her destroyer has gone - she knows not whither. Then the struggle begins for existence and bread. She is a seamstress, a dry-goods clerk, but her shame finds her out when an infant is born to her, unnamed. One night, hungry, and torn with the struggle of a lost hope, she rushes into the streets and seeks the river. On a lone pier she seeks refuge from her 'lost life.' The night-watchman, anxious about the cotton and rosin confided to his charge, does not hear the cry of 'Mother' from a despairing girl, or the plunge into the gloomy, silent river below. She is not found for days after, and then her once fair face is gnawed threadbare with the incisors of crabs, and the once white neck, rounded as a pillar of glory, is a mere greenish mass of festering corruption She is not recognized, and thus fills the page devoted to missing people. [Footnote: New York World.]