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Full text of "Black Bess; or, the knight of the road : a tale of the good old times"

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LI B RAFLY 

OF THE 

U N IVLRSITY 

Of ILLI NOIS 



823 

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v.3 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 



http://www.archive.org/details/blackbessorknigh03vile 



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THE KHJG23 Ci" TH.K HOAD. 




[CLATTOE DUVAL'S PECCLIAJt ADVENT UliF.J 



CHAPTER DCCCXXXIX. 

OT.&UDK DUVAL 13 IN TIME TO PREVENT THE PERPETUA- 
TION OF A FOUL WRONG. 

That sucn a mistake as tho one we have just described 
should take place .is not at all wonderful, for by tho old 
nan's manner it seemed as though he had been for hours 
expecting the approach of some one, and seeing Claude, as 
it appeared, about to stop at the gates, he jumped im- 
mediately to the conclusion that the person he expected 
had arrived. 

This was the solution Claude himself put upon it, &aA 
as he did so, this difficulty arose in his mind : 

The failing eyesight of the old man might have disabled 
him from distinguishing a stranger from the person ho 
txpected ; but the voice would be another matter. 

&.->. 173— Biack Bkss 



When Claude spoke, would not the deception be at ucoi 
discovered ? 

"Oh, Master Jack," he continued, addressing him, «ud 
walking on by the side of his steed, " I have been watch- 
ing and waiting for you so long — watching and waiting 
until I have grown quite weary, and when 1 heard you 
approach my joy was so great that at first I could not 
move ! Oh, it is time that you came back to yoiw ownl 
If you only knew how much your father regrets hie ha*wu 
treatment of you, you would forgive him. He, too, lo»gfl 

for you; but the dark spirit is at wock, aud You 

understand, Master Jack?" 

Claudo made a murmuring jound, which he fefped 
wr.ui«i be significative of assent. 

The old man took it so, and continued with thf gar- 
rulity of old age : 

•• Your cousin is there ; he is with him bow in Ws bed- 
room, sitting at the side of his dying bed. He does not 



No. 178. 



Trice Onk Halfpenny. 
No. 174 will be Published next Thursday. 



1378 



BLACK. CESS ; Oft 



know that my eyes have been upon him, but they have — 
they have ! Ho has been importuning your father to 
sign a will that will revoke the one he has already made, 
and alienate all this fine property from yoti and bequeath 
It to him. But your father has held out till now, though 
he is weak, very weak, and his ear is st'dl poisoned by th»t 
false tale which your bad cousin fabricaisd." 

Still Claude was silent, and tho old iaem, turning 10 him, 
said : fc . 

" Why, how quiet you are, Mastel JacR. ; •-* ja don't say 
a single word. But I don't wonder at ycur sileaec~-I can 
account for it. Your heart must be heavy iudeod. In 
a day or two, though, you will be able to tell me all that* 
has occurred, and to glad my poor heart. And bow is 
Miss Ellen now, and the little one? Yo« seo I call her 
Miss Ellen still, although I ought not to do so ; but the 
familiar name came to my tongue's-esd before I was 
aware of it." 

"They are well — very well," returned Claude, pur- 
posely speaking as huskily as he could, so that it should 
be hard to recognise the exact tones of his voice. "But 
my heart is indeed heavy," he continued, "and you must 
not ask me many questions to-night." 

He waited with considerable anxiety to see what would 
be the result of tbis speech. 

If he could pads muster on this first occasion, ho would 
have good bopes of being able to sustaiu the deception 
sufficiently long for him to secure his own safety. 

He noticed with some misgiving, however, that the old 
man started, and turned his eyes inquiringly upon him. 

" Why, Master Jack," he cried, "how strangely you 
(speak — how your voice has altered !' 

"Has it 9 " returned Claude, with greater confidence. 
H Perhaps : .i has, and so have I changed in my appear- 
ance, if you could but seo me. It is very many years 
now since we met, if you will recollect." 

This was a bald assertion, but, fortunately. Claude's 
guess was tolerably correct. 

"Yes," was the answer, " to you it may appear many 
years, yet to me, wt:<"> have lived on this earth so much 
longer than you have, it seems a mere nothing. But 
parting is over now, I hope." 

"I hope so too." 

"It will be a glad day when you take possession here. 
The people will regret your father's death, but they will 
rejoice when they find your cousin is not heir, for he is 
universally detested." 

Claude was again silent, for ho could not tell exactly 
what to say, and, having been successful so far in his 
guesses, he was unwilling to run the risk of discovery. 

" The sympathies of all are with you," contiuued the 
old man, "and with Miss Ellen. They are all sorry for 
Miss Ellen, and while they blame your father for his 
harshness, yet they cannot help pitying him for being so 
led away by Ralph Davids." 

"I am glad of that," Claude ventured to remark. 

"Well, now, dear Master Jack, just toll me what you 
intend to do. Will you not walk in boldly, and, in spite 
of all obstacles, make your way to your father's chamber ? 
He will be glad indeed to see you, and your scheming 
cousin will be quite discomfited." 

Claude reflected. 

"No," he said, at length. "If you could get mo int/* 
the house quietly, I should prefer it." 
• "Why so?" 

" Because then you could lead me, perhaps, by some 
unfrequented route to the chamber where my cousin is. 
1 should like to witness what takes place v/ith my own 
eyes." 

"Then you shall do so," was tho answer ; "and per- 
haps it will be better so. You know the ivay, Master 
Jack, a3 well as I do." 

" Yes, yes ; but I will leave my ho??e, ana tsen you i 
can accompany rue. I am so agitated and troubled to- J 
night that 1 feel as though I must have you with me." 

The old man seemod very pleased and grateful fr^r tbis 
speech. fe. 

" If you wuh .your arrival kept a secret, we will fasten 
your horse to this tree, and then creep slowly towards the 
house." 

"Just eo," returned Claude, and while ho spoke he 
slipped from the saddle 

His horse was secured to a tree, and then, with cautious 
footsteps, he followed his strange guide across the lawn, 



On his way, he reflected a little on the tingular poal- 
tion in which chance had placed him. 

For the present he had no doubt that he was perfectly 
safe. 

The officers might search for him as long *j they 
liked— they would never find him. 

It was impossible, however, for Claude not to feel 
giatcful to the old man, who had so unintentionally be- 
friended him, and, from what ho had heard, he could 
easily surmise that without 6ome active interference a 
great wrong would be perpetrated. 

That active interference he resolved to make. 

He had no longor to trouble himself about his own 
position. il a , should be able to direct all his energies to 
tho one object before him. 

These were tho reflections that occupied his miud &£i 
he followed the old man to tho house. 

He was careful then to keep in the rear, for he had not 
tho /emotest notion of where he was going. 

In a few minutes afterwards, the old man paused. 

Claude wished that he could learn his name, so as to 
address 'dm by it. 

But it was scarcely likely that he should hear it pro- 
nounced, although tho old man might consider it singular 
that he should never call him by it. 

Opening a little side door in the mansion, he passed 
through, and stood aside for Claude to enter. 

He crossed the threshold quickly. 

The door was closed behind him, and he found himself 
in perfect darkness. 

" Take my hand, Master Jack," cried the old man. 
" There, that will do — I can lead you now. I do believe 
that I am more familiar with thi3 old place than you are, 
for I could find my way anywhere aoout it in the dark." 

" Yes, yes — don't trust to me in the least," murmured 
Claude. "I feel so completely overcome that I am not 
capable of taking the lead in anything." 

Slowly, so as to avoid making any sound that would 
discover their presence, the old man advanced. 

A flight of stairs was descended, a long corridor tra- 
versed, and then there was a pause. 

" This is tho door of the dressing-room," exclaimed 
tho old man. "If I could manage to open that quietly, 
and we entered, we should be able to see and hear almost 
everything, for the inner door is nearly always ajar." 

"Good!" said Claude. "Listen first — then try." 

The old man listened, and then gently opened the 
door. 

A feeble light appeared beyond. 

Every care had been taken t» prevent any unpleasant 
sound .reaching tho ears of the rich invalid. 

The hinges of the door had been oiled on this account, 
and therefore the old man was able to push it open in 
perfect silence. 

A hasty glance showed him that the dressing-room 
was vacant. 

Claude looked eagerly over his shoulder. 

Just before them was another door, standing partly 
open — the door evidently that communicated with the 
bed-chamber. 

In this a light was burning, and those rays that 
streamed through tho doorway served to light up the 
dressing-room to some extent— sufficient, at any rate, to 
enable Claude and his guide to avoid coming in contact 
with any article of furniture. 

Breathlessly, and on tiptoe, they stole to this door- 
then paused and peeped in. 

A spacious, handsomely-furnished bed-chamber was 
disclosed, filled with rare and costly articles. 

Upon th«)30, however, Claude's eyes did not rest for a 
second. 

Ail hJ3 attention was immediately concentrated upyn 
the two oole ocenpants of tho room. 



CHAPTER DCCCXL. 

LVt WHICH '1 TURNS OUT THAT TIIS MISTAKE V'aS A 
alOST FORTUHATSS OCCURRENCE FOR ALL PARTIES. 

One wa.3 a man apparently about thirty years of ay.s, 
though he might havo been older. 

Sis hair had a reddish tinge, and his face, which w«t» 
flat and dull-looking, was disfigured by aa imsaenae boh*- 
ber of frockloa. 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



13', 9 



In his small, twinkling, ferret-looking eyes, however, 
was visible a peculiar expression — one cf Eiingled rage 
and triumph. 

He was standing by the side of the bed, on Tv&ich, 
propped uj. — ito a sitting position by many |<iUowa w^s 
the invalid; 

This was a man old and emaciated. 

His face wore already the hues of death, &&Q ©a bis 
forehead perspiration clustered iu large drepg. 

Lying before him on the bed was a eheci <A papev, 
upon which a few words were written. 

The old man held a pen iu his trembling fingers. 

11 Sign," said the young niaa, somewhat stern' j-"*' sign, 
»re it is too late !" 

" I cannot — I cannot !" 



the whole story of your detestable arts, and jou shall 
not escape the punishment so justly your due !" 

He rushed forward while he spoke, and no doubt would 
have iufiicted some summary punishment upon his cousin, 
had not one of the gentlemen who accompanied him held 
him back, though it was with great difficulty that ho re- 
strained him. 

Ralph Davids retreated to the other side of the bed, 
where ho felt that, at any rate, he was at ft safe distance 
from the intruders. 

Then he held aloft the paper. 

"Look here," he said. " Bead this. You see his lord- 
ship now lies dead— he has just breathed his last — not 
until, however, he had performed what he considered was 
. an act of justice and of duty. That bold, bad man," he 



" But I say you must ! Would you leave all that you ' continued, pointing to the heir, " you know has been a 



have to one who has treated you with so much contumely, 
and has brought upon your honoured name nothing but 
the deepest disgrace ? I say, would you, after all, row did 
him for his conduct ?" 

" No, no ! Give me the pen — give me the pen 1 I will 
sign ! " 

"You have it in your Laud." 

" Oh, have I ? Yes— I see — here it is — I had forgotten. 
Now, where is the paper?" 

"Lying before you. Can you not see it? Eo quick, 
or it will be too late !" 

With a manifest effort, the old man put his pen upon 
the paper. 

He made a few scratches, and then, with a long-drawn 
breath, fell back apparently dead. 

A shout of rage burst from the young man's lies upon 
the occurrence of this accident. 

" Curse him !" he cried, with savage vehemence. 
" Curse the old rascal — how I hate him ! One moment 
more would have done the business, and now, after years 
of successful scheming, I find myself baffled at the last 
moment. But it shall not be so — it shall not be 
so !" 

Quick as thought, this young man picked up the pen, 
and, after glaucing hastily around him, wrote something 
on the paper. 

"There," he said, " that's well done — much better than 
he could have done it himself. I have practised signing 
his name too often for anyone to be able to say this is a 
forgery. My story will be believed. He, I "know, has 
publicly given it out that ho would disinherit his son and 
make all over to me. I will say that, finding death 
coming upon him suddenly, he requested mo to draw up 
this memorandum, and had then only just time to sign it 
before he expired. It will hold gcod — ten to nno that it 
holds good." 

"A nice article," was Claude's thought, and at tne 
same time he determined that his viliany should be 
baulked. 

But just at that moment there came a loud uproar 
from the lower part of the house. 

Voices could be heard raised to an angry pitch, which 
were followed by the trampling cf footsteps and the 
sound of heavy blows. 

Immediately after that, footsteps oould be heard upon 
the staircase. 

There was a crash — the door that led direct from the 
corridor into the bed-chamber was dashed open, and 
Claude perceived a young man enter, who at a first 
glance bore a somewhat remarkable resemblance to him- 
self — so great, indeed, that he did not wonder at the mis- 
take the old man had made. 

Evidently this was the heir returned just at the right 
moment. 

With a cry of amazement, the old man rushed forward. 

As for the cousin, Ealph Davids, be stood like v 
transformed to stone. 

Following closely iu the footsteps of the heir came two 
elderly gentlemen, one nf whom went direct to the 
bed. 

With a great effort at self-control, Kalph bavicw urew 
Himself up to his full height, and determined to put a 
boid face on the matter. 

" What means this insolent, un warrantable intrusion ?" 
he demanded. " Begone ! I command you all to leavo 
not only this room, but this building ! I am rpaster hero 
now, and will be obeyed !" 

u Villain !" cried the heir — " villain ! I havo heard 



lifelong sorrow to his deceased parent. You know, 
well, that his lordship has avowed over and over again 
his intention of disinheriting him, yet lacked the courage 
to take the necessary step. Finding himself suddenly 
grow worse — knowing, in fact, that the hand of death 
was resting on his head — he commanded me to write the 
few lines that you now see ; then, seizing a pen, signed 
his name at the foot. Scarcely had he done so, than he 
expired. Look, hero is the signature !" 

He pointed to it triumphantly while he spoke. 

" I will read this document," he continued, in tones of 
the utmost excitement — " I will read it ! Listen 

" 'I, Lord John Kobert Venuers, finding myself on my 
deathbed, hereby revoke all other wills that I have made, 
and bequeath the whole of my possessions, personal and 
real, to Ralph Davids. 

" ' (Signed) Venners.' 

"'Now are you satisfied.'-' the cousin added. "You 
may say that this deed is without its witnesses, but I will 
try the law xipou this point. I can bring a score cf 
persons who know his lordship's firmly-expressed deter- 
mination, and then we shall see who obtains the 
victory." 

" We shall see," said the sou of Lord Venners, speak- 
ing in sorrowful tones; "but I shall bring forward, as 
well my witnesses, who will prove that you deluded my 
poor father by a tale that had no foundation whatever 
in fact, but which was hatched up entirely in your own 
villauous, scheming brain." 

"I care not!" cried the other. "I am here, for the 
present, sole master, and I command you all to quit this 
dwelling! If you refuse, 1 will have you expelled by 
main force." 

" The deed had witnesses, although they have not 
signed their names !" said a voice. 

Thero was a universal start, and Kalph Davids uttered 
a yell of dismay. 

At the same instant, Claude Duval stepped forward 
from the dressing-room. 

"I am one of the witnesses," he cried, "and I can 
give a plain, straightforward account of all !'' 

" No, no, my good fellow," said Ralph Davids. " You 
mistake — you mistake ! Say nothing — all will be well !" 

He accompanied these words with significant gestures, 
all of which were employed for the purpose of informing 
Claude that if he kept silent he would be well re- 
warded. 

But he did not know our old friend, or he would never 
have made any such attempt. 

"What I saw," Claudo continued, "was this: His 
lordship was pressed and threatened to sign that paper; 
but the natural feelings that ho had for his own son had 
exercised their due force, and ho hesitated. At last h6 
changed his intention, and seized the pen. He made a 
few erratic scratches with it, and then fell back, convulsed 
by death." 

"The greatest astonishment foiiowed'Hhis declaration, 
and the old maa, raising his voice, said : 

"Yes, I am witness too. Heaven be ihf&k^d thut I 
made so great a mistake !" 

" Go on !" said one of the gentlemee who had followed 
his lordship's son into the roorc. 

" After that," 6aid Claude, pointing to Ealph Davids, 
" I heard that man mutter something expressive of his 
determination not to lose this property. I saw him take a 
pen, and place that signature at the foot of the document, 
while, at the same time, ho stated b.8 had practised that 
signature many a time before." 



1380 



BLACK BESB; OB, 



" Seize him \" cried one of the gentlemen—" Beize 
him I He shall be arrested on this oharge !" 

Ealph Davids turned round, and faced his opponents. 

All traoes of colour had vanished from his cheeks, and 
the numerous freckles on his oountenance lookod 
strangely hideous from their contrast to its ghastliness. 

" Beware I" he said, producing a kniie fivm his 
pocket—" beware, I say ! I am a deaporat* man !" 

" Secure him !" was tho cry, and there was a ironcral 

But Ralph Davids, wj too quicK for them. 

With one tremendous bound he reached the window, 
and dashed headlong through it. 

Outside was a balcony, and on this he alighted in 
safety. 

He turned for a moment to shake his clenched fiat, 
then leaping over the parapet, disappeared in the dark- 
ness. 

" Let him go," said a voice — " let him go— we can 
capture him at any time ! The condition of his lord- 
ship here demands our entire attention. We shall soon 
know the truth of thi3 matter." 

One of those who had entered with hia lordship's son 
was the physician, and ever since his entrance he had 
been bending down ovor the bed. 

" Hia lordship is not dead," he said, in a voice of 
great excitement, " though I grieve to say life is only 
just fluttering at his heart. It is impossible to save 
him, but yet, I think he will be able to recover suffi- 
ciently to tell the truth of this affair." 

He applied a small bottle to the nostrils of the dying 
nobleman, tho effects of which seemed magical. 

In a moment he reared himself upright in the bed, and 
glared around him with a haggard, frenzied expres- 
sion. 

"Father!" cried the young man — "father — father, 
they tell me you are dying, but oh, while you have 
breath left, tell me that you forgive me !" 



CHAPTER DCCCXLI. 

IN WHICH EALPH DAVIDS MEETS WITH A COMPLETE 
DISCOMFITURE. 

There was a deep and touching silence as, while the 
young man spoke those words, he threw himself on his 
knees at the bedside of his father, who gasped for 
breath, and seemed as though he wished above all 
things to speak. 

But utterance was denied him. 

Receiving no answer to hia appeal, the eon con- 
tinued : 

" Father — father, say that you forgive me ere you 
die ! Do not let me live with such a cloud resting upon 
my future life as your unforgiveness would be ! Speak 
— speak ! My cause of offence was slight, and many 
tilings, I know, have been misrepresented to you by 
interested persons. For all these things I have suffered 
most severely. Had time permitted it Elien would 
have accompanied mo, bringing her boy ; but let me 
carry to them the assurance of your forgiveness and 
reconciliation." 

" I do forgive you, my poor boy," the old man gasped 
forth at length — " I do forgive you ! Oh, what I have 
suffered during the past few moments no tongue can 
tell I When 1 fell back upon the bed I was not dead, 
but all power of motion had abandoned me. Of every- 
thing that was goiugon around I was perfeotly conscious. 
I saw tho perfidious wretoh in whom I so trusted forgo 
my signature to that detestable document, and then in- 
dulge in the expression of his triumph. Thank Heaven 
I have recovered my speech again, so that I can set this 
matter right. That deed I proclaim nothing, and thf) 
will I long since made at tho wish of Mr. Miller, there, I 
hereby decree to express my last wishes." 

The young man was much overcome by thia declara- 
tion, and poured forth his thanks ardently. 

Gradually the hand which he pressed batweeffTiisow.. 
grew senseless and ohill, and at length the aged iimn 
olosed his eyes in death, with a smile upon his lips. 

Claude now endeavoured to withdraw, hoping to suc- 
ceed in doing so without exciting observation. 

In this, however, he was disappointed, for tho young 
sain, rising suddenly to his feet, grasped him by the 



hand, and inquired who he was and what had broughi 
him there at that particular junoture. 

" I am a perfect stranger to you all," was hia answer, 
"and what I havo done I have performed freely and 
willingly. As it happens, what I havo witnessed now 
signifies nothing. Accident alone brought me here, and 
I am glad that I arrived at so opportune a moment. If 
you will permit me, I will now say farewell." 

" No, no — we cannot suffer you to depart thus — I 
wiU not, indeed ! You must oblige me by accepting 
some slight token in recognition of the sr*"^ you 
have rendered." 

Claude bowed. 

" It would be churlish to refuse," he answered ,• "yet 
if you would allow me to depart, for I have pressing 
business that requires immediate attention." 

" I will not keep you," was tho answer. " Thia way 
— come with me!" 

The young man led Claude from the apartment, and, 
as he did so, he requested to be made acquainted with 
more of the particulars of the extraordinary and 
fortunate mistake that had been made. 

Claudo readily complied, ooncealing nothing save his 
own identity. 

As they descended the grand staircase, a succession 
of heavy blowa came upon the front door. 

Claude stopped abruptly, and involuntarily hia com- 
panion followed hia example. 

The door was opened, nnd no sooner did it fall back 
upon its hinges, than a throng of police officera poured 
in. 

Foremost amongst them waa a man with disordered 
apparel and of frenzied air. 

He waved hia arms aloft, and tho slight foam upon 
his lipa showed how tremendous was the excitoment 
under which he laboured. 

" Thia way !" he cried — " thia way !" 

Then, with a yoll, ho continued : 

" Look ! There ho is — thero he ia ! You see him, 
all ! Now judge whether I have told you truly or not ! 
Is not that man yonder Claude Duval, the highway- 
man ?" 

" It is !" cried one of the police officers, stepping 
forward, and presenting a pistol. "Claude Duval, sur- 
render yourself to me peaceably or I fire." 

No words could possibly express the amount of sur- 
prise and consternation visible upon the countenance 
of the young man. 

Never in hia wildest dreams could he have imagined 
that the man who had been of such service to him was 
a highwayman. 

Quick a3 thought, however, Claude turned round, and 
bounded up the staircase. 

An angle quickly hid him from the view of the police 
officers. 

The young man followed, and, with trembling lips, 
said : 

" Can it be true — is it possible that you are the noto- 
rious Claude Duval?" 

" It is not only possible but true. Farewell, my lord — 
if ench be your title — leave me now to shift for myself." 

"Never — never! Do yon imagine I could be guilty 
of such an amount of ingratitude ? No ! Follow me I 
At all risks, I will secure your safety." 

Before Claude could refuse, he felt himself seized by 
the arm, and dragged into a room, tho door of which 
was quickly olosed behind him. 

"Now," said his guide, "follow me I Quick- 
quick!" 

Ciaude needed no incentive to make speed. 

He was aware that his position was oritical in the 
extreme. 

That the yonng man waa perfectly ready and willing 
to befriend him there could, however, be no doubt, and 
Claude felt that ho could not possibly do better than 
resign himself entirely to his care. * 

With great rapidity, many rooms w-ero crossed, until a 
flight of stairs waa reached, down which they hurried. 

A corridor was traversed, and they paused before 
another door. 

The young man placed his hand upon the knob and 
entered. 

Clande then found himself in a spaoioue library, tht 
walls of which in every part were lined with book*, 



THE BRIGHT OV THE ROAD. 



1381 



which reached from the floor up to the lofty, carved oak 
ceiling. 

A kind of studious gloom overspread the whole place, 
and there was an intense and peculiar silence also. 

Without pausing, the young man advanced to oae 
particular part of the room. 

Then, seizing what appeared to be an upright suppo t 
to tbe shelving, ho drew it towards fiim, disclosing, io 
Claude's great •urprise, a good-sized reces? behind 
it. 

"Now, in there!* be 6aid. "Quick — quick! And 
don't move on any account, until I come to release 
you." 

Claud* If rted iu, and the shelves were pushed back. 

Then al' was silence and darkness. 

So rapidi^ had all this taken place that he could net as 
yet precisely comprehend the nature of the hiding-place 
lie was in, nor form any idea of its likelihood to escape 
discovery should search be made. 

Encouraged by the profound silence, however. > he 
stretched out his hands before him, expecting tha l"*j 
vould encounter the front edges of the books. 

Such, however, was not the case. 

A smooth piece of woodwork was before him. 

Then he comprehended at once the nature of his hiding- 
place, and felt a great amount of confidence in it, so 
cleverly was it constructed, and so likely to escape 
detection. 

One portion of the shelves were fixed, not close up 
against the walls as the others, but fitted into a kind of 
box, so constructed that when the books were placod in, 
the whole had the appearance of a door. 

It was opened easily, but by means of a secret spring, 
unlikely to be discovered. 

The officers — supposing that they searched that 
particular apartment — might take down every book and 
scrutinise the shelving, and yet discover nothing. 

A long time elapsed. 

But Claude heard nothing whatever of the officers or 
anyone else* 

The silence, indeed, was most oppressive. 

How it was that a visit had not been paid to the library 
he could not conceive. 

The explanation, however, was simple. 

The woodwork at the back of the books was lined 
with many thicknesses of felt, which, iu their turn, were 
covered with another panel, so that all sound was effectu- 
ally shut out. 

Nothing save the greatest uproar could have penetrated 
to Claude's ears while he remained there. 

Slowly the time passed, and wearisomely too. 

It seemed an age, indeed, before his friend returned. 

At length the cleverly-constructed secret door was 
thrown open, and Claude once more was permitted to 
step forth. 

"All's well," were the first words that fell upon his 
ears, " though I had much difficulty in getting rid of the 
officers." 

" Have they really gone ?" 

" I think they have ; but in a fe^y words I will tell you 
what has happened. Ralph Davids — my cousin, as he 
calls himself, though I don't recognise the relationship — I 
have handed over to their custody on a charge of forgery, 
aud, by a heavy bribe, I have induced the officers to give 
up their search for you." 

*' This is indeed generous," cried Claude — " it is indeed 
making an ample recompense for all that I have done ! I 
only hope the officers will not play us false." 

" I don't thtnk it. However, if you will follow my 
advice you will remain here till nightfall. It is now quite 
light, and if the officers are anywhere at hand you will bo 
seen. Under cover of the darkness you would stand a 
good chance of escaping." 

Claude was prof b« in his thanks, cud h»e~ protector 
said: 

"Hero you are quite welcome to stay; no one will 
interrupt you. As foi. myself, I have some impor* tot 
affairs to attend to ; but when night sets in you may 
depend upon seeing me again." 

With these words, he took his departure, and Claude 
sank down in one of the huge chairs near the fire- 
place. 

Here he remained until day was gone. 

Be watched, with great anxiety and pleasure, the 



gradual gloom that came stealing over the vast apartment, 
which at length deepened into the darkness of night. 

Still the young man came not, nor did he make his 
appearance until the old-fashioned clock fixed upon one 
of tho turrets of the building proclaimed the hour oi 
twelve. 

He entered hastily. 

"Come," he said, "all's well — you will have no 
difficulty in making your escape ! This way — this way ! 
I find your own horse is lame, so I have had one of my 
own brought out; accept it as in 6ome degree a 
recognition of the important service you have doue 
me." 



CHAPTER DCCCXLII. 

CLAUDS DirWL RETURNS TO THE INN, AND RECEIVES 
UNEXPECTED INTELLIGENCE. 

" You are too generous — too good !" returned Claude. 
" The accident was quite as much to my own advantage 
as yours, and you may imagine my situation was a most 
perilous one." 

" Well, now I think you may venture to consider that, 
for to-night, your perils are over. From all that I can 
learn, the officers have most certainly taken their 
departure." 

Claude was led towards the back portion of the 
mansion, partlybecause this was the nearest to the stables, 
wi partly because he was not 60 likely to be noticed 
wnile leaving at this point. 

A matchless steed had been brought out, and Claude's 
eyes lighted up with genuine pleasure as soon as they fell 
upon it, and he renewed his thanks. 

Springing quickiy to the saddle, the last farewells were 
uttered, and, directed by his preserver, Claude left tho 
premises. 

The night was yet comparatively young, and when ho 
found himself thus in safety and free from the officers, 
Claude began to debate within himself whether he should 
endeavour to find a profitable adventure. 

His speculations on this subject were, however, 
suddenly cut short, for, from round a clump of trees, at 
no great distance off, a party of police officers appeared. 

" There he is," cried one — " there he is ! You can see 
him now quite plain ! I told you if we waited it would 
turn out all right ! Now, then, forward, and as soon as 
you get within range, shoot him down !" 

Claude .heard this inhuman order, and his bosom 
burned with bitterness. 

But he could do nothing except disappoint the officers 
of their prey. 

Accordingly, he gave his newly-acquired steed the 
impulse forward, and he observed with considerable 
auxiety and interest the speed he made. 

The result was far beyond his utmost expectations, and 
caused his heart to bound with pleasure. 

At a long, sweeping gallop, which seemed to be the 
creature's natural pace, and to be performed without the 
slightest exertion, the horse stretched over the soft turf, 
and quickly left the heavily-mounted police officers 
behind. 

In vain they plied both whip and spur to their jaded 
horses. 

In a very brief space of time indeed, they had tho great 
mortification to discover that the highwayman had go* 
out ot sight, and that there was no chance of again over- 
taking him. 

That little incident served to bring Claude to a de- 
cision. 

He determined to make his way, in as direct * line as 
possible, to the inn. 

It was with some difficulty that he calinod down his 
eteod, for ',he animal, havyy once been put upon its mettle, 
was by *o means easy to control. 

At lei gth, just about two hours Lefore dyyligbf, C'laudo 
entered the plantation. 

Looking up, he perceived the signal that had bees 
agreed upon, showing all was well. 

Accordingly, he entered the stsble without hesita- 
tion. '•$ 

Crossing over, he entered the building, and wag 
received with a cry of welcome. 

Tom King was present, and so was Sixsaf n String Ja^ 
and Tom Davis, with Maud and Ellen. 



i383 



BLACK BESS ; 03, 



" Tou are both safe, I see," were Claude's first words. 
" But the captain — where is ho ?" 

" Not back yet," was the reply, " though we are expect- 
ing hiru each moment. Had he returned, I sho» u -l'ave 
tried my luck again to-night with Jack." 

"But," exclaimed Claude, "morning is druwmg on 
tpace ; it is strange be has not made his appearance 
before this !" q 

" We have heard from him," said T?i3 Dft7is. 

" Heard from him ? How?'' 

"Why, early yesterday morning, to our great conster- 
nation and alarm, Black Bess came galloping up to the 
front door." 

" What, again ?" 

"Yes, and without the captain. I must eay that it 
gave me such a turn that for a short *,ime I was not able 
to move a limb. Darting forward, however, I first of all 
discovered that Black Bess was drippiug wet from head 
to foot." 

"And could you find nothing of the captain ? : ' 

"No, nothing but this pocket-book, which was strapped 
to the saddle ; ar.d here, look — on ouo of the leaves yc-a 
can find scrawled these words : 

" ' All's well — fear uot for me. Back soon.' " 

The pocket-book was handed to Claude, who examined 
It with very great attention. 

" Well," he ejaculated, at length, " this indeed passea say 
comprehension ! What on earth could have induced him 
to send Black Bess in this manner ? ne must be aware 
that she is almost as well known as himself, and that it 
was almost, if not quite, as dangerous for her to arrive 
here by herself as it would be for him to ride tip to the 
door by daylight." 

" That was my thought," said Davis. 

"But you spoke about her being wet — what <as the 
meaning of that ?" 

" I can only guess," was the reply. " When I took her 
into the stable 1 found that the wound in her neck had 
been bleeding afresh, and I suppose that, in order to 
allay the pain, she had jumped into some stream." 

"It is singular indeed," said Claude, musingly. "What 
construction do you put upon it?" 

These last words aere addressed, not to Tom Davis, bvA 
to the two high waymen-^Tom Xing and Sixtoen-String 
Jack. 

Claude observed in a moment that they fidgeted about 
and looked uneasy, as though they wished to say some- 
thing, and yet, from some cause or other, held back. 

Just then, while Claude was wondering more and more 
at the singular aspect affairs were assuming, his eye 
happened to rest upon Maud's countenance. 

It was as white as ashes. 

Even her very lips were white, and her eyes were burn- 
ing with a strange, peculiar light. 

Before he could speak again, Tom King said, with a 
man ; f est effort : 

" Never mind the captain just now, Claude ; suppose 
you make us acquainted with your adventures. Where 
have you passed the day?" 

" That will do another time," said Claude. " I cannot 
trouble myself with thinking about that." 

" Well," said Tom King, hurriedly, and with the same 
air of restraint, " since you will not speak, I must per- 
force give you an account of my adventures ; ten to one, 
by the time I have concluded the captain will make his 
appearance." 

"Do you really think thatr"' exclaimed Maud, in a 
trembling voice, and clasping her hands beseechingly to- 
gether — "do you indeed think that?" 

'•I do, or else why should he hate sent back that 
message ? Rely upon it, wherever the captain may Yd he 
is well able to tafco care of himselL" 

Then, without pausing. Tom King began an acoonut 
of his own adrenture*). 

He seemed anxious to fill up the conversation, and to 
allow no one else the opportunity of speaking. 

The fact was, he wished to prevent any discussion 
taking place upon tho subject of the captain's non-ap- 
pearance. 

Yet all could tell by his manner that he was very ill 
at case. 

" I got e afoly away," he began, " though I confess I 
was rather troubled about Jack Marshall and his men." 

" However, I saw nothing of them, and made my way 



with all speed to the Oxford Road, for I c-wfess I have a 
greater fancy for that highway than anv other. 

" Tho reason is, I suppose, that I have 'lever to look far 
for an adventure in that direction. 

"And so it turned out in the pi"esent i jstance. 

" Scarcely had I gone a hundred yards when I heard 
jhe sound of a vehicle approaching. 

" By the sound I could tell in a moment tu.**t it was of 
a heavy description, though I was at a loss to make tip 
my mind as to exactly what kind of vehicle it was. 

" In the meanwhile I made all my preparations, and 
having carefully primed my pistols, I looked up and 
saw lights flashing oIdso at baud. 

" Then directly afterwards I made out the shapo of a 
large, lumbering, old-fashioned camo"--'' .'awn by a couplo 
of white horses. 

" In spite of its heavy appearance and ponderous 
wheels, the vehicle rolled along at a very rapid rate, and, 
indeed, no wonder, for the coachman as he sat on the box 
flogged the horses incessantly in order to keep them ud 
to the top of their speed. 

" It was clear that whoever was inside was for some 
reason or other in a very great hurry indeed, and anxious 
to reach some point as quickly as possible. 

" It was not likely, though, that I could allow that to 
interfere with me, so I at onco rode out and commanded 
the coachman to stop. 

" Whether he tried to rein-in the horses or not I can 
scarcely say ; it would have been impossible to ekeck them 
all at onco. 

" Under these circumstances I tried our old expedient 
of firing a pistol over his head. 

" On the present occasion it was quite successful. 

" With a cry of terror he pulled up. 

"Threatening him with instant death if ho moved, I 
made my way to the door of the carriage. 

" No sooner did I reach it than the window was let 
down from within. 

"I then caught sight of the form of a very old lady, 
and so much did her appearance impress me that I must 
give you a brief description of her. 

" She was neatly yet richly and elegantly dressed ; her 
face', though old and somewhat withered, yet was a most 
pleasing one, chiefly because of the unmistakable air of 
benevolence that It wore. 

" One could tell that she was all kindness and affection 
— one of those good creatures that are occasionally met 
with. 

" But her face was very pale, and her eyes filled with 
tears, ner voice was husky with emotion, and yet she 
endeavoured to assume an air of sternness, perhaps in 
the hope that she might conceal it. «. 

" ' Sir, sir — whoever you are,' she exclaimed, ' let me 
entreat you to depart — let me proceed ! Do not hinder 
me a moment, for, alas ! every second is most precious to 
me, or rather to one I hold far dearer than my lif»! Sir 
— sir, if you are not dead to every human kindly feeling, 
let me implore you to allow me to pass — do not detain 
me a moment longer ! H you will, I will make you anj 
promise you desire !' 

" I confess, comrades, that I was deeply touched by her 
manner — so deeply, indeed, that at first I could not 
reply. 

"Raising my hat, however, I said : 

" ' You are quite free to pass. I much regret that 1 
havo hindered you. I should be glad to render some 
atonement for it. My life is one of adventure — you know 
my calling — and I pursue it moro for the love I have for 
adventure than any other cause. If you need a strong 
arm and a willing heart to assist you, speak — you have 
only to say ihe word, and you will find both at your ser- 
vice.' 

CHAPTER DCCCXLIII. 

IN WHICH TOM KING CONTINUES THE KECITAL OF 
HIS INTERESTING ADVENTURES. 

" * The old lady looked at me wistfully, and, clasping 
her hands together, leaned forward eagerly. 

" ' You cau trust me,' I said, guessing what was pass- 
ing through her mind — 'you can trust mo in all 
things.' 

" ' Then I will put faith in you,' 6he exclaimed, with 



TE3 K.NiailT OP THE ROAD. 



13S3 



•udden energy, ' and if you betray mo or deceive me, I 
■will never believe in anyone again.' 

" 4 You have nothing to fear,' I said. ' I am always on 
the side of right against might, and unless I am greatly 
mistaken, you are suffering from the infliction of some 
great wrong.' 

"'It is true, sir; but unfortunately it will take- acme 
time for ma to tell you all, and every moment is so pre- 
cious.' t> 

" ' It can easily be managed,' I said, ' and without any 
loss of time.' 

M « How so ?' 

41 ' Why, with your permission I will secure my horse 
to the back part of this vehicle, and your man can 30a- 
tinue to drive you to your destination ; then, if you will 
permit me to share the carriage with you, the explanation 
can be given as we proceed.' 

" ' It is a good thought !' she exclaimed ; ' be IS so, and 
oh, be quick, though I feel better now already !' 

" I hastily carried out the intention I had expressed 

" My horse was securely fastened, and I entered the 
carriage, and the coachman was ordered to proceed. 

" Away wo went at a rattling pace, and the old lady 
commenced by saying : 

" ' I must first put you in possession of a few names, 
and then the narrative will be easier. 

" 'In the first place, my name is Charlotte Chadwick. 
I am a widow, and have been for many years, and in all 
the wide world I have only two relatives. One is my 
dear niece Lillian, my deceased brother's only child. 

" ' By his will I was appointed one of her guardians ; 
her other guardian is my step-brother, William Aldis, a 
man I do not hesitate to stigmatise as a villain end a 
scoundrel. 

" ' But you shall hear,' she continued. ' My poor brother 
before his death placed every confidence in this William 
Aldis, and at that time none of us knew his real character, 
nor believed him guilty of so much baseness as he has 
since exhibited. 

" ' Such being the case, then, he was left chief guardian 
of Lillian, and up to the time of her majority he was to 
hold all her property, real and personal, as trustee. 

" ' For my own part, all I had to do was to bring up 
tho deal girl and see to her education. 

" ' Without vanity, I may say that I have performed 
my task properly and conscientiously. 

" ' We were always together — Lillian and I — for we 
were mutually fond of each other. 

" ' We saw but little of William Aldis, who punctually 
at the proper intervals sent us the instalments of the 
money as directed by my brother's will. 

" ' And so matters went on peaceably enough until 
Lillian reached her nineteenth year. 

" ' For a long time past she had been beloved by and 
engaged to a young officer in the army, who is now at 
the present time most unfortunately absent from England, 
though I am every clay in expectation of his return. 

" ' Long ere this, Lillian would have been hi3 wife had 
cot William Aldis most positively and emphatically re- 
fused to sanction any such alliance. 

" ' lie would give no reason for his refusal, and ho was 
firm and obstinate. 

" ' As guardian, he had this power over his wara uu'ril 
■he should attain her majority, and Lillian, whose respect 
for her father's memory amounts to veneration, never 
once thought of acting in defianco of the man who had 
been left to watch over her. 

" 'And so Lieutenant Russell proceeded on the foreign 
service alone, though ho had fondly hoped to take dear 
Lillian with him. •© 

" ' I believe it would have brokea my heart to have 
parted with her, but yet I should never have sacrificed 
her happiness to my own. 

*' ' It was not long after this that, for the first tiuie in 
hi3 life, William Aldis became a frequent visitor at our 
residence. 

" ' Day after day tie was there, and at first 1 waa ^'eased 
and flattered by bse visits. 

" ' I soon discovered, however, that ho h\l tz uuerior 
object in view. 

" ' That was, to make Lillian his wife. 
" ' His first overtures were made to mo. 
" 'I aaswered that I thought he had no chance in the 
prewwution of his suit, since Lilli&u had pledged herself 



to the lieutenant, and I knew her character too well to 
believe that she would prove false to her plighted word- 

" ' He scowled angrily, and asked me to uso "»v influ- 
ence. 

" 'But this I positively declined. I said. 

si 4 d j ne field j g pen, and if you can iuduucn,?? to be 
yottr wi f e, why, do so." 

" 'I regretted having said this much, for he then began 
a complete persecution of my niece. 

" ' It was in vain she assured him that her heart was 
irrevocably mother's — that she could never listen to any 
other suit. ", 

" ' He tried kind words at first, then appealed to her 
feelings and revived her father's memory, and, failing, 
descended to common threats. 

" ' In my own mind I formed a pretty good idea of the 
exact state of affairs, and trembled for the future of my 
poor girl. 

" 'Had she shown any signs of weakness — had she not 
been so steadfastly true to her absent lover — I should 
have entreated her to turn a deaf ear to her guardian's 
suit. 

" ' It would then have been necessary for me to give 
her a reason for such a wish, and that reason would 
simply have been this : 

" ' " I believe that he has unjustly and improperly ap- 
propriated and made use of a great deal of your wealth — 
more than ho can possibly replace ; and so he seeks, by a 
union with you, to patch up his delinquencies." 

" ' That, I have no doubt, is the actual state of 
affairs ; subsequent events have gone far to strengthen 
such an opinion. 

" ' But, as I said, there was no need for anything of 
this kind ; Lillian was as firm as could be wished. 

" ' And so things have gono on up to the present time, 
or, more correctly speaking, up to the day before yester- 
day, when I received a letter from an old friend of mine, 
who live3 in a distant county, requesting me to pay her 
a visit with all speed, on a matter of great import- 
ance. 

u ' I, of course, complied, and wished to take Lillian 
with me ; but she was unwell, and, moreover, in constant 
expectation of hearing from or either seeing her affianced 
husband, and I could not persuade her to leave London. 

" ' Alas — alas that I left her ! 

" ' When I arrived at my destination I found the 
greatest surprise was manifested at my arrival. 

" ' The letter was produced, and it was declared to be a 
forgery. 

"'At first I knew not what to think, and wondered 
why anyone could have been so linfeeling a3 to play such 
a hoax on a person of my age, for travelling to me is a 
serious matter. 

'"Then, all at once, I felt, like a flash, that it meant 
some danger to Lillian, and, in spite of my fatigue, I 
hastily commenced a return journey, though I was 
laughed at for doing so. 

" ' On my arrival, I found that my worst fears were 
confirmed. 

" 'Soon after my departure, William Aldis had requested 
to see me, and on learning I was absent, had obtained an 
interview with Lillian. 

" ' What passed between them I know not ; but by 
some means he induced her to leave the house and enter 
his carriage, which was waiting at the door. 

" ' And from that time to this I have seen nothing of 
her.' 

"' But,' I interrupted, t %. presume you have obtained 
some clue, or else why arc- you taking your present 
course ?' 

" ' I have a clue — a very slight one. I am told that he 
is likely to bo found at a place at no great distance, in a 
vo-y secluded situation, which he has lately purchased, 
and hud atted uo in a most expensive style. 

•' ' It is there tnat 1 am going — it is there that I expect 
to dnd Lillian. So great has been my agitation that I 
have lost my usual coolness. 

" ' Trembling with dread of I knew not what, I started 
off at once by myself, without bringing anyoue with me, 
and feeling quite at a loss to know how I should act upon 
my arrival, supposing I should find my Lillian there.' 

" ' I may be excused,' I said, 'if I look upon our chance 
meeting as a fortunate one. Should your suspicions prove 
correct I will undertake, at all risks, to wrest this girl 



1S84 



BLACK BE88; OH, 



lrom him, and I trusi that our aid and interference will 
not come too late.' 

" ' And I too — and I to«/ !' said the old lady, tears again 
celling down her cheeks. ' Oh, he is a bad and desperate 
man ! And, being in this extremity, who can say what 
baseness he may not be guilty of? Who can say what 
will be the end of this terrible affair?' 

" ' Let ns hope for the best,' 1 said. ' Put some faith hi 
the firmness which, you say, your niece has ever shown 
towards him — that is all we can do at presebt, and I do 
hope and trust that all will yet be well. 1 



CHAPTER DCCCXLIV. 

1M WHICH TOM KING BRINGS THE NARR£TsTB O* K£> 
ADVENTURES TO A CONCLUSION. 

"At this moment the carriage stopped with quite a sud- 
den jerk, and the old lady immediately put her head out 
of the window to ascertain the cause. 

" ''Here we are, mum,' said the coachman — 'leaslw/ee, 
as near as I can tell.' 

"'Yes, yes,' was the reply— • this is the place, I feel 
certain 

" ' Allow me,' I said, and looking forth, I perceived 
what was evidently the boundary-wall of a small, pretty- 
looking residence, the top of which I could just see. 

" 'Do you see the gates, Samuel?' ehe asked. 

" ' No, mum.' 

" ' Drive on, then.' 

"'Stay!' I exclaimed. 'The circumstances under 
which we are paying our visit are peculiar. It vili be 
better by far not to draw up to the main entrance. YTuat 
we shall accomplish to-night will be done by stratagem 
and skill more than by main force. With your permis- 
sion, we will alight just here.' 

" ' I am quite ready to resign myself into your hands,' 
she answered; then, smiling, she continued: 'This does 
indeed seem a strange night of adventure. Who would 
Lave believed that I should have taken you, a perfect 
stranger, into my confidence in this af air?' 

" ' I only trust,' I replied, ' that you will have no occa- 
sion to regret having done so.' 

" With these words, 1 handed her from the carriage, 
»nd, going closer to the boundary-wall, began to make an 
inspection of it, with a view of finding a means of pass- 
ing it. 

" In a little while I came to a small door, that was, 
however, strongly fastened. 

" I succeeded in climbing the wall ; but as my com- 
panion could not follow me by that route, I dropped on 
the other side and unfastened the door, which was secured 
only by a couple of rusty bolts. 

" This door I just closed behind us, without fastening 
it, and as I did so, 1 said : 

" ' We will now take particular notice of the position 
of this doorway, for, in case events should make it 
necessary, we shall then know which way to turn in 
order to make our escape speedily.' 

" ' But,' she inquired, ' how do you intend to act ?' 

" ' That is a question I can hardly reply to,' I said ; 
' I shall suffer myself to be guided entirely by circum- 
stances. Come with me. We will, first of all, look all 
round the premises.' 

" She was quite willing, as she said, to resign herself 
into my hands and allow me to take the lead. 

" Stealthily, then, I approached the house and gave a 
rapid glance at its exterior. 

"In this there was nothing irhatever remarkable, 
although it looked a very charcclag, beautiful place 
indeed. <& 

" The windows next engaged my attention. 

" I could see none that were illuminated until l t"rned 
the angle of one wing, and then I saw several. 

" One was on the ground floor, and towards that I crept 
at once, a consciousness? within me that if I could take a 
peep through it I should see something well worth look- 
ing at. 

" In a moment or so the window was reaches, iud 
making a sign to my companion to preserve us much 
silence as sho possibly could, I raised my head and ven. 
tared to peep in. 

"Ch&riiic: were drawn across the window yot net sc 



closely as to shut out all view c^ the interior of the apait< 
ment. 

"Looking in, I perceived' standing on the opposite side 
of the tablo a young girl, who by her appearance I im- 
mediately guessed to be Lillian. ( 

" If any confirmation was required, I had it In the 
manner in which the old lady clasped her hands together 
as soon as she caught sight of her. 

" Lillian, then — for so I may as well c& r < Hv— 'was stand- 
ing in an attitude of defiance; her eyfcs were Hashing 
fire; her slim, lithe form was drawn up to its full height; 
and stern, angry words were issuing from her lips, though, 
owing to the closeness with which the casement fitted, 1 
could not overhear a single word. 

" In one hand she held a knife, that she had evidently 
hastily snatched up from the table. 
yj "It was raised threateningly above her head. 

"Standing on the other side of the table *aa a 
man. 

" His face was hidden from mc, and I could make out 
but little of his appearance. 

" Yet I knew well enough that this was the guardian 
that had been described to me. 

" I waited to see no more, but, grasping the old lady by 
the hand, led her away for a few steps. 

'" You saw all that?' I said. 'I suppose I am correct 
in believing those two persons to be your niece Lillian 
and her guardian William Aldis ?' 

" ' Yes — yes !' she exclaimed, in a voice tremulous with 
agitation. 'Save her- save my poor girl — save her while 
there is yet time !' 

" 'Be under no apprehension,' I answered, assuringly. 
' I merely wished to appeal to you for a little advice.' 

" ' No, no — act entirely as you think proper.' 

"'Unfortunately, I cannot. You know my position — 
I cannot interfere in a case of this kind as others would.' 

" ' I do not understand you.' 

" ' Frankly, then, I mean this : After what has oc- 
curred, it will be manifestly your best course to give this 
William Aldis iato custody, to answer, first of all, for 
carrying off yo:sr niece — for forcibly detaining her against 
her will ; and then, if necessary, you can prosecute hint 
if he has made use of any of her wealth.' 

" ' Yes, yes — I understand ; but yet I would rather be 
free from him altogether.' 

" ' No doubt you would ; but you must consider your 
niece's interests in this affair. You can understand now 
— can you not? — that it will be impossible for me to call 
in the police officers ; if I did, I also should be made a 
prisoner; but,' I continued, 'I will enter that room — I 
will overpower him and make him a prisoner — I will 
secure him as well as I am able, and after that you must 
find some means of communicating with the police.' 

" The old lady seemed to hesitate ; but just then a loud 
shriek arose. 

" It was followed by a tremendous crash. 

"I turned round, and saw instantly what had hap- 
pened. 

" Exasperated or terrified at something her villanous 
guardian had either said or done, Lillian had made one 
bold spring across the room, and dashed herself through 
the casement. 

"A fierce and angry shout succeeded, and then William 
Aldis dashed through tfce broken window. 

" But before he could approach the trembling, affrighted 
girl, I placed myself before him, sword in baud. 

" ' Back,' I exclaimed — ' back ! Your villsny has been 
discovered and frustrated just in tirae 1' 

" Such a ysil as William Aldis 4hen gave utterance to, 
I thiuk I have never heard in all my life before. 

" With all the insensate fury of a madman, he drew 
his sword from its sheath, and commenced a wild attack 
upon me. 

" I was not a moment in ascertaining that I was far 
superior to him in fence, and before he well knew what 
hail happened, his sword was seat whirling across the 
garden. 

"Meanwhile, Lillian had discovered her aunt, and waf 
clasped tightly in her arms, sobbing and weeping now 
that the danger v*as <?ver. 

" I followed up the advantage t had gained, and seizing 
the rascal by the throat, flashed my sword before his 
eyes. 

" ' Yield,' I cried — ' yield this moment 1 I am a despetaM 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



i385 




[dick tttrpin surrenders himself a prisoner.] 



man, and if yon refuse, will immediately pot you to 
death !" 

He trembled and shook with feav. 

"The man was an arrant coward, as, indeed, anyone 
might have expeoted from his conduct. 

" Most unquestionably he feared death, and so sub- 
mitted to me completely, beooming as helpless as any- 
one well oould. 

" Accordingly i dragged Mm back through the win- 
dow into the room, and forced him to sit down in a chair, 
and then, by means of the strong cord belonging to the 
curtains, I bound him there in such a manner that I felt 
sure he could not set himself at liberty. 

" It struck mo as being rather strange that I should 
havo met with no opposition from any other persons about 
the place; but, aswe after wards discovered, therewas only 
one domestic, and that was an old woman, deaf and nearly 
blind, so from her there was nothing to apprehend. 

No. 174.— Black Bess. 



" * Now,' I said, addressing the old lady, ' your niece is 
restored to you safe and unhurt I hope. William Aldis 
is a prisoner, and it will be your own fault if he escapes. 
Farewell, then, for my service is over, and I have busi- 
ness of my own to attend to. As I pass through the 
gate I will tell the coachman to drive off at once for a 
body of police officers ; the rest will then be perfectly 
easy. Farewell to you both V 

" ' But, aunt,' I heard Lilian cry, ' who is this— who 
is it that has so befriended me, and why does he leave 
without giving me the opportunity of thanking him ?' 

" I turned at once, although I had gone several paces. 

" ' It may seem churlish on my part,' I exclaimed. 
' but the fact is there may be great danger to me if I 
linger lontrer here. As to who I am, don't let it matter , 
suffice it to say I am your friend.' 

" ' But who — who ?' she asked. 

"'Yesi your name/ added her aunt. 'I am only a 



Fo. 174. 



Priob One Halfpenny. 



138G 



BLASE BESS ; OH, 



wornau, yet some day, it' 1 know who you are, I may be 
able to render you a service.' 

" I hesitated a moment, then exclaimed: 

" ' My name, since you must know it, is Tom King — 
Tom King, the highwayman !' 

" With these words on my lips I turned round again, 
and, with rapid strides, made my way to the little door. 

" According to my expressed intention, there I found 
the coachman waiting, and I immediately sent him off 
for the police officers. 

" Mounting my own steed, I turned his face home- 
wards. 

" Somehow, whenever I have an adventure of this kind, 
it casts a singular gloom over me — a gloom that I can- 
not shake off. 

" I was in no humour for another adventure, no mat- 
ter of what kind, and therefore it so happened that 1 
arrived here much earlier than Tom Davis expected. 

" It was a profitless excursion altogether, but I think 
Sixteen-String Jack has a different account to give." 

With these words Tom King ceased, and Claude Duval 
would very willingly have put off Sixteen-String Jack's 
narration till another time, and confined himself to a 
consideration of the captain's probable position. 

But as for Sixteen-String Jack himself, he seemed to 
the full as desirous of preventing the conversation from 
dwelling on that topio as Tom King was. 

Therefore, with an air of restraint, and yet with an 
affectation of joviality that oould not but be notioed by 
all, he commenced as follows: — 



CHAPTER DCCCXLV. 

VHE HIGHWAYMEN HEAR SUDDEN AND UNEXPECTED 
TIDINGS OF THE CAPTAIN. 

" It's a string of adventures I have had !" commenced 
Jack, "aud so be prepared to listen. In the first place 
I made my way to the North Road, partly because we 
have not visited it for a long time, and partly because 
I was tired of adventures without any booty attached 
to them, and I knew very well that was the place to 
look for what I wanted. 

" A good gallop across the country quickly brought 
me there, and I reined in my steed in order to rest him 
a little, and also that I might listen whether any travel- 
ler was approaching, 

"Scarcely had I assumed this position than I heard some 
one coming on at a regular jog trot. The pace almost 
told mo the character not only of the horse but his rider. 

" ' A grazier, I'll warrant !' I muttered to myself. 

" My mind was made up at once as to how I should 
proceed. I drew back into the shadow of the hedge so 
as to allow him to pass me, while I ascertained how far 
my surmises were correct. i 

" I found them completely verified. He was a stout 
man mounted on a cob as stout as himself. His attire 
was old and greasy. 

" He was so intent upon urging his horse forward 
that he did not perceive me, and I waited for him to 
get a little distance ahead. 

"Then emerging from my place of concealment, I 
followed at a pace only a little faster than his own, but 
yet of course one that could not fail to enable me to 
overtake him. 

" Ere long I oaught sight of his bulky figure in ad- 
vance, and in a few minutes afterwards placed myself 
beside him, 

" I was intent upon having some fun at his expense, 
so I accosted him with the utmost respect. 

'• At the samo time I plunged my hand into my pocket 
and drew out about a dozen guineas, and cs J did so 1 
said : 

" ' This prooeedin? no doubt fills you .*ith surprise.for. 
to the best of my belief, we are perfect strangers to each 
other, but we appear to be journeying in the same direc- 
tion, and therefore I should be eternally obliged if you 
would take charge of this gold.' 

" He stared at me in blank amazement, as well he 
might. 

" Perhaps he thought I was a little mad, bui 1 con- 
tinued : 

The request seems a strange one, but let me inform 
you, » little ▼ay behind ua are tbrae or four very ill- 



favoured-looking rogues — highwaymen, I should say, if 
I appearances are anything to go by. I was heartily glad 
to avoid them, but they are following, and I have no 
doubt they intend to rob me.' 

" The grazier seemed rather alarmed, so I hastened 
to reassure him. 

" ' Mind you,' I said, ' I don't think for a moment that 
they will attempt to rob you — it is me they will look 
after, because, judging by my outward looks, they will 
conclude that 1 carry the most money about me. So 
therefore I beg you will take charge of this, the bulk of 
my wealth, so that if the rascals searoh me they will 
find nothing to reward them for their pains.' 

" While thus speaking, I thrust my hand into my 
pocket and drew forth about a dozen guineas. 

" I held them towards the grazier, and renewed my 
request that he would take charge of them. 

" I can assure you he looked very much astonished 
indeed — in fact, his countenance was quite a picture. 

" It was hardly likely, however, that he would dis- 
trust me on this account. 

" I asked bim to take charge of my money, which was 
a widely different thing to asking him to let me take 
care of his for him. 

" Yet it was rather unwillingly that he took hold of 
the coin, and then he exclaimed: 

" ' Well, it's a very strange notion this indeed. I don't 
mind obliging you. I have passed these highwaymen 
before to-day, and have always got off well.' 

"' I am glad to hear it,' I answered, 'and I hope if 
those rascals behind do ride up that you will keep the 
money safe.' 

" ' Oh, never fear— never fear! And I'll tell you why 
I seemed rather unwilling to grant your request ; it was 
because I shall have to let you into a secret that I 
wished to keep locked up in my own breast.' 
' " ' What may that secret be ?' 1 asked. 

"' Why, just this: you will have to know where I 
oarry my money, aud that's what no one else knows ex- 
cept myself.' 

" ' You may depend that, out of gratitude merely, I 
shall keep your secret,' I answered. ' Pray put my 
money where it will be safe, for unless I make a great 
mistake, I can hear some one on the road behind us.' 

" The old fellow looked quite alarmed, and said, has- 
tily : 

" ' Well, if I must tell you, I keep it tied up in the 
tail of my shirt. Let me ask you if a highwayman would 
ever think of looking for it there ?' 

" ' Never,' I answered, emphatically — ' it's the last 
plaoe I should have thought of.' 

" ' Well,' he said, ' I shall make some large purchases 
to-day, and so I have got. a good round sum with me, 
and mostly in bank-notes.' 

" With much pulling and tugging, the old fellow got 
out the tail of his shirt, and I found that he had not been 
joking, for tied up in it very securely was something 
that looked very much like guineas and bank-notes. 

" I could scaroely control my laughter, because I knew 
what was coming. 

'' He chuckled again and again about his cleverness. 
'"I will put yours in a separate place,' he siid, 'it 
yon don't mind.' 

" 'Oh, I am quite agreeable,' was my reply; 'and if 
yon like I will hold my money the while.' 

" Still unsuspectingly enough, he gave me back my 
dozen guineas, and I slipped them instantly into my 
pocket. 
" As quick as thonght I drew out my sword. 
" ' Now, my good friend,' said I, ' as there is an end to 
all good things, so there is a conclusion to this joke. I 
have found out your secret, so just decide which I shall 
take, your money or your life, for I am determined to 
have one or the other !' 

" The grazier seemed quite panic-struck, and his 
eyes and mouth opened to a most alarming extent. 
" ' Oh, sir,' he said, ' have mercy — have mercy !' 
" ' Oh, yes,' I replied, ' I am quite inclined to be merci- 
ful. I want nothing but that little supply of cash whioh 
you ought to have been robbed of lona ago ; and beware 
how you deceive a highwayman a<r;iin !' 

" The old fellow must have noticed that I was rather 
off my guard, for all at once, when I lenst expected it, 
he A i$ one of the spurs into his horse'? lank, and made 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



1387 



the animal bound along at a rate I should never have 
believed him capable of accomplishing. 

" I uttered a cry of rage, and then set forward in pur- 
Suit, thought my anger quickly changed to mirth when 
I saw the grazier making vain and frantic attempts to 
stuff the tail of his shirt in again. 

" In a few moments I r»s level with him, and resolved 
to have no more delay. 

'' I seized hold of the "booty, and with one stroke of 
the sword cut the tail of his shirt off completely, and 
here it is." 

Despite the anxiety tnat all felt, it was impossible to 
repress a hearty laugh, and for several moments the 
roof of the old kitchen fairly rang again. 

Jack held aloft his trophy with great glee. 

Then, untying it, disclosed a good round sum in notes 
and gold, as the farmer had said. 

" Bother these things," he cried, alluding to the bank- 
notes, " they are almost useless to me. I have a good 
mind to carry them about me, and should I ever meet 
him again I will give him a chance of buying them baok 
at a reasonable rate." 

There was another laugh at this, but Sixteen-String 
Jack took it quite seriously. 

Then Claude, imagining the right moment had oome, 
took advantage of a pause in the conversation to speak. 

" Well now," he cried, " all the adventures have been 
told ; there are no signs of the captain at present, and I 
think we ought not to put off any longer a discussion 
upon where he is likely to be." 

Just then he saw Maud turn pale, and fall baok half 
fainting in her ohair. 

"I think," said Tom Davis, rather gruffly, "that you 
are alarming yourself without due cause. Give the cap- 
tain time, and I will be bound he appears. What do 
you think he sent that note for f He meant us to re- 
main quite easy until he appeared. Just wait a moment 
and I will read it to you again." 

" Oh, I know all about that." said Claude, impatiently, 
" only such a long time has elapsed I think it strange 
he has not appeared." 

" Let us give him till daybreak, at any rate," said 
Tom Davis — "ten to one if he would think of coming 
back before then, if he had the opportunity." 

"Then you have not long to give him," returned 
Claude, " for in an hour, or even less, it will be quite 
daylight ; the uawn must be now almost here." 

A deep silence followed these words — a pause that 
seemed to have something very ominous about it. 

Maud was slowly recovering herself, and the others, 
with averted eyes, were each waiting for some one to 
speak first. 

But the silence endured and remained like a spell. 

Then Claude rose, and, going to the window, let down 
the shutter. 

As he did so, a clear grey light came pouring into the 
kitchen. 

" It is already daybreak," he said. " Behold ! Where 
is he now ?" 

Again there was a silence. 

But this time it was broken in upon by a most dis- 
cordant, unmelodious sound — one that made them all 
start, aud one that actually caused the blood to rush 
back to their hearts with a sickening sensation. 

" Goodness gracious!"' exclaimed Tom Davis, as he 
sprang up from his chair and then sank down again— 
"goodness gracious, wha 's that i" 



CHAPTER DCCCXLVI. 

THE HIGHWAYMEN OBTAIN SOME UNEXPECTED IN- 
TELLIGENCE AS TO DICK TURPIN'S WHEREABOUTS 
FHOM THE ITINERANT NF.WSVENDOR. 

The hideous sound came again. 

This time, however, they were more prepared foi it 
than they were upon the previous occasion, and therefore 
were able to form a better idea of how it was produced. 

" It's a horn," cried Tom Davis, as he rushed towards 
the front of the house — " it's a horn, or a trumpet, or 
something of that kind. What on earth does it mean?" 

His movement was immediately followed by the rest, 
and in an incredibly short space of time the kitchen 
was vacated. 



" Be careful how you show yourselves," cried Torn* 
who, even in this moment of excitement, had not for- 
gotten his caution. 

The highwaymen shrank back. 

" You have a look first, Tom," they cried, "and let 
us kuow what it is." 

Opening frhe door, ho looked out. 

But at this moment there came another blast, louder 
and more discordant than the former ones. 

Then a cracked, whetzy voioe was heard to say: 

" Most important— important— important !"' 

Then followed another blast. 

" It is a man," cried Tom Davis — " an old man with 
a long, battered tin horn. What on earth does he mean 
by kicking up all that uproar r" 

" Here you have it, good people," continued the same 
strange voice—" here you have it ; all the particulars 
from the beginning to the end, and most extraordinary 
they are. Here you have 'em— here you have 'em, and 
the price no more than a penny !" 

He blew the horn again. 

" I can't make it out," cried Tom Davis ; " he is a 
most extraordinary-looking individual, and he is carry- 
ing a packet of papers in his hand; they must be about 
some important event that has just ooourred." 

" Get him inside," suggested Claude Duval, " and give 
him something to drink ; that will stop his noise." 

Before this advice oould be acted upon, all heard dis- 
tinctly the following words. 

Strive a9 they would, not one oould move until the 
man paused to blow his horn, which he made a point of 
doing at every full stop in his discourse. 

" Here you have it," he oried, " the important and un- 
paralleled details of theoaptureof the notorious highway- 
man, Dick Turpin, who surrendered himself prisoner 
yesterday, and now lies in the prison of Newgate await- 
ing the order for his execution ; and only one penny." 

The sound of the tin horn drowned the stifled shriek 
that burst from the lips of Maud, and without another 
sound she sank perfectly insensible. 

Mrs. Davis and Ellen at onoe gave her their whole 
attention, leaving the highwaymen to themselves. 

"Just what I feared," was Claude Duval's comment. 

"We all guessed it," said Tom King, "only we did 
not want to say a word about it before Maud. Let us 
get that rascal in and get all the details we can 
from him." 

" All right," said Tom Davis. " Just step on one side 
and leave it to me. On no account permit yourselves 
to be seen, because it is very likely he has been furnished 
with a description of all." 

Upon this caution the highwaymen all withdrew, and 
Tom Davis going to the front of the inn, saw that the 
man bad moved a little way. 

But he bawled after him, and the niau, turning round, 
hastened towards the inn at full speed. 

He detached a paper from his bundle, evidently ex- 
pecting that Tom Davis was about to be a purchaser. 

" What's that you are saying ?" he asked. 

" It's about Dick Turpin, the highwayman," was the 
reply, given in a more natural tone of voice ; " he was 
captured yesterday and taken to Newgate." 

" Was lie indeed ? Well, come in and have a draught 
of ale, and let us know all the particulars. I'll have one 
of your papers as well, for, though I'm no soholar my- 
self, there may be others who would like to read it." 

•'Ail right my friend," said the itinerant newsvendor. 
" I'll tell you all the particulars, and that'll save you 
the trouble of reading." 

" Come, then — come in." 

The man willingly followed Davis into the kitohen, 
where he sat down. 

A jug of ale that one would think would take him 
some time to drink was placed before him. 

Then Tom eagerly questioned him for information. 

" Well, you see," replied the man, "it happened in 
thiswise : Dick Turpin was overtaken and captured by 
a party of huntsmen, and now, as I have told you, is a 
prisoner in Newgate." 

" And so he ought to be," said Tom L»avis. " I have 
been expecting to hear this for a long time, and I am 
only afraid the news is too good to be true." 

"Well, and so am j,and that's a fact. You see. tb«flo 
priuters they get hold of any lie cr idle tale and print it, 



1388 



BLACK BESS; OB, 



they get an ouDoe of fact and plaster it over with a pound 
•f lies at once." 

" You have had some experience that way, then ?" 

" I have, I believe you ; but, that's neither here nor 
there." 

Tom Davis began to oroatho a little more freely. 

'• Well, then," he exclaimed, "you know positively of 
your owu knowledge that Diolc Turpiu is really inside 
Newgate at the present time ?" 

" No, that I don't. All 1 can say is what is printed 
on this paper, which is just to the effect that I have 
told you. At any rate, it seems there was a thousand 
pouuds reward offered for his apprehension, though I 
don't know who is to get it." 

" Well, I only hope it's all true," said Tom DaviB, 
bending his face down over the bill, "for ever sinoe these 
highwaymen have been on the road we have done no 
trade at all ; people are afraid to travel, and never go 
anywhere if they can help it." 

"Not only that," returned the newsvendor, " but I 
have heard something else, though, of course, I don't 
know how true it may be." 

"What is it?" 

"Why, all the inn-keepers round the country are 
grumbling fearfully at the badness of trade. No one 
will stop there even for half an hour ; they just have a 
drink at the door and are off again. And what should 
you think is the reason ?" 

" I have really no idea." 

"Well, then, there's areport set abroad that Dick Tur- 
pin and his highwaymen have got a roadside public-house 
of their own, and that someone deep in their confidence 
keeps it. Where this inn is I believe no one can tell at 
present, but it is said if anyone should enter it they 
never are seen to come out again alive." 

Tom Davis gave a great start, and exclaimed in well- 
simulated surprise, dashing his fist violently on the 
table while he spoke : 

" That accounts for it— that accounts for it. I won- 
dered what this dropping off in trade meant. Why, do 
you know it is the greatest rarity for me to catch sight 
of any one now-a-days ? But it was not so — it was not 
so." 

" That's the cause," said the newsvendor, as he drank 
the last drop of ale ; " you know the reason now, and 
depend upon it there's some foundation, in fact, for 
what I have just told you." 

"I shouldn't wonder," said Tom Davis. 

"Well," said the man, "I will be off. I thought this 
would turn out a better job than it has at present ; the 
papers don't move off at all briskly ; somehow no one 
believes it." M 

" I can soarcely bring my mind to believe it, said 
Tom Davis ; " but the day is young yet— you have plenty 
of time before you. Will you stop and have another 
juer of ale ?" 

" No, not now ; many thanks to you— not now ; but 
if I am by this way again you may depend I shall 
call." 

" Do so— do so." 

The man rose, carefully pioking up his long tin born 
and his bundle of papers, and then sallied forth. ' 

Tom Davis accompanied him to the front door of the 
inn, where a few parting words were exchanged. 

Then he stood upon the door-step watching him until 
he got out of Bight. 

Now that there was no one to observe it, Tom Davis's 
oountenanoe underwent a very great and striking altera- 
tion. 

It was easy to tell that the intelligence that had just 
been imparted to him filled him with very great anxiety. 

" Dick in Newgate," he muttered as he turned away. 
" I fear there is no room left to dor*** it. However, I 
will hear what the others say." 

Returning to the kitchen, he foufld that the three 
highwaymen were fully as anxious as himself. 

The bill that had been left upon the table had been 
carefully perused. 

It gave ver y, f ew details, and many of them, as the 
highwaymen wore perfectly certain, were quite incorrect. 
1 1 stated that Dick Turpin's famous mare, Black Bess, 
was in the hands of the police officers. 

This was palpably false, for Black Bess was at that 
momeut in the stable. 



Yet from this circumstance they managed to extract 
some amount of confidence and consolation. 

" If they are wrong about Blaok Bess," said Tom, 
" why may they not be wrong about her rider ? For my 
part I can scarcely believe that Dick is in Newgate, ai- 
though 1 see it in print before my eyes, and although 
he has failed to return at the time appointed. The ques- 
tion is, how are we to ascertain it without mooning 
danger ourselves?" 

" Yes, that's the point we have to discuss," cried Tom 
Davis, " and the sooner we begin it the better. And 
not only that — did you hear what the man said about 
the roadside-inn ? The secret passage has not beeii con- 
structed one hour too soon, for, as 1 dreaded, the police 
officers have got wind of our nioe little scheme. I k new 
very well things were going on by far too pleasant aud 
comfortable to last." 



CHAPTER DCCCXLVII. 

TOM DAVIS SETS OUT TOR LONDON IN ORL2R TO 
ASCERTAIN WHETHER DICK TURPIN IS REALI.T A 
PRISONER OR NOT. 

"Yes," said Sixteen-String Jack. " We all heard him, 
and, at any other time than the present, should feel a 
very great deal more uneasiness than we do now. As 
it is, however, a consideration of the captain's position 
outweighs everything." 

" You are right there," rejoined Tom King. "If what 
we have heard is true, no exertions and sacrifices must 
be wanting on our part to effect his release. You all 
know very well that if any of us happened to be in his 
position, he would be the first one to attempt a rescue." 

" He would — he would," said Claude Duval, " and I 
will willingly do all I can." 

" It seems to me," said Tom Davis, " that almost the 
first thing to be done is to ascertain, somehow or other, 
whether the facts set down in this bill are true." 

"Yes, that's it," said Sixteen-String Jack. " But how 
is it to be done P" 

" If you will allow me," said Tom Davis, " to make a 
suggestion " 

" Ob, certainly !" 

"It is, then, that you allow me to set off without 
delay to London. When there, I shall be able to ascer- 
tain for certain." 

"A good suggestion," said Tom King, "only I can 
improve it." 

" In what way ?" 

" By allowing me to go instead of yourself." 

But Tom Davis only shook his head. 

" No, no !" he exclaimed — " I am qnile certain that 
would never answer at all ! You would run u thousand 
risks of detection, whereas I should run none. If seen 
by anyone, it would only be thought that I was about 
my regular business." 

"Yes, yes !" oried Sixteen-String Jack and Claude 
Duvai. " Tom Davis is perfectly in the right. He 
ought to go, and let him start at once, and then he will 
be baok the sooner." 

" I am ready now." 

" No doubt you are," said Claude. " And don't stay 
a moment longer than is absolutely necessary. When 
you have found out whether Dick is in Newgate or not, 
hasten back at the top of your speed." 

" I will, depend upon it !" 

" Very well, then — be off !" 

" In a moment. Where's Maud F" 

They looked around, and just at that moment Ellen 
entered. 

The question was repeated. 

" She is still senseless," was the answer. " We are 
quite alarmed." 

" You must try to bring her to," said Davis, " and as 
soon as she is oonscious let her know that I have gone 
to London, and say I hope to return with good intelli- 
gence." 

" How long shall you be absent ?" Ellen asked. 

" That is impossible for me to say; but no longer than I 
can help. While I am away," he continued, addressing 
the highwaymen, " do you keep carefully out of sight, 
and if the offioers pay a visit in my absence, don't hesi- 
tate to avail yourselves of the secret passage." 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



1389 



" We will not ; but if Dick should unfortunately be 
the inmate of a Newgate cell, the officers will all be 
olu'stered round about there like so many bees." 

" Yes ; and that reminds me that I scarcely ought to 
start off to London without some arrangement being 
male." 

" *V hat kind of arrangement do you mean ?" 

" Why, suppose that it turns out that Dick is really 
a prisoner — mind, I 8ay this only in case it turns out so 
— it is bes"t to be prepared for the worst, is it not ?" 

" Quite. But what then ?" 

" Why, had we better not come to some determination 
as to our proceedings ?" 

" I don't see how it is possible." 

" Nor I, exactly ; but my present idea .s to run the 
risk of calling upon old Matthew Gale, in Drury Lane." 

" Oh, ah ! That's a good thought !" 

" He is a long-headed fellow, you know, and takes an 
especial delight in outwitting the police officers Ten to 
one he could give us some valuable suggestions, and 
render ua some stilt more valuable, assistance." 

" Beyond a doubt he could . I am glad you thought 
of it. Call there by all means." 

" Well, then, I think that is about all that can be 
done at present. I will put one of the horses in the 
light cart, and drive off this moment." 

The highwaymen urged him to leave. 

But just as he was passing through the doorway, 
Maud descended the staircase. 

There was an air of great wildness and frenzy in her 
manner, and, seizing Tom Davis by the breast of his 
coat, she exclaimed : 

" Tell iue— tell me — let it come from your lips, and I 
shall be satisfied — is what I hear the truth ? — is Dick 
really a prisoner ?" 

" 1 have no means of answering," said Tom Davis, " I 
have heard as much, and am now about to set off to 
London to ascertain whether the report is true or false. 
1 hope the latter, and, if possible, I will return in a few 
hours, bringing Turpin with me." 

" No, no !" she exclaimed. " That hope is a vain one ! 
If the officers have really captured him, such close watoh 
and guard will be set upon all his movements that escape 
will be totally impossible. They are already exasperated 
beyond measure. Alas — alas ! I feel that his doom is 
sealed." 

She wept bitterly and •violently — so violently that 
Tom Davis grew alarmed. 

"Calm yourself," he exclaimed — "pray calm yourself 
for a little while until I return ! Then will be the time 
to give way to grief, when you feel there is no longer 
room left for hope." 

"I knuw it now," she said — "I have a presentiment 
in my mind whioh I cannot mistake ! I feel as certain 
as I should do if I had witnessed all with my own eyes, 
that Diok is at this moment languishing a prisoner in 
one of those gloomy cells. He will be watched and 
guarded — no movement, however slight, will pass un- 
noticed — access will be denied to him. Tell me, then, 
how you can hope to effect his escape!" 

" We cannot look forward to so much as that at pre- 
sent," was his answer. " We have first to satisfy our- 
selves he is a prisoner, and I oan assure you I by no 
means feel sure of it, nor did the man who sold the paper." 

Maud released him from her grasp, and, stepping back 
a pace or two, clasped her hands together. 

Then, fixing her eyes upon his countenance, she said: 

"Is that really and truly so, or do you simply say it 
nut of some motive of mistaken kindness ? If so, let me 
beg of you to recall your words; otherwise the disappoint- 
ment will be bitter — more bitter than I oan bear !" 

"It is not a false hope," said Tom. " The man was 
not certain, and that's why I am setting out to ascer- 
tain." 

" Then go," she exclaimed — " go at once ! I will not 
detain you a moment longer, and while you are absent I 
will try to be as calm and hopeful as I can ! I shall 
long for your return — I shall count every second, so, in 
pity to me, be no longer than you oan help." 

Tom Davis promised faithfully, and, glad to leave ner 
in such a mood as this, hastened at once towards the 
stables. 

His preparations were qniokly made. 

X he horse was harnessed to the cart, and, after -me 



more farewell and a reiteration of his injunctions, he 
rode off. 

The time passed most wearily and anxiously. 

The sun rose higher and higher in the sky, until the 
meridian was past. 

Hours and hours elapsed, and yet there were no signs 
of Tom Davis's return. 

What could have detained him, they were at a loss to 
imagiue ; but, from his long absence, they drew most 
unfavourable auguries. 

Had the report been a false one, it could have been 
ascertained immediately, and he would have been baok 
long and long ago. 

Such being the case, the highwaymen resigned them- 
selves to the worst, and already began to speculate in 
their own minds as to whioh would be the likeliest means 
by which they could obtain the captain's liberation. 

Maud's oalmness and hopefulness departed also, and so 
great did her agitation become, and so vehement was her 
grief, that the worst consequences were apprehended. 

Still Tom Davis came not, and it was not until the 
long shadows of evening were beginning to creep over 
the landsoape that the distant rattle of his light oart 
could be heard. 

Burning with curiosity, the highwaymen watched its 
approach. 

In a few moments it came in sight, and then Tom 
Davis drew up with a dash in front of the inn, with a 
look of unusual importance and seriousness upon his 
countenanoe. 



CHAPTER DCCCXLVIII. 

RETURNS TO DICK TURPIN AND THE HUNTSMEN. 

Having now brought events up to this point, we feel 
that we shall be able to devote the whole of our atten- 
tion to the very peculiar and critical position in which 
Dick Turpin is placed. 

It will be remembered that his words were that he 
would surrender freely and without any resistance to 
Sir George. 

No sooner were these words spoken than the baronet 
stretched out his hand and plaoed it on the highwayman's 
shoulder, and as he did so he exclaimed : 

" Dick Turpin, you are my prisoner !" 

Dick only bowed. 

Sir Marmaduke, frantic with rage, seized Turpin 
also. 

" Bind the villain," he cried ; " secure him ! Pinion 
him so that he cannot escape ! I command you all to 
obey me in this matter !" 

Diok Turpin shook off the grasp of Sir Marmaduke 
rather roughly. 

" You forget," he said. " I did not yield myself a pri- 
soner to you, but to this gentleman, and I warn you that 
if you interfere you will find that you have a very dan- 
gerous customer to meddle with." 

Fairly white with passion, Sir Marmaduke again car- 
ried his hand to his sword. 

" I wish you would cross weapons with me," shouted 
Diok, as he observed the movement; " but I know your 
nature too well to think for a moment that you would 
ever have the courage to do so." 

This remark stung him to the quick — so much so that 
he half drew his sword from its sheath. 

But dashing it back again, he said : 

" I am a fool to bandy words thus with a robber, and 
I deserve all the abuse I get." 

"Excuse me," said Sir George, " but my opinion is 
that the abuse is on your part." 

"And my opinion is," retorted Sir Marmaduke, " that 
if you had the opportunity you would allow this man to 
regain his liberty." 

" You may be right and you may be wrong," was the 
calm reply. 

" Well, then," cried Sir Marmaduke, " let me ask you 
what it is you intend to do with your prisoner ?" 

" Do with him ? I have not the least idea. I don't 
want him. I would much rather look after mv own 
business." 

" Then hand him over to me." 

" But he objects," 

" Yes, decidedly," said Diok. 



1390 



BLACK BESS; OB, 



" Well, then, you must take him to Newgate yourself, 
Sir George." 

"I'll be d— (1 if I do." 

"But I say you shall," shrieked Sir Marmaduke. 
" Don't think I am blind to the partiality you have all 
shown for him !— I take it as the greatest of all insults 
to myself. But. you will repent of it ere long, mark my 
words if you don't !" 

The huntsmen smiled rather derisiv^y, and, to tell 
the truth, they were by no means sorry that a pretext 
had arisen for turning away altogether from their arro- 
gant, pragmatioal neighbour. 

Now they had vory good cause for refusing to meet 
him anywhere, and they resolved that whenever another 
meeting took plaoe he should not be one of their number. 

" Come on," oried Sir Marmaduke ; " if you choose to 
take him prisoner you must hand him over to the officers 
of justice. Come on." 

" No. I would much sooner remain here and simply 
keep guard over him. I am not so fond of polioe officers 
as to be ambitious of emulating their doings." 

" It is suoh men as you who bring their authority into 
disrepute," retorted Sir Marmaduke; "but a proper re- 
presentation of this affair shall be sent to the proper 
quarters, and you will then see what will be the result 
of it." 

"So we shall if we live long enough," returned Sir 
fteorge; " but if I knew there was anyone with Buch 
vindiotive feelings as Dick Turpin has against you, I 
ehould feel doubtful about existing much longer." 

It was easy to see that, in spite of his boast and swag- 
ger, this idea alarmed the baronet greatly, for he again 
turned very white. 

" If you would keep guard over him," he said, at 
length, after a pause, " I would quickly put an end to 
the matter by riding off immediately, and returning with 
a body of polioe officers." 

" Then why don't you do it ?" 

" Simply because I know that as soon as I turned my 
baok you would allow that rascal an opportunity to 
esoape, and he would avail himself of it in a moment. 
Ah !" he oried, in quite a changed voioe, and throwing 
up his arms with great exultation. " Now we shall 
Boon see the aspect of affairs altered, How fortunate, 
to be sure ?" 

Raising his voioe to its highest pitch, he bawled : 

" Robert— <Robort ! This way quiok ! D— n you— 
make haste!" 

The others immediately turned their heads, and saw 
at no great distance the form of a man dressed in the 
attire of a gamekeeper. 

He was evidently well known by Sir Marmaduke. 

On hearing himself called thus, Robert oame running 
forward, gun in hand, at great speed. 

"Yes, your worship," he replied, as soon as he recog- 
nised Sir Marmaduke—" yes, your worship ? jP^hat is 
it you might be pleased to want ?" 

The baronet smiled triumphantly. 

" You will take this horse," he said, " mount it, and 
ride off with all speed to the nearest plaoe where you 
oan make sure of meeting with a body of polioe officers. 
Bring as many as you oan, and tell them that we have 
Dick Turpin here a prisoner." 

The gamekeeper looked round him in great sur- 
prise. 

But Sir Marmaduke oheoked him abruptly. 

" Here's the horse !" he oried, " Mount — rids off at 
full speed, if you break the horse's neok and yoar own 
as well ! Every moment ia of oonsequenoe !" 

Robert dared not refuse — he knew that, in spite of the 
confusion of his intellects. 

So, without another word, he scrambled into the sad- 
dle, and off he went. 

Sir Marmaduke watched him depart with eager inte- 
rest, and so did Dick Turpin. 

Through the hitter's brain many strange thoughts 
were passing with wonderful rapidity. 

He took, in the first, plaoe, a rapid review of his posi- 
tion. 

If he waited until tins gamekeeper returned with a 
body of polioe officers, his chances of escape would be 
remote indeed. 

On the other hand, among all the huntsmen he believed 
there was only one, and that was Sir Marmaduke, who 



would oppose his departure if he uiade a bold run to 
esoape. 

This course he would most certainly have adopted but 
for one consideration, and that was the effect it would 
be likely to have upon Sir George and the others, who 
had shown themselves inclined to be his friends. 

He had a tolerable idea of the amount of power suoh 
a man as the chief magistrate of the county would pos- 
sess, and he was also aware that the punishment for 
aiding and abetting a felon was severe, and would be 
indicted upou Sir George and his compauions just the 
same as upou anyone else. 

Now Dick was far too generous in ms nature to at- 
tempt, by running away, to make his escape, and so draw 
down upon the huntsmen the consequences of this act. 
Moreover, he felt inclined to trust in Sir George, 
although he had not muoh faith in human nature gene- 
rally. 

Yet that gentleman, by his maimer, seemed to imply 
that it would be wise for him to resign himself for awhile 
to his fate. 

At last this was what Dick resolved to do — not only 
on this consideration, but because he all at once recol- 
lected a little circumstance that in the excitement of 
the moment had quite slipped his recollection. 

This was the looket that nad been given him by the 
lady who was surrounded by so many mysteries, not one 
of which Dick had been able to pierce. 

From the moment he had reoeived it until the present 
he had never attempted to make the least examination 
of it. 

Yet as the recollection of all the oircumstanoes oame 
into his mind, a great degree of confidence sprang up in 
his breast. 

"Surely," he thought, " she would never have been 
so anxious to make me this present if she had not been 
fully aware of its efficaoy. Yes, yes — I teel that I oan 
trust her, and that this locket will be the means of ex- 
tricating me from my present perilous predioament. 
She told me not to make use of it until in the utmost 
extremity of danger. I will not, for if I oan see any 
opportunity of escape without having resort to it, I shall 
most certainly avail myself of the chance. Yes, yes — 
that i8 my determination. And now for a little while I 
will content myself with being merely a calm speotator 
of events." 

Having come to this conclusion, Dick grew quite calm, 
and again folding his arms, looked around him with an 
easy, self-satisfied air, whioh elicited the utmost admira- 
tion of the huntsmen. 

Suddenly a loud and joyous cry burst from the lips 
of Sir Marmaduke, aud all turned their eyes in the direc- 
tion in which he was gazing. 

They then peroeived, at several fields' distanoe, a large 
body of police officers, whose large- buttoned soarlet 
waistcoats made them conspicuous objects. 
They were all mounted on strong, powerful steeds. 
Sir Marmaduke waved his hat, and they took off theirs 
in response, and aooelerated their speed. 

" Here they oome," he cried, in the utmost exultation 
— " here they come ! Now we shall see a little change 
in the posture of affairs ! He looks very bold, and has 
carried things off with a high hand up to the present ; 
but it has been because he has not been in danger. 1 
have come face to face with criminals before to-day, and 
I'll warrant you that no sooner does he find himself sur- 
rounded by officers, than this loud-crowing cook will 
show the white feather ! Aha!" 



CHAPTER DCCCXLIX. 

IN WHICH DICK TURPIN IS HA.NDCUFEED BT TH1 
POLICE OFFICERS, AND THE JOURNEY TO NEWGATE 
IS COMMENCED. 

Dick Turpin just glanoed at the approaching police 
officers for a moment, then, turning round, addressed 
Sir George. 

" Of oourse you are aware," he said, " that there Is a 
reward of a thousand pounds offered for whoever shall 
apprehend me. I believe that is how the bills run — ap- 
prehend merely. It is not necessary that my conviction 
or execution should follow to entitle you to that amount. 
Now it would gall me exceedingly if I thought those 



THE KNIGHT OX" THK B.OAI>. 



1391 



lubberly fellows who are coming galloping up yonder 
were to share among them such a nice little amount as 
this, and therefore, Sir George, I have to beg that you 
will claim it yourself — you are heartily weloome to it." 

The huntsmen were in no small degree amazed to hear 
Turpin talking in this civil fashion upon such a topic, 
and they ^changed glanoes with each other accordingly. 

Sir George burst out into a laugh, as he said : 

" Well, of course, a thousand pounds is an amount to 
any man, no matter how rich he may be, and as you say, 
I think it would be very unjust to alio - .* those officers 
to share it, though, if it comes to that, y^.. surrendered 
yourself to me — I did not capture you." 

" It's all the same thing," returned Turpin, -if you 
like you can lay hands upon me and capture me now." 

Sir George paused a moment as though some fresh 
thought had struck him. 

Then, with a twinkle in his pleasant gray eyes, and a 
smile upon his lips, he advanced, and held Turpin firmly 
by the wrist and the back of his coat collar. 

" Now," he said, " you are my prisoner." 

Sir Marmaduke scarcely knew what to make of all 
this— he was still foaming and fretting with rage. 

But he consoled himself with watching the approach 
of the police officers and with thinking that now they 
had arrived he should be able to turn the tables to some 
exteut upon his companions. 

The officers were some who had been fetohed from the 
nearest market town to where they hsppened to be — 
strong, stout-built fellows, as ignorant as gateposts, 
and possessing none of those qualities of courage and 
skill necessary to the keeping of a man like Dick Turpin 
a prisoner. 

Dick noted all this with an air of satisfaction. 

" After all," he thought, " I shall not have to trouble 
myself about the locket. — I shall have plenty of oppor- 
tunities to get free from them." 

On their arrival these officers greeted Sir Marmaduke 
with an immense amount of respect. 

Indeed, it seemed as though they would never have 
left off bowing to him. 

"Now, my men," he said, "that is Dick Turpin. 
Seize him, bind him securely, and convey him with all 
speed to Newgate ! You know the reward that is offered 
for his apprehension." 

" Yes," said Sir George. " But I wish to remind you 
all that he is my prisoner, and mine only, and I shall 
not relinquish the reward in favour of anyone ! Officers, 
I call upon you, as a mere matter of duty, to escort this 
man to Newgate." 

Hearing this, the officers looked greatly mortified and 
crestfallen. 

However, they turned to Sir Marmaduke for consola- 
tion. 

'• Well see all about that," he said. "Just hark at 
this, my men : It is true Sir George may claim the 
reward, as he says, though I don't think he will; at any 
rate, if he does, I will use my influence to have the re- 
ward paid to you as well ; or, if I cannot do that, why, 
I will pay you the thousand pouuds out of my own pri- 
vate pocket as soon as you assure me he is safe within 
the prison of Newgate." 

"Done, sir," said the one in command — "done, sir, 
and many thanks to you ! I'll warrant when we once 
take charge of him that he doesn't escape." 

While he spoke, the officer produced a pair of haud- 
cuffs from his pocket. 

"There," he said, "these are the little things I am 
going to treat you with. I have hoard a great deal about 
your cleverness, Mr. Turpin, but I want to know whether 
you oan wriggle yourself out of these ?" 

Dick looked at Sir George, as much as to say : 

" Save me from the indignity and pain of having those 
handcuffs put on mo." 

But Sir George only nodded at him and smiled reas- 
suringly. 

Tne orfioer with th«» handcuffs made a great snow of 
bluster and violence. 

" You need not make so tmwh fuss," cried Sir Georgfe. 
" Just set about your duty quickly, and remember that 
I am keeping an eye upon youx proceedings ; the man 
offers you no resistance, so perform your duty peac- 
aUy." 

Thus rebuked, the officer checked himself in some 



very biting remark that he was going to make, and 
silently put on the handcuffs. 

"As he is my prisoner," said Sir George, " I shall ac- 
company you with him wherever you may go." 

" And so shall I," cried Sir Marmaduke. " I can tell 
what you mean, well enough ; but you will find I shall 
have an eye on all your movements— I shall not leave 
Dick Turpin until 1 find him safely a prisoner," 

"Well, I oan't prevent you from doing that'nor do I 
wish to do so," answered Sir George. " I only spoke for 
myself, because I can assure you, that the thousand 
pounds will come in particularly useful just at the pre- 
sent time." 

No further remark was made, and Dick Turpin was 
requested to mount one of the officer's horses. 

He complied, and had not the bridle been grasped by 
several of the officers, he would then, although his arms 
were secured behind him, have made a bold rush to es- 
cape. 

This was at present impossible, and wisely he resolved 
not to expend his strength or run any risk in making an 
abortive attempt at escape. 

When he did try, it should be when he could feel al- 
most certain of success. 

Aropewas next produced, and tied round his leg just 
above the ankle. 

This rope was then passed underneath the horse's 
belly, and secured tightly to his other leg. 

"Now, then." cried the chief officer, "one of you 
mount behind him, and clasp him tightly round the 
waist with your arms. Two others shall hold the reins 
and lead the horse along." 

Sir Marmaduke was highly delighted with this expe- 
dient, and complimented the officer upon his clevernoss. 

While Dick Turpin was so guarded he must of neces- 
sity be safe. 

The other huntsmen seemed half inclined to join in 
the procession, for such it seemed when all was in readi- 
ness for a start, and a few of them actually followed for 
a short distauce. 

One by one, however, they dropped off, until only Sir 
Marmaduke and Sir George were left. 

The distance to London was considerable. 

But npither cared for that. 

Sir Marmaduke was still burning with revenge, not 
only because of Turpin's attempt to rob him, but also 
because his conduct had been so exposed, and because 
so much ill feeling had been shown towards him. 

There was no fear but that this feeling would carry 
him much further than to London. 

On the other hand, Sir George was actuated by widely 
different feelings. 

Jt was his intention, if possible, to enable Turpin to 
make his escape, for he was a man who always admired 
boldness, no matter where or with whom he found it. 

Dick Turpin he had somehow taken a kind of liking 
to from the first moment that he saw him, and he was 
determined that no effort should be wanting on his part 
to procure his release. 

Of course he would have to be exceedingly careful 
while Sir Marmaduke's eyes were upon him, for if that 
individual could bring the charge of aiding Dick to es- 
cape home to him, he would certainly do so, and press 
for a severe punishment. 

Sir George, in his light-heartedness, did not oare a 
whit. 

Already in his own mind he had resolved what he 
should do with the thousand pounds' reward which, be 
it understood, he fully intended to claim. 

The officers and Sir Marmaduke were all in high 
spirits, and they trotted along the high-road towards 
the metropolis at a very respectable rate. 

Many persons they met turned to look at >-uch a 
strange cavalcade. 

But noexplanation >vas given as to the meaning of it. 

But it was noticed first of all by Dick Turpin that 
the clouds were beginning to gather up in a pack away 
upon the horizon. 

He h?A not led an ont-door life so loner as to be igno- 
rant of the portents of the weather, and from what he 
saw he felt perfectly certain that ere long there would 
be a terrific storm. 

From having nothing else to occupy his thoughts and 
attention, he amused himself by watching the progreea 



t&$ 



BLACK BES8 ; OR. 



of tho clouds, and iu a shorter space of time than he 
bad expected he found that they had crept over the 
whole firmament, leaving not one single patch of blue 
to bo seen. 

The rain then began to fall— not gently at first, but 
it poured down at once with its full force, with such 
effect that everyone in the party waB in an instaut 
drenched to the skin. 

Sir Marmaduke especially felt very uncomfortable 
for the rain was driven directly in his face, and struck 
against it with pelting force, each rain-drop seeming 
almost like a hailstone. 

Then the hollow mutteringsof thunder could be heard, 
followed shortly by a feeble fl.ish of lightning. 

All this only served to save an indication of what was 
to come, and the least experienced of the party knew 
well enough that a storm of unusual violence was going 
to break forth. 

Sir Marmaduke, keeping the rain out of his eyes as 
well as he could, looked anxiously around him, hoping 
to perceive some place of shelter. 



CHAPTER DCCCL. 



t:ir officers stop for shelter at the bag of 
nails ism, and dick tcrpin resolves tj avail 
himself of the opportunity to escape. 
The others looked around them too, with the same in- 
tent, but at present there was not a human habitation, 
or even a barn, within sight ; and yet there might have 
been one at no great distance, for such was the velocity 
with which the rain reached the earth, that it caused a 
kind of mist to arise, which effectually prevented them 
from seeing any other objects than those which were 
close at hand. 

The officers took their ducking rather complacently, 
for they were used to exposure to the weather. Not so 
Sir Marmaduke and Sir George, however. They gave 
vent to their annoyance in very audible terms. 
As for T orpin, he said nothing. 

His mind was occupied just then in devising some 
means by which he could release himself from his pre- 
sent unenviable position. 

But as yet he could see no opening, and all he could 
do was to hold himself in readiness to take advantage 
of any accident that might take place. 

All at once Sir Marmaduke, still peering through the 
mist and rain, perceived before him the dim outlines of 
a building of some kind, 

'• What place is that ?" he asked, addressing himself 
to one of the police officers, and pointing in advance 
while he spoke. 

" That, sir," was the answer, " is the Bag of Nails Inn, 
or I am much mistaken. It is kept by one Timothy 
Goodall— a rare fellow, I can assure your honour, and 
his house affords the best possible accommodation for 
man and beast." 

" Then, iu the devil's name, push on!" shouted Sir 
Marmaduke, impatiently, for he had tried in vain to 
stem the officer's loquacity. 
" Will you stop there, sir P" 

" Yes, certainly, till this storm be past. Besides, you 
cannot perform the journey to London without halting 
somewhere." 

'• True enough, sir. The horses will be glad of some- 
thing to eat, and a rub down." 

" Then just tell those fellows in front to push on at a 
little better speed, will you?" 

The officer rode forward to obey this injunction, and 
Sir Marmaduke bent his head before the storm, the vio- 
lence of which had now very much increased. 

Dick Turpin overheard this conversation with seoret 
pleasure. 

He was quite delighted to think the storm had broken 
forth, although by it ho had suffered some passing in- 
convenience. 

A stoppage at an inn would be. he felt certain, an 
event that offered him a favourable chance of making 
his escape. 

The distance to the Bag of Nails was only trifling, so 
that, as the officers increased their speed, it was quickly 
reached. 

As they drew up in front of the horse-trough, they 



perceived the landlord standing at one of the low win- 
dows, looking out. 

He witnessed the stopping of so many persons before 
his door with great surprise. 

" This will be quite a windfall for old Timothy," said 
the loquacious officer. " He won't quarrel with the 
storm, I'll be hound, for, except by chance like this, he 
does no sort of trade at all." 

This piece of gratuitous information was silently re- 
ceived, the fact being that each aud all were anxiously 
endeavouring to get beneath the roof of the inn aa 
quickly as possible. 

The landlord appeared at the front door. 
" Jim — Jim !" he cried. " Whereon earth is the lazy 
rascal? Jim— Jiui, 1 say !" 

'■ Here 1 be, master. What's the row r" 

Avery peculiar-looking individual made his appearance 

trom the rear of the inn. His hair was filled with bits of 

sti aw, as though he had just beeu lying down in the loft. 

Without another word he ran for wa- d and took charge 

of the horses. 

"See to them well," said the commanding officer. 
" And especially to this one of mine," added Sir 
George. 

Sir Marmaduke said nothing. He was too busy oc- 
cupied in watching Dick Turpin's every movement to 
think about anything else. 

With great care and caution the officers dismounted 
their prisoner. 

Dick was careful not to offer the least show of resis- 
tance, for he hoped, by submitting quietly to every- 
thing, to throw the officers i ff their guard. 

While they continued to watch him as vigilantly as 
they had done up to the present moment, it was ridiou- 
lous to think of making an escape. 

The officers seemed by their looks to be a good deal 
surprised at his demeanour. 

They expected to have a vast deal of trouble, and 
when they found Dick submit so easily, they really felt 
quite injured and disappointed. 

Densely surrounded by his foes, Turpin was hurried 
into the inn. 
As they crossed the threshold, Diok's reflection was : 
" Now, if old Matthew kept this inn, what a difference 
it would make to be sure ! He would get me out of this 
scrape in no time. However, it is no good to think 
about that, I must rely upon my own resources." 

From this it will be seen that Dick treated his present 
dangerous position very lightly. 

The fact was. the more he thought upon the subject 
the more reliance he was disposed to place in the locket 
that had been presented to him. 

It would have been an additional satisfaction to him 
if he could have opened it and just taken one peep, but 
that was quite impossible. 

In fact, we may go the length of saying that, but for 
one circumstance, he would have felt more careless still. 
But he thought of Maud and his comrades. 
He knew how much grief and alarm the first would 
suffer when she had heard what had taken place ; and 
with regard to his comrades, he feared, not unnaturally, 
in their strong desire to rescue him, that they would run 
themselves into great and unnecessary danger. 

"No," he muttered, " I won't trust to the locket if I 
can possibly escape, if only for their sakes. The sooner 
I am back among them the better. Yes — yes, I will 
escape." 

When Dick Turpin once made up his mind to a thing 
it was strange indeed if he did not accomplish it. No- 
thing short of absolute impossibility would have stayed 
him. 

Upon entering the Bag of Nails Inn, he police officers 
at once betook themselves to the largest room in the 
place. They were pleased to find that it was vacant. 

A huge fire, however, was burning on the spacious 
hearth, and they looked at it pleasantly, as it promised 
to dry their soaked apparel rapidly and effectually. 

Before attending to this or anything else, their fir<t 
care was to see that their prisoner was quite secure. 

With this view a strong chair was called for, which 
was placed beside the fire. 

In this Dick Turpin was seated, with his hands still 
secured behind him. 
A rope was produced, and then wound round him m 



tH* CKIOHT 07 THE KOAD. 




mr. entry of dick Timers into wewgatk J 



<ueh a way, that; he could not possibly move without 
trrying it with him. 

Tbis made his hopes of escape sink down to zero. 

If the officers chose to remain in the same room, and, 
oyond a doubt, this is what they intended to do, -he could 
;ot by any possibility get away unseen. 

Sir Marmaduke superintended all these arrangements, 
aid when they were completed, the chief officer said : 

"Beg pardon, your worship, but don't you think we 
«ad better order a bit of a snack while we are drying our 
clothes. We shall not be able to leave until the storm 
rives over »■ little, and it does not promise to do that yet 
bwhile." 

"Oh, ye*— yes, anything you like; but mind your 
orisoner is safely kept, that's all." 

" Oh, leave us to see to that, your worship. 

A very substantial m^' v*? 'lies s*SLed isr. ***■ %? tb* 

Jfa. t7& — Bulcx li*=s. 

Kb. 176. 



thne it was ready, they had managed to dr^ their **• 

A very savoury odour arose from the various viand* 
and reminded Dick that a long time had elapsed since ut 
had partaken of any food. 

He waited a short time to see whether anything woulo 
be offered to him; but finding the officers began their 
feast without paying the slightest attention to him, h* 

said ; , . ,_ 

" Lon't you intend me to have anythir.g ontil you gel 
me to Newgate? Or if Sir Marmaduke grudges ^tht 
expense, I will pay my own share, and yours as well ! 

Sir Marmaduke frowned, and growled out an inarticu- 
late roply. . 

« Certainly," said Sir George, " you shall have what jn» 
wish — I will see to that." 

"But," said the chief ofRo-w -bo-*r caa? be «at 



Price Onb Halfpb2>"*y. 



139* 



BLACB BE88 : OK, 



*" Just take off these handcuffs and 111 soon show you," 
replied Turpin. 

The chief officer paused, and looked kTeeolutoly at Sir 
Sdarniaduke, who, being a magistrate, was of course ex • 
pected to have the supreme command. 

" Yes," added Sir George, " take off his handooffa • **»»ro 
will be no difficulty then," f 

"Don't you wish you may get it," replied Sir Jtarma- 
dnke. "No, no, my fine fellow, I have heard too much 
of your narrow escapes and your cleverness to think of 
allowing you to be any less safe than you are now." 

" But," added Sir George, " what difference ''■an taking 
eff the handcuffs make ? You can sit here, all of you, with 
your eyes upon him, and could prevent him untying tbe 
ropes, aud if he did not do that, wherever he went he 
would have to carry the chair with him." 

There was a silence. 

" 1 insist that this shall be done I" said Sir George. 
u You have no right, and duty does not permit you, to re- 
fuse this man something to eat." 

The chief officer ventured to nudge Sir George, and 
he whispered : 

" I think it might be as well, your worship, to let hiai 
have his own way ; we can keep a good eye upon him and 
see he does not untie the ropes ; it will be the way to avoid 
all bother." 

Sir Marmaduke also thought so, and therefore Dick 
was for a time released. 

But before removing the handcuffs they took good care 
to see that all the ropes were perfectly secure. 

Now, the reader may imagine that it was not altogether 
from the want of food that Dick made this request, 
though a long time had elapsed since he had tasted any- 
thing, and he felt faint in consequence. 

A good meal would, he knew, endow him with fresh 
strength, and place him in a better position to make an 
effort for freedom. 

A plate was brought and placed upon his knees. 

But it was a difficult matter to eat, owing to the tnan- 
nei in which the rope was bound round his body and 
secured to the back of the chair. 

Dick Turpin fixed his attention so entirely upon what 
he was about, that the officers in a short time grew tired 
of watching him, and looked after what they had on their 
own plates. ^^ 

CHAPTER DCCCLI. 

IN WHICH THE POLICE OFFICERS CONTINUE THEIR JOURNEY 
TO LONDON WITH THEIR CAPTIVE. 

As for Sir George, he was, to tell the truth, very much 
astonished to find a man in so perilous a position as Dick 
Turpin eating a meal with so much relish and cool- 
ness. 

He certainly appeared to be more at ease than any 
other one of the party. 

But although it could scarcely have been gathered from 
nis countenance, Dick's thoughts were very busy in- 
deed. 

He began to see pretty plainly that for the present his 
attempt to escape must be abandoned. 

The least movement of his towards untying one of the 
many knots by which he was secured to the chair could 
not fail to be seen by some of the officers, and than they 
would all be immediately upon him. 

His ankles were also tied very tightly, and he moved 
his legs about a little in the hope of bei>isj abls to loosen 
the cord. 

But this he found was impossible. 

Whether or not he would have another opportunity 
allowed him before he arrived at Newgate was a very 
doubtful matter. 

He was inclined to th ink that when the storm cleared 
off, the officers would make a start, and by travelling 
gently, endeavour to reach London before nightfall, and 
without making another halt on the way. 

If this was the case, what was the next best use he 
could make of his hands while they were at liberty ? for 
he knew his captors well enough to feel certain that as 
soon as his meal was over the handcuffs would be "*- 
placed. 

His tnoujrtits were still running upon the lockei which 
he knew be had secure iu one of the pockets of his waist- 
eoa*. 



It would have been a great source of confidence te 
him could he but have opened it and glanced at what it 
contained. 

This was not to be thought of, for if the officers saw it 
they would seize it immediately, and as a matter of course 
he would never catch sight of it again. 

This brought to his mind the fact that, should he be 
earned as far as Newgate, the officials, when searching 
in his pockets, would be sure to find it, and he would be 
deprived of it 

Then how and in what way could he conceal it so as 
to keep it safely ? 

This was a point upon which he bestowed a great 
amount of consideration. 

The only plan that he could think of that seemed at all 
feasible was to watch an opportunity to take it secretly 
oat of his pocket and convey it to his mouth, keeping it 
there until alone in his cell. 

He had arrived at this conclusion by tbe time he had 
finished his breakfast, if so substantial a meal could be so 
called. 

And without further hesitation he put his thumb and 
finger into his waistcoat pocket at a moment when he 
believed not one of the officers had his eyes fixed upon 
him. 

The locket was there, and he drew it forth eagerly, 
holding it between the tips of his fingers. 

Its size was small, and it was evidently composed of 
the purest gold. 

The inclination then came over him to open it and take 
a glance at its contents, for had it not been for the pos- 
session of this, Dick would have tried harder for freedom, 
even if he lost his life in the attempt. 

But he was putting great faith in the word of a stranger, 
and it might turn out after all that the trinket would not 
prove efficacious. 

Just then, however, the storm passed over, and the sun 
broke forth, sending a few watery beams into the apart- 
ment. 

As soon as he caught sight of the sun's rays, Sir Mar- 
maduke rose to his feet, crying? 

" Now, my lads, the weather is fair again, and we have 
stopped here quite long enough. Secure your prisoner 
again, and have the horses brought round to the front, for 
the sooner we reach London the better I shall be 
pleased." 

His word was law, for it was to him, it must be recol- 
lected, that the officers looked for the thousand pounds* 
reward, provided the amount offered by Government 
should be obtained by Sir George. 

The officers, however, were one and all in excellent 
humour. What with the capital repast they had had, and 
the pleasant prospect there was before them, who could 
wonder that their minds should be occupied by a feeling 
of great self-complacency ? 

In imagination they could see dancing before their eyes 
the tempting sum of one thousand pounds all ready for 
them, and only waiting for the moment when they should 
choose to put forth tbeir hands and grasp their own share 
of it. 

But Dick, perceiving this sudden movement on the pan 
of the officers, took advantage of it to slip the locke/ 'Cx 
his mouth. 

It was done neatly, for at the same time he preta ^e, 
to wipe away a few crumbs from his lips. 

Owing to the small size of the locket, he knew he 
should be able to retain it in his mouth and speak also 
without much difficulty. 

The officers having despatched one of their number to 
see to the horses being brought round, clustered very 
closely round his chair, and had he deferred the execution 
of his project for another moment, he would unquestion- 
ably have failed. 

The handcuffs were again placed upon his wrists, in 
spite of the objections that he raised to such » proceed- 
ing. 

The police officer shut one eye knowingly, and, address- 
ing the prisoner, said : 

"Will you give me your word of honour, Dick, that i.' 
we leave you without the handcuffs you will go quietly 
with us to Newgate and make no attempt to e* 
cape ?" 

Dick's reply was of course in the negative, so the oW** 
added : 



TJdB BRIGHT OF THE KOAA. 



139o 



- Then there is no help for it, my lad — the darbies must 
^on." 

The handcuffs were fixed upon Turpia's wrista with 
professional dexterity. 

Then the ropes were untied, and he was comparatively 

line. 

He shook himself with an air of great satisfaction, for 
'to was cramped from remaining so long in one position. 

In a compact body the officers then moved to ike front 
Joor of the inn. 

Most of the horses had been brought round, so l^ok 
was placed on one at once. 

A man mounted behind him, and the same order of pro- 
cession observed as before, except that, instead of two 
men walking by the side of the horse and holding the 
bridle, they cut the rein in tw\ so that it might be held 
by a mounted officer on either s : de, who could control the 
movements of tl e animal. 

In a few moments all was ready, and Sir Marmaduke, 
addressing all the officers collectively, said : 

" Now, my good fellows, just listen to me for a moment. 
You have all had a capital breakfast, your horses have 
every one been well taken care of ; the distance to London 
is great, I know, but not so great as to prevent us from 
reaching it without another halt by the way. It won't be 
quite so pleasant, perhaps, but, take my word for it, it will 
be much better. I know there are plenty of public- 
houses, the landlords of which are friendly to highway- 
men, and we might have the mortification of seeing our 
prisoner escape us. In order to guard against that, let 
me advise you to put up with the inconvenience of riding 
the whole distance without stopping." 

"We will, your worship," said the chief officer — "we 
will ; your advice is the very best that could be given, and 
I will see that it is followed." 

" Then, as that is settled," said Sir Marmaduke, let ns 
set forward at once." 

The order was given, and the journey was com- 
menced. 

After hearing this little conversation, Dick had good 
reason to congratulate himself upon the course he had 
adopted. 

Had he neglected to avail himself of the opportunity, 
he would probably never have had another. 

Now he felt that all depended upon whether the locket 
possessed the virtues that had been ascribed to it. 

The journey was performed at a gentle speed, eo as pot 
to distress the horses too greatly. 

There was sound policy in this, for the animals wers 
not knocked up half so quickly as they would have been 
k&d another course been adopted. 

As they drew nearer and nearer to London, Sir Marma- 
duke grew more and more exultant. 

At last he thought the notorious highwayman, Dick 
Turpin, would be safe within the walls of Newgate, and 
to him would be due the honour of having brought about 
nuch a desirable state of things. 

Sir George, with every wish to save Dick Turpin if he 
could, had as yet seen no opportunity for interference. 

Events had turned out differently to what he had ex- 
pected, and he began to regret having taken upon himself 
the responsibility of advising Turpin to surrender, when 
perhaps he might by chance have made his escape. 

Dick began to see that it was pretty certain hia captors 
would carry him to Newgate, for instead of their vigil- 
ance abating in any degree, he believed that it increased. 

But then, as we know, this was owing entirely to a per- 
sonal cause. 

Revenge was the dominant spirit in Sir Marmaduke's 
breast, and this it was that made him watch Turpin so 
closely, while the officers were anxious to do their best in 
srder to obtain the reward. 

A strange, gloomy feeling began to creep over JMck's 
heart as he got nearer and nearer to London. 

He strove against the sensation, but coul'i t banish 
it 

He kept thinking that there were many ^wft.** oa 
which he would like to feel more satisfied than ho a'^d »l 
present. 

And one of them was whether Black Bess had susocm ed 
In reaching the inn in safety. 

Could he but have felt perfectly certain that tuit -ras 
the case, it would indeed have removed a very con*W^- 
kble portion of the oppression at his heart. 



CHAPTER DCCCLIL 

'•>• fyUCfi OFFICERS AT LENGTH ARRIVE AT NEWGATB 
WITH THEIR PRISONER. 

Dh.tc Turpin knew, however, that there was no other 
means by which this could be ascertained than bv waiting 
patiently 

_ Yet when the procession fairly entered London street^ 
his breathing grew laboured and difficult, and the gloom 
which had already begun to spread itself over his spirits 
grew darker and darker. 

By no means did he give way to this feeling, but it was 
one entirely beyond his own control. 

Sir George also looked anxious and vexed, and all could 
tell that he was in deep thought on some subject or 
other. 

Sir Marmaduke presented a most remarkable contrast 
to these two. 

His face was beaming with triumph, and such was his 
exultation that he could scarcely restrain himself within 
moderate bounds. 

The officers, also, were greatly overjoyed, for, having 
once reached London, they considered that the danger 
and difficulty of their task was at an end. 

Surely there could be no fear of his escaping now ? 

So good was the speed they made, that when they 
arrived iu the metropolis the business of the day was in 
full swing, and the streets were unusually full of vehicles 
and pedestrians. 

Quickly from mouth to mouth the intelligence spread 
that Dick Turpin was a prisoner, and in an incredibly 
short space of time the officers found themselves sur- 
rounded by a mob of uncommon magnitude, shouting, 
yelling ftnd otherwise violently behaving themselves, all 
being animated by one desire, which was to catch sight of 
the notorious prisoner. 

But the officers closed still more closely around 
Dick. 

They knew him to be a popular favourite, and dreaded 
that the mob would make an effort to set him at liberty 
again. 

Very likely, had there been one master spirit to direct 
the movements of the crowd, this would have taken 
place. 

The only person capable of it, however, was Sir George, 
and personal considerations prevented him from doing 
so. 

Therefore the mob contented themselves with yelling 
as before, and running so as to keep pace with the 
horses. 

By the time the Old Bailey was reached, the thorough- 
fare was completely blocked up. 

The officers began to grow more anxious, and Sir 
Marmaduke scarcely dared confess to himself the fears he 
had that, after all, it would be difficult to gain the interior 
of Newgate. 

Dick looked around him, as well as he was able, at the 
numberless faces. 

But there was not one that he could recognise. 

And now being in sight of the great prison of Newgate, 
that gloom which we have already mentioned reached its 
height. 

He gave one glance up at the frowning walls, and only 
one. 

How vividly was brought back to him the time when 
he had made so strange and daring an escape. 

Now that the ravages of the fire had been repaired, 
the prison looked stronger and more dismal than ever. 

At a slow walk the officers urged their steeds along 
past the Sessions House, past the residence of the 
Governor, until the small, well-known doorway was 
reacned through which the prisoners were admitted. 

The great commotion in the street outside had made 
the man on the lock aware that some unusual event was 
taking place, and he was on the look-out accordingly. 

Little did he imagine, however, that he was about to 
opon the door to give entrance to Dick Turpin. 

Such proved to be the case, howevei. 

Sir Marmaduke saw the man's face through the bar* 
at the top of the door, and shouted loudly to him to admit 
them instantly. 

While with one hand the man turned the key in the 
well-oiled lock, he with the other pulled a wire that corc- 
nWMftated with a bell in the Governor's apartments, tlw 



iltos 



buACJj. iiESBj Oil, 



ringing of which betokened that hie presence was m- 
quired in the vestibule. 

With greater caution than they had used when catering 
the Bag of Nails Inn, the officers dismounted, aud *-b'u 
assisted their prisoner to the ground. 

More than a dozen hands seized noli of Dick in various 
ways, and, as the handcuffs were already tightly secured 
behind his tack, he stood but a poor chance of getting 
free — so poor a one, ^indeed, that he made not the slightest 
effort to liberate himself, but allowed his csptcro to lead 
him up the steps and across the threshold of Newgate. 

When the heavy door closed with its peculiar clang, 
Dick felt indeed that he was a prisoner. 

Strange enough, however, no sooner had he come to 
the realisation of this fact than all his heaviness suddenly 
departed, his usual coolness, courage, and vivacity c&mo 
back to him. 

Drawing himself up to his full height, he looked around 
him 

Even though they stood beneath the roof of the prison, 
the police officers did not yet venture to let go their 
hold. 

" The Governor," said Sir Marmaduke, sharply — 
" where is he ? Send for him at once !" 

''He will be here directly, sir," said the man on the 
"lock. " I have already rung the bell, so that he will know 
he is wanted urgently." 

At that very moment, the door communicating with the 
Governor's apartments was thrown open, and that indivi- 
dual appeared upon the threshold. 

Mr. Cawthorn's successor was an under-sized, shrivelled- 
up, middle-aged man, who, to those occupying positions 
above him, was most disgustingly humble — indeed, the 
way in which he fawned upon the sheriffs and oth*r high 
officials was positively sickening. 

But to all the men and the prisoners he was a perfect 
tyrant, always choosing some opportunity or other for 
displaying his power. 

From his servilitv _owever, to the ruling powers, he 
»vas likely to retain "his situation for a long time. 

" T aat is all this ?" he cried, sharply — " what is it * 
3peak, some of you, and tell me! What do you raea" by 
keeping me in suspense in this manner?" 

" I will soon inform you," said Sir Marmaduke. .'tapping 
forward. " But, first of all, just allow me to remark that 
my name is Braham — Sir Marmaduke Brahara, chief 
magistrate of the county of Surrey." 

Dick really thought that the Governor of Newgate was 
sbout to fall on his knees at once ; but he did not, though 
he bowed his head so low that it was the greatest wonder 
in the world how he regained his perpendicularity. 

He did not stand upright, however, but, continually 
oscillating backwards and forwards, and waving his hands 
so as to keep time with the movement, he said : 

"I beg ten thousand pard3ns, Sir Marmaduke ! I was 
not aware that you ware present ! I am very sorry in- 
deed that I spoke so sharply, only, you see " 

"Oh, yes, yes!" cried Sir Marmaduke, impatiently. 
" I see all about that ! Just pay attention to me !" 

" I am all attention, Sir Marmaduke." 

" Well, then, 1 have brought you here a prisoner, no 
i it her than the -notorious rascal " 

tie stopped suddenly, and uttered a shout, and for a 
moment there were one or two who wondered what could 
bu the cause. 

It so happened that Sir Marmaduke, while speaking, 
was standing very near to Dick, and just in front of 
him. 

No sooner did the word " rascal " escape his lips, than 
Dick, whose legs were at liberty, took one step forward, 
md, raising his right foot, subjected the bar-^est to tho in- 
lignity of a kick upon his hinder quarters. 

The Governor stood aghast. 

Dick Turpin, with a smile on his lips, resumed bis 
former attitude. 

" i will have your life !" screamed Sir MarmkC"^e— "I 
will have your life, rascal, villain that you are ! No, no !" 
Ue added, with a sudden change of manner — " no, no— I 
w on't touch you — I'd scorn to do it ! I'll wail ray time, 
sud, if it costs me half my fortune, I will have th* b»wi 
place to stand to see you hanged !" 

" just as you like," said Dick — " it's quite iadiffeient to 
me. Of course, you understand that my arms, being 
:«#;ent,d behind me. prevented me from using my fists, as 



[ I should have done, but I think my foot made a very good 
Psubs'itute." 

" Ycu shall be punished for this insolence, rest assured "' 
cried the baronet, foaming with rage. " Take care ol 
him, Mr. Governor ! He is a dangerous man — a most 
dangerous man ! Don't lose sight of him for one single 
moment !" 

" All right 1" said the Governor — " yon may depend upon 
me! Why, can it be possible?" he continued, as he 
looked closer. " Yes, yes, it is — I recognise him now ! 
Why, you have really captured Dick Turpin !" 

" Yes, yes — I have !" 

"Speak the truth," interrupted Dick. "I say you 
didn't!" 

"Be silent!" 

" I sha'n't, without you choose to gag me !" 

" It is not true that you captured him, Sir Marmaduke," 
interrupted Sir George. " The man surrendered himself 
to me. I took him prisoner, and therefore I claim the re- 
ward of a thousand pounds that is offered for his appre- 
hension." 

"And who may you be, sir?" asked the Governor, 
sneeringly. 

"My name is of no consequence to you, but perhaps I 
had better say I am Sir George Hazlitt, Sir Marmaduke's 
neighbour." 

The Governor bowed again. 

" Really," he said, "the villanous rascal has had too 
much honour. The idea, now, to be captured by a 
baronet 1" 

" Pay attention to what I say," continued Sir George. 
" He was my prisoner, and was quite willing to follow me 
to Newgate without resistance, provided I had felt in- 
clined to bring him ; but Sir Marmaduke, being present, 
thought fit to take upon himself the management of 
affairs, so sent for this troop of officers, to whom, of 
course, I handed over the prisoner, and they have done 
no more than perform the very simple duty of bringing 
him here." 

"Yes," cried Dick, "that's it — that's quite correct 
every 'vord of it." 

" Who told you to speak ?" roared the Governor. 

" Seek information of my elbow !" replied Dick. 

There was a general titter at this, though one and all 
endeavoured to conquer their propensity to laugh. 

" Be silent, then," said the Governor. " I will not allow 
you to say a word !" 

"And you shall not prevent me," said Dick, "so what 
do you think of that ? Now, I don't mind telling you 
something for yv.nr own good. If you desire to have 
peace and quietness* ; n the prison, just let me have my 
own way ; if you do not, take my word for it I will con- 
vert it into a regular little haL. upon earth •" 

CHAPTER DCCOLIIL 

DICK TURPIN ENRAGES SIR MARMADUKE, BWT MAKU 
FRIENDS WITH THE GOVERNOR OF NEWGATE. 

The Governor of Newgate stood perfectly aghast. 

The idea that such words should be addressed to ar 
august functionary like himself, and, above all, by a pri- 
soner, was monstrous in the extreme. 

So great was his amazement that he could only stare 
with wide-open mouth and eyes at Dick, who nodded his 
head as much as to say : 

" I mean it, every word of it." 

What the Governor would have said or done we really 
cannot tell, but Sir Marmaduke interposed, saying : 

" Pay not the least attention to him — treat all he says 
with contempt, and just listen to me." 

"Yes — yes, I will listen — lam all attention, of course, 
but if ever——" 

"Never mind him, I say — keep that to yourself. I 
want to know how this case stands ?" 

" What case, Sir Marmaduke ?" 

* Wby, as to who is entitled to the reward ?" 

There was a pause — an awkward one for the Governor, 
for he did not want to reply so as to give the least offenot 
to the baronet. 

"*I cannot presume to decide," he replied, at length, 
'• and really the matter has nothing whatever to do with 
me." 

"But you will have to give a receipt for the prison*;' f* 

"Oh yes — that's according to form." 



TffiS KNlQHt OP THE ROAD. 



I3fc 



" Then erive it to the officers." 

" No, noj" said Sir George. "I object to that Ta» «•- 
ceipt should be mine, since it will show that the captuiv 
was made by me." 

The Governor looked from one to th< other irre&j 
lately. 

He was quite in a fix. 

"I can't give two receipts," he stammered— u that's 
quite impossible, and as to who ought to have it, I am 
in doubt, though, after all, I should think the officers are 
the most proper." 

"Yes, certainly," broke in Turpin — "give it to the 
officers, Mr. Governor, but mind you write across it that 
I was captured by Sir George Hazlitt." 

The Governor gave the prisoner an angry glance, but 
Sir Marmaduke restrained him. 

" A good suggestion," said Sir George. " I will have it 
done so ; that puts an end to the difficulty at once. Surely 
you have no objection to making that addition to the 
receipt?' 

The Governor made a wry face as he answered : 

" No — i don't know that I have. It is unusual, yet it 
might be done." 

" Then do it." 

The receipt was duly written out and examined by Sir 
George to see that it was entirely to his satisfaction. 

It was then handed to the police, who took it rather un- 
willingly. 

They had quickly come to a decision on the disputed 
point, and their opinion was that Sir George was fairly 
entitled to the whole of the reward, so that they would 
have to depend entirely upon Sir Marmaduke for anything 
for themselves. 

The baronet must have noticed this, for he said : 

" Never mind all this, my lads — it shall make no differ- 
ence to you. I am well pleased with the manner in which 
you have performed your duty, and I shall recommend 
every one of you, and my recommendation ought to be 
worth something ; besides. I will be as good as my word 
with respect to the rewara." 

The officers were most enthusiastic in their applause; and 
would insist upon treating Sir Marmaduke with three 
cheers. 

After that, at the w}sh of the Governor, they departed. 

Sir George, as he passed by where Dick was standing, 
just muttered : 

"I like your bold spirit, and, if only for that, would do 
everything in my power to aid you ; but I consider my- 
self guilty of having brought you into your present 
scrape, and I will try my best to get you out of it." 

Dick had only time to murmur a few words of thanks, 
and Sir George was gone. 

As soon as all the visitors had departed and the door 
was closed again, the Governor of the prison strode up to 
Dick in a very aggressive, defiant manner. 

Probably his reason for so doing was that he knew Dick's 
arms were perfectly safe behind his back. 

As for Turpin himself, however, he had quickly come 
to a decision as to how he should in future treat the 
cJovernor of the prison. 

His position was a very peculiar one, and if by any 
means he could obtain the forbearance or good feeling of 
the Governor, it would be a great thing gained. 

Therefore, in a calm and pleasant voice, he spoke before 
the Governor had time to pronounce the angry words 
that were hovering upon his lips. 

" Mr. Governor," he said, " pray do cot tlank anything 
of what I have just said — it was only to exasperate Sir 
Marmaduke. I owed him a grudge, and that was the only 
way in which 1 could pay it A little while ago I made 
you a threat, now, if you like, I will givo you a promise." 

The Governor was astonished that he should be 
addressed in this manner by the prisoner, and as his as- 
tonishment prevented him from making an imntedi*t* 
reply. Dick continued : 

"The promise is this : If you will put mo kito com- 
fortable quarters and see that things generally daring »y 
stay here are made tolerably pleasant, I will promise you 
faithfully— in fact, I will givo you my word — that I will 
make no attempt whatever to escape from your custody." 

The Governor's surprise increased 

"if, now," he said, hesitatingly — "if I might believe 
what you are saying——" 

- Y au may believe it," said Dick, " and place implicit 



faith in it. I respect my word more than I should an 
oath. I have spoken, and it is for you to decide whethei 
you will believe me or not." 

The Governor remained for some time silent. 

Of course he was well aware of the causes that had led 
to the suspension and finally to the dismissal of Mr. Caw- 
thorn, his predecessor, and he was therefore certain il 
Dick Turpin should make his escape that the consequent 
would be very disastrous to him. 

A cunning thought entered his brain. 

His eyes sparkled with pleasure, and he answered : 

" Well, Dick, I will take your word— you shall havt 
the most comfortable cell there is in the prison, and you 
<hall have every indulgence short of being permitted to 
•lepart. Now, what do you say to that ?" 

"Why, that I shall be always obliged to you; and 
depend upon it, any man's good will is better than his 
hatred, and I will sacredly promise you not to make any 
effort at escape — at least, not while things go on to my 
satisfaction, and when they do not, I will give you timely 
notice." 

For the life of him, the Governor could not help laugh- 
ing at the cool, easy, business-like way in which Dick 
spoke of his imprisonment. 

" Well," he said, " come on quietly, and I will take you 
to the cell." 

" But remember your promise," said Dick- 

" Oh, yes, I'll remember it." 

"Very well, then." 

Dick held out his hands behind him significantly. 

" Oh ! you want the handcuffs taken off ?" 

" Yes, I do — they hurt my wrists confoundedly." 

This was putting the Governor to the test, and he hesi- 
tated for cue moment. He thought : 

" Suppose, now, this fellow, of whose daring I have 
heard so much, should make a sudden attack upon us 
and escape by the door, what a fool I should look, and 
how much 1 should be blamed for taking his word !" 

But the next moment he decided to have Dick released, 
for he reasoned with himself tn the following manner : 

" I will keep myself well upon my guard, and if he 
keeps peaceable and quiet, and makes no attempt at resist- 
ance or escape, I shall begin to put faith in him, for he 
would never have a better opportunity than the present." 

The order was given, and the handcuffs were removed. 

Dick gave himself a good shake. 

He fully meant every word he said, and, turning quietly 
to the Governor, he said : 

" You will never repent of this. Believe mw, I am much 
obliged to you." 

"Oh, don't mention it. H things ca& be managed 
quietly and comfortably, they might as well be as 
not." 

"So I thought," added Dick, " and that's why I men- 
tioned the subject." 

The turnkeys were all very much surprised to see the 
Governor on such familiar terms with the prisoner; 
but, then, Dick was a prisoner of no ordinary kind, 
and the Governor wisely held him in dread ; and, as we 
have already stated, it was part of his creed always to 
bow down before authority. 

" You must not expect to find anything at all luxurious, " 
he continued, with a laugh. " The comforts here are 
scarce. However, come this way." 

Dick followed the Governor along a corridor and up a 
flight of steps. 

Pausing before a row of strong doors, the Governor 
made a sign for one to be opened. 

The fastenings were removed, and then really a clean 
and comfortable cell was disclosed. 

It had a window in it of a size larger than was usual, 
and this window looked into a kind of court-yard. 

"Ah!" said Dick, "this is better. I had no idea that 
you had anything of this kind in Newgate." 

" Nor had we until lately," was the reply. "Thifc is 
p*rt that has been lately built. Will this salt you ?" 

" Oh yes." 

v Very well, then, walk in and take possession. Yot 
must know, by a recent regulation, my strict duty is to 
leave two men or more constantly in the cell with you t* 
watch your every movement, but I suppose that will nca 
be pleasant /" 

" Not by any means," said Dick. " I shoul a pre(er u 
b« a)on«." 



1898 



BLACK BFfeS- OK, 



"Well, then, i will run the risk of disobeying my 
instructions." 

" Then I shall l» infinitely obliged to f ou. And I tell 
you what it is, Mr. " 

"Bradbury," said the Governor. 

" Well, then, Mr. Bradbury, I can tell you that you 
will never have cause for regret if you oontinuo to treat 
me as well aa you do now — indeed, it will turn out one »f 
the beet things in the world for you, so mind that " 



CHAPTER DCCCLIV. 

DICK TURPIN OPENS THE LOCKET, AND MAK.SS A FF1END 
IN NEWGATE. 

The Governor stared at Dick Turpin in the utmost 
surprise ; but the highwayman's countenance underwent 
no change, and, for all he could tell, by the expression ol 
it, Dick fully meant what he said. 

"Well," replied Mr. Bradbury, at last, " I have not been 
Governor of Newgate very long, but^if I continne in this 
post a hundred years I'll warrant 1 never have a prisoner 
talk to me in such an easy, off-handed way as you do.'' 

"Very likely not," said Dick. " I don't hesitate to say 
you are a good fellow — a much better one than I expected 
to find." 

The turnkeys, who stood on the threshold of the cell, 
were highly amused at this conversation, and afterwards 
it was repeated with all due exaggerations to their com- 
panions in the vestibule, the result of which was that, 
taking their cue from the Governor's conduct, they were 
prepared to treat Dick in the friendliest manner possible. 

" Well — well," said the Governor, as he prepared to 
leave the cell, evidently by no means displeased with 
Dick's flattery, " I will make things as comfortable as I 
can for you, but you must be careful not to speak of any 
little extra indulgencies that I may allow you." 

" Oh, certainly not !" said Dick. " Don't feel any tear 
on that score, I beg." 

The Governor then withdrew, and, by his orders, the 
turnkeys closed the door after him. 

While they were putting up the ponderous bar, and 
securing other fastenings, he said to them, in a whisper : 

" You heard what I said just now ? Of course I agreed 
that he should be left in the cell by himself." 

The men nodded. 

"But," he continued, " I don't care about trusting him 
too far, so — aha, it's a joke! — two of you shall remain 
constantly outside the door while he is here ; then, if you 
hear or see anything unusual, the alarm can be instantly 
raised." 

The Governor strode away without waiting for a 
reply, congratulating himself in his own mind upon the 
vast amount of cunning that he had shown in the trans- 
action, and rubbing his hands quite gleefully as he 
went. 

It was no small relief to his mind to have Turpin's 
word that he would not escape, as it would save him such 
a vast deal of trouble ; and now this extra precaution, he 
felt, would make all things easy. 

As for Dick himself, he was glad enough to get rid of 
the Governor, and as soon as ever the door was closed, 
took the locket out of his mouth, where he had managed 
to keep it concealed during the whole of the time. 

His impatience with regard to it was very great, for he 
wanted to know how and by what means it could possibly 
get him out of his present strait. 

He tried to open it. 

But his haste and eagerness were so great as to defeat 
nis object, and he had to pause and look more carefully 
at it 

He then noticed that it was secured by a small spring, 
which he pressed, and immediately the locket flew 
open. 

What he saw within it by no means increased hie cor - 
fidence, for all he could perceive were too smaJ' nortraf'A, 
one of a male and the other of a female. 

They were, however, beautifully exocuted, tmd *»! 
round with small precious stones. 

" The deuce !" he exclaimed — "how is this to Irelr- »-•-.» ? 
Have I been befooled after all ?" 

He looked more carefully still at the portraits, (uki t» *d 
two cries of surprise rapidly escaped his lips. 

In the portrait of the female he recognise*] the f «at'ires 
» the mysterious lady 



There w*s a great alteration in em< ye t tne Irenes* 
ooala uoi '.aii to be recognised. 

Evidently the portrait had b«» dn pa intod when she wai 
a very ycuag girl ; now she w f to say the least, middle- 
aged 

Tho other portrait wa3 still more unmistakeable. 

The features well as the costume, were well known 
to Dio soon an he scrutinised them. 

It was a portrait of his Majesty the King. 

But Dick was by no means satisfied that 'ie had seen aL' 
the locket contained. 

Surely thore should be some direction in it as to how he 
should act, and some suggestion as to the means bj 
which the portraits could be made useful to him. 

But, although he spent nearly an hour in examining the 
locket in every part, he failed to find anything else, and 
finally came to the conclusion that the portraits were all 
that it contained. 

He closed it sharply. 

With a feeling of great disappointment, he thrust it intc 
his pocket and began to think. 

" I can't believe that she meant to play me false," he 
said, at length. " There's only one way I can think ol 
by which this locket can be made useful, and yet, surely 
I should have had some hint about it, but I have not, 
though the idea must be tried if possible. I must find a 
means of conveying this locket to the King." 

This certainly seemed about the only reasonable thing 
that could be done with the locket, and yet how great 
would be the difficulty for anyone confined in a cell ii; 
Newgate to communicate with the King — indeed, anj 
other person than Dick Turpin would probably have 
considered it an impossibility, and have never even made 
the attempt. 

But Dick never lost anything for the want of trying, 
and, having made up his mind that the locket should be 
handed to the King, he set to work to think by what 
means this purpose could be carried out. 

The task was beset with innumerable obstacles, and 
he thought of fifty things without being able to decide on 
any. 

He was interrupted in his ruminations by the removal 
of the fastenings upon his door. 

Listlessly, he turned his eyes in that direction, and saw 
a turnkey enter. 

To Dick's surprise, he closed the door behind him. 

There was an expression on this man's face which 
Dick interpreted as being favourable to himself. 

"Well," he asked, quickly, "what ia it ? Nothing dis- 
agreeable I hope ?" 

"No, captain — nothing disagreeable. I have come k 
know what there is you would like." 

" What I should like ?" 

"Yes." 

" Well, then, to speak the truth, tnat you would just 
take me up and pop me down somewhere outside of the 
prison." 

The turnkey shook his head. 

" I can't do that, captain — I can't indeed. If I could I 
would, mind you," he added, in a suppressed tone that 
seemed to be perfectly earnest. 

" Would you indeed ?" said Dick, grasping him by the 
hand. " For what reason is it that you are so willing tc 
befriend me ?" 

" Well, I've got two reasons, captain." 

" Quick, then— out with them !" 

" Well, the first is owing to a little circumstance th& 
perhaps you may have forgotten, but which I shall always 
remember. You once saved my life." 

" Saved your life ?" 

" Yes ; you don't recollect me, very likely." 

"I am certain I do not," replied Turpin, gazing more 
closely into his countenance, " and, as a rule, if I once see 
a person I can always recognise him again." 

" Well, you never did see me — at least, not that I kr.->-» 
of," replied the man. 

" And yet I saved your life ?'" 

" Yes." 

•' But how so ?" 
Do you not recollect that, one night, a long *ime ago 
>«jw, you called in at a cottage and asked for something to 
eat ? The woman who kept it said she was very poor, 
yet put the best meal she oo Id before you, telling you at 
the same time that her bus) nd was lying ill in bed, and 



THE KNIGHT OT THE HOAO 



1399 



dying for want of nourishment, which she had not the 
means to procure ?° 
Dick reflected. 

" Yes, yes — I have some iaint recollection of it P « 
what then ?" 

" Why, you took your departure very suddenly, and 
after you had gone we found under the plate a large sum 
in gold. That money enabled my wife to purchase the 
things I stood in need of, and so saved my life. I rapidly 
grew better, and finally well, though when '( recovered 
health and strength my stock of money was exhausted.' 

" Well, you were quite welcome," said Dick. " It was 
no favour on my part ; the service your wife rendered me 
was not overpaid by the one I rendered in return." 

" Well, we may be of different opinions as regards that," 
said the man. " However, you saved my lift*, captain, and, 
to the longest day I live, I shall always feel grateful to 
you for it, and I will do anything in my power for 
you." 

" I am heartily glad to hear it," was the reply, " more 
especially as there is a service which you can render me. 
But you spoke of another reason — what is that ?" 

" Why, it happened, strangely enough, but one of the 
gentlemen who came in with you when you were brought 
here — Sir George, I think you call him " 

" Yes — yes." 

" He watched for me outside, and as soon as I appeared 
told me to follow him. 1 did so, and we entered a pub.io- 
house. He approached the subject very cautiously but 
finding how friendly disposed I was to you, was very 
glad. 

" ' Here,' he said, ' I know that in Newgate, as every- 
where else, much can be done with money. 'I ake this 
purse of gold, and see that Dick Turpin u.is everything 
which the regulations of the prision will permit If you 
require any more, come to me as soon as your funds are 
exhausted, and take him word from me that I will use all 
my influence to procure his liberation.' " 

" Did he say that ?" 

" Yes, he did, and here, captain, is the purse just as I 
received it." 

" Well, but I don't wart it, my good fellow. Keep it- 
keep it, I beg, and use it as occasion may require." 

" I will, captain , the King shall not be more comfort- 
able than you are, provided the Governor does not 
interfere, and 1 don't think he will, if we keap things 
snug." 

" The King ?" repeated Dick. " Yes, that reminds me 
of what I want." 

•'What, captain?" 

" Why, paper, a pen, and ink — I must write a letter." 

"I shall have to smuggle those in when I get a 
chance," was the reply, " for it is entirely against the 
rules to furnish those articles. However, you shall have 
them." 

" And as soon as possible," said Dick — " every moment 
is of importance. " 

" All right, captain. Is there anything else ?" 

" No, no — nothing at present until that is done." 

" Anything to eat and drink ?" 

" No. I tell you until this affair is off my mind 1 can- 
not, attend to anything else." 



CHAPTEE DCCCLV 

C'iCK TUUPIN WRITES A LETTER TO OLD «tAlTHEW AND 
DESPATCHES IT BY THE FRIENDI. f MH-EO. 

" 1 will go at once, captain — direct, and 1 will be back 
here again as quickly as is possible." 

With these words the friendly jailer left. 

After his departure, Dick more fully realised how 
fortunate this event had proved for him. 

Nothing more unexpected than finding a friend lieoeata 
the roof of Newgate could he have thought ot ; *»d yet, 
in a most substantial way, he experienced the benefit thai 
always follows the doing of a good action. 

Unless the man was black and treacherous indeed, he 
would be entirely devoted to Turpin's interests. 

From the fact of Dick asking for writing materials, .i 
may be guessed that he had made up his mind how to 
proceed, and so he had, for the finding of this friend 
narwd the aspect of affairs entirely. 



His intention was to write a letter to his companions, 
and entrust it to his friend to deliver. 

He had resolved not to send to the Three Spiders, how- 
over, because that would be too dangerous. 

His connection with that place could not be too care- 
fully kept secret. 

He would send it in the first plaue to old Matthew, in 
Drury lane, and trust to him to forward it to the proper 
quarter. 

The turnkey was absent only a short time, and when 
he came in, the expression of his face showed that he had 
been successful. 

" Here you are, captain," he said — " a drop of ink, 
there's a pen, and here's a piece of paper." 

" Thanks — many thanks. It will take me some little 
time to write tnis lettet, so eome in again when you next 
have the opportunity ; by that time it will doubtless be 
finished." 

" Very good, captain — I will." 

"But stay," said Dick, " you did not tell me how it was 
you came to be turnkey in Newgate." 

"Well, the fact is, after I got well I was a long time 
trying to get fresh work, but I failed— why, I knew not. 
I tried many different occupations, and at length hap- 
pened to hear by chance that turnkeys were wanted for 
Newgate. I applied, and succeeded in getting the 
situation, and here 1 have been ever since." 

" That explanation is simple enough then." 

" Yes, captain ; but there's one thing more. Do you 
happen to know that two men are posted outside the 
door?" 

" I fancied so." 

" Well, then, it is the case ; so that when we speak to 
each other we must sink our voices a little above a 
whisper ; those other fellows may betray us." 

"You were quite right to caution me," said Dick 
" For the moment, 1 had forgotten all about them." 

The turnkey said no more, but departed, and as soon as 
he was alone, Dick s»t down, first to think and afterwards 
to write. 
The latter was to him a very tedious operation. 
Yet, after awhile, he succeeded in producing the follow- 
ing epistle : — 

" Dear Matthew, — 

" I suppose by this time you have heard that 
I am a prisoner in Newgate. The circumstances of my 
arrest are very peculiar. No doubt you wonder that I 
should have surrendered at all, knowing how often I have 
declared that I would rather die. Circumstances alter 
cases, though, and when we meet again, which I hope will 
be soon, I will relate all the details to you; I have not 
time to write them. 

" I want you, as soon as may be after the receipt of this 
letter, to send over to a certain place 1 need not mention, 
and let them know that I am safe. Tell them not to be 
alarmed, and for the following reason : — 

"Along with this letter you will receive a small locket , 
take care of it, for on that depends my liberation. Strange, 
is it not ? but I have faith in its power. I want it 
delivered to the King with all speed, wherever he may be 
at the present time. And here let me give you a 
particular caution: T. K. will be the proper person 
to deliver it, for, mark me, the locket must, by some 
means or other, be placed in the King's hand. It will not 
do for it to reach him through any official connected with 
the palace. At all risks, hazards, and difficulties, access 
must be had to the King in person, and the locket 
presented. 

" There is no one I can think of better calculated to 
perform 6uch a task than the person I have named. Let 
him go as soon as possible, and with all speed let me know 
the result. 

" The bearer of this you can fully trust in every re- 
spect. I would pledge my life as to his fidelity. 

" If you like to make inquiries you can soon learn how 
: .t was that I came into possession of this singular locket, 
aid then you will not feel so surprised at my pinning my 
t'aith upon it. 

" Above all, I should like you to endeavour to reassur.' 
Maud. I know she must feel greatly distressed at whas 
has happened, but let her know from me that my position 
is by no means so perilous as she imagines, for should, by 
any unlucky accident, the locket fail, I have a friend hetf 



14* 



BLACK BESS ; OB, 



by whose aid, I doubt not, I should be able to mako i»* 
escape. 

" Last of all, impress upon everyone the neotjsity of 
remaining quiet where they are, and making no eflvrt to 
release me, as any such attempt on their part will only 
get them into trouble, and increase the difficulties of my 
position. 

" If you like to send word back, you can do so. Do not 
be afraid of putting trust in the bearer. 

" Yours, 

" Dick." 

Turpin took a great deal of pains over this letter, and 
he was occupied a long time in writing it. 

Scarcely had he iaid down the pen, however, when the 
friendly jailer entered. 

"Here it is," Dick exclaimed, folding up the sheet of 
paper and addressing it. " I want you to take it to one 
Matthew Gale, the landlord of the White Horse, in Drury 
Lane. Do you know it ?" 

" I think so — a large, old-fashioned building, is it not, 
standing at the corner of White Horse Yard ?" 

" Yes, that e it. Here's the lettsr, »Jid be sure that you 
deliver it into the hands of Matthew Gale himself. You 
will know him, for he is tall and stout, with a jolly, good- 
tempered-looking countenance, and usually wears a white 
apron. Try as well to slip the letter into his hand whon 
there's no one by." 

"All right." 

" And this," said Dick, giving him the locket — " above 
all things be careful of that ; do not lose it, for upon it 
all my hopes depend." 

" You can trust me, captain," was the reply. " Such a 
service as this is a mere trifle, but yet I will perform 
it as well as if you had gone in person." 

" I am satisfied to trust you ; take it now and go at 
once." 

" But, captain," said the man, " don't you want some- 
thing to eat or drink ? You have beenhere a good many 
hours now." 

" I know that, but I am accustomed to go long without 
food, especially if I have anything important to do." 

" But when I come back ?" 

" Why then, if you like, you can bring me the best 
dinner you can procure, for when I know the letter and 
locket have been delivered safely, and are in Old Matthew's 
hands, a great load will be lifted off my heart." 

" Well, then, I will start, and make haste back." 

" Do so — do so." 

The turnkey carefully secreted the letter and locket 
about him — then left the cell. 

It may easily be imagined that Dick Turpin suffered no 
small degree of impatience and anxiety after the jailer 
had departed. 

In spite of everything, and try as he would, some 
doubts as to the.fellow's honesty would obtrude themselves 
upon bis mind. 

It was a dreadful thing to think of, for should he be 
betrayed in this, his position would be dangerous indeed. 

And so, as minute after minute passed away, his un- 
easiness increased, and, rising to his feet, he paced rapidly 
up and down his cell, pausing every now and then to 
look through the barred window, hoping that he should 
catch sight of the turnkey approaching. 

Dick had no means whatever of ascertaining the time, 
for, of course, on his first introduction to the vestibule of 
Newgate, every article was removed from his pockets, 
and the locket would have gone as well had he not so 
cleverly concealed it. 

Yet he fancied that a very long time indeed had elapsed 
3ince the man's departure — much more time than was 
needful for him to perform the journey to Drury Lane 
and back, and for Matthew to send a message in re- 
turn. 

Unless by imagination we could place ourselves exactly 
in his present situation, it would be difficult indeedjto form 
a proper estimate of the anxious state of his mind, or 
guess what doubts, and fears, and hopes by turns assailed 
it 

That the jailer had been absent a very long mas H 
was quite certain, although his state of suspense might 
■ave caused bim to exaggerate it 

Now. however, there was no mistaking the fact that 
i»e aay was fast closing in, and in a little while longer it 
won W be dusk, if not dark. 



But in that cell of Newgate the days were much shortot 
than they were outside the prison, for it was notur'il 
long after the sun had risen in the morning thai any day- 
light found its way into it, and by sunset it was nearly 
dark. 

At length, however, Dick heard a footstep in the pas- 
sage. 

He paused, and directly afterwards the fastenings were 
removed, the door opened, and the jailer entered. 

"You have been absent a long time," said Dick, as 
soon as it \ras prudent to speak. 

■" Yes, captain, I have ; but you will find that I shall be 
able to give you a very good explanation of it." 



CHAPTER DCOCLVI. 

TOM DAVIS GATHERS SOME INFORMATION RESPECTING OLD 
MATTHEW FROM THE LOQUACIOUS BARBER. 

We revert now to the proceedings of Tom Davis. 

It will be remembered that when he left the Three 
Spiders it was very early in the morning indeed. 

The horse ho had was a good one, and took him to 
London in capital style, so that he arrived before many 
of the inhabitants were astir. 

He took the precaution, however, to leave his horse 
and trap at an inn about half a mile from Drury Lane, 
because he was anxious to arrive there without atti acting 
any notice. 

Walking quietly down on the side opposite to that 
upon which the White Horse stood, Tom Davis pretended 
to be gazing with interest at the shop windows, but in 
reality he did this only that he might be allowed a better 
opportunity of looking carefully on all sides of him. 

But as he proceeded he saw nothing at all peculiar or 
unusual. 

Arriving at length opposite the White Horse, he saw 
that the shutters were down and the door open. 

But more by chance than anything else, Tom Davis 
cast his eyes upwards, and, very greatly to his astonish- 
ment, he caught sight of a couple of police officers who 
were on the top of the house, looking down over the 
parapet. 

Tliey made some signs with their hands but what they 
portended Tom could not guess. 

But , looking before him, he saw two men dressed in 
plain clothes, who were replying to the signals given by 
those above. 

" Oh, oh !" he muttered. " So Matthew is troubled 
with another visit of his old friends, is he ? Well, if such 
is tjie case, the wisest thing I can do, perhaps, is to keep 
out of the way for a time. Where can I go ?" 

Tom looked around him again, for if by any chance he 
could remain somewhere within sight of the White Horse 
Inn, why then it would be so much the better. 

Fortune favoured him. 

It will be remembered that nearly opposite the front 
door of the White Horse Inn was a barber's shop. 

The barber himself was an object of considerable aver- 
sion to Old Matthew, for the simple reason that he was 
very fond of prying into his neighbours' business. 

Of course, we all know that Matthew had many secrets 
that he wished to keep carefully concealed from the eyes 
of those around him, and he had often been annoyed by 
this barber's inquisitiveness. 

Tom Davis, however, no sooner saw the shop than he 
felt quite a sensation of pleasure. 

Here he could enter and remain for some time, and 
probably learn what was going on at the White Horse. 

Just as he reached the door of the shop, some person 
came hastily out, and following him, alcost treading on 
his heels, was the barber himself. 

He stopped on the doorstep, and looked attentively 
across the road. 

What more he would have done is hard to say, for just 
then Tom Davis went up to him and entered the shop. 

"Bless nty heart," the barber exclaimed, in brisk tones, 
" I never knew such a thing in all my life !" 

"As what ?" asked Tom, as he seated himself in a 
chair. 

" As business this morning." 

" Indeed !" 

"Yea, I have been uncommon^ busy — nest aneon> 
monly busy, and just because I didn'. want to 'v S c^l* 



TTiE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 




IDICK TUUMM IS SUJU'f LOVSLY REGALED 

Bcarcelv believe it,sir," he continued, as he adjiistel a ) 
clotl beneath Tom's chin-" you'll scarcely • bol.evo 
what a many useless, idle hours I pass here ; but then 
of course, there's nothing going on But, mark me, HI , 
be bound if there's anything particular occurring ; people 
keep dropping in one afterauother, and I don t get a 
moment to look about me," .,.._, ., _ T 

" Dear me," said Tom Davis, "1 m quite s ny 1 

entered." , ,, ,. ., , T , ,, 

" Oh, don't mention it, sir— don t mention it ! I shall 
bo done in a moment." - - _ . 

The barber took i L . for grantel that Tom require 1 
«haviu°- and to this operation our friend submitted 
first not that he intended to leave when that was over 
for he meant to have his air trimmed, which would 
occupy some little length of time 

" Mav I venture to ask," said Tom, " What itisjthat 
is going on this morning that you are so anxious to 
witness ?'"* 

No. 176.— Black Bess. 

Ko. 170, 



!>• HIS CELL BY THE FRIENDLY JAILER ] 



«Oh yes, certainly-I will tell you with m. great** 
of Pleasure It is no secret-no secret at all. Via you 
happen to notice that public-houso opposite? 

- ^il'then! I'may'go so far as to say that it is one of 
the most notoriousplaces in all London. 

"wiwainhlhigbwaytnen and flash coveVof every^ 
kind eo there if they are in trouble, and the landlord con-l 
nives g to Wde them somewhere so tht.il the ofheers 
starch ever so strictly they can't find Jein.. 

« Dear me— how extraordinary !" said iom D^vis, as .» 
in the greatest astonishment. hortuie 

ult'saf-ict lean assure you," continued th*. bailwr, 

k .;,,,- rather curious about such matters, ana "»':'» 
I eSy oPPosite"of course I have had ample opportunity 
| for obserratson." 



PiticB One Hat.fpf.nny. 



1402 



BLACK BESS ; OB, 



"So I should thinlc." 

" I have heard, though," he went on, "that Matthew 
Gale, or old Matthew, as we generally call him, although 
ho will place a highwayman or almost anyone in safety, 
yet refuses to hold out his protection to anyone ho knows 
to be a murderer ; but that may or may not be tru<\ and 
whether it is or not, after all, does not signify. There 
you are, sir — all dono now. Good day, sir." 

" Not quite," replied Tom. "I am sorry to hinder 
you, but now I am shaved I must have my hair dressed ; 
it would bo impossible to leave it, so you must make 
the job complete." 

The barber gave a sigh, and began to get his imple- 
ments ready. 

" Do you know any of the particulars of what is 
going on to-day ?'' asked Tom. 

" No," replied the barbor, " scarcely any, and that's 
why I am so anxious to find out." 

" Then, if you like," said Tom, " as I am in no par- 
ticular hurry, and as I feel curious as well as yourself, 
perhaps you would not mind leaving mo here for a few 
moments and ascertaining ?" 

"My dear sir, I shall have great pleasure, and whilo 
I am gone you can amuse yourself with looking at the 
newspaper— there it is. Now I'm off." 

Glad enough, apparently, to got out of the shop, the 
barber darted through the door. 

Tom was not likely to interest himself in the news- 
paper while things of so much importance to him wore 
going on around, so, flinging it aside, he hastened also 
to the door, which he opened a very little way, so as to 
take a peep at the barber's proceedings. 

That individual crossed the road rapidly, and entered 
the White Horse. 

" He has gone to head quarters for his information 
certainly," was Tom Davis's mental observation. 
" What an extraordinary fellow ; but what an intoler- 
able nuisance he must be to old Matthew." 

The barber was absent a long time — so long that Tom 
Davis's patience would have been put to a sore trial 
had it not been for the fact that the officers had not yet 
left, and ho did not wish to enter the White Horse 
until thoy had. 

At last, however, the barber, with his usual smirk 
upon his lips, came tripping across the road. 

Tom no sooner saw him approaching than he resumed 
his seat, and pretended to bo reading the paper very 
attentively. 

" I've been a long time gone," the barber began, as 
soon as he appeared ; " but, then, as you were kind 
enough to say you were in no hurry, I thought it would 
not matter." 

"Oh, not in the least!" said Tom. "I have been 
very well interested duriiiir your absence." 
" That's all right, then." 

" But what have you learned ?" inquired Tom, with 
some anxiety. 

" Why, it seems the police are after a - man who is sus- 
pected of being the author of several mysterious murders. 
The police got information that he was seen to enter 
the White Horse, and that ho had not emerged again." 
" But stay — did you not tell me that this landlord re- 
fused to hold out any protection to murderers ?" 

" Yes, certainly, and I mado the remark as soon as I 
heard tho particulars ; but the officers are rather incredu- 
lous, so they have been all the morning searching from 
the cellar to tho attic." 

" And have they found him ?" 

" No, not even the ghost of a clue. Old Matthew takes 
it very coolly, declaring most positively that no one of 
tho kind is in the house ; but the officers take no noticoof 
that, for they are well awaro ho would say just tho same 
thing if the man they wanted was under their noses." 

" He is really quite a remarkable character," said 
Tom Davis. " You interest me greatly ; 1 really think 
1 shall feel inclined to run across when I leave you just 
to have a peep at so extraordinary an individual." 

" Oh, ho is nothing much to look at," said the barbor, 
" and I should not think so badly of him as I do but for 
one thing." 

" And may I ask what that is ?" 

" Yes, he does not support his neighbours as ho might. 
Instead of coming to me to be shaved he actually has 
the meanness to shave himself. Then, as for hair-dress- 



ing, ho never requires it, for his head is about as bald 
as a head could be. He even does not patronise me by 
buying a wig," the barber added, in conclusion. 

Tom Davis could not help feeling greatly amused at 
all he heard, and some more time still was spent in thiB 
kind of conversation. 

The barber himself was never so happy as when ho 
could get hold of some one who would listen patiently 
while he talked. 

And so long after the operation of hair-dressiug was 
over, Tom remained in the shop. 

And yet it did not seem strange for him to do so, for 
his hand was on the knob of the door all the time, as it 
he was about to take his departure each moment. 

At length, feeling anxious to see whether the officers 
had loft, Tom passed out into the street again. 

He glanced up and saw nothing of the officers, but he 
thought, after all, it would bo more expedient if ho 
allowed an hour or two to elapse before he paid his visit, 
so he walked briskly in the direction of tho Strand, in- 
tending to whilo away his time somewhere else. 

About an hour and a half afterwards he returned, and 
approached tho White Horse as circumspectly as ho 
could. He was rejoiced to find that the barber was not 
standing at his door, as he feared he would be, in which 
case he might have run across the road and entered at tho 
same time, intending to take a friendly glass with him. 

That, however, would by no means have answered 
Tom's purpose, so, with a feeling of great relief, ho 
hastily crossed the threshold. 



CHAPTER DCCCLVII. 

IN WHICH TOM DAVIS AND OLD MATTHEW HOLD A 
CONSULTATION RESPECTING DICK TUKPIN. 

There was an air of quietude about tho interior of tho 
inn that seemed to tell Tom Davis at once that the 
officers had taken their departure. 

With increasing confidence and ease, ha made his 
way along the passage to the bar window. 

Only a few people woro sitting in tho public-room, 
and they were conversing with each other in low tones, 
as if upon particular business of their own. 

Tom Davis glanced all about him, but seeing no one 
who would observe his movements, he left the bar 
window and proceeded to the door, which he opened 
hastily, and as hastily closed after him. 

Opposite was that door we have so frequently had oc- 
casion to mention, which communicated with old 
Matthew's private sitting-room. 

Here Tom fully expected to find his old friend, so he 
opened this door also without ceremony. 

His conjecture proved correct. 

Seated at a table, on which was spread a repast of a 
very substantial character, was old Matthew. 

The opening of the door caused him to look up, and 
no sooner did he see who had entered than he dropped 
his knife and fork and uttered an ejaculation. 

" Why, bless and save us, Tom ! is it you ?'' 

"It is," was the answer, and, as he gavo it, Tom 
closed the door quietly behind him. 

" But what on earth brings you here to-day ?" said 
old Matthew. " I'm glad to see you. Sit down, you 
are just in time for breakfast. I am rather late this 
morning ; but those confoundod officers havo kept me 
hard at work." 

■' 1 1 is rather late," said Tom, seating himself as he had 
been desired, and thinking at the same time that the meal 
looked very much more liko a dinner than a breakfast. 

But old Matthew was a rare trencherman, as he knew 
very well. 

"Now, Tom," he cried, "help yourself — don't bo 
afraid ; and then, whilo I finish, you can tell me what 
has brought you here to-day." 

But Tom Davis only replied to this invitation by 
shaking his head. 

" I can't eat, Matthew," he said, " or drink. Can it 
be possible that you do not know what has brought me 
here?" 

" No. "Why, what has happened— nothing serious, I 
hope ?" 

" My trust is that the report is without foundation," 
replied Tom Davis, "yet I can scarcely indulge in such 
a hope." 



THE KN1GI1T OF TUB ROAD 



UO'd 



"What— what? Confound it, man, why don't yen 
speak out?" 

" Why, this morning, early, I heard that Dick Turpin 
had been captured and was confined in Newgate I" 

This intelligence came upon old Matthew like a thunder 
clap, and fh his astonishment he gave the chair on which 
he sat such a jerk that it went rolling along the Coos* on 
its castors until stopped by the wall. 

" In Newgate ?" ho gasped, rising to his foet. " Kidi- 
calous— impossible — nothing of the sort!" 

Tom Davis drew a long breath. 

1 L am triad to hear it." 

" Why, how en earth could such a report have reached 
your ears ? If it was true, depend upon it I should Lave 
heard all about it long ago." 

"So I should think," returned Tom Davis, who was 
beginning to feel more at ease. " However, Matthew, if 
you will have the patience to listen for a fewminute3 I 
will give you an account of the whole affair, from begin- 
ning to end." 

" Proceed, then — I am all attention." 

Thereupon, Tom described how Dick had taken his 
departure — how Black Bess had returned— how they had 
waited for him in vain, and at last, how the newsman had 
brought the intelligence. 

"Well, it's very strange," said old Matthew, thought- 
fully, and resting his head on his hand — " very singular 
indeed; but I have been away from homo the last few 
days. Particular business, connedtod with a relative oi 
mine, took mo down to Dover. I stari-ea three days ago, 
Bud did not return until this morning, and when I did 
arrive I found my house all in the greatest confusion, for 
a party of police officers had taken it into their heads that 
I had secreted somebody or other. I was vexed, of course, 
to think the place should have been so overhauled during 
my absence ; but yet my mind was easy, because I had no 
one concealed." 

" Then," said Tom, beginning to look grave again, "it 
is quite possible that during your absence Dick's arrest 
may have been effected, and since you have returned 
home doubtless you have been in such a state of con- 
fusion and excitoment that you have had no time to hear 
anything." 

" Well, Tom, there may be something in that, and I am 
inclined to think there is; I should be more so but for 
one fact." 

" What is that ?" 

" Why, I think it was only about the very last time he 
was hero that Dick Turpin most positively assured me 
that ho would die a thousand times rather than sur- 
render." 

" Yes — yes, I have heard him say the same thing 
often." 

'' Well, and Dick is invariably as good as his word, so 
therefore I think the intelligence, after all, must be untrue." 

" I fervently hope so," said Torn Davis, "for I can 
assure you that his comrades are in the utmost consterna- 
tion ; and as for Maud, the shock was terrible, and when I 
left her she was only keeping herself up by the hope that 
I should bring back good news." 

"Which I hope you will," said old Matthew, "But 
don't let us sit here auy longer talking thus and remaining 
In suspense. If Dick is in Newgate, the fact will he easily 
ascertained, and quickly too ; if he is not, you may depend 
he is well able to take care of himself." 

" Yes, yes — I have no doubt about that ; and I beg, 
Matthew, that you will, without auy further delay, make 
the necessary inquiries." 

" Will you go too ?" 

"No; if you have no ODJection, I would prefer to tit 
here until you return." 

" It will perhaps be quite as well," replied Matthew, 
and as he spoke he took down his hat and changed his 
coat. 

Just a3 he was about to quit the room the -toor was 
opened, and the girl who minded the bar in his absence 
said: 

" You are wanted — now — in a moment." 

Matthew just nodded to his old friend and passea into 
the bar. 

At the window was the turnkey who hud shown fcim- 
»elf to be such a good friend to Turpin. 

" You aro Matthew Oslo, 1 suppeso ?" Uc ?*i-4. 



'•Well, then, take this, and this, and I will wait hero for 
your answer." 

While speaking, the man handed over the letter and 
also the locket, both of which Matthew received with con- 
siderable surprise. 

Hastily opening the letter, he glanced at its contents. 

At the first word the expression of his countonaneo 
changed suddenly. 

Turning round, he mado his way into tin 1 inaer 
room. 

" It's true, Tom," he said, r.s ne sank down into a 
chair — " true, Tom — every word of it. Just read that ; I 
am so confused that I can t." 

Tom Davis took the letter with a trembling hand, and, 
in a low, shaking voice, read what Turpin had written. 

Until its perusal was finished, no word was spoken, and 
then, looking into Matthew's face, Tom said : 

"Weil, cow, my friend, what do you think of 
that?" 

"Think?" replied Matthew, wiping his forehead. "I 
hardly kaow what to think ; it seems impossible. Just 
let me have a look at the letter, will you?" 

Then, as if unable to believe his ears, he glanced 
rapidly over the sheet of paper. 

" What can all this bo about a locket?" he exclaimed. 
" Stay — here it is ; let us look at it." 

With some difficulty, he found out the means by which 
the locket was opened, and ho gazed with great interest 
and attention UDOIl the two pOl traits. 

Tom Davis gazed also. 

" I remember," he said — " I remember now. Dick told 
me all about it, and you will understand better if 1 make 
you acquainted with the facts." 

In as few words as possible, Tom Davis then related to 
old Matthew Dick Turpin's peculiar adventuro with the 
mysterious lady, to whom he had rendered such an im- 
portant service, which she had requited him by the 
bestowal of the locket. 

Old Matthew looked thoughtfully. 

" That, then, accounts for Dick having surrendered him- 
self. He must have great faith in it — more faith than I 
should like to put in anything." 

'•' He has good reasons, rest assured," said Tom Davis. 
'' I have every confidence in him. Now that I have read 
his letter, with all speed I shall hasten back to the Three 
Spiders, and i o-night, in all probability, Tom King will 
seek his audioncc with the King." 

Matthew shrugged his shoulders. 

" It seems an impossibility to me !" he exclaimed. 
" How on earth can he hope to ,^t an audience ?" 

" That I know not ; I shall icavo it to him. He is 
very cunning in all expedients ; and if any person could 
succeed he would." 

Old Matthew was silent. 
* " You may as well inform me, or ascertain, if yeu don't 
know, one fact that will save him some trouble, psr&ops.'' 

" What is that ?" 

" Why, whether tho King is at St. James's or at 
Windsor." 

" At Windsor, I believe. But before you go I will take 
care that there shall be no doubt upon this scoro." 

" Who brought the letter ? Where is he ?" 

" At the bar window," returned Matthew. " He looks to 
me like one of the warders of the prison." 

" Then," suggested Tom Davis, " had we not better 
have him in hero for a few moments, and get from him 
60 me personal information ?" 

" A good thought," replied old Matthew — " a very good 
thought; we'll have him in at once. It will bo some 
satisfaction to know from some one who has seen him so 
lately just how Dick Turpin is." 



CHAPTER DCCCLVIII. 

KICK TUUPIN CONTRIVES TO MAKE HIMSELF VERT -tjQM- 
FORTABI.E IS NEWGATE. 

The friendly jailer was at once called in, and a conversa- 
tion of considerable length followed. 

There was nothing in it, however, that deserves lo be 
repeated, since the reader is already acquainted with sucb 
particulars as the turnkey was able to give. 

Yet it was a very gre;it satisfaction indeed both to 1 ■'■?■* 
Davie and old Matthew Gilo to hold eoareH&tittl '>' i: 5' 4 
m^ who cnuia U-.il Lbrm how JBfcS BptjiW Bft3 looked 



1404 



BLACK BESS; OK, 



" He is not very easy in his mind," the turnkey said ; 
" but he will be all right when I return. You must 
understand this letter was written yesterday, soon after 
his arrival in Newgate. He gave it to me, and I 
promised to deliver it at once, but, unfortunately, was 
prevented from doing so uutil this morning." 

" How so ?" 

" Why, quite unexpectedly, and at the last moment, 
the Governor set me on to some extra duty, which pre- 
vented mo from leaving. I can assure you the captain's 
disappointment was very great when I took the first 
opportunity of returning to his cell and informing hiui 
of my failure. It was then j ust growing dark. He had 
been in the greatest suspense, fully expecting that I had 
taken the letter, and was wondering at my delay. How- 
ever, I told him that he must wait until to-day." 

" And I suppose you took the first opportunity to 
got away this morning ?" 

",I did." 

" Well, then, when you return, toll him that no effort 
on our parts shall be wanting to secure his release, and 
if the locket fails, wo shall adopt other means." 

"I will be sure to tell him. Bslieve me," he added, 
earnestly, " you can fully trust me, and any further mes- 
sage you have to send you had better give to me verbally, 
and I will repeat it to him. There will then be no fear 
of the letter being lost or discovered." 

" Good !" said old Matthew. " But at present that 
is all that I can think of to say." 

"Except," added Tom Davis, " that wo are all very 
auxious about him, Maud especially, and that I shall 
endeavour to calm her as well as [ am able." 

Soon after this the turnkey took his leave. 

He was only allowed to be absent from the prison for 
a certain time, but, being a favourite of the Governor's, 
he was allowed indulgences of various kinds. 

After he had gone, Tom Davis and old Matthew sat 
for some time in consultation. 

At length the latter departed, in order to ascertain 
the whereabouts of the King. 

This was information easy to be obtained. 

In about half an hour old Matthew returned, saying : 

" The King is at Windsor, though it is not known 
how soon he may leave the castle for London." 

" That will do," said Tom. " It only shows what 
necessity there is for promptitude of action. I'll be off 
at once." 

" It puzzles me exceedingly," said old Matthew, " and 
I shall be heartily glad to see him out of Newgate. 
That locket will have$are power indeed if it releases 
him, for I know how determined all the authorities are 
to secure him, if possible." 

" Well, we shall see," added Tom Davis, who went 
on. " By-the-way, Matthew, there's one little circum- 
stance I may as well mention to you, which is this : 
You have a neighbour opposite— a barber." 

Matthew nodded. 

" He is the most inquisitive fellow I ever met with, 
and his especial pleasure is to find out what is going on 
here." 

" I know it," said old Matthew — " I know it very 
well. I have been waiting, hoping to catch him and put 
an end to his tricks. I shall do it some day, I know." 

" Be careful, Matthew," continued Tom — "pray be 
careful ! You don't know what mischief a man like 
that might do !" 

" It is impossiblo to guess, and I am much obliged to 
you for the caution. I have had my eye upon him for a 
long timo past." 

" And now, Mattfiow," said Tom, " one word before 
I go. If anything particular occurs, you may rely 
upon seeing me hero again very shortly, so don't be out 
of the way if you can possibly help it." 

" I will not, you may depend. I feel quite as much 
concerned in this business as you do, and I shall keep 
my eyes open to pick up all the intelligence I can." 

With this understanding the two friends parted. 

Tom Davis would have left the inn by the front door, 
i>at old Matthew prevented him. 

" No, no," he said — "you had better not go that way 
— the officers might see you. Come here — it will be 
better to pass through the stables." 

Of the interior arrangements of the White Horse Tom 
Davis knew little except from hearsay, and his surprise 



was very great when Matthew took him out into the 
yard and led him into the secret stable that we have 
previously described. 

From this, it will be recollected, there was a communi- 
cation with the numberless streets lying between Dtury 
Lane and Clare Market, and in which anyone might 
easily gat out of sight. 

Tom Davis glanced around as he emerged into the 
open air. 

But, so far as he could tell, thero were no polico officers 
on the watch. 

Taking a circuitous route, he made his way to the inn 
where he had left his horse. 

As ho hurried through the streets, he was surprised 
to find how late it was — the day was really drawing to 
a close. 

Before he could roach Ealing, he felt tolerably cer- 
tain night would be at hand, and, with the view of re- 
turning as hastily as possible, ho made his horse put 
forth its best speed. 

How he arrived the reader is already aware, and now 
the intelligence he carried is known also. 

This leaves us at liberty to follow the turnkey back 
to Newgate. 

As ho had said, Dick's disappointment and vexation 
on the preceding night were very great indeed, and 
during the long hours of darkness ho remained counting 
every minute as it passed, for his mind was in too 
feverish a state for sleep. 

He was now awaiting, with the greatest impatience, 
the turnkey's return. 

When lie caught sight of him, one glance into his 
countenance was suffioieut to assure him that the man 
had been successful. 

" All's right, captain," said the turnkey, closing the 
door — " all's as right as you could wish !" 

" That's a relief." 

"No doubt." 

"But begin at the beginning, and tell me, quietly 
and calmly, every little circumstance — do not spare 
one detail." 

The turnkey complied, and, as he proceeded, Dick's 
composure and light-heartedness returned. 

"Bravo!" he said. " I feel now like a free man ! I 
have a presentiment that my longer stay in Newgate 
will be brief in the extreme !" 

" I hope so, captain. And now, then, let me entreat 
you to partake of something. You have eaten nothing 
yet, and it may be necessary for you to keep up your 
strength." 

"lam all right now," was the answer, " and can do 
justice to anything." 

" That's the style, captain ! You speak quite different 
now ! Have patience for a short time only, and I will 
set such a dinner before you as would suit a prince !" 

Dick smiled at him, and the man left. 

A sensation of great faintness came over him imma- 
diately afterwards. 

Now that relief was afforded to his mind, Nature as- 
serted her supremaoy. 

Such a change as was perceptible in him would have 
astonished any beholder. 

The turnkey was as good as his word. 

In an incredibly short space of time, considering all 
the difficulties, a most excellent repast was brought 
in. 

The fact must not be overlooked that in those days 
the discipline maintained inside a prison differed widely 
from that of the present day. 

It is notorious that the greatest criminal, if he only 
had the means at command, could do almost what he 
liked, except to leave his cell. 

It was a shame and disgrace that such ft state of 
things should be permitted, but the abuso continued 
until long after the time of which we write. 

Dick drew his chair up to tho table eagerly. 

" Now, captain," cried the turnkey, as he removed the 
covers, " if that does not tempt yon, I'm a Dutchman ! 
And here, look, are a couple of bottles of the best wine 
that can be obtained in London." 

" We shall do rarely," Baid Dick. •' I really think I 
never felt so hungry in my life." 

" Lay on, then ! I will wait upon you." 

" No you won't I" said Dick, " You will sit down aa 



THE KNIGHT OF TUB BOAD. 



1405 



welL Ton are my friend, and shall be treated as 
such." 

The turnkey was nothing loth. 

With a pleased expression in his eyes, ho drew a stool 
np to the table, and for some moments there was a perfect 
silence — both were too busily engaged in doing daty to 
the good things before them to speak 

The wine was tapped, and proved to be indeed of the 
most excellent quality. 

A sensation of calmness and satisfaction crept over 
Did:. 

Glass after glass was drained, and, could any person 
have taken a peep into that particular cell in Newgate at 
that moment, they would have been struck will* the 
greatest amazement. 

Dick leaned back in his chair, as though perfectly con- 
tent and at home. 

"Upon my word, now," he exclaimed, " life in Newgate 
Is not so bad, after all !" 

" Not so bad !" repeated the turnkey. " And yet I ex- 
pect you will be glad enough to leave it." 

" I shall ; for, no matter if its comforts were ten thou- 
sand times greater than they are, I should still bo de- 
prived of the greatest blessing of life, and that is 
liberty." 

" Hush !" said the turnkey. " I can hear somebody 
coming. Who is it, I wonder ?" 

Both listened. 

A step was heard without, and then the sound of a 
voice came to their ears, though the words uttered could 
not be distinguished. 

" It's the Governor," cried the turnkey, in some alarm. 
"Confound him! What in the world does he want 
here ? Where can I hide, I wonder ? Oh, nowhere, of 
course l n 

CHAPTER DCCCLIi. 

ME. BRADBURY, THE GOVERNOR, CONVEYS A DISAGREEABLE 
MESSAGE TO DICK TURPIN IN HIS CELL. 

One rapid glance round the cell was quite enough to 
make the turnkey aware that all attempts to conceal him- 
self in it would be futile. 

The only hiding-place, if it may be so called, was 
underneath the table, and the turnkey rather shrank from 
availing himself of it. 

Dick was by no means disconcerted — ho was just in the 
humour to be pleased with everything. 

The heavy fastenings were slowly undone, and the 
door thrown open. 

"Dear me!" exclaimed the Governor, sniffing the air as 
he entered — " dear me ; what do I smell ?" 

••The good things of this earth," said Dick. "I am 
pleased to see you, Mr. Bradbury ; had I known you were 
about to pay me a visit, I would have postponed my 
dinner so as to have had the pleasurs of your company." 

The Governor stared, as well he might 

The idea of his sitting down to dinner with a prisoner 
was a rich joke. 

"You are making yourself comfortable, I see," he ex- 
claimed ; " but, then, I suppose, you think of your motto : 
A short life and a merry one." 

" Yes, yes — begone dull care ! Would yon allow me 
the pleasure of taking wine with you, Mr Bradbury?" 

" Bah ! nonsense ! Don't be a fool. If I wink at pro- 
ceedings of this kind, it is only to show you how willing 
[ am to do you any good turn for your promise not to 
make the attempt to escape." 

'*es, yes — i Know inn*," replied Turpm. 'I dont 
uoik as if I was breaking my word, do I ?" 

" You certainly do not, and I should not havg locked 
In, only once a day I make it a practice of paying a vicit 
to every cell, and 1 «aw no reason why yours should be 
an exception." 

" Certainly no^, Mr. Bradbury — certainly not. i feel 
rather hurt to think you will not take wine with me. 
But, however, it don't matter, I won't bear ycu any 
grudge for it. Whenever you like to call I shalj bo proud 
and happy to see you." 

Mr. Bradbury hardly knew whether to be amused or 
annoyed at this familiarity, and while in this state of 
hesitation his eye chanced to fall on the form of the 
lurnsej. 

"Oh, you iro here are you ?" he criea. "What tho 



devil do you mean by it/ Is this attending to your 
duty ?" 

"Beg pardon, sir, if I've done wrong," said the turn- 
key, humbly, "but I'm off du'.y now, sir, so I thought 
there was no harm." 

" Well, then, you thought wrong. Be off at once ; I 
will not allow you to remain in any cell with the prisoner, 
mind that !" 

The turnkey retired, glad enough to make his escape. 
"Don't be hard on to him," cried Dick, " the fault is all 
my own. I tempted him with money first to get what ha 
has brought, and then persuaded him to remain, for above 
all things in the world I do hate to dine alone." 

Tho Governor drew a long breath. 

" I have come across some strange characters in my 
time," he exclaimed — "very strange ones, but I'll bo 
hanged if you don't beat them all ! No one would be- 
lieve that you were in the slightest bit of trouble." 

"No more I am," was tho reply, given with a smile. 
" I feel quite comfortable — never better in my life." 

" Well, we shall see ; but there's one thing I have in- 
variably noticed." 

"And what may that be, Mr. Governor?" 

_ " Why, that those who carry things cSE with such a 
high hand and pretend to be so very game always show 
the whito feather at the last." 

" Then you will find I shall be an exception to your 
rule," said Turpin, with mo/e earnestness than he had 
before made use of. " But something seems to tell me 
that we are destined to bo much better friends than we 
are at present." 

" Well, I don't know that. I have one piece of infor- 
mation to give you, which perhaps will make a change 
in your manner." 

" May I inquire what it is ?" 

" Oh, certainly ; I intended to tell you before I left. 1 
suppose I need not remind you that, having once been 
tried and sentenced, that little formality will not have to 
be gone through again." 

" Oh, indeed !" said Dick. " 1 was not certain. How- 
ever, I am not sorry." 

" Not sorry ? Why, it would have given you a day or 
two longer to live. But the warrant that was sent hero 
for your execution has been carefully preserved, and it 
has just been returned by the Secretary of State with a 
fresh endorsement upon it, thus saving a world of 
trouble." 

Dick was silent. 

"According to the instructions contained in it," con- 
tinued the Governor, " your execution is appointed to 
take place on the third day from this at Tyburn. A very 
strong feeling is against you, and I have certain know- 
ledge that the Secretary of State has determined at all 
risks and hazards the sentence shall be carried out. 
Newgate is watched in every part — not a mouse will leave 
it without being seen, so things look very awkward for 
you, though I must say you do well to make the best of 
what little time there is left." 

" Yes," replied Dick, as calmly and unconcernedly as 
before. " If during the remainder cf my stay here things 
go on as pleasantly as they have begun, I shall have no- 
thing to grumble at. I shall be quite content.'' 

The Governor shrugged his shoulders. 

" Well, perhaps you aro tired of your life ; if you are 
not, I am at a loss to imagine why you should treat your 
coming death so coolly." 

" That's not the reason, though perhaps ycu may know 
it ere lonfj. On the third day from this, did you say?" 

" \es. - ' 

" Then that will be Friday." 

" Exactly ; and on Friday all the preparations at Ty- 
burn will be made, and by this hour all will be over." 

"So you think," answered Dick, significantly; '''but 
time proves all things." 

"A true proverb," said the Governor, "and it will 
provo that you are at the end of your career on that day, 
without you intend to break your word." 

" I have no thoughts of doing so ; but if I should re- 
solve upon that course I will give you timely notice." 

This seemed the best joke of all and the Governor, 
after a few more words, left the cell. 

When he had gone, Dick Tose, and somewnat of a 
change came over his countenance. 

" So soon," he said — " so soon. I hp.' arcolj 9 ij 



urn 



BLACK EE?9; OX, 



they would be so prompt. Tom, indeed, will have to be 
expeditious to perform his task, and the lockot must bo cf 
rare efficacy ii it liberates ma. Well, wsil—time alone 
will show." 

He paced the cell somewhat uneasily, endeavouring to 
picture to himself as best ho inight how his comrades 
■were engaged at that timo. 

" I wonder if they know the timo is so short ?" he mut- 
ton d, pausing before the window; "if so, Tom would 
start to-night ; if not, he miglit delay, and the delay would 

Eerhaps bo fatal. But away witb these gloom/ fore- 
oc'jiigs, I will hope and trust for the best !" 

So saying, ho folded his arms 4 id conUnuc.1 to gaze 
cut at the" little bit, of sky visible through the grated 
window of his cell. 

He continued to watch until it gradually darkoned r.nd 
darkened *"» colour, and until the faint glittering stars ap- 
peared. 

Then he know that night had come. 

More anxiously than on the preceding night did he con- 
tinue to watch. 

His brain was all the time occupied in suggesting to 
him what his comrades might be doing. 

He would havo given much could he but have obtained 
one peep at their proceedings. 

That, however, was impossible, and eo ; in uncertainty 
and suspense, the time passed away. 

How long he sat there he knew not, but at last ex- 
hausted nature gave way, and he sank off into a deep and 
dreamless slumber, from which he did not awake until ho 
heard some one removing the fastenings of his door. 

He started hastily and opened his eyes 

To his astonishment he discovered it was daylight. 

" nave I indeed slept so long ?" he murmured. " #e!I, 
it is better, so the night is gone. I wonder now whether 
Tom King has been successful, and if he has, whether 
the locket will produce the desired effect ?" 

Just then the door was opened, and the fr'andly turn- 
key entered. 

" I will cot let them know I am so nxious," Dick 
thought. "I will assume a carelessness of demeanour, 
even though I feel it not ; the ouly th'ng that I can de is 
to wait with patience, and in the m antiine make myself 
as comfortable as I can." 

" Breakfast, captain," said the turnkey, entering— 
;' and a rare good breakfast it is. I hope you will do 
justice to it." 

■' Put it down," said Dick, "ami help yourself." 

" No, no, captain — T must not. The Governor is a strange 
, and I know how to deal with him. It vexed him to 
•■3 here lasi night. I dir.'i wish to get him at all 
ongry, and so it will oe nest tor mo to c^ir*;n with his 
vsishes. Of course, if he liked he could provem, me 
from paying my vis.ts altogether, which would be a bau 
thinp; for feoth of us, I think." 

" You shall bo the best judge," said Diek, " in that. I 
leave it entirely to you.", 

"Then I am off, captain ; when I can leave the prison 
1 will slip off to Drury Lane. I may bo able to pick up 
something you would like to hear." 

"Very likely " said Dick — "very likely." 

With these vords the turnkey loft, and Dick sat down 
to the table. 

Tut in reality ho had but little appetite. 

>Tow that the timo grew closer he grew more and mere 
doubtful respecting the virtues of the locket, and he was 
troubled as wtil by the statemeut the Governor had made 
respecting the vigilant manner iu which the prison was 
guarded. 

He was conscious that, should the locket fail, t-othing 
lould save him from an ignoruln'ous death _>n the 
morrow. 



CHAPTER DOCCLX. 

TOM KEJO. CLAUDE DUVAL, AND SIXTEEX-STRHJQ JACK [SET 
OUT FOR WINDSOR CASTLE. 

Havtng taken such a calm survey of his own very 
perilous condition, Dick Turpin might indeed feel anxious 
10 the cxtrome. 
But (here wa*"S others who fully shared th*i snxiely 



To make all clear, nowever, we must cow go back is 
the moment when Tom Davis arrived at tho Three 
Bpiders Inn. 

Ho was besieged at onco with a multitude of questions } 
but, raising his hand, ho said : 

" If you will all bo silent I will tell you everything, 
from beginning to end, and by this means much time wii! 
be saved." 

It may perhaps be imagined with what amount of in» 
terest the highwaymen, »!a Maud, and Ellen listened tj 
his recital. 

Maud, learning for certain that Dick waa in Newgaio. 
gave vent to a passionate burst of grief ,- for, ics^ired by 
the words Tom Davis had uttered ere he leri, SuO ' jw3 
hoped on to the la it, and believed that lie was Irea 

Davis, however, tried to make things look a bright ts 
possible, and produced the locket. 

Great as was the interest his narraf .e had excited, yet 
it was as nothing to that which tuoy felt while gazing 
upon this little trinket. 

The King's features wero .ell known to them all, but 
not so those of the lady. 

" It's a very strange ..usiness, truly," said Tom King, 
after Davis had informed him that it was Dick's wish he 
should deliver the locket — "a very strange business; but 
yet I hope eve" ything will turn out successfully." 

"It is our only hope," said Tom Davis ; "and before I 
left I too' good care to inquire where the King was stav- 
ing. «_£e is at Windsor, though it is not known how soon 
he may leave." 

" Then," replied Tom, " there can be no doubt that the 
best thing we can do is to start off at once ; any delay 
might prove cf the greatest consequence." 

"Yes, although ho did not mention it, Dick no doubt 
wishes the locket to be delivered immediately ; and be- 
sides, lie sooner we know the result the better prepared 
we shall bo to act, and the more time we shall havo in 
case of any emergency." 

"Very true," said Tom King. "It is fortunate our 
horses are all so fresh as they are ; the journey to Windsor 
will be performed easily and rapidly." 

" You will let us accompany you ?" 6aid Claude Duval 
and Sixteen-Striug Jack. " You cannot toil what aid 
and assistance you may require." 

"I cannot. U you had not spoken then I was just 
about to ask you to accompany me." 

l ' But," said Tom Davis, with a little hesitation, " ] 
don't like to raise up obstacles and to throw cold water 
on your plans, but yet I should very much like to know 
by what means you hope to gain aoe> ss to the King?" 

Torn shrugged his shoulders. 

" I shall be guided entirely by circumstances and my 
good luck. If they fail me I havo no other guide." 

With a great effort Maud wiped aside her tears, aud, 
artvi, big towards Tom King, looked him earnestly in 
the iaco, ta she said : 

" In pit* ' '-1 mercy let me know your inmost thoughts. 
Do you realiy behevo that this locket will procure Diek'3 
liberation ?"' 

Tom paused ere fce replied. 

Then, in a voice o. f great earnest r:e.-s, he said : 

" You must lemcmbe. that the service Dick rendered 
to the person who gavo him this locket was a very im- 
portant one indeed,' and, thinking over all the circum- 
stances, I don't believe that such a gilt would have been 
proffered had it not been felt »t the time that it was a'-l 
powerful." 

"You really think it, Tom?" 

" I do, indeed." 

" Then " she said, "I will master my grief and hops 
on." 

" Do, di'- —perhaps ere another twenty-four hours 
elapse the captaia will once more bo amongst us." 

" Hasten — hasten," said Tom Davis ; " night is closing 
in, and you have a long ride before you ; if you like, I 
will begin to get the horses ready." 

He dud not wait for any answer, but left the inn at 
once. 

The three highwaymen looked carefully to their 
weapons, provided themselves with ammunition, and also 
took with them a few other articles which taey fancied 
might be required in tho course of tho n!gkt;> fir>ven 
ture. 

This deae, they said farewell tc- Ms.-*d *»d tSBaa, **4 



rnE knight of raa aon>. 



1407 



hastened to the stables, where they found the horses 
B«»arly ready. 

Tom Davis glanced around hira, and finding crdy the 
highwaymen were near, said: 

" I feel very, very uneasy, I ear issu,--? voa.** 

" What about ?" 

44 Why, that lockot." 

" In what respect ?" 

" Why, don't you happen to 't;„ow mat Wiaodor Castle 
Is always well guarded by a strong force of military, and 
more especially when the King happens to be there ? By 
what means do you hope to pass *ho sentinels?" 

Tom drew a long breath. 

11 It will be an awkward job, I am a f raid," he replied, 
st length ; " but y?f, if courage, coolness, and stratagem 
will effect our purposo, rely upon it we shall suc- 
ceed." 

" Well, I leave you t-s it," said Tom Davis. " You are 
more used to getting yourselves out of scrapes than I am, 
and perhaps you will be able to think of something that I 
should not." 

" That is very likely indeed," said Tom King. "And 
now farewell ! You may expect us at daybreak, if we 
meet with success ; if not, we shall remain somewhere 
close at hand, on the watch for another opportunit3 - ." 

With these words, Tom sprang into the saddle. 

His companions had already mounted, and they steal- 
thily took their departure through the plantation. 

On the present occasion, Tom King was, to all intents 
and purposes, the leader of the expedition, so, without 
6ayiug a word upon the subject, Claude and Jack placed 
themselves slightly in the rear, prepared to follow wher- 
ever he might lead. 

Tom's brain was too busy to permit of speech ; more- 
over, the rapid pace at which they were going would 
have made conversation very difficult. 

He had resolved at once upon the route he intended to 
take, and, having crossed the Thames, he took off across 
the open country, thus materially diminishing the distance 
to his destination. 

There was another reason for this course, which was 
that they were now scarcely likely to meet with an in- 
terruption of any kind, whereas, had they kept on the 
high-road, they might have encountered some of the 
numerous bodies of police that they knew weie on the 
watch for them. 

There was only once that the highwaymen paused, and 
that was at a small roadside inn situated about half- 
way. 

They were attracted to it by a dim light that was 
shining from one of the windows. 

The clatter of their horses' hoofs as they drew up in 
front caused the landlord and the ostler to make their ap- 
pearance. 

" Will you alight, gentlemen ?" said the former. 
4 There's every accommodation." 

" No, no," returned Tom King, hurriedly — " we cannot 
stay ! A little hay and water for our horses is all we 
want, and while they are eating it we will take a draught 
of your best October ale." 

44 Very good, gentlemen." 

The stay here did not occupy many minutes, yet both 
horses and riders felt much refreshed by it, and in better 
tune for performing the remainder of the journey. 

With undiminished speed they galloped on, until by the 
taint light of the new moon they perceived in the distance 
the massive tower of Windsor Castlo and the vast expanse 
of forest all around it. 

Great circumspection was no»> required in ail their 
movements, but, with a boldness that was somewhat sur- 
prising, Tom kept on in a straight line for the castle. 

" I wish we had had the opportunity of reconnoitring," 
he said, slackening his speed at the same time. " Our 
task would then have been so much easier. Now I can 
scarcely tell how we are to discover which is the weakest 
point of the defences." 

" Let us draw a little closer," said Claude Duval — : - we 
shall be better able to judge then." 

In a few minutes afterwards, they found themselves in 
a position that afforded thera a view of a considerable 
portion of the castle, and here, concealed by the shadow 
cast by some huge trees, they paused. 

For some moments not a word was spoken — all had 
their gaza fixed upon the building before them. 



"And so that is Windsor Castle?" mutterod Tom King 
at length. " I have never been so near it, before." 

" Nor i\" said Claude Duval. " Lut there's one thing 
that strikes me very forcibly." 

44 What'b that ?" 

44 Why. supposing you should get over the difficulty of 
effecting an entrance, how should you manage, in so vast 
i» building, to find the King ?" 

Tom shrugged his shoulders. 

41 There is time enough to think about thai, when I get 
inside," he said. " It's foolish to burden the mind with 
too much." 

" Yes, I agree with you there. But then, suppose the 
King should be in some part of the castle remote from 
the point at which you may enter, and that you may b^ 
so fortunate as to guess the route, how far do you think 
you could proceed without being seen by some oue who 
would know immediately that you were an intruder ?" 

"There are too many supposes, Claude," said Tom, 
with a light laugh, " but I know what you mean. Tho 
difficulty of getting inside the building is almost insur- 
mountable, and you wished to rerjiiud me that when that 
was done much would still lio" before mo to be accom- 
plished." 

" That is precisely what I meant." 

" Well," said Tom, " just let me get inside. If I can 
do that, I shall have great hopes of performing my mission. 
Let us draw a little closer." 

"Be cautious," said Sixteen-String Jack, "or wo may 
be seen." 

"All right! Tread as silently as you can." 

Slowly and with extreme caution the highwaymen 
drew somewhat closer to the royal residence, and this 
they were enabled to do unperceived, in consequence of 
the huge trees that were growing everywhere. 

At last they saw before them a wall, tho height of 
which might be twelve feet or rather more. 

Beyond that appeared to be a gara«i\ and further on 
still tho walls of the castle itself. 

As soon as he perceived it, Tom said : 

" That looks a favourable point at which to make tho 
attempt. What say you, comrades ?" 

'That wall might easily be surmounted, certr.iniy," 
they said. " But then, that is not all. Look — wisat do 
you Jhink of that ?" 

Tom looked, and then, round an angle in the wall, he 
saw a coldier come in sight. 

The mechanical manner in which ho walked a certain 
number cf paces, and then turned round and walked back 
again, showed that he was a sentinel. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXL 

TOM KING GETS ONE STEP NEARER TO THE ACCOMPLISH- 
MENT OF HIS TURPOSE. 

Breathlessly the highwaymen watched the dusky 
figure of the sentinel, until he disappeared round the 
angle of tho wal 4 . 

Even after Ifiwi they did not venture to move or 



At length, in a faint whisper, Tom eaid : 

" Remain where you are, perfectly still. Let us notice 
how long a time will elapse before he comes in sight 
again." 

They waited, and from the duration of his absence, they 
guessed that he had a tolerably long walk to perform. 

When he had disappeared round the corner for the 
second time, Tom said : 

4i Follow me. We will see whero ho goes to, and what 
ho does." 

With greater caution than ever they slowly made 
their way from the trees, until they performed the end 
they intended. 

The wall was still before thcra, only in this place it 
seemed to be somewhat higher. 

It required a piercing glanco to make out tha figure oi 
the sentinel. 

But at last they perceived him at some distance. 

Then he paused, and ho was seen to be J^ued by 
another. 

A salutation of some kind was exchanged, and they 
turned again. 

" Well, now," said Tom King, "the question w, wctud 



1408 



BLACK BESS ; OR, 



tlurebetime tor ino to climb over the wall while this 
sentinel is at the further end of his beat ?" 

•'I think not," said Claude, "In my opinion, you 
would most certainly be seen." 

" Then what is to bo done?" 

•' Wait awhile, I think, and endoavour to comprehend 
our position a lit.'lo better tt&n w« do at prosem; a'l 
around us is so vorv strange." 

They were silent, for the sentinel now was v ar v tjear 
to them. 

Following his movements they perceived something 
which else would probably have escaped their notice. 

This was a sentry-box placed against the wall, near tho 
corner of it, and here the soldier stood for a short time, 
then resumed his monotonous duty. 

"It seems to me," whispered Sixteen-String Jack, 
" that the best plan to adopt will be to seize the soldier 
and gag him, then get over the wall." 

"But," objected Tom, "the other sentinels would 
notice tl»t he did not perform his march as usual and tho 
alarm would be raised." 

" I don't know that. Supposing that I put on some of 
his accoutrements and acted sentinel, how then ?" 

" That's a better idea, and it will bo perhaps possible 
to carry it out successfully. But how about that relief of 
the guard — what should you do then ?" 

Jack was puzzled. 

" I'll tell you what it is," said Claude, " I have hit 
upon it at last. Is'o doubt the men are changed every 
two hours. Wo must wait until the change takes place, 
then one of us, whoever happens to be most like the 
soldier, will personate him, while you will know then 
that you have two hours clear before you to perform your 
task." 

" 1 think that would be the best," said Torn King — " at 
any rate, we will think over it until the guard is changed, 
and then, should anything better be thought of, why, we 
will try to carry it into execution." 

This being agreed upon, tho highwaymen all bec-mo 
silent and still. 

It was fortunate that they thought about the change of 
the guard, for in a few moments afterwards they were 
6tartled by hearing the rattling of a drum. 

After that there was a sileuce, and then they perceived 
a small body of men advancing. 

The sentinel stopped at once. 

They came towards him. One of its number took his 
place ; he fell in with the remainder, aud they passed 
on. 

The highwaymen watched all these proceedings with 
the greatest possible amount of attention. 

The changing of the guard occupied but a very short 
space of time, and then Jack, touching Tom on the arm, 
said quietly : 

" Now then, comrades, what say you ? Shall wo make 
tho effort or not? Now is the time, or never." 

"I can think of nothing else so likely to achieve 
success," was Tom King's reply. 

" Then let it be done." 

"Be cautious, then — wo must pounce upoa the sentinel, 
and seize him in a moment, taking cwo that he has not 
time to utter the faintest cry, otherwise there will be an 
immediate alarm." 

"It is not so very difficult," said Jack. "We will 
leave our horses here, aud as soon as the sentinel t?jns tho 
corner we will dart across and stand in tho shadow of the 
sentry-box ; then, as soon as he appears, let one of us place 
a hand upor "*<s mouth, and tho ethers hold him 
tightly." 

" Yes," said Claude DuvaL " the whole thing mint be 
accomplished with speed and silence." 

Another moment elapsed, and then the^entinel again 
disappeared from view. 

As they had arranged, the highwaymen Parted 
forward. 

The distance they had to go was insignificant, ana, to 
their great satisfaction, they reached tho shadow of ihe 
sentry-box without having caused the slightest alarm. 

They now stood in readiness to seize the soldier 
t'irectly lie turned the corner. 

They listened, and could hear his regular heavy foot- 
step as ho marched on. 

Little did that sentinel think that he was about to be 
dealt with io so summary a manner. 



Ho had been long at his present duty, and had mrrwf 
met with anything to vary the dull routine of it. 

He was therefore wholly and entirely unpreparod lor 
what took place. 

The highwaymen took tho opportunity. 

While Claude, darting forth, placed one hantf imme- 
diately before the soldier's mouth, Jack seized l»ia from 
behind, and Tom King, standing in front, with his sword 
drawn, 6aid, in a threatening whisper : 

" Move hand ©r foot— struggle, or attempt to speak— 
and you die !" 

The man was so thoroughly taken aback by what had 
occurred that he was unable to move a limb. 

lie only stared at Tom King with eyes stretched wide 
open by astonishment. 

With great dexterity, Sixteen-String Jack stripped ofi 
the upper portion of tho soldier's uniform, Tom King, 
by threats, compelling nim to surrender each article 
quietly. 

When this operation was over, Sixteen-String Jack 
bound him tightly, and then, by means of a piece of rope 
doubled and twisted, gagged him most effectually. 

This was managed by introducing tho rope into his 
mouth like a bit, and tying it tightly at tLo back of his 
bead. 

It was possible for him to make a very faint sound, but 
it was so faint that it was not worth troubling about. 

Perfectly helpless, ho was now rarried by Sixteen- 
String Jack and Claude Duval, aud placed inside the 
sentry-box. 

"1 will take his place," said Claude — "it will be better, 
for you know I have had a little military training, and he 
appears to be about my height." 

" Agreed !" 

Claude hastily put on the soldier's uniform and picked 
up his musket. 

"Hush!" ho said, and before his companions could 
utter another word he marched off along the wall. 

Some little time had of course been occupied by these 
proceedings, still it was not long — no longer, really, than 
a sentinel might have paused near his box had he chosen 
to do so. 

But Claude was anxious not to be too long, and so he 
marched forward with a confident step. 

Beaching the end ol his beat, ho found himself face to 
face with another soldier. 

"All's well!" said tho other sentinel, turning round. 

"All's well !" replied Claude, supposing that to be the 
proper salutation. 

He turned hastily round when ho spoke, and marched 
off. 

The other strpped abruptly. 

" Well, that's odd," he said — " that sounds quite like a 
strange voice ; and yet it can't be — it is my fancy." 

Those words just reached ClaudVsears, and he thought 
to himself how necessary it would be to be careful when 
he returned to that point of his beat again. 

Reaching tho seutry-box, he said to his companions: 

" Over with you, and be quick about it. Leave me 
hero — I shall be all right !" 

" Are you sure ?" 

" Yes, yes — dou't trouble yourselves on my account. I 
shall hold my position so long as it is tenable, and when 
it ceases to be so I shall make a run for my horse." 

14 Do so — do so. On no account suffer you-solf to be 
made a prisoner." 

'1 will not. And now I must leave you — it will not 
do to halt too often, or perhaps suspicion may be 
aroused." 

Claude marched on as before, imitating tho movements 
of the veal sentinol very well indeed. 

Tom King looked up and wondered how the wall was 
to be surmouuted. 

The sentry-bos at once suggested itself to him, but it 
was a difficult thing to mount upon it, as tUere was 
neither hand nor foothold, and a little thins would turn 
it over completely. 

They waited until Claude came back again. 

As soon afl they explained their difficulty, he said : 

" Well, 1 will stand on this side and press against it 
with all my might, then you mount as well as you are 
able ; when once on the top of the sentry-box the re- 
mainder will bo easy." 

" I could mount with Jack's assistance," said Tom, " it 



tuk trmuH'i o* rsr c«ab. 




1*» 



LOACD. DUVAL FKBSOSA** THE SE^EL, AND ro ^ KLNG SCALEg T „ E ^ j 



ft* would bond hU back; but then I don't see how Jack 
I* to accompany me, and really after all, I think there is 

iMc Ju f 8S ™ U P , lease ' Tom ! y"> have the command in 
WW^T** th ° Ughl ° f C0UrSe ' * * houIJ P°"o b" 

jJ l An n ?~° ne K S ! e8S 'P 6 ,^ t0 *» spen thaD two. Cone 
J^^d ^ur back and I will return with all poS 

Jack bent his baCK as desired. 

«r.E°E Bi f PP ^ "J"* U ' and in tbis PosuioD wis able to 
gain the top of the sentry-box. 

Here he drew himself up carefully until fo could Innk 
over the top of the wall, being careful not to „2e his 
»*»1 any higher than he could avoid 

Juo. 177— Black Bkss. 



No. 177. 



| As he expected, some gardens, very beautifully laid m«. 
were on the other side, and his eyes quickly roamed ov^ 
the enclosure, in order to ascertain whether any W^ns 

1 were near or not. y persons 

' mi £!L h0We - Ver ' r* S P erfectI 7 ^Icnt and dark so, with a 
sudden spring, he swung himself clear over the ill* 

2M?J! ng arms Jengtbi dropt SGnt 'y upo » «» •»« 

So rapidly and cleverly was the tt*Lt performed tha*. 
unless some person had been looking very caref o5at S3 

Claude resumed his march, and Tom King remain^ 

? *" m*W Where he had dr °PP ed i * nd woXSwS 
should be his next proceeding. B a,v 



Pbice One Halfpe^n: 



M>. /7* iv/77 fee Published next Thursday. 



1410 



sr.AfjK Br««: ott. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXII. 

1UM iLWO FCJD9 HIS PERILS A>TD DIFFICULTIES 
AT EVERY STEP. 



sity for urgent speed, and, delightful as the gardens vrer^ 
Tom by no means wished to linger in them. 

"Surely," he thought, "this would be • favourable 
opportunity for gaining the interior of the castle." 

At any r&te, he resolved to try it, especially when h« 
Gazing through the trees, <he first thing that attracted perceived that mauy_ of the guests, tired of their pro- 

* rwrt tr.l..»* miano/la in *l»<i /\r\on air woro raniHW rptnrninar 



Lis attention was a blaze of hght, procoediug from what 
appeared to be the range of irindows on tho ground floor 
of the castle. 

Strains of music, too, came faintly upon hi? oars, and 
therefore it was easy to conjecture that eome scen° of 
festivity wza going on within. 

The point, however, upon which Tom felt the gwtesl 
amount of uneasiness and which made him hesitate to 
move was whether there existed an inner circle of 
sentinels. Ai 

If this should prove to be the case, how should heV;-a^ 
trive to pass them ? 

The gardens themselves, however, were so very dai'k 
and silent, that Tom felt great hopes of being able to 
creep forward unperceived, even if anyone should be on 
the watch. 

This, the more he reflected, seemed unlikely, for, judging 
by appearances, this was some private portion of tho 
grounds into which no one would be permitted to in- 
trude. 

Using as much caution, however, as he would have 
done had he felt quite certain that sentinels were near, 
Tom King crept 6lowly in the direction of the lights. 

In a short time ho was able to see them distinctly. 

The range of windows that was illuminated was » very 
long one. 

The music had ceased, but now it burst form Again 
with a sudden crash, and even as it did so some doors 
were thrown wide open. 

Tom glanced keenly through the portal, and as ho did 
so he saw a crowd of persons of both sexes elegan'.lv and 
brilliantly attired. 

Some were in the spacious hall, and others desceoiiing 
a staircase ; evidently they were all about to issue forth 
into the grounds. 

Perceiving this, Tom crouched down as Iw as he could 
behind a huge tree, trusting that its shelter would conceal 
him. 

From this position he watched the approach of the 
glittering throng. 

The threshold was crossed, the broad flight of steps 
descended, and then, amid the silence that prevailed, he 
could hear the low murmur of courtly conversation, and 
occasionally the faint sound of laughter. 

The number of guests who thus poured forth into the 
garden surprised Tom beyond measure. 

They dispersed themselves over every part of it, and 
he began to feel very doubtful whether he would be able 
to remain concealed where he was without being dis- 
covered by some one. 

Then a bold and fresh thought darted into his mind. 

He felt surprised that this thought had not occurred to 
him before. 

It was no other than to quit his placo of concealment and 
mingle with the crowd. 

Among so many his presence could scarcely bo noticed. 

Most certainly there would be mauy who were strangers 
to each other, and might not he pass for one of the 
strangers ? 

The only difficulty was about his costume, which was 
by no means in keeping with that of ice gentlemen 
around. 

Still, in tho gardens it was dark, and even this migut 
escape notice. 

At any rate, it would be better, lie thought, to stand up 
boldly than to rcruaiu so evidently in biding. 

Scarcely had tho idoa crossed his mind than, wii'io 7 ** 
reflecting much upon it, he proceeded to carry it t»lo 
effect. 

Lightly knoclnng from his clothes tho dust that was 
upon them, he stepped forth with all the boldness i-i t; e 
world on to one of the well-kept footpaths. 

The success he met with was something far beyond 1 l« 
expectations. 

Ueversl glances were cast upon him, it is true, "but i> 
one ventured to accost him, or, co fat as he could tell t ■> 
make any remark as to his appearance. 
But tims was passing rapidly on ; there was tha n> ceo- 



menade in the open air, were rapidly returning. 

Surely he might drift in with the crowd ; and it seemed 
to him that, once beneath the roof of tbe s> -~val building, 
the remainder would be easy. 

Not without considerable trepidation — tor he knew how 
much depended upon his actions — Tom King directed his 
steps towards the spacious doorway. 

Several wcro before him, soveral behind him, laughing 
and chatting gaily. <^ . 

He was now, however, in the full blaze of the light, 
and he could scarcely refrain from shrinking a little. 

Assuming all tho boldness and confidence ho possibly 
could, however, he strode on. • 

Two domestics in gorgeous livery were standing at 
each side of the doorway, and when Tom fairly crossed 
the threshold and passed them he drew a long breath of 
relief — he considered it was such a good omen of future 
success. 

Drifting with the tide of persons, he was carried along 
the corridor towards another door that stood wide 
open. 

Congratulating himself mentally, Tom King walked 
on, every step increasing the amount of confidence ha 
already felt. 

Suddenly, however, ho felt a light touch on his arm. 

He affected to disregard it, but it was repeated, and this 
time more unmistakably. 

Glancing round, he found himself face to face with an 
elderly gentleman, who was splendidly attired, and who 
carried in his hand a long white wand. 

" Excuse me," he said, somewhat abruptly, and yet 
from sheer force of habit making a bow while he spoke 
— "excuse me, but I have not the honour of your ac- 
quaintance — your features are quiio unfamiliar. May 1 
trouble you to produce your card of invitation ?" 

Tom smiled and endeavoured to look indifferent. 

"My card of invitation?" ho said. "Well, that's 
amusing. I have not one." 

" Indeed ?*' said his interrogator. " That is strange ; but 
you treat this matter lightly. By w*hat right do you 
intrude?" 

'' The best," said Tom King, boldly. " I come here on 
secret service, and my business is with the King him- 
self." 

"With his Majesty?" said the other, involuntarily 
taking two or three paces backwards. 

"Even so," said Tom; "and if you will do me the 
favour of showing me into his presence at once I shall be 
obliged to you. I was looking everywhere for you when 
I felt you touch icy arm." 

An expression of perfect bewilderment now came over 
the old gentleman's countenance, as he ejaculated : 

" Step this way — step this way." 

Tom obeyed without hesitation, and soon found him- 
self in a little ante-room. 

" Now, sir," said his guide, " just let us come to an un- 
derstanding. Who can you be, so ignorant of the usuagos 
of tho court ? What do you mean by saying that you 
come here on secret service ?" 

"Simply what I say," returned Tom; "and let ra« 
assure you it is important that I should be immediately 
ushered into the presence of his Majesty." 

•Is it upon business ?" 

u Certainly— urgent, pressing business." 

" Then it is not his Majesty you wish to oee, but his 
secretary. Come this way." 

"No, "you mistaice," said Tom King- " my business is 
-srith tho King only." 

" Well, well, this way," said the ether, impatiently — 
"this way, I say. I am wanted elsewhere. How on 
earth you came to bs admitted to tho castle £ ar< *t a loss 
to imagine." 

To this speech Tom made co replj 

Ho considered tha* he was making mucli better pro- 
gress than he could possibly have anticipated. 

He followed willingly enough in the old gentleman* 
footsteps. 

The little ante- room communicated with » larger apart- 



TFIK KNIGHT OF THE 1!<UD. 



Uli 



sssnt, rind bnycnd that there was another aud another, 
BUtil Tom began to grow tired of his long walk. 

All at onco his guide t&Dped at a door, which was }iu- 
mediaiely opened. rg - < 

Admittance was allowed, »nd Tom found himself in 
*ne presence of a very plainly-dressed, middle-aged inan, 
who was seated at a table. 

Before bim were a quantity of letters and other 
ments, with which ho seemed to be busily engaged. " 

" This gentleman," said Tom's guide " I iouvd among 
the gGests. Ho says lie coine3 here npos soo^st service, 
and d to see the Kir.g." 

So saying, ho abruptly left, aid his Majesty')* priv.*^ 
secretary looked at him inquiringly. 

" Secret service ?" he said. ■' What secret service t" 

" Excuse me," said Tom, bowing and speaking with 
the utmost respect, 1! but I assure yon my business is 
with his Majesty, and his Majesty alone." 

"But," said the secretary, half-angrily, "do you not 
know that nothing can reach the ears of his Majesty ex- 
cept through myself ? Speak on, and let me knew what 
your business is without any further delay. I have no 
time to waste." 

"I regret very much to decline," said Tom King, "but 
I again most positively assure yon that the business is of 
so private and personal a nature thai 1 can only com- 
municate it to his Majesty himself." 

" Bah ! — nonsense ! I know all his Majesty's private 
business; and let mo hear this — be quick ! If you rcfrse, 
j»u will have to go as you came ; it is quite impossible 
for you to sec the King — you might know that." 

Tom King hesitated. 

He was puzzled how to act. 

Should he indeed trust his message with this man ? 
Should he confide the locket to him and await the re- 
sult? 

No. Tom made up his mind instantly. 

Had not Dick Turpin positively enjoined him to place 
the locket in the . hands of no one but tho King him- 
self? 

There must be no circumlocution. 

"It vexes me exceedingly," he said, addressing the 
secretary, "to appear so pertinacious; but believe me 
again when I say that not even to you can I confide my 
business." 

" Then," said tho secretary, " I will have you arrested ! 
Ten to one it is some bold, audacious attompt to assassinate 
the King. Your story about secret service must be a 
mere subterfuge. Here, guard — guard !" 

He shouted out the last words at the top of his voice, 
and even whilo he did so ho struck his hand upon a bell 
that stood upon the table before him, and which no doubt 
was an additional summons for immediate assistance. 



r* i decidedly damaged condition underneath one of the 
tkoles. 

It so happened that this table was covered with along 
crimson cloth, so that when he rolled andef it ho vanished 
completely from sight. 

All hope of Tom King keeping his presence in tha 
oa>f\e a secret was now at an end. 

The first thiua hq had „o ao wn; to secure his own 
safety. 

How this could be tone was more than he eoald tell, yet 
he resolved to suffer an/ thing rather than abandon the 
task of delivering the locket to the ""*ir 

The blows on the outside of the door now much in- 
* creased in violence, and there could be no doubt that those 
without were endeavouring to force an entrance. 

One glance round the chamber was given by Tom 
King. 

Then, finding there was no other dcor save tho one by 
which he had entered and at which tho soldiers of the 
guard were doubtless now standing, he turned again to- 
wards tho window. 

It was very dark outside. 

But below him he could just distinguish eomo of the 
shrubs and plants in the garden. 

The distance to jump was somewhat alarming, but, 
then, Tom was aware that the soil was soft, and would 
serve most materially to break the force of his fall. 

Without further delay, then, he jumped through the 
window, and, as he had fully anticipated, alighted on tho 
soft mould in safety. 

As soon as he had recovered his feet, however, and 
took a glance around him, he saw lights flashing through 
tho gardens in various directions, and he could hear 
voices shouting to each other. 

Almost at the same moment a party of soldiers made 
their appearance at the window through which he had 
just escaped, and in loud tones they called upoa those 
who were in the garden to search narrowly for the in- 
truder. 

Tom feH very anxious and distressed. 

H his own safety was all he had to care about, it would 
have been a very different matter. 

The question was, would it be possible for him to find 
some pl3ce of hiding that would servo to conceal him 
from the idose search that was about to be made ? 

Ho shook his head while asking himself the ques- 
tion. 

Such a thing seemed very far from likely. 

Close to where he stood, however, was one of the wina- 
ing gravel-paths which spread like a net-work over the 
entire gardens. 

On each side it was planted with some kind of prickly 
shrubs of a very ornamental character, aud growing to a 
great height from the ground, but as impenetrable and as 
insurmountable as a high brick wall. 

There was something of a very private and secluded 
character about thi3 path. 

It was plunged in total darkness, aad it seemed to Tom 
that it offered him by far the best chance of concealing 
himself. 

Without further consideration, he turned down it, aud 
ran hastily forwards for some distance. 

Despite the darkness, he was able to follow its windings 
and turnings tolerably well. 

All at once he came to a sudden stop, and a cold perspi- 
ration began to break out upon his forehead, for he feared 
that ho Lai taken a wrong step, and had fallen into a 
trap. 

At the extremity of the path he had been pursok* , fV&3 
a conservatory, from the glass windows of ,/nicliTom 
could see rare plante growing iu gree* luxuriance and 
beauty. 

But v'u honour of *£^ lestival that had that night been 
1 .lebratcd, this conservatory had been prettily lighted up 
{ by a number of coloured lamps suspended either from the 
| ceiling or from tho branches of the ornamental trees. 

Tl.n fffect of these coloured lights was to shed an 
2 ar>our.t of illumination around resembling twilight. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXIII. 

TOM KING BECOMES SOMEWHAT ALARMED AT HIS POSI- 
TION, BUT MEETS WITH AN UNEXPECTED SURPRISE. 

These energetic proceedings on tho part of the King's 
private secretary were so sudden aud so unexpected that 
for a few seconds Tom King was half bewildered, and 
scarcely knew how to act. 

The sound of hasty footsteps in the corridor ser<red to 
arouse him from his state of indecision. 

With one bound ho reached the door. 

It was his intention to secure it effectually. 

But the only fastening ho could perceive consisted of a 
email brass bolt. 

This he slipped rapidly into its socket, sad, when he 
turned again, he saw that the secretary bed hastened to 
one of the windows, which he threw open, while he again 
cried: 

" Guard— guard 1 Here— a spy— a traitor* Guard- 
guard .'" 

Tom King sprang tcvards him as he cric&i 

" Silence — silence, or your life ! Once more I do sauzl 
to see the King '" n 

But the secretary only continued his voei!.:rs.t></u3 j t'o venture into this conservatory, Torn felt would be 
In a louder Key .iiia cfc. j c^dnes3, for the probability was that such a place would 

Finding remonstrance of no avail, aud hoar'ag on tho J fee much resorted to by the guests. 'A 
massive panels of the door a succession of he vy 'suocks. He tried to turn sillier to the right or to tho left, but 
Tom King doubled up his fist, and tho next thing of j ipund this impossible, orvwg to the density of the prickly 
▼hick the eecretary was conscious was that he w&s lying | vegetation. 



1412 



BLACK BSSS ; OB 



" I will retroat," he muttered — " retreat while there is 
yet time. Perhajia 1 may manage to reach the end of 
this path again without encountering anyone; if so, 
Bhall esteem myself fortunate." 

He started to run, but quickly reduoed his pace to a 
Btealthy, cautious walk, for ori the other side of the Lodge 
— if we may so call it — he could hear the voices ct thoi*e 
who were in search of him, aud at times catch a eJiayta, 
of the lights they carried. 

That every nook and corner in the castle gai^ens wi^-d 
be narrowly searched there could be no doubt, and if 1 'cm 
King could only discover some place which had once been 
thoroughly exaininod, that would afford him the best 
chance of concealment. 

This idea was passing through his mind, as, with lossg, 
Btealthy, almost noiseless footsteps, he tc-jk his waj to- 
wards the entrance of the path. 
In a few moments he perceived it before him. 
Impatient to extricate himself from so unpleasant a 
position, he increased his speed. 

But the next moment, while scarcely able to repress a 
cry of vexation, he paused. 
Round the corner came several persons. 
Owing to the darkness, he could only perceive them 
indistinctly, and could not make out who and what they 
were. 

Most probably, however, they formed part of tne de- 
tachment of soldiers who were searching for him. 

"With rather rapid steps they came walking dcwn the 
path, and now Tom found himself iu a 7ory critical posi- 
tion indeed. 

If he remained where he was, or if ho advanced, de- 
tection was quite certain, while, if he retreated and took 
refuge in the conservatory, it was very doubtful whether 
he would remain unfound. 

This last course, however, was the only reasonable one 
that he could adopt, so, with all possible speed consistent 
with the requisite silence, he turned round, ap 1 * retraced 
his steps. 

"If I had only been a moment sooner," ho murmured, 
" or if I had only known that I could not leave this path- 
way, how much better a chance I should have had of 
concealing myself ! Now it seems almost impossible." 

But the remembrance of the perilous position in which 
Dick Turpin stood, and that upon his exertions that night 
no doubt depended the captain's life, made a wonderful 
difference to his actions and to his daring also. 

When he reached the door of the conservatory, he 
knew that speed was the principal thing required • there- 
fore, with marvellous haste, he turned the knob and 
entered. 

The door was furnished with a spring, and so closed of 
itself the moment he passed through it. 

The atmosphere was warm and heavily laden with the 
perfume of a thousand rare and curious flowers, which 
had been brought there at great expense from every 
corner of the world. 

He was much rejoiced to find that the conservatory 
was perfectly silent, and the peculiar stillness in the air 
told him that no human beings were at that moment be- 
neath its roof. 

Almost the first object on which his eyes rested was 
one that offered at least a chance of hiding himself. 

It was a magnificent shrub, or, rather, a dwarf tree, for 
its height was a little under ten feet. 

It was, however, from its tops to its roots one mass of 
long, shining leaves, much resembling blades of grass, 
only many hundred times as large. 

Growing thus from the top, and falling quite down, 
they bore no slight resemblance to a fountain, and tuey 
were so thick and bo close together, and overlapped one 
anCther to such a degree, that Tom felt confident they 
would hictb him from the view of anyone unless the leaves 
were drawn aside. 

There was little time for him to consider >r ue.»u «r he 
should avail himself of this place g. shelter, or whether 
he should seek for some other. 

Already he fancied ho could hear the approach ol F 9 A- 
steps on the gravel-path without,. 

Hastily and yet carefully, so as 'cot to disarrange May- 
thing, and so leave a trace of his presence, Tom pressed 
some of the long leaves apart, and, stepping up oc to the 
huge wooden flower-pot in which the singular tree was 
growing, was in a moment completely k«t to sight. 



He turned rovmd, settling himself into as easy and 
comfortable an attitude as he possibly could, for he knew 
J I how necessary it would be for him to remain quiu 
still and without feeling the inclination to shift his posi- 
tion. 

Scarcely had this been done thac the dec? cl the con- 
servatory was opened. 

Tom's heart beat rapidly and painfully. 

He could scarcely bring himself to think that he \?sut in 
anything liko a secure position. 

If he waj properly searched for he would beyond a 
doubt bo found. 

But hearing that the low murmur of voices followed 
the opening of the door, and that the persons, whoever 
they might be, entered quietly, and not as he anticipated 
the soldiers would, Tom very carefully parted the leaves 
;ust sufficiently to allow him to take **• glimpse of what 
v?as going on outside. .»-• 

His first sensation was that of astonishment, followed 
quickly by delight, succeeded, however, by one of vexa- 
tion. 

The reason for this was that his eyes rested upon the 
form of his Majesty King George II. 

Tom recognised him in a momont, for in happier times 
he had seen him frequently. 

He noticed that the King looked a trifle older, and 
thinnor, and careworn than he did when last he saw him, 
but that was all. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXIV. 

IN WHICH TOM KING OVERHEARS A CONVERSATION BE- 
TWEEN THREE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAI FAM1L5T. 

Well might Tom King be both astonished and delighted 
at the occurrence of such a foituuate incident as this. 

Who would have thought that one of the persons he 
heard approaching was the King himself ? 

What more favourable opportunity than the present 
could he hope for to start forward and place the locket in 
his hand ? 

But his feelings, as we have said, quickly changed to 
vexation, for, walking a little behind the King, or, 
rather, at the side of him, came her Majesty the 
Queen. 

Next came a young-looking man, with by no means a 
prepossessing countenance. 

This was the King's eldest son, Frederick, and conse- 
quently the Prince of Wales. 

Such an occasion as this was not, therefore, what Tom 
wanted. 

He recollected the circumstances under which Dick had 
obtained the locket, and felt sure that the adventure 
would be one that the King would desire the Queen to 
know nothing of. 

Tom was rather surprised to see the Prince of Wales 
thus alono with his parents, for it was well kmwn tbaf 
a coolness, if not absolute enmity, existed between 
them. 

Tom King, however, was not allowed much time for 
making reflections and speculations — he was too much 
engrossed by the events that were taking place before 
him. 

As soon as his Majesty had fairly entered the conser- 
vatory, he turned round, and, in a high, squeaking voice, 
said : 

" Willis, olose the door. You will understand wo all 
wish to be alone — quite private. Go !" 

The distinguished individual called Willis made a low 
obeisance and retired, closing the door of the conserve* 
tory carefully behind him. 

The King and Queen stood close to each other, and the 
Prince of Wales, with his arms folded, a few paces from 
them. 

The Queen was the first to speak. 

Evidently by her manner she had all a mother's affec- 
tion for this her eldest son, and it was also tolerably cer- 
tain that it was not her fault that the feeling of ill-will 
existed. 

" Vow, Frederick," she said, "your father is here and 
„ am here. Good. He has promised to listen to what 
you have to say. Is it not so, George ?" she added. 

" Yes," said the King — "speak on !" 

en, your Majesty," said the Priuco of Wales, "I 
ask that we be once inoro friends It is bad and 



1 "Yes, 
j "Thei 
| ha vo to i 



THE KJUQHT OF THE KOAD 



Uli 



wrong of ali of us, and it is a bad example to set the 
nation." 

"Yea," interjected the 1ueen-~"a very bad example 
indeed i" «4r> 

"Frederick," said the King, sternly, "no one Ku.jws 
better than yourself that this is all your own doing and 
your own bringing on. I cannot close my eyes to the 
practices in which yo«i have indulged — I will never close 
(hem ; therefore, before we can be friends, yoa rutst con- 
sent to change your present mode of lifa" 

"lam willing to obey you in all things reasonable," 
was the reply ; " but I think you go too far — you pry too 
deeply into my concerns." 

"No, no — I do not, Frederick," returned the King, 
with more tenderness of manner and tone than he had 
yet displayed. " But I remember what I was at your 
age, and now I am filled with regret and remorse for 
what I was. I see you treading the same downward, 
ruinous path, and I am anxious to save you the years of 
misery that I have passed." ( ' 

The Prince was silent. 

" You have around you," he continued, "a set of men 
whose names are loathed and execrated by the whole 
nation. While you continue to keep them, so to 6peak, 
as a body-guard around you, we cannot bo friends, nor 
can you win the i*spect and good-will of the English 
nation." 

The Prince was silent for a few moments, and the 
Queen added : 

" Frederick, you hear the words just pronounced — you 
feel as well as I do that they are correct. Now comes the 
moment for you to decide. It is between us and the per- 
sons just alluded to that you have to choose, so which 
shall it be?" ' 

At this moment there was an unusual disturbance just 
outside the conservatory. 

The King uttered an ejaculation, and Tom King al- 
lowed the leaves to fall into their places, which ho had 
held aside in order to watch the proceedings of the 
King. 

He knew very well that the noise proceeded from the 
soldiers who were without, and who were desirous of 
searching in the conservatory for him. 

Loud voices were heard, and then the door was gently 
opened. 

The personage addressed as Willis just intruded Lis 
head. 

" Your Majesty ■ " he began. 

The King interrupted him with a snarling, impatient 
sound. 

" Your Majesty, a detachment of the guard is without 
in search of " 

" Yah — bah ! Shut the door ! Begone ! Did we not 
aay we would not be disturbed ?" 

Thus admonished, Willis closed the door, and Tom 
heard him say : 

" It's all very well for you to tell me that you have 
searched all through the gardens and can find no one, and 
that in consequence the man you are in search of is 
hidden here — I tell you it cannot be so! The King is 
there, and I have been watching ever since ; but if you 
are not satisfied, wait till the King leaves ; you cas? go in 
then and search to your hearts' content." 

Some words wore muttered by way of reply to this, but 
what they were Tom could not catch. 

Turning his attention onco more upon the royal pirty, 
he saw the Prinee of Wales had stepped forward a pace 
or two, and was holding out his hand. 

"Let there be a reconciliation !" he was saying. " My 
own folly I can see now only too plainly. Let us be good 
friends, as we should be, but do not seek to curb me too 
much ; it is not my fault that I am impatient of the least 
control." >/' 

" Lee it be so, Frederick," said the Kin:;, exten^^agr to 
hand — " let it be so, and let us rejoice that on tins occa- 
sion you disobeyed me. When I heard you were in the 
aaloon my anger was great ; now, however, aU has tarned 
out well." 

The Queen was quite overcome with joy at thiw milil 
of the meeting ; it was more — far more — than she had I 
dared to expect. 1 

" Come, George," she said,*' let us return to the saloons , 1 
tho sooner it is known that the misunderstanding between | 
you luil Frederick is cleared up tho better it will be." 



• No — no," said the King — "not this moment— nM 
this moment ! Leave me, both of you — I will follow soon 
— leave me, 1 say; I wish to be alone !" 

The Queen knew her husbari's nature too well io 
attempt to thwart him in any way, and therefore pre- 
pared to ODey without another word. 

The Prince drew her hand beneath his arm, and Uuy 
left the conservatory together. 

Who*, they had gone, the King began to pace up and 
duivn with rapid strides. 

There were signs of great vexation, remorse, and 
anguish on his countenance ; but by what produced, who 
could tell ?" 

Perhaps it wrs this unexpected reconciliation with his 
son that had affected him so deeply, or perhaps it was 
that some momory of the past came back to him, bringing 
with it nothing but misery and sadness. 

So strange was the King's whole manner, and so well 
did his face portray the uneasiness of his mind, that Tom 
could not avoid gazing upon him for some time in 
silence. 

"Well," he thought, "who would believe that that 
miserable, dejected-looking, prematurely old man is the 
King of Eugland ?" 

Rousing himself from these thoughts, however, Tom 
suddenly recollected tho purpose he had to accomplish. 

Chance had favoured him to a degree that he had not 
dared to hope for. 

The King was now alone, and what would bo so easy 
as to step forth and confront him. 

In his present mood, would he not be more likely to 
listen to his application and to be inclined to an act of 
mercy ? 

Surely yes. 

There was only one fear. 

That was, as soon as he caught sight of the intruder he 
would utter such a cry as would have the effect of calling 
his attendant, Willis, into the conservatory, when the 
highwayman's discovery would be inevitable. 

That risk had to bo run, and Tom made up his mind to 
delay no longer, for he could not tell what moment the 
King might take it into his head to leave. 

Such a chance as this once lost would probably never 
be regained. 

Watching his opportunity, then, he slowly and gently 
left his verdant hiding-place. 
The King's back was towards him, 
Concealed by some of the shrubs, Tom waited until b-3 
turned round in his restless walk and came past. 

Then, holding the locket open in his hand, he stepped 
forward. 

" Your Majesty," he said, bowing deeply, and speaking 
in a low, respectful voice — " will your Majesty deigu to 
look at this?" 

The King started, as well he might, at this unexpected 
intrusion. 

His lips parted, as though he was about to give vont 
to that cry, the consequences of which were so much 
feared by Tom. 

But just then his eyes fell upon the open locket, a»d 
immediately a strange and wondrous alteration overspread 
his features. 

He stepped back a pace. 

His lips opened wider, his eyes dilated, and ho pressed 
one hand upon his forehead. 

He made several gasping attempts to speak. 
" What — what," he said, at last, in a hoarse whisper— 
" what — what is it that you hold before me ? Take it 
away —take it away ! Is it real or some delusion ? Have 
I pondered over this event iu my past life until my fancy 
has conjured up this relic ? What — what — what— — " 

" Your Majesty," said Tom, in the same respectful 
voice, " it is no fancy, but reality. I ha re been charged 
to deliver the locket into your hands, and, at tne peril of 
my life, I have done so." 

While he spoke, Tom let the open locket fall icto the 
Kuur'e outstretched hand. 



CHAPTER DCCOLXV. 

TOM UlMtiS STRANGE DJTERVTEW WITH HIS MAJLSTt IX 
THE CONSERVATORY. 

'■, he King closed his hand convulsively, and then, to • 
changed v:ice, said' 



1414 



BixACK 6KiS ; On. 



"Who and what are you? tlow came ^ou by this ? 
Speak quickly- tell me all. Yet st;*y— folnw aa—ih » 
way — this way." 

The King hastily strode towards the furthoi and of tl a 
coaservatory, and Tom wondered greatly cl Sis Bicti n 
for so doing. 

But his wonder soou ceased when ho perceive 1 are y 
pretty rustic-looking seat placed there for the cta.'?- v ui»i 
of visitors. 

On this the King sat, and, resting one of hLs dbown or 
the arm of it, supporting bis head with his hand, hf 
said : 

••Now tell me, and as quiek> cs you COSH. Us* u< 
more word- than you are absolPlc^>" > CompeEed." 

"Your Majesty," Tom began, ''"as you seem to know, 
that locket was sent as a token." 

" Token— token of what? How came it in your 
possession ?" 

Tom reflected a moment j then decided that it would 
be best to let the King know the history cf the locket, rs 
this would be more likely to pshieve his purpose. 

" The lady," he said, " whose portrait is in tbat 
locket " 

Hero the King started violently, and glanced fell around, 
as if he expected some eavesdropper to be near. 

"Hush — hush!" he cried. "Doii't name that — don't 
name that— do not let any such words escape your 
lips." 

His agitation was extreme. 

"I will bo careful, your Majesty. The lady, then, 
found herself in a situation of much difficulty and clanger. 
Your Majesty may perhaps remember a certain letter, on 
the outside of which appears the stain of blood." 

The King started again, snd removed his hand from 
his face. 

Tom was absolutely startled by the expression of 
it 

It was as whito as marble. 

Seeing that the King was struggling to speak, Tom 
remained silent, and at length his Majesty gasped 
forth : 

" Who and what are you, knowing all these things, 
which I believed buried for evor in oblivion ? Speak — 
explain y-r/ursc.:, i say !" 

" I wi!) do so if your Majesty will permit me," replied 
Tom, calmly. " But tho letter of which I speak, and 
which, as you know full well, was highly prized by the 
lady, as it was necessary she should retain it in her pos- 
session—that letter, I say, was stolen from her, and was 
held by a certain nobleman, whose uamo perhaps I need 
not mention, who used it as a means of power over her, 
terrifying her into compliance with all his wishes." 

Tho King groaned. 

"Yes — yes," he said, " I know all that— all that! 
Proceed." 

" Your Majesty, tho lady felt that, at all risks and 
nazards, that letter must bo re-obtained. How to perform 
such a difficult task as this she had not the remotest idea ; 
but at last she thought cf one who, by his daring deeds 
and open defiance of the law, seemed likely to suit her 
purpose. To this man she applied herself, and he under- 
took to obtain the missing document. That undertaking 
be fulfilled — the letter was returned, and he was told to 
name his own reward. He refused, however, to take any- 
thing, but at last the lady forced this locket into his 
hands, telling him to keep it carefully, and when in some 
great peril from which he could not extricate himself by 
other means, he was to send a faithful mesoonger to 
convey this locket and placo it in your Majesty's own 
hand." 

The King remained silent foi 3ome moments after T^*u 
King had ceased speaking. 

It \7&$ evident that he was deeply plunged in thought ; 
out as to the nature of his reflections, Tom King could 
only givo a guess. 

Starting at length from his abstraction, e-9 if only 
suddenly aware that Tom was present, he said : 

"Then this man who obtained tho letter is no» ina 
position of danger ?" 

" He is, your Majesty. At this moment he lies in a 
cell in Newgate, upon a charge affecting his life, anu if 
immediate measures are not taken ho will be executed &t 
Tyburn." 

" Indeed 1" said the King, musingly. " His name ?" 



> " Dick Turpin." 

Tom witched, with some anxiety, to observe the effect 
that the pronunciation of this name would hare upoa his 

lie saw tho King give a slight start of astonishment. 

Then he mechanieallv r..}eated hisnama. 

That wa3 all. 

Looking fiurutinisingly into Tom's countenance, he 
*aid : 

" Bat you have not yet told me who' yen aw. In what 
way are you connected with this mattet? Srrely you 
are no companion or associate of a desperado like Dick 
Turpin? Tour appearand ir.d mode of speech are those 
of a man of education, an \ one accustomed to a higher 
sphere of life. There is son*, hin^ too, \n your counte- 
nance aud in the tones of voir voire that seems familiar. 
Whcroand when have I seen /oa before ?" 

These questions produced a most embarrassing feeling 
upon Tom King. 

How to reply he scarcely knew. 

But he saw tho King was watching him closely, and he 
felt that it would be unwise and dangerous to tampn-i 
with him in any way, for upon his breath hung the 
captain's life. 

" Oircumstances," he said, " have made mo what I am. 
It is scarcely possible, however, that your Majesty can 
have ever seen me before to-night; some accidental resem- 
blance has misled you. Bat, to confess the truth, lam 
Dick Turpin's comrade and bosom friend, and ready at 
any moment to die, if by dying I could save him." 

" You the comrade of a tobbcr — a thief?" 

" Y r our Majesty," replied Tom, " I have said it." 

Little was it guessed how great was the amount of 
humiliation that Tom King felt at this moment. 

Must forcibly was brought back to him the unhappy 
past, and tho events which had conspired to make him 
what he then was. 

Tho topic of conversation was painful, and could 
only become more so by being prolonged. 

To Tom's great relief, the King's eyes happened just 
then to fall upon the locket, which still lay in his 
hand. 

Ho started, as if he haa suddenly recollected the busi- 
ness iu hand. 

"And this Dick Turpin is in Newgate, you say?" he 
resumed, in a different tone of voice. " Oonfouud the 
fellow ! there has been troui le enough to catch him, and 
now that he is safe in custody it seems the favour you 
require from me is a free pardon." 

"That is it," said Tom, "if your Majesty will bo so 
gracious. I leave it to you to decide whether the service 
of wresting that letter from Lord Spindelow is worthy of 
such a boon." 

" It is — it is. But yet — yet I am so hampered and 
fettered by one and another, that I fear I canuot grant 
your request." 

" Your Majesty ?" 

" It is so. I know how strong is fw feeling of the 
ministers against this man — they would do all and every- 
thing to ensure his execution. Were I to interfere, such 
an outcry and bother would be made about it that I should 
know no further peace. No, no — it cannot bo done." 

"And must I take back that answer?" said Tom, ic 
tones of tho deepest disappointment and regret. 

" Yes ; i^d yet I do not ask you to abandon all hope — 
no, no, do not think so badly of mo. I can be grateful, 
although it would not bo prudent for ma to grant a 
pardon; yet, by some other means, 1 may effect his libera- 
tion from Newgate — at any rate, his lif« eh i ;il be 
spared." 

" Oh, your Majesty," said Tom, surprised beyond 
measure at this unexpected relief, "would that I could 
find w )r Is to express my gratitude !" 

"IVeh, well— that v-ilJ do— we will suppose them 
tittered. New go — lea^eme. Kest assured your comrado 
is safe." 

" I humbly taka my leave," said Tom; ''but yet, your 
M.jesty's kindue^ emboldens me to make ono more 
r« ^uest." 

"■Say on.' 

"It is that you furnish mo with some kind of passport 
or watchword, in order that 1 may leave the castle iu 
safety. Your Majesty appears to have overlooked ths 
fact that I have baffled the vigilance of all your officials; 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



1415 



sentinels, and domestics, and havo found you alone. 
Had I been a couspirator and nob so scrupulous as to 
whether I committed the crime of regicide, I should have 
had ample opportunity." 

The King sprang to his feet. 

Alarm was in his breast. 

The very word " conspirator " had brought back to 
his mind all the attempts which had been made to hurl 
him from the throne. 

His dread of the Jacobites was something most 
intense. 

" I only mention these facts," said Tom, " in order 
to show you that it will be necessary for me to have 
some kind of passport when I leave. The soldiers, know- 
ing an intruder is in the castle, have searched in all di- 
rections, and, no doubt, as soon as I leave thi3 con- 
servatory, I shall be pounced on." 

" But suppose," said the King, " that I leave you to 
get away again by your own stratagem ?" 

" Then, your Majesty, I can do no more than try my 
best. You have given me your assurance that my com- 
rade's life is safe. If I should perish in my endeavours 
to escape, I shall not care, because I shall know that I 
have purchased his safety with my life." 

The King could not avoid gazing upon the highway- 
man with admiration. 

Such dovotion as this was rare indeed. 

It made him sigh and wish that he had attached to 
his own person peoplo who would be as staunch and 
true, instead of the hollow-hearted set by whom he was 
surrounded, and whose sole aim wa3 their own 
aggrandisement. 

But events had made the King suspicious. 

He fancied that perhaps this was only bravado on 
Tom's part. 

At any rate, he resolved to put him to the test. 

" You presume too much," he said. " I have already 
granted one request — let that suffice. Be satisfied that, 
you gained an audience of me in spite of all my retinue. 
Now let U3 see whether you will bo equally successful 
in returning." 

"Your Majesty," said Tom, " I take my leave. My 
best thanks are yours for having promised to save my 
comrade's life. As for myself, 1 shall do my best to 
gain my way to liberty. If I fall, it will matter little ; 
existence has but few charms for me, and when I am 
gone there will not be mauy to regret my I033, and even 
by them I shall soon be forgotten." 

While thus speaking, Tom King bowed low, and turn- 
ing quickly round, strode towards the door of the con- 
servatory. 

CHAPTER DCCCLXVI. 

TOM KING ENDEAVOURS TOU3JOIN CLAUDE DUVAL 
AND SIXT&EN-STRING JACK. 

Tom walked on with a steady and unfaltering step, won- 
dering much at the sudden alteration in the King's 
manner. 

It was not until his hand was actually on tho fasten- 
ing of the door of the conservatory that tho King, in a 
sharp, commanding voice, cried : 
"Halt!" 

Tom stopped instantly, and turned round. 
He saw the King standing at tho further end, and 
beckoning him to approach. 

" It was merely to make a trial of you," said the 
King, a3 soon as he neared him. " I can see now that 
you were fully in earnest, and know henceforth that 
the King of England can appreciate bravery and devo- 
tion wherever he may find it— if in tho person of a high- 
wayman. Here, Willis, I say !" 

The door opened immediately in response to tho call, 
and Willis appeared. 

" You will escort this gentleman to tho gates of tho 
castle," said tho King, "and after that return to mo." 
Willis looked surprised, as well ho might, at find- 
ing someone in the conservatory in conversation with 
the King. 

But he was" too well-bred to utter a word. 
Merely bowing, he made a sign to Tom to follow 
him. 

The King in the meanwhile, sank down again upon 
tho little rustic seat in an attitude of great dejection. 



Recollections of tho past came thronging thickly into 
his miud — recollections painful and unpleasant ; but 
yet, strive as he would, he could not banish them. 

With a very different kind of feeling, Tom King fol- 
lowed Willis from the conservatory. 

His heart was elate with hope, and ho stepped briskly 
forward. 

Not only was his own escape from Windsor Castle 
ensured, but ho had tho King's word that the captaiu 
should be liberated. 

Well might he rejoice then, and well might he felicitate 
himself upon the success that had attended him iu his 
efforts. a 

Looking back, he could scarcely believe what had oc- 
curred. 

It seemed impossible that fortune oould have so fa- 
voured him. 

When ata safe distance from the conservatory, Willis 
turned round to wards Tom, and, with preparatory cough, 
said : 

" Excuse me, sir, if I asked by what means you 
gained tho conservatory." 

" Secret service," said Tom King. 
Willis stared. 

" You do not understand me," he said, in a louder 
voice. " How did you gain the conservatory i" 

" Secret service," said Tom, iu the some calm, evon 
tone3 as before. 

Willis stamped his foot impatiently. 
" I insist upon knowing, sir! My vigilance is at 
stake. Will you or will you not answer my question r" 
" I have auswered it." 
" But I say that is no answer." 

" Then," returned Tom, as coolly as ever, " I can give 
you no other, so obey his Majesty's command by show- 
ing me out with the least possible delay." 

Willis bit his lip, and he looked at Tom with a re- 
vengeful scowl. 

There is no doubt that if he had the opportunity h© 
would certainly do him some serious injury. 

In fact, Willis was never satisfied until he had pried 
into every domestic matter of tho King's ; aud in this 
strange, unaccouutable interview he sniffed out eomo 
family secret with tho details of which he wished to 
make himself familiar. 

But in Tom King ho had the wrong person to deal 
with. 
Threats and cajolery would be alike unavailing. 
Of course, Willis was allowed to go wherever he chosa 
unquestioned, and as it was seen that Tom was under 
his immediate guidance and protection, no effort was 
made to stop him. 

Tom, however, was full of impatience once more to 
got beneath the open sky. 

He had not forgotten the perilous position in which 
ho had left his two companions, and he was well aware 
that, in their devotion to himself, they would go to any 
length — run any risk — in order to cover his retreat. 

Therefore it was that he wished to make his way 
round to that particular part of the castle where ho had 
loft them, and to let them know that all wa3 well. 

Whether the two hours had elapsed, or whether a 
longer period had gone by, he could not tell. 
Ho had omittod to take notico of the time. 
To judge by events, his stay in tho castie mast alto- 
gether havo been of considerable duration. 

As ho walked on, Tom rightly conjectured that there 
must be many exits from tho castle, and therefore re- 
quested to bo led out as near as possible to the garden. 
Willis made no reply to this request, however, but 
marched on. 

Somo slight revenge, however, he felt was now within 
his reach. 

Evidontly Tom was unacquainted with the interior of 
the castle, and therefore Willis led him to tho gateway 
furthest from the placo ho wished to reach. 
Just as he passed beneath the portal, ho said : 
" Turn to your left, and walk on. In two 'minutes 
you will bo there." 

Not suspecting any deception, Tom followed those 
directions ; but after walking for a long timo, ho could 
not como iu sight of one of the objects that in his ap- 
proach to the caBtle he had noted down as land- 
marks. 



KLACK 3KS1S, OK, 



There was no iBsonrce, however, but to keep walking 
on and on, trusting to arrive in a short time. 

But his patience was destined to be put to a severe 
trial, and before he had gone much further, he gnogs&i 
the nature of the trick that had been played him. 

But so delighted was he at the success he had m^ w»ta, 
that he was inclined to laugh at any bit of spite of this 
sort, so walked steadily, knowing that if he made a com- 
plete circuit of the castle that be must inevitably come 
to the point he wished to reach. 

His only uneasiness was on behalf si! his eomrjaaions. 

He wondored how they would fare when the time came 
for a change of guard 

Windsor Castle, however, was greater in circumferonco 
than Tom had anticipated ; and owing to occasional 
detours that he was compelled to make, it took him 
upwards of an hour to reach the garden wall. 

Keeping under the shadow of the trees as before, he 
now approached with the utmost caution. 

Sentinels were pacing up and down as before ; and at 
last the front of the identical sentry-box, the top of 
which he had mounted, was reached. 

Near to this he could perceive the figure of a man was 
standing. 

He was clad in soldiers uniform ; but whether it was 
Claude that he beheld, or a veritable sentinel, Tom King 
could not tell, the obscurity was so profound. 

He resolved to wait a little while, and, if possiblo, to 
creep a littlo closer, in order to be able to form a better 
idea. 

He watched the opportunity when the soldier, resuming 
his march, turned the angle of the wall, and wts for » 
few moments, out of sight. 

Anxiously he waited for the sentinel to reappear 

At length he came into sight. 

Shielding his eyes with his hands, Tom looked at him 
earnestly and scrutinisingly ; then, after a moment, shook 
his head, as he muttered : 

" No — no ; it's not Claude, nor Jack either. Where on 
earth can they be ? What has happened during my 
absence ?" 

These wore questions that Tom King could not 
answer. 

But leaving him in doubt, we will revert for a few 
moments to the proceedings of his comrades. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXV1I. 

SHOWS HCW CLAUDE DUVAL AXD SIXTEEN-SYRING JACK 
DISPOSE OF THE SENTINEL. 

No sooner had Tom King leaped over the wall in the 
manner described than Sixteen-String Jack took hold of 
the sentinel us he lay helpless upon th> ground, and 
dragged him towards the sentry-box. 

With some difficulty he succeeded in forcing him into 
it, Claude Duval, in the meanwhile, performing the part 
of sentinel to great perfection. 

It was clear that he had not yet forgotten his military 
training, and it would have required a keen eye indeed to 
detect the imposition. 

Sixteen-String Jack contented himself with hiding in 
the shadow of the sentiy-box. 

Here he believed he should be quite out of siQki ; tod 
also in such a position as to render immediate aid to Tom 
King should he require it. 

And so, without the occurrence of any incident to 
break the dull monotony of his duty Claude Duval paced 
up and down outside the wall, pausing occasionally to 
exchange a few whispered words with his companion. 

The time passed on but slowly, by no means so rapidly 
as with Tom, who was actively engaged during the whole 
time. 

At length a tremendous uproar was Ward, and tney 
could only come to one conclusion respecting it, which 
was that Tom King had been discovered as au intruder 
in the castle, and that close search was being made «U<ar 
him. 

Claude stopped a moment near the sentry-box, and, 
resting on his firearm, said : 

41 Tom is discovered, Jack, depend upon it. Now, then, 
wiat are we to do ?" 

»' Why, nothing that I can 6ee, except to remaL„ ucre 
in readiness to assist him when be appears. Rely upon 
it be will make his way direct to this point, not only from 



I his desire to rejoin us, bat also because the horses are 
I hero.'' 

"I wish I could see over the top of the wall, never- 
theless," said Claude. i9 

"Ee pe-iruaded by me," said Jack, "and don't attempt 
it You would be seen almost to a certainty, while ten 
to one if you could make out what was going on." 

To stay loager was imprudent, so Claude marched off 
again, feeling very uneasy, and yet being all the time on 
the alert. 

Time passed, and Tom did not appear. 
Then suddenly they heard the regular tapping of a 
drum, the same sound that they had heard a short time 
before. 

" The time is up," said Claude, halting again ; " the 
guard is ibout to be changed. Now tt hat on earth shall 
we do ?" 

Jack was puzzled. 

"I am afraid Tom is captured," he &k.I; "and if he 
is, we shall only run our own necks into the noose by 
attempting to rescue him." 

" I suppose so," was the answer ; " and yet that does not 
reconcile one to abandoning him to his fate.* 

" It certainly does not ; but be quick and decide be- 
fore the soldiers appear in sight. It will not do to re- 
main here." 

" That is certain," said Claude, hastily stripping off 
the soldier's coat — " detection would be certain." 

"And it will be now," said Jack, "for the soldiers, 
when they arrive here and find their comrade in this 
condition, will raise au immediate alarm." 

"Let us look at him," said Claude, "and see what 
condition he is in by now." 

He stepped out of the sentry-box and went close up 
to the soldier. 

He was in a peculiarly uncomfortable position. 

Claude shook him. 

But he took no notice. 

" I believe he is insensible," he whispered. " If be 
is, we can manage it." 

" How — how ?" 

"I cannot stay to tell you. Watch my actions — that 
must suffice." 

Quick as thought, Claude dragged the sentinel out of 
the box, and then found his conjecture to be verified. 

The man was indeed insensible. 

His next proceeding was with great rapidity to rid 
him of the ropes by which he was secured, and to take 
the gag out of his mouth. 

As soon as Jack saw what his comrade was about 
he assisted him, and the fragments were thrown over 
the wall. 

Then, with a great deal of difficulty, the sentinel's 
coat was put on, and his musket placed beside him. 

In his pocket Claude carried a small case of brandy. 

This he produced, and poured a quantity of it into 
the man's mouth, who made a convulsive attempt to 
swallow it. 

" That will do," he cried. " Now, Jack, follow me 
with all speed. When they come, ten to one if the 
guard don't take him to be dead drunk." 

As noiselessly as shadows the highwaymen departed 
concealing themselves once more in the trees. 

Here they remained to watch what would happen next. 

On came the little troop of soldiers, just as they had 
seen them on the preceding occasion. 

At length they stopped opposite the sentry-box, upon 
whicc the highwaymen's attention was fixed. 

The sentinel, who was now beginning to recover his 
consciousness, was sitting on the ground, with his back 
»gatii3i the sentry-box. 

•' Hullo !" the highwaymen heard a gnifl voice say, and 
which doubtless proceeded from the officer in command 
— " hullo ! what's this ? Why, d — n me if he is not drunk ! 
Wake him up there, will you, some of you ?" 

Th9 soldiers gathered round their companion and 
ebook him violently. 

The odour of the brandy was very powerful, and made 
Itself apparent to all. 

" He is drunk," they cried. " Can't you smell the brandy ! 
Well, tyho would have thought of this ?" 

" There'll be a row about it," said another voice. 
'Silence!" cried the officer. "Got him up and mile 
his a prisoner." 



THE KMIGHT OF THE KOAD. 



1417 




[TOM KING TAKES THE ROYAL LETTER-BAG TO NEWGATE.] 



Not without a great deal of trouble the sentinel was 
got upon his feet. 

His comrades, enjoying the sport, shook him about 
furiously. 

Rough as these mean3 wore, yet the man began to re- 
cover his senses rapidly, and he gazed around him with 
a stupefied, bewildered expression. 

"Aha, my fine fellow," s'lid the officer, '• you will 
pay dearly for this ; it is no joke for one of the King's 
guard to be found dead drunk and asleep at hia post." 

" Dead drunk " ejaculated the sentinel ; " who says 
f'm drunk ?" 

" Why, I do," answered the officer. 

"I will take my oath," said the man, " I have not 
had a drop to drink to-night." 

"You insolent rascal!" waa the answer. "Do you 
mean to call me a liar ? Why, you stink now of brandy 

No. 178— Black Bess. 



to such a degree that it is scarcely possible to come 

ne More U bewildered than ever, the sentinel licked hi* 
lips, and as he did so he tasted the brandy, which, ot 
course, increased his bewilderment considerably. 

All at once, however, the recollection of what nail 
taken place came over biin. .,„_... , _ ,, T 

" I will tell you all," he said-" I will confess all. 1 
am not drunk, but " ■• „«,,,■ 

"Silence!" cried the officer. "If you say anotlui 
word I will make it all the worse for you ! Silence,.! 
say, and don't palter with me any more ! 

" But let me speak— it is most important ! 

" Will you be silent ?" said the officer.^ ftoff, then, 
—attention-right about— quick march ! 

The troop of soldiers marched on, and were quickly 
lost to sight. 



Pptm. Onr Halfpenny. 



1418 



BLACK BfcSS ; OE, 



Pi'~np; the occurrence of this scene, Claude and Jack 
remained profoundly silent, nor did they venture to 
epeak until the sentinel, having commenced his duty of 
pacing 1 up and down, had turned the anglo of the wall. 

'• Now," said Claude, " if Tom will only quickly make 
hir, appearance ali will be well." 

"lie must be quick," was the reply, " for although 
the soldier has been hustled off at present, yet, depend 
upon it, beforo long he will make his story known, and 
then a regular alarm will bo raised." 

" True," was the auswer. " I would give much to 
know how Tom has succeeded in his attempt to obtain 
an audience of the King. I am afraid the chance is 
lost, and that if Diok is liberated it will be by his and 
our own exertions." 



CHAPTER DCCCLXVIII. 

THE HIGHWAYMEN HaVE SOME DOUBTS AS TO THE 
GOOD FAITH OF THE KING. 

" I feau so too," replied Sixteeu-Striug Jack ; " but wo 
will wait hero till daybreak in the hope that Tom will 
return. Eely upon it, if he does come back, he will 
make direct for this point, because his horse is here." 

"Yes, wo will wait," said Claude; "it is not likely 
that we will abandon him." 
And so the time passed on. 

So firmly impressed were both the highwaymen with 
the notion that Tom King would mnke his appearance 
over the wall, that they paid but slight attention to 
any noises they might hear either to the left or right of 
thorn. 

Consequently they were unaware of Tom's approach 
until he was almost upon them. 

" Claude— Jack," he said, in a low tone — "speak- 
where are your" 
" Tom, i3 it you P" 
" Yes, I am here, safe and sound." 
'Biz comrades pressed round him eagerly. 
c: Have you ?v.eieoded r" they asked, with breathloss 
CEsiety — (; have you succeeded ?" 

" I have," said Ten:, v.ith a conscious triumph. " I 
k?,VQ seen the King r.r.d had an interview with him, and 
L.? baa :nveu his word fchftt Dick shall be set at liberty." 
"""Ciaucl? km& Jack bhvtf 'ibeir hata in the air, and in a 
faint whisper, «&;$ 
" Hurrah !" 

But for tb.3 contiguity of the sentinels, the cheer would 
have been a lusty one ; but prudence restrained them. 

" Mount !' : said Claude. " Let us mount and gallop 
back ; such good tiding as these cannot be communi- 
cated too quickly. We had just resigned ourselves to 
despair when you appeared." 

The highwaymen mounted their horses with all speed, 
and turned their faces homeward. 

Tom found ho should get no peace until he had told 
his two companions all that had happened to him after 
his daring jump over the wall. 

They listened with breathless interest, and at last 
Claude said : 

" And that, I suppose, is all we shall ever hear of this 
mysterious locket. What we know suggests a great 
deal more; and yet wo may draw our own conclusions, 
and still be very far from the mark." 

" Nothing more likely," said Tom ; " but yet, after all, 
we may obtain some further intelligence. But, either 
■way, it does not much matter, now that our end is ob- 
tained." 

Taking the same route as beforo, the highwaymen 
galloped at full speed back to the Three Spiders Inn. 

They paused only once on the journey, and yet, in 
spite of all their exertions, it was fairly daybreak before 
the plantation was reached. 

They looked up anxiously at the little window, hoping 
to catch sight of the signal-light. 
But it wa.9 not there. 

Such boing the case, they were afraid to make any 
further movement. 

Chafing with impatience, more than half an hour 
elajsed, and then upon the hard road in front of the inn 
thGy heard the clatter of horses' feet. 

Listening intently, they soon found that some persons 
or other were taking their departure, for the sound grow 
grauuany less and less distinct. 



Shortly afterwards the little door in the stablo waa 
opened, and Tom Davis crossed its threshold. 

The highwaymen advanced towards him instantly. 

" Is all well P" they askod. 

" Yes, all's well now ; but only a few momenta ago 
the officers wero here." 

" What, again ?" 

" Yes, again. I really thought they wore satisfiod ; 
however, on this occasion, as you were all absent, and 
as I knew there was nothing that cofihl betray me, I 
allowed them to search everywhere, and a most rigid 
search it has been. Of course," ho added, "they dis- 
covered nothing." 

" Well, then," said Claude, " I hope this is tho last 
we shall have of those visits. Surely they must have 
some strong suspicion, or thoy would not bo so 
frequently repeated." 

" That's my own fear," returned Tom. " I can't under- 
stand their pertinacity ; but we have only to be cautious, 
and then all will be well." 

Jack shook his head. 

"I don't know that," he said; "they may pounce 
upon us in an uufortunato moment, and then there will 
bo an end to our remaining here." 

" Well, well — we will leave that. Tell me first how 
you have succeeded in your enterprise P" 

" Better than wo expected." 

" Havo you seen the King ?" 

" I have." 

"Then," ejaculated Tom Davis, "I shall never con- 
sider anything impossible again. Had I been asked 
what there was that no one could perform, I should 
have said, obtain an audience of the King." 

" Well, I have done it, and with less difficulty than 
you imagine. Not only that, ho has given his word 
that Dick shall be set free." 

Tom Davis gave a shout, and then I19 exelaimod : 

" I am glad to hear it — hoartily glad to hear it ; for I 
have just received intelligence that has filled me with 
uneasiness." 

" Indeed ? Does it concern Dick ?" 

" It does. But come in ; let us close the stable door, 
and while we are seeing to the horses we can talk it 
over." 

This was done, and as soon as they were fairly beneath 
the roof of the stable, Tom Davis said : 

" The officers brought me word that the authorities, 
fearing some rescue or escape, have determined to push 
things on to the utmost. No time has been lost any- 
where, and, in order that they may make sure of the 
execution taking place without delay, the old warrant 
sent for Dick has been endorsed, and all preparations 
havo been made, so that his execution is fixed to tako 
place at noon to-morrow." 

" No matter," said Tom King — " no matter. If any 
faith is to be placed in tho King's word, Dick will be 
free long before then, and the authorities will bo again 
disappointed." 

" I trust so," said Tom Davis ; " but you must tell me 
some more of the particulars. Do you think there is 
that dependence to be placed on the King's word ? After 
you have gono, is there not the fear that he may be in- 
fluenced by some of his ministers to break his word ?" 

" I trust not," returned Tom King—" I think not; but 
should he be weak enough to be persuaded, his conduct 
will be base in tho oxtreme." 

" There cannot be two opinions about that," returned 
Tom Davis ; " but, then, I have often heard that the 
King is weak and vacillating. How much hotter it 
would have been could you have procured some docu- 
ment from him in confirmation of his promise." 

"It would, truly," replied Tom King ; " but, then. I 
was afraid to push him too far. 1 thought I had been 
extremely successful in obtaining his word." 

" And that ought to bo sufficient," said SixteenString 
Jack, " and don't let us meet trouble half-way." 

"lam the last to do that," returned Davis, "only 
wo ought not to lose Bight of any consideration." 

" You are right," said Tom King ; " but let ua go in 
now. Above all, attend to this— let no word of doubt 
reach Maud's ears." j 

" Certainly not— it would be unwise and cruel to a 
degree." 
With these words, the horses having been made com- 



THE KVIfUIT OF TOE ROAD. 



rbriable, the three highwaymen followed Tom Davis into 
the inn. 

They found Maud pale and tearful, anxiously watching 
and wishing for their return. 

She sprang forward as soou as they crossed the 
threshold, and in imploring accents said: 

"Toll me — oh, tell me the result of your efforts! Toll 
it me in a word. Do not l;cep me longer in suspense — it 
I as half killed me already." 

"I will not,"' said Tom, cheerfully. l \I have seen the 
King — the locket has had its expected etfect, and ho has 
given me his promise that Dick shall be liberated without 
dehiy." 

With an hysterical cry, Maud burst into tears. 

That intelligence was indeed a relief to her overfraught 
hea rt 

Those tears, however, quickly passed away, and, turn- 
ing a smiling countenance towards Tom King, she said: 

" When — oh. when may we expect him ?" 

"Soon, I should think — very soon. The King no 
doubt would despatch a messenger at once, and Dick 
would bo set free on his arrival. Surely wo may expect 
Jo see him some timo between this and nightfall.'' 

This was encouraging indeed, and Maud, having 
learned all the particulars, hastened to the front of the 
inn, and took up her position at a window which com- 
manded the best view of the lane. 

Here she remained during the whole of the day, re- 
fusing to move. 

This act of hers enabled the highwaymen and Tom 
Davis to speak freely ou the subject that was uppermost 
in their minds. 

And, as the day slowly wore on, it was strange to see 
how much the doubt3 felt by all increased. 

"If the time was not so fearfully short," said Claude 
Duval, " it would not so ruu& matter ; but really, if any- 
thing should go wrong, it leaves us uo chance whatever 
to use our own exertions. Are you sure, Davis," he 
asked, for about the twentieth time, " that the execution 
is appointed for to-morrow ?" 

"Perfectly certain," was the answer. "I have the 
best authority for the statement." 

" Well, comradcB," cried Sixteeu-String Jack, " with 
your permission, I will tell you what wo will do." 

"What?" 

"Remain here until nightfall; then, if Di?k does not 
make his appearance, wo will mount our ^or&ea and ride 
towards Londnf.. u uouii2 he be returning, wo shall meet 
mm ; and should we ascertain that no messenger has been 
sent, we will try what we can do ourselves." 

After some discussion, this course of action was re- 
solved upon. 

Never, perhaps, had ft day gone by so tediously as 
that. 

They all sat watching the little Dutch clock in the inn 
kitchen, as its hands moved slowly round the dial- 
plate. 

It would have been better could they have slept ; but 
in the excited condition of their minds slumber was im- 
possible. 

When it was getting towards sunset, they, all anslous 
to be doing something, rose from their seats and made 
their way to the stables. 

Hero they occupied themselves in attondiug to their 
horses, and just as twilight was deepening into night 
they put on the saddles and bridles. 

Up to that moment, nothing whatever had been seen 
cr heard of D:ck, and therefore they might justl* feel 
afraid that things were not going right. 

"lean wait no longer," said Tom King. " Coruo on, 
comrades. We will ride slowly towards London, and I 
hope before wo hav" «uno far we shall be lucky enough 
to meet him." 

" Most heartily do a ecno that wish-/' said Tom Davis. 
"Take my advice, and be prepared at ell points. Now 
that you are aoout to depart, I don't hesitate to say that 
from "the first I had but slight faith in the King's word, 
and now 1 '-iglit go the length of telling you that I feel 
none at all. in a moment and under the circumstances 
you describe, he may have given you the promise, but 
after-nil ction has caused him to alter his mind. It is 
...;* humble opinion that if Dick Turpin is to be liberated 
from Newgate to-uigUt, it will be by your exertions, and 
$ pure oniy." 



" Well, we shall see,' raid Tom King. "Come on, 
comrades. Wlien onco '7S are in motion we shall do 
away with the dreadful nsuSKtion of suspense that *r3 
have been suffering so long Cv'U? -32 — come OS:" 



CH AFTER DCCCLXIX. 

ra.V.TSS {SOW PICK TURPIN PASSKD T1IK PAT FRKVI0U8 
I'D 1IIK (SE APPOINTED FOH 1IIS IiXliCUTIOX. 

Tiiere was oi .e to whom the minutes of that day lagged 
quite as slowly as to Tom Davis and the highwaymen, 
and that one, as may bo guessed, was no other than Dick 
Turpin, in his comfortless cell in Newgate. 

The tempting breakfast that had been brought him by 
the friendly jailer he left untouch xl ; and when, shortly 
afterwards, the jailer came iu, he exclaimed: 

"Why, captain, you have had nothing at all. This 
looks Lad. If ow is it ?" 

"I am sick at heart," said Turpin — "I am toil of un- 
easiness and suspense. Can you not contrive to leave 
the prison soon, and slip off to Drury Lane ? Ten to one 
you will learn something there that will give me ease." 

"I will try my very best, captain — rest assured of that. 
I hope things are all going right with you, because " 

"Because what?" 

"Why, I don't like to say it; but yet perhaps I had 
better tell you that they are making every preparation tor 
turning you off to-morrow." 

" Are they indeed ?" 

" Yes, they are, and it's talked of in the prison as a 
thing of course, for, having given your word not r-j make 
the attempt to escape, they feel certain that yju must 
perish." 

" Well, wo shall see," said Dick, whose spirits were by 
no means raised by this intelligence — "wo shall see 
shortly. Iu the meantime, go to Drury Lane. I shall 
knew better how to act when you return." 

" I will, captain; but though I am a bit of a favourite 
with the Governor, yet I cannot do exactly as I like. No 
doubt 1 sh;dl slip off soon." 

With these words, the jailer left, and Dick was enca 
more in solitude. 

lie tried to keep himself cairn- 

But vainly. He would -"ot have been human had he 
not felt tne great peril of his situation. 

His life, it might bo said, hung merely upon a thread. 

Had the day of his execution been appointed for that 
day week instead of the morrow, lie would have felt per- 
fectly ind-ifferent, because if the King did not aid him ho 
would then have a chance of using liis own powers and 
profiting by the assistance of his comrades. 

While at the height of his suspense, he heard the mut- 
tering of voices outside his cell. 

Then the fastenings wero withdrawn, and the door 
flung open upon its hinges. 

Dick started forward with impatient anxiousness, for 
he fully expected it was the friendly jailer who had re- 
turned with welcome intelligence. 

What was his disappointment, then, to perceive that it 
was a total stranger — a slim little man, wearing spectacles 
and a very dirty peruke ? 

To his intense astonishment, this man, with extended 
hand, ran forward and cried : 

" My dear sir, this is really a pleasure — I am rejoiced 
to see you ! Preserve that expression — pray preserve 
that expression, a-ud it will be first-rate." 

Dick instinctively shrank back from the stranger's ad- 
vances, aud put up his arm in a defensive attitude, as if 
to shield himself from tho attack of a foe. 

What on earth the dirty, untidy little man could mcau 
he could not tell. 

Casting his eyes towards tho aoor, he saw that one of 
the men on guard outside had thrust iu something square, 
carr fully wrapped up in paper. 

Along with it came a small oblong box, and what ap- 
peared 19 ce three pieces of wood strapped together. 

H j was still in the dark as to the stranger's intentions. 

Ljt he was not long suffered to be so. 

'• My dear sir," ho said again, "just look here. Wait 
a moment. It is a pleasure, I am sure — a very great- 
pleasure. There !" 

With nervous haste he picked up the three pieees of 
wood, unstrapped them, and placed them on the door in a 



1120 

tt' angular 8ition, 
p • uter's easel. 



BTjlCK BESS ; OB. 



and then Dick saw before him a 



Hut before he could make any remark or recover from 
th<. state of surprise into which he had been thrown the 
stranger hastily stripped off the paper from the square 
parcel, and disclosed a piece of canvas sfi etched en a 
frame, all ready for painting upon. 

This he placed upon the easel, and with the game ra- 
pidity of movement opened the box, and took tiiKawfroin 
a palette and some brushes. 

" There, my dear sir, that's it— that's it ! Only a few 
moments in that position, and I shall be done. I am 
wonderfully rapid, I assure you — not an R.A. as yet but 
soon to be, I hope. There — there !" 

While he spoke, the painter — for such ho evidently 
was — made many flourishes with his brushes, but before 
he could make many lines Dick stepped forward. 

" Excuse me, sir," he said, " if 1 inquire the meaning 
of this extraordinary intrusion. If I have not asked this 
before, it is simply because I have Deen taken so utterly 
by surprise." 

" Intrusion ?" redd the painter. " Oh, no intn.-sion, I 
assure you ! Return to your former attitude — let nie 
entreat you to return to it, and remain so ; then, in the 
meanwhile, I will give you every information you wish." 
"No," said Dick. "I wish to know distinctly, first of 
all, what it is that you intend to do." 

" Why, my good sir, to immortalise you. I am going 
to paint your portrait." 

" Indeed ! At whose wish ?" 

" My own — my own, sir — my own entirely. The idea 
6truck me, and then I said to myself, ' Septimus Gibbon, 
your fortune is made.' " 

11 But keep to the point," said Dick. "Believe me, I 
am not in the humour l>day for a long conversation.'' 

" I am at the point now, my dear sir — I have just 
reached it. I thought to myself, I would paint your 
portrait. By that means, I should not only immortalise 
you but achieve never-ending fame myself. That's my 
Idea. So I went to my uncle, the sheriff, and he, with 
his usual kindness, gave me permission to enter your 
cell. So here I am, you see, and all you have to do is to 
stand for half an hour or so, and everything will be 
done." 

"But stop a moment," said Dick. "It seems to me 
that you have made one little omission." 

"An omission? And pray, my dear sir, what may 
that be ?" 

"Why, this: You have asked leave' of the sheriff, but 
you have forgotten to ask leave of me." 

" Oh, a needless piece of ceremony altogether," said 
the painter ; " but if you wish it, I will be quite formal." 
"No, no," said Dick. "In a word, understand me 
that I firmly and most positively refuse to give my con- 
sent. You shall not paint my portrait." 
" But, my dear sir, reflect." 

" I have reflected already. Begone ! Trouble Jie no 
more !" 

The painter looked rather abashed, and then a bright 
thought struck hi™. 

Getting one of his brushes ready prepared, and stand- 
ing close to his easel, he said, with a slowness of utter- 
ance that contrasted remarkably with his former glibness 
of speech: 

"My dear sir, I am exceedingly sorry that I should 
have offended you. I never dreamt for a moment but 
that you would willingly give your consent to my point- 
ing your portrait. However, I find you have an objection, 
and therefore, when I have tendered you my sincere 
apologies for the intrusioD I trust you will accept them, 
and I will depart." ^ 

While slowly speamng these words, the painter 
plance-d continually from Dick to his canvas, and worked 
busily with the brush. 

Dick guessed what he was about, and just as ho b"d 
fiuished his speech, stepped forward. 

Mr. Septimus Gibbon, as he called himself, endeavoured 
to cover over what he had been doing with his palette. 

But Dick knocked .it impatiently aside with so much 
impatience, that it slipped from the painter's hand, and 
falling to the floor of the cell, was broken into a thousand 
pieces. 

" Why, you deceitful rascal," said Dick, the moment 
his eye fell upon the canvas ; " while pretending to talk 



to me as you did, and to offer your apologies, you have 
actually drawn the outlines of my face ! You could 
have walked off, and would have finished the portrait at 
-*mr leisure. What do you mean by it ? " 

" My dear sir," stammered the painter, " I— I—— " 
" 1 suppose you thought I should not w»e it ?" said 
Dick, fiercely, and seizing hold of the canvas while he 
s^oke. 

" Now, my dear sir, don't — pray don't touch it ! Let 
me entreat you not to touch it !" 

But paying no attention whatever to his words, Dick 
lifted the frame from the easel, and commenced an imme- 
diate attack with it upon the painter. 

He banged him most lustily over the head with it, 
until, at length, after one blow stronger than the rest, the 
canrn gave way, and the painter's head passed thsough 
it. 

The effect was, that he stood with rather a ridiculous- 
looking collar round his neck. 

His cries, however, had reached the ears of the turn- 
keys outside, and they had hastily thrown open the door. 
When they saw what had occurred, however, they could 
not forbear from laughing. 

'■ There," said Dick, " be off — be off, will you, at once ! 
You will find this rather harder than the rest, so 1 
advise you to begone !" 

He seized hold of the easel as he spoke, and the 
painter, fearing a blow with it, made a rush to the door 
of the cell, pulling frantically at the frame round his 
neck, and endeavouring to free himself of his disagreeable 
encumbrance. 

But his alarm and excitement prevented him from 
doing the very thing that he wished, so he tugged and 
tugged in vain. 

Dick was just then in the humour to be angry with 
anybody or anything, and it was rather a relief to him 
than otherwise that tho painter should have made his 
disappearance just then. 

After his departure, ho flung all his apparatus out into 
the corridor, and, addressing the turnkeys, said : 

"Where is the Governor? Send for him; I want to 
see him at once !" 

The turnkeys winked their eyes at each other. 
It was a rare joke for a prisoner to demand an inter- 
view with the Governor of the prison. 

" Do you hear what I say ?" roared Turpin. 
"Yes, we hears, captain," was the reply; "only we 
are afraid he will not come." 

" WelL then," said Dick, " just tell him from me that if 
I have another intrusion of this kind I shall consider the 
compact between us at an end." 

The turnkeys promised obedience, and withdrew, care- 
fully fastening the door after them. 

"Confound his impudence!" said Dick, still fuming. 
" I wish I had hit him a little harder, that's all !" 

It was something, nevertheless, to be diverted from the 
contemplation of his position ; and by the time he had 
succeeded in regaining his usual calmness the door was 
again opened, and the friendly jailer appeared. 

Before he spoke, Dick could tell by the expression of 
his countenance that he had nothing particular to com- 
municate. 

" Well," he said, in a whisper, as soon as it was pru- 
dent to address him, " have you been ?" 
" I have, captain." 
" And what is the result ?" 
" I have seen old Matthew." 
"Well?" 

" But he knows notning. Since Davis took his depar- 
ture yesterday, he has not seen or heard anything of him 
or his companions." 

" That is strange," said Dick — " very strange ; but 
perhaps he will hear shortly. When the day is further 
advanced, go again." 

" All right, captaim. And, now. what would you like 
for dinner?" 

" Don't trouble me about dinner. I am in no humour 
to 'touch a mouthful." 

" Well, captain, you may be right, but I don't think 
you are. You ought to make the best you can of matters, 
and eat heartily while you have the chance." 

"But who could eat in auch a place as this?" 6aid 
Dick, glancing around him. " No, no ; my appetite ha* 
gone, and I loathe the very sight of food." 



THE KXIGIIT OF THE ROAD 



" It is had, captain," said the jailer, shaking his head 
— " very bad. I hope you will soon be better. You want 
some intelligence of your friends, and if it is to be pro- 
cured, I will obtain it." 

" I know you will," said Dick, shaking him by Hha 
band. " I 6hall always be deeply indebted to you." 

" No, no ; quite the reverse." 

"But I say yes." 

A few more unimportant words were exchangosl, and 
then the jailer again left, promising to pay another visit 
as soon as he should be successful in getting leave of 
absence. 

He had not been absent more than five minutes before 
the door was again opened. 

" Another intrusion !" thourht Dick, tb:3 time growing 
angry in earnest. 

He glanced towards the doorway. 

He saw that it was the Ordinary, who was attired in 
full canonicals, and carried a couple of books under hh 
arm. 

" Unhappy man," ho said, in a whining tone, and with 
his eyes so turned up to the ceiling of the cell that only 
the whites were visible — "unhappy man, I have come to 
pass a few hours with you in meditation and prayer !" 

" Thank you," said Dick. " I am much obliged to you, 
but I prefer to be alone." 

" A hardened sinner," said the Ordinary, with a grin — 
"a hardened 6inner, yet he may be converted to the ways 
of grace." 

" It strikes me," replied Dick, " that I am by no means so 
bad as you imagine ; but I think that a man in my posi- 
tion should, at least, have a few little privileges accorded 
to him, and one of them should be that he should please 
himself whether he remained alone, or whether he was 
intruded upon." 

"Worse and worse!" said the chaplain. "Do you 
know, unhappy man, that in twelve hours from this you 
will be standing on the brink of eternity ?" 

"I do not know it," said Dick, firmly. 

" Well, then, it is my unhappy duty to inform you of 
it In twelve hours, at the most, you will bo no more." 

" It's a mistake," said Dick — " quite a mistake." 

"No, I assure you it is not. Every preparation has 
been made by the officials connected with the prison. 
Your execution is appointed to take place at noon to- 
morrow, and, therefore, I have come to prepare you for 
your approaching inevitable fate." 

"I am much obliged to you for your kindness," replied 
Dick, " but believe me when I say that it is quite un- 
necessary." 

" Unnecessary ?" 

"Yes. Do not misunderstand ne; you are labouring 
under a great mistake. I shall not be executed to- 
morrow, and therefore I stand in no need of your spiritual 
consolation and preparation." 

" It is a vain hope," said the Ordinary — " a vain, delu- 
sive hope, and let me entreat you to cast it from you." 

"It is a hope that will be realised," said Dick, " and 
therefore let me entreat you to grant me the poor favour 
of leaving me by myself for a short time." 

u I will," said the chaplain, " but only for a short time. 
I trust reflection will soon assert its sway — then I will 
return. May your heavt be softened, and may you be 
brought to a proper knowledge of your position !" 

Diok was silent, for he wished the reverend gentleman 
to leave at once. 

He did so. 

The turnkeys opened tee door, and Dick was on^e more 
left alone. 

His uneasiness Lad now reached a fear^u'. cttch* 

He paced restlessly up and down his oeii. 

" Can It be," he muttered to himeeix— u 6*fc t» u that 
everything has gone wrong, and that I am doomed 1 1 last 
to perish ? No, no, I will not think that — not even whea 
the cap is drawn over my face and the noose adj usted 
round my neck ; even then I will not despair, but place 
faith in the exertions of my comrades." 

In spite of this, however, Dick felt that it would bo no 
trifling relief could he but be freed from his present slate 
of suspense. 

He could tell that the day was gradually drawing In 
and that night was approaching. 

Yet he saw nothing of the friendly jailer; in fact, it 
was not until the interior of the coll was quite dark — 



just, indeed, about the same time when the highwaymen 
were setting out from the inn — that the door was once 
again opened, and Dick's eye? ■«*"»•« gladdened by the 
sight of his friend. 

But there was no hope or encouragement to be gleaned 
from the expression of his countenance. 

"You have bad news," said Dick. "Come, speak out 
at once — the sooner it is over the better." 

" Not bad news," said the man, u without you call nw 
news baJ news." 

" Well, speak — do not keep me waiting." 

"Well, captain, I have just come back from Drurj 
Lane. I have seen old Matthew." 

" And what does he say ?" 

" He says but little. He is in a state of great uneasi 
ness. He is afraid something has gone wrong some- 
where, and did not hesitate to say it." 

" He has not seen or heard from Davis ?** 

" Not a word of any kind." 

" How strange !" 

" That is what he says. He calls it very strange — in 
fact, is unable to account for it. Had all gone well, you 
should by this time have been set at liberty." 

" And what is his advice ?" 

" He said he was unable to offer any, except that, if he 
stood in your position, he should trust to no one but him- 
self." 

" He means, endeavour to escape ?" 

"Yes." 

"But how short is the time!" said Dick. "Wh&t 
earthly chance have I ?" 

The jailer shrugged his shoulders. 

" A very poor chance, I am afraid, captain, for I can 
assure you that never since this prison has boon built has 
there been such close and observant guard kept all around 
it. The men are all on the alert, and it would be totally 
impossible for any person to leave Newgate at any point 
unseen. How you are to escape under these circum- 
stances passes my comprehension." 

"Well, well," said Dick, "leave me — I should like to 
be alone, and to think over my position as best I may." 

" Then I will go, captain. Are you sure you want 
nothing?" 

" Nothing whatever." 

With a glance, plainly of pity and regret, the turnkey 
left the cell. 

As soon as he had departed, Dick sank down upon the 
chair, and, clasping his hands over his face, began to 
think. 

" What has gone wrong ?" ho murmured — " what can 
have happened ? flow unfortunate it is that I should be 
left thus in the dark, and Newgate so closely guarded, 
and the time so short! Well, well — at all events, it will 
be perfectly useless for me to attempt an escape. Had I 
the means and the time, it would be equally useless, for 
now I have heard how Newgate is watched, from such 
good authority, I cannot doubt it, nor could I hope to 
leave it unperceived." 

He was silent, giving up himself to gloomy thought. 

His mind was principally occupied in thinking of 
Maud. 

It was by no means difficult for him to picture her 
friendless and forlorn situation, and the reflection that he 
had been the means of bringing her into it by no mean? 
increased his cheerfulness. 

Then, with a slow and solemn note, he heard the clock 
of St. Paul's Cathedral give forth the hour of ten. 

How fearfully close the time appointed for his exocution 
seemed to be. < 

To one thing, however, ho had quite made up his mind, 
which was that it was impossible for him to escape, there- 
fore he made no effort, but continued to sit in the same 
attitude upon the chair. 

Eleven o'clock sounded, and found him still in the same 
positio u 

Any me gazing upon him would have found somo diffi- 
culty iu saying for certain whether he was sleeping or 
■waking- -to all appearances, however, he was completely 
blind and deaf to all that was going on around him. 

He did not even raise his head when th« cloc!? 
struck. 

Another hour passed. 

Then midnight came. 

The twelve strokes were given forth by all the various 



H22 



BIACK BESS ; OB, 



chnrchea around, the stillness beiDg so great that distant 
ones were plainly audible. 

In every variety of intonation was the hour proclaimed, 
and when the strokes had died away, the sound wr.s suc- 
ceeded by another loss audible and of a far different cha- 
racter. 

It required a momentary attention before ousmould de- 
cide upon the nature of this sound. 

It was that low, hearse murmur something J>&o the 
Bound produced by the waves, and which is ever the 
accompaniment of a large mass of people. 

That hoarse murmur, then, came from the dense throng 
of people outside Newgate — from those who, with extra- 
ordinary patience, had taken up their positions in the Old 
Bailey, in order, by waiting there, to be the first to catch 
a glimpse of the doomed man when the folding doors wera 
unclosed. 

A drizzling rain began to fall from a dark, overhanging 
Bky — a rain that threatened to become more violent ere 
long, and which showed every indication of continuing 
without intermission for many hours. 

But tho steadiest downpour woiild not have had the 
effect of dispersing those who had congregated with- 
out. 

Suddenly the sound of a footstep breaks tho deep 
silence which reigns through the prison of Newgate. 

More and more distinct it becomes, until at length it 
pauses before the door of Dick Turpin's cell. 

A bright ray of light comes streaming through tho huge 
keyhole, and falls upon the prisoner . 

But he heeds it not. 

Some words were hurriedly exchanged, followed by re- 
treating footsteps. 

Then the door of the cell was flung open. 

A brilliant light seemed at once to be shed all over it, 
yet this was only by contrast with the previous darkness, 
for the illumination proceeded only from a lantern. 

" Asleep !" said a voice. " Can it be possible ? Would 
a man sleep thus on tho night before his execution? 
T orpin — Turpin, awake!" 

These words entered Dick's ears, and penetrated to his 
understanding. 

With a sudden start, ho looked up, and tLon ho saw 
Mr. Bradbur-y, the Governor of the prison. Mantling 
before him. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXX. 

THE DETERMINATION OF THE HIGHWAYMEN TURNS OCT 
TO 1JE A MOST FORTUNATE ONE. 

In order to explain what follows, it is necessary to go 
back to the proceedings of Dick Turpin's comrades. 

According to their stated intention, they quitted the 
Three Spiders, and made their way by the most direct 
route to the London lload. 

There was no small amount of danger in so doine;, but 
they reasonably concluded that, Dick being still in New- 
gate, the principal force of tho police would be collected 
round that point. 

At any rate, danger or not, that was the road they de- 
termined upon. 

Tho very daring of the proceeding was likely to bring 
with it a certain amount of success. 

"We cannot do much better," said Tom King, "than 
journey on to old Matthew's. Of all other men, he is 
tho most likely to givo us informative respecting 'ho cap- 
taiu." 

"Yes, decidedly so," said Sixteen- String Jack; "and 
he is the man best calculated to help us in our present 
emergency. He is fertile in all expedients, and may per- 
haps give us advice well worthy of being followed." 

"Not a doubt of it," joined in Claudo Duval. "Come 
on, comrades — mend your pace a little I It is tiding *° 
one's patience to creep along like this !" 

At a brisk trot the highwaymen now tooif thcTr way 
along the hard, well-beaten road, nor did ti ay pause or 
Epcak until the sharp clatter of a horse's hoofs npoa the 
road behind them reached their ears. 

" Hark !" said Tom, gently drawing in tho reu, - some 
one is co:nirig after us at full gallop. Who on earth can 
it be?" 

" Some chanco traveller perhaps," said Claude. " Push 
on — never mind l" I 



"But he will enevitably overtake us ere long,* said 
Tom. "Let us pull up and draw to one side." 

"No adventure, Tom," said Sixteen-String Jack — "nr 
adventure ! We have enough already on hand." 

" I know that," w*3 the answer. " Yet it will be bettei 
to allow this man, vrb ?ever he may be to pass, then w« 
can follow on as wo phase." 

"Well, just as you like," said Claude.* "You have 
command of tho expedition to-night, and you can do just 
as yor like, provided that you don't embroil yourself in 
any other adventure." 

" Don't fear that," said Tom King. " Look — yonder in 
a narrow lane. Let us go dowfc -hat a little way ; wo 
shall then be unseen." 

"But let us take a glance as he pas.K* by, whoever he 
neay be," said Jack. 

" Oh, yes, certainly — I fully intended it." 

Just on the left hand was a narrow lane, on both sides 
of which trees wero growing very thickly, so that a deep 
shadow was cast all round about tho spot. 

Just at the mouth of this lane — if wo may so call it— 
the highwaymen placed themselves in a line. 

They knew they could depend upon their horses re- 
maining xnotionless, and from their present position they 
would have no difficulty in glancing at the approaching 
traveller. 

On ho came, his speed accelerated, if anything. 

It was a horse of rare quality, as the rate he was going 
at fully proved. 

" He is no ordinary rider," said Tom King, " rest as- 
sured of that." 

Scarcely had ho spoken the words than tho traveller, 
with a rush like an arrow, sped past the top of the lane, 
and was instantaneously lost to sight. 

"One would think he was riding for his life," said 
Tom. " Howover, he is past, so wo will jog on quietly 
behind him." 

Just then the silence of the night was broken in upon 
by another sound. 

TMo was the loud report of a firearm of some descrip- 
tion, and scarcely had the report ceased before it was fol- 
lowed by another. 

Then our friends fancied they heard a cry of pain. 

" By Jove," said Tom, " he has stopped !" 

He alluded to the traveller. 

The next moment, however, the sound of a horse's hocfa 
could be heard as distinctly as ever. 

" No, no," murmured his companions. 

"But he is coming back now," said Tom. "What on 
earth is the meaning of this ?" 

There could be no doubt as to tho truth of what Tom 
said. 

The traveller was evidently galloping back at the same 
tremendous rate. 

Tom King pressed forward a little nearer to the high- 
road, and this time caught sight of him. 

The clouds, which up to then had covered the sky 
completely, parted in one spot, or, rather, the moon hap- 
pened to shine through a portion of the clouds less dense 
than tho remainder. 

By tho dim light thus shed upon tho earth, Tom per- 
ceived, to his astonishment, that the traveller was seated 
in a most peculiar position on his stcfrh 

His head was bent over towards the horse's neck, and 
his arms seemed to hang helpless by his sides. 

Then, scarcely able to restrain a cry, Tom perceived 
him sway backward and forwards in such a manner as to 
place him in imminent danger of losing his balance. 

Another roll to one side, and then, with a crash, tho 
traveller fell into the roadway. 

His foot was entangled 'n the stirrup, and the frightened 
horse galloped ou 

Only for a few puces, however. 

The gallant creature, with tho rare instinct of its race, 
knowing that something was amiss with its rider, stood 
stone still. 

Amazed at this occurrence, To;-n was about to hasten 
to the stranger's assistance, when he heard another horso- 
man approaching, so, acting upon the impulse of the 
moment, ho stood still, and waited for him to approach. 

This second horseman came en more carefivlly than Vh« 
first, yet tho speed ho made was very great. 

All at once, however, he appeared to catch sight of the 
prostrate form in the roadway and the horse standing 



THE KNIGHT OF Till 



im 



near if, for he uttered a faint cry. and slackened the pace 
«f his own steed. . * 

Less than a minute sufficed for him to reach the spot 
Where the lirst traveller lay. 

In a moment ho flung himself from the saddte almost 
before his horse had stopped. 

From his pocket ho produced a lantern, sui i?fcisi\;# 
back tho slide, turned the rays full upon iha Ifesa vl las 
fallen man. w 

"Right," he said— "I am right." 

lie stooped down as if about to pick up sci2*tting. 

At this moment tho prostrate stranger groaned 

Seeing this, Tom soasiuered ho had reinainod a passive 
spectator long enough. 

Dismounting with ease and rapidity from his stood, he 
ran on tiptoe towards the spot where these events were 
taking place. 

The second traveller was stooping down over tho first, 
so Tom had him decidedly at an advantages. 

With a powerful grasp, ho seized him by the back of 
tho neck. 

With a yell of fear, this man raised himself, and en- 
deavoured to twist his head round bo as to obtain a view 
of his assailant. 

In vain, however. 

In his sudden fright he let go the lantern, but luckily 
it chanced to fall in an almost upright position. 

Some of the rays fell upon the dress of tho first tra- 
veller, and no sooner did ho perceive it, than Tom King 
uttered an ejaculation. 

"A messenger," ho cried — "a royal messenger! I 
know tho livery well." 

These words reached tho ears of his two friends, aa 
he fully intended they should, and they both hastened to- 
wards him. 

"Yes," said Sixteen-String Jack, as soon as he arrived, 
" it's a King's messenger, sure enough. And look — what's 
this?" 

lie picked up the lantern, and turned its rays upon the 
second traveller, who held in his hand3 a little leathern 
bag, attached to which was a strap so that it could be 
slung across his shoulders. 

"Why, that's his despatch," said Tom. " Seize it this 
moment !" 

Tho second traveller resisted, holding tightly to the 
Strap. 

But Claude, with ready thought, drew his sword and 
severed it. 

Finding himself thus foiled, tho stranger, with a sudden 
cry of rage, mado a tiemeudous effort to release himself 
from Tom's detaining grasp. 

Luckily for him, it happened that our friend was iiot 
quiio so vigilant as ha should have been, his attention 
was being too much given to the proceedings of his com- 
rades. 

Tho consequence was that tho effort was success- 
ful. 

No sooner, however, did he break from his hold, than 
Tom drew forth a pistol. 

"Ilold!" he cried — "stop this moment, or I lire ! 
Stop, I say.' The consequences of refusal will be oa 
your own head !" 

But the flying man paid no av l °r.&n to these words, 
and Tom, hastily levelling his pisioi iit the rapidly-re- 
treating figure, pulled the trigger. 

There was a loud report, followGj by & screaming ciy, 
then all was still, 

If there had been any doubt as to tho identity of the 
wounded man, it would have been set ai rest by a glance 
at the leather bag Claudo had obtained. 

On one side it was mounted with tho royal arms in 
s'.lver, and over tho lock an tho other side were tho same 
figures, only smaller. 

Our friends looked at each other in bewildered su: r^I.s?, 
as well they might, for so suddenly had all this occurred 
that they were searculv able to como to any conclusion rc- 
epeeting it. q, 

That tho King's messenger had been shot aown by the 
6econd traveller, who had been waiting in ambush for 
him, seemed pretty evident, and that ha wa3 anxious to 
obtain possession of tho leather bag was equally clear — 
that, iu fact, constituted the motive for the crime. 

Whether the messenger was dead or only wouaded 
our friends at present knew not. 



Asking for the lauti ni, however. Tom King stccrx-a 
down in the endeavour to ascertain. 

The roadway all around v>is dyed Willi biood. which 
poured at an alarming rate from two wounds in the fr.es> 
sender's breast. 

Tom King turned up the messenger's coat in such a 
wanner as to cover tkum, and pressed his hand upon 
it. 

By this means thfl flow of blood was temporarily 
checked. 

"Speak," he said- -"speak if you have tho power. 
The man who shot you down is baffled, tho letter-bag is 
safe. Have you any request to make ?" 

The man struggled painfully to speak. 

He fought wildly with his hands, plucking at his throat 
as though there was some obstruction there impeding 
speech. 

At last,iu scarcely articulate accents, he pronounced tha 
words : 

" Newgate — Newgate — New " 

He stopped. 

A gush of blood issued from his lips, and with a con 
vulsive shuddering of the limbs ho fell back dead. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXI. 

Tire THREE HIGHWAYMEN WITNESS ANOTHER STRAHGE 
SIGHT OS THEIR WAY TO LONDON 

When the first shock of horror and surprise was over, 
Tom King bent down over tho body oi tho unfortunato 
messenger. 

His object was to ascertain whether hfe was yet ex- 
tinct. 

He hoped that there might bo some flut tarings of 
existence that might be temporarily increased in strength. 

The man had said too little. 

It was necessary that many questions should be an- 
swered before the minds of tho highwaymen could bo 
completely set at rest. 

One glance at the fallen jaw and the filmy eyes assured 
Tom that this hope was over. 

The immortal essenco had for ever gone. 

" Ho is dead, comrades," ho said, as he resumed an erect 
position. " This is a black piece of work, and as yet I 
can sc-*r«*£if comprehend ft." 

'' Kor I," said Claude and Jack. 

There was a pause, for Tom wondered what should bo 
tho next step he 3houid take. 

He asked tho opinion of his comrades upon it. 

"My friends," he said, " what are we to do next? In 
what way shall we act, and what effect do you imagine 
this occurrence may have upon our future plans?" 

"It will require time to think over these things," said 
Claudo, " don't you think so, Jack ?" 

"1 do indeed, and if, Tom, you would be guided by mo, 
and " 

" What is it you advise ?" 

" Why, that without further delay we make tho best oi 
our way to tho White Horse Inn, at tho risk " 

" Never mind the risk." 

" Let us go — let us lay all tho facts before old Matthew, 
and let u» hear what ho has to say respecting theia." 

"I can think of nothing better," said Tom. "But are 
we to leave this poor fellow here ?" 

" No ; and yet I do not see how we can bo of any 
benefit to Mm." 

"No, nor I either, only we may draw him on one side 
out of the way, so that he may escape further injury from 
any chamo passenger." 

'• Yes, yes — by all means we will do thai, and we will 
fusion his horso'closo by, leaving those who find him to 
jKfic-a what construction they please upon tho whoid 
Eastter." 

This suggestion was promptly carried out. 

Despite the repugnance they could not help feeling a; 
Landllng a dead body, the King's messenger was carefully 
raised and placed in a leaning position agv.iust a little 
embankment at one sida of the highway. 

His horse, which had stood perfectly still dumg tna 
whole of tho time, they secured to tho low-lying b-.v^ii 
of a tree, sod so left him. 

Just as they remounted their steeds and wore c.V .a *a 
turn awBy. Tom exclaimed : 



li^i 



BLAUS 3£8B; OR, 



"There's one point which i should like to have set at 
rest." 

•• What is that ?" 

"Why, to what extont my shot was effectual ! won- 
der where the assassin is, and who he can be ?" 

u Itis easy to ride back a little way," said Ctauds; 
"and, precious as time is, I think it will be worth c*»r 
while to do so." 

" So do I," criecb Tom. " Follow db«— • it w.'^ occupy 
scarcely a moment." 

They rode off along the highway in the direction the 
assassin had taken until, having reached the spoi wliere 
they believed Tom's bullet had struck him, they ; aused. 

They still retained the lantern, and by its aid they 
perceived upon the ground a few dark red spots of blood. 

Looking further, they saw that a hole had been forced 
in the hedge, and to one of the sharp, prickly boughs a 
shred of clothing was adhering. 

This shred they took and carefully stowed away. 

Beyond was a large field. 

Thoy looked at each other irresolutely. 

Tom found that his companions were evidently wait- 
ing for him to speak, and so he said : 

" I fancy the rascal is only slightly hurt, aid by this time 
lie may have got to some place of shelter, where he would, 
ten to one, remain and defy all our attempts at discovery. 
Unwillingly, then, I propose that we lsava him to his 
fate." 

" And so do we." 

" Then forward, for, believe me, I am t, tuo full as 
anxious to reach London as you possibly can be your- 
selves." 

Again putting their horses to a sharp trot, they jour- 
neyed in the direction of the metropolis, exchanging but 
few words on the way. 

Tom was wondering where horses could be bestowed 
in safety. 

He had some dim recollection that there was a stable in 
the neighbourhood of Clare Market, the occupier of 
which was in league with old Matthew. 

Vainly, however, did Tom try to remember any further 
particulars, and finally he was compelled to abandon the 
effort in despair. 

Yet in his own mind he decided that they should make 
their way to the White Horse by the back way. 

They would then be less likely to be observed by any 
of the officers. 

So deeply absorbed was Tom by hi'i reflections, tfcst he 
paid no attention whatever to anything around him. 

All at once he was aroused by ejaculations from his 
companions, who with one accord reined in their horses. 

" What is it ?" he asked, folio-wing their example in- 
stinctively — " what's amiss ?" 

"Look there!" said Claude, pointing with his whip. 
" Is it possible you did not notice it?" 

Tom glanced quickly in the direction indicated, and 
then ceased to be surprised at his companions' astonish- 
ment. 

They had now arrived within view of that ill-omened 
spot Tyburn. 

In journeying to London they could not avoid passing 
by it. 

Generally their gaze was half-averted as they passed 
by, and indeed on most occasions the darkness was so in- 
tense that it was more by imagination than actual vision 
that they saw the dismal-looking blackened beams. 

But now Tyburn Tree presented a very different ap- 
pearance. 

It was lighted up by the fierce red glow of a firo, tba 
light of which shone with picturcsqad and rembrandt- 
like effect upon the ancient timber. 

The tree was cleared — that is to say, Bo&p "» its hor- 
rible fruit was dependent from it. 

For some time Tom and his companions remained quite 
still grazing upon this strange spectacle. 

"What does it mean?" asked Tom King as it&X, m & 
subdued voice. " How strange !" 

" Verv," responded Claude ; " but Iamu much 'n the 
dark as you are." 

*■ So am L" added Bixteen-Striug Jack , « but let us 
i*«*p a little closer, and then, in all piobability, we 
•hall ascertain." 

iJ'Jiaout a dissentient word this suggestion was acted 



Allowing their horses to proceed at a walk oniy, *** 
highwaymen gradually drew closer and closer to ta« 
ghastly spot. 

At length they reached a point from which a distinct 
and perfect view could be obtained, and then they at once 
met with the solution to what had looked a short time 
before so incomprehensible. 

Encampwi round Tyburn Troe was a strong detach- 
ment of sofdiers, and for their own comfort they had 
kindled two or three blazing fires. 

The effect indeed was pleasant to behold, for the fire- 
light flickered prettily upon the polished accoutrements 
of the soldiers. 

Their aims were all piled, and the men stood about in 
clusters here and there quite at their ease. 

Outside could be perceived the dark forms of many 
other persons, in all perhaps two hundred. 

" It's clear enough now," said Tom King, as he set his 
horse in motion, " Tom Davis's information was correct. 
To-morrow is appointed for Dick's elocution, and these 
preparations are being made for it." 

" Yes, no doubt." 

" And," continued Tom, " the authorities have evidently 
made up their minds that the law shall take effect. Those 
soldiers have been sent in anticipation of the gathering 
of a large crowd between now and morning. Whenever 
it becomes necessary they will form an impregnable 
square around Tyburn Tree, and so keep the mob from 
pressing too closely upon it." 

'• Yes, yes — that's it. Come on — we'vo seen enough." 

" Wo have," said Sixteen-Striug Jack ; " but if I live, 
the authorities shall be baulked, even though it be at the 
last moment, and in spito of all these extra precautious 
that they have taken." 

" So say I," cried Claude, heartily, " and yet that sight 
yon jar shows that they are terribly in earnest. It won't 
be a trifle that will stop them." 

" True," said Tom King. " But forward now, and let us 
waste no more breath in conversation. I have already 
decided where to go and what to do, so follow me and all 
will be well in that respect." 

His two companions complied without another syllable 

Biding direct into Lincoln's Inn Fields, then a very 
lonely, unfrequented place after nightfall, he turned to 
the right, and the highwaymeu soon found themselves in 
the midst of the narrow insalubrious streets in that 
locality. 

In Vere Street, at the corner of a narrow turning, 
stood a large public-house, and, upon reaching it, Tom 
saw at a glance that there was accommodation for horses. 

Turning up this narrow street, he quickly paused iD 
front of some largo gates, which were closed. 

A ring at the bell brought the ostler forward. 

Tom spoke in quick, authoritative tones. 

" Hero — be quick," he cried, " take charge of these 
three horses. We shall be back soon — perhaps in half an 
hour, or it may be less or more ; but have the horses 
ready, and it will bo something in your pocket." 

Without waiting for any reply to theso orders, the 
highwaymen all alighted from their steeds, and strode ofl 
in the direction of Drury Lane. 

The ostler wa.3 quite surprised at the whole transaction, 
or rather at tho suddenness of it. 

But grumbling something or other, unintelligible to 
anyone but himself, he took hold of the horses by their 
bridles and led them through tho gateway. 

All three of our friends looked after their steeds wist- 
fully. 

Great indeed would have been their satisfaction could 
they have seen them safely housed, and known just 
where to find them. 

Tho attempt at this, however, might prove an additional 
source of danger. 

The ostler, or some other person, might see and recog- 
nise them. 

The distance to White Horse Yard was now insig- 
nificant — a few hundred yards brought the highwaymen 
to the extremity of it. 

On their way, without appearing to do ho, Hiey kept a 
vigilant look-out, but saw nothing whatever of acharactei 
to excite their suspicions. 

Pausing at the little door in the wall that has been s« 
often mentioned, Tom pressed upon the secret spring, 
and waited with anxiety for the result. 



THE KfclGHT OP THE KOAB. 




[THE GOVXnSOS'8 MIDNIGHT OTTEEVXEW WITH DICK TURPIN E» HIS CELL.] 



Beared y a moment elapsed before thoy heard the sound 
of a footstep. 

The door was cautiously opened a little way, and old 
Matthew s form appeared. 

He recognised our friends at a glance. 

"Come in," ho said. " Quick— quick ! The sooner 
the better, or you may be seen ! I have been watchine 
lor you for hours and hours. Come in !" 

Wondering why he had been waiting, for they were 
not conscious of having made any appointment, and 
besides, never dreaming of repairing to the White Horse 
by daylight, the highwaymen obeyed him by stepping as 
rapidly as they could across the threshold. " 

" Why, Matthew," they asked, " what is it ?" 

"Don't speak now. This way. One more minute and 
wo shall be in comfort ; not that there will be any time for 
talk; you must em ploy the next few hours in earnest action " 

3So 17 9.- -Black Bess. 

Ko. Ui) 



" We are quite ready, Matthew," was tho reply. ■» fir t 
first of all, there is an important matter which must ba 
discussed by all of us, and to which I trust you will givo 
your best attention, in order that you may advise us how 
to proceed." 

'• You may depend upon that," replied old Matthew, in 
a tone of seriousness that was indeed unusual with him. 
_" There— there, now we are all right, and need fear nc 
interruption. Say on. I am burning with curiosity t<! 
know what it is you wish to impart." 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXII. 

TOM KINO ANNOUNCES HIS INFLEXIBLE DETERMINATM:: 
TO HIS COMRADES AND OLD MATTHEW. 

While this brief conversation was going on. old Mattbe-ft 
hurried his three visiters across the yard and kilo Urf 

PurcE One ittLFPEXX?. 



L42C 



BrACR. BESS , OR, 



iittie prirato room behind the bar where he had so often 
held conferences with the highwaymen, and where, as we 
know, he had such an elaborate piece of mechanism to 
warn him of the entrance of any police officers o* aus- 
picious person into the house 

"Speak low," he said, as the highvrsymeH seated them- 
selves around the fire, which they were glad to do, for 
the night was chilly — " not a soul knows of your arrival, 
I firmly believe, and, if you are only ordinarily careful, we | 
Bhall settle everything with comfort " 

" But, first of all," said Tom, "satisfy me on a point 
which puzzles me completely." 
" Well, what is it ?" 

" Why, you said you had been waiting for us — what 
made you expect we should arrive ? Tho resolution was 
only made, I might say, at the lasfc moment." 

" Why," said old Matthew, " simply because Dick has 
sent here several times to-day to know whether there was 
any intelligence for him or not. Of course there was none, 
wid that niarle me in momentary expectation of gome of 
you." 

" Then he is still in Newgate ?" 

" \es, he was less than an hour ago, and I daresay is 
now ; and, speaking candidly, there I think he is likely 
to remain, unless you can contripe to get him cut b" main 
force or stratagem." 

" Has there been any communication from tho King ?" 
" None that I have heard of." 

" Then Davis's forebodings are only too true. But 
stay, it will save time if I begin at the beginning aud tell 
you all." 

Old Matthew nodded, as though he fully believed 
this. 

Accordingly, Tom commenced relating to Dick's old 
friend all those events with which the reader has already 
been made acquainted. 

There is no necessity for repeating his brief summary 
of them. 

To tho account of the assassination old Matthew 
listened with tho keenest interest, and asking snany ques- 
tions with the view of eliciting every detail. 

"Now you know all," said Tom, in conc'-usion, " and, 
such being the case, think the whole ove/ and give us 
your advice." 
" I will. But hush ! — wait an instant." 
All this time old Matthew's eyes had been directed to 
one particular part of the wall, the spot indeed that was 
occupied by the supposititious clock. 

As usual, tho clock showed the hour of six, but just as 
Matthew spoke, the hand dropped to the quarter past. 

The highwaymen had all been made familiar with this 
piece of mechanism, and they gazed upon it with mingled 
interest and admiration. 

" Just keep quiet," said old Matthew. " There's some 
one standing at tho bar to drink — I -wonder who it is ? 
Ah ! look there." 
The hand dropped to the half hour. 
An anxious look settled upon all their countenances. 
" Something suspicious," said old Matthew. " This in 
what I feared — I was afraid the coming and going of that 
jailer so frequently would bo noticed. Depend upon it, 
some police officer has seen him, and now they are again 
on the alert. We may have some trouble — not that it 
would matter on any other night than tho present, for I 
could baffle them easily; but now every moment is 
precious indeed." 

So the highwaymen felt, and they remained with their 
eyes fixed upon the dial-plate with an intensity that can 
Bcarcely be imagined. 

Suddenly there was a simultaneous cry of relief. 
The long hand flew back to its original position and 
the clock again showed the hour of six. 

"All right so far," said Matthew, settling LiujseK- more 
comfortably in his chair. " A false alarm, I suppose — 
nothing more." 

" But is tho danger ovc/, „hink you ?" 
''For the present, I can answer most certainly in the 
affirmative, and should anything fresh arise, foar net that 
we should receive timely intimation of it." 

With this assurance, the highwaymen were satisfied, 

and now they remained waiting, with no small amount of 

»nxiety, for old Matthew to communicato his views upon 

the subject laid before him. 

Kaforn ho suuko, he took hold of the tetter-tag, which 



wo need scarcely say, had been carefully taken care cf by 
tho highwaymen. 

Ho turned it over and over several times, looking long- 
ingly at the lock, and making ono or two feeblo attempts 
to open it. 

" If I could only peep insid-3," he said, "then our 
doubts would be at rest — we should know just what to 
do. The royal arms are on it. There's a letter inside 
evidently from the King to the Governor of Newgate , 
the question is, does it concern the captain ? Is it the 
order for his release ?" 

Old Matthew twisted the letter-bag over and over again. 
" That's just the question," said Tom King, leaning 
forward in his "earnestness. " I wish with all my heart 
that we could ascertain that. 1 ' 

" It is impossible, I fear," returned Matthew. " To 
open this bag would be, in my opinion, in the highest 
degree dangerous ; the Governor would know then that 
something was amiss." 

"But what baffles me," 6aid Claude Duval, "isth<a 
assassination of the messenger. By whom could that 
have been perpetrated, and what was the object ? Certainly 
we know so far as this, that it was intended to prevent ^be 
delivery of the letter-bag." 

" That, I fear, will remain an unexplained mystery 
we may conjecture something upon it, and yet be all the 
time far from the truth. The principal thing to me 
appears to be what shall we do with the letter-bag?" 

' : And to mo also," said Tom King. " Let us fix our 
attention upon that." 
There was a long pause. 
It was broken by old Matthew. 

" As it is unwise, if not impossible, to open this bag and 
glean the nature of its contents, the question is, shall we 
deliver it at the prison and wait a short time and ascertain 
the effect produced by it ? If none at all, why, then we 
must make up our minds to some desperate proceed- 
ing." 

*• It seems so," answered Tom. " But I confess my own 
uneasiness increases rather than abates. In such a easo 
the only thing that we could do would be to attempt a 
rescue at Tyburn, and I sadly fear that, however well that 
might bo organised, it would fail ; the authorities have 
been served that trick once, and what wo saw to-night 
proves clearly that they will be prepared at all points for 
resistance." 

An ominous silence followed this speech, from which it 
might be inferred that its truth could not be disputed by 
anyone present. 

Again their attention was distracted by the dial- 
plate. 

Tho hand fell rapidly to the quarter, and from tho 
quarter to the half-hour, as before. 

"Confound it!" said old Matthew, angrily. "There's 
some one lurking about, I am quite sure of it. However, 
keep still, there's no cause for immediate apprehension ; 
perhaps the danger will pass away as before." 

Had he expressed a wish to this effect its fulfilment 
would have been immediate, for even while he spoke the 
clock signalled "all well." 

'' It is best to be over cautious," he said. "I have 
given (strict injunctions, .better p, thousand false alarms 
than to be kept a moment too late" 

"Oh, certainly," said Tom — "most certainly!" Aud 
wlii'-* bespoke he rose to his feet. 

There wxs an air of determination about him which 
all immediately noticed, aud long before he spoke they 
kpew that he had formed a settled resolution. 

•' My mind is made up," he said — " firmly made up. 
Tnat letter-bag shall be delivered, and we will run the 
risk for an hour or two of the effect it produces. Give it 
here, Matthew, I will take it myself." 

" You take it ?" ejaculated Matthew. " .Nonsense — you 
an raid ! I will never suffer such a thing !'' 

;> '. sm in earnest," said Tom, "and nothing in the 
wo; Id shall cause mo to change my decision. Give it to 
me; I shall not be content uutil I know for certain that 
it is delivered safely. And how can 1 be so well 
assured of that as I shall bo u I pace it iu -he Governors 
hands myself ?" 

" But it is outrageous — impossible !" cried old Matthew, 
excitedly. " Even if this bag contains the message we so 
earnestly wish for, you will osiy be thrusting your on* 
neck into the noose."' 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



1427 



"No matter," said Tom, if possible more firmly than 
before — " no matter, my mind is made up ! I will go ! 
Yes, I would not sbrink even though J felt certain tbat 
my instant death followed tho : deli very of the bag. Now 
you know my determinatif , and words and entreaties 
will be alike powerless to t rn me from it." 

A dead silence followed; ne utterance of those wor'k, 
and old Matthew suffered Tom King to take the lettoi- 
bag from his hands, not making a further show of re- 
jistance. 

" This should be done sJone," Tom wentoa; "and if 
I am successful, you will shortly be aware of it." 

At this juncture, however, Claude aud Jack warmly 
iatorposed. 

" No, no, Tom," they said ; " we are willing to gU a in 
to you to almost any extent, but we cannot allow you to 
have things entirely your own way. No, no ; not by 
any means. We have heard your decision ; now hear 
ours. If you persevere in your intention, we will accom- 
pany you on this the most perilous and rash adventure 
wo have yet undertaken." 

"Do it so, then," said Tom, and they could tell by his 
manner that he felt a secret pleasure at this manifesta- 
tion of devotion — " be it so. I would allow no opposi- 
tion myself, therefore I will offer none to you." 

" Then it's settled," said Claude and Jack. " Now, 
Matthew, one glass, and we start. That will just allow 
us tho opportunity to seo that our weapons are in perfect 
order, for we may have to use them ere long." 

" No remonstrances," broke in Tom King, sternly, 
fancying that Matthew was about to put in a protest — 
" no remonstrances. We will be deaf to all." 

"I am sorry you are so headstrong," said Matthew, 
placing a glass before each — " very sorry ; because, if I 
could only get you to see it, there would be very much 
more prudence and safety in my delivering this letter- 
bag than in your taking it, and I trust that the suggestion 
as I now make it will be acted upon." 

"No, no, Matthew," said Tom King, "I must posi- 
tively refuse you. I am Dick Turpin's best and nearest 
friend. Wo have been many a time in tho utmost 
danger, and the one has never hesitated to sacrifice hini- 
Belf for the other. Dick's life is now at stake — literally, 
it is trembling in the balance. On such an occasion, 
then, I will yield the right of aiding him to no man, not 
even, Matthew, to you." 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXIII. 

GIVES A LONG, BUT NECESSARY, EXPLANATION RESPECTING 
THE ASSASSINATION OF THE KING'S MESSENGER. 

In order not to leave any mystery unsolved, it may, per- 
haps, be as well in this place to interrupt the thread of 
tho narrative, for a moment, to explain why, and by 
whom, the King's messenger had been assassinated. 

It was not until afterwards, however, that the facts 
came to the knowledge of the highwaymen. 

But still, it will be seen, their relation now will serve 
to make all perfectly clear. 

The reader will remember Lord Spindelow, and with 
reference to whom it must be mentioned that he occupied 
a prominent position at court, and was indeed high in 
favour with the King. 

Yet ho was not satisfied ; and hearing by chance of 
the existence of the mysterious letter, he, by a clever 
6tratagem, gained possession of it, and then found him- 
self in a position to exercise unlimited power, not only 
over the mysterious lady, but over the King himself. 

It must bo understood, though, that while he held un- 
lawful possession of this letter, no opportunity arose for 
him to make use of it. 

Willis was one of the King's person?! attendants, and, 
by various means, Lord Spindelow had won him over 
entirely to his interests, employing him generally to act 
as spy upon his royal mssier. 

On the evening that Tom ^ Lad bis stra intw _ 
view with royalty, Wil]^ applied his ear to the keyhole 
of the conservatory doov, alld managed to glean doaie- 
thing of the inatters that were discussed between them. 

Lord Spindelow was at tho time absent from the castle, 
Lut on his return on the following day, he was at once 
Bifida acquainted with everything. 

Ib London his lordship had learned with unfeigned 



delight tbat Dick Turpin was at last a prisoner in Now- 
gate, and that he would inevitably perish at Tyburn. 

It may ho guessed how revengeful and bitter would bo 
his feelings towards him ; and,, indeed, it was with diffi- 
culty that he could restrain himself from paying a visit 
to Newgate, in order to exult over him. 

ho sooner did ho hear that the King had promised to 
liberate Dick Turpin than he was frantic with rage. 

But, in such a position, what was ho to do to help him- 
self ? 

Dark thougnts quickly rose in his mind, especially 
when ho learned that a messenger bad already been 
despatched. 

lie did net hesitate then to form a bloodthirsty resolu- 
tion. 

Obtaining a fleet horse, ho started oft in pursuit of 
the messenger; but ow/ng to the hitter having paused at 
a small inn lying a little *-7ay off the road — where, in fact, 
there was a pretty daughter to whom ho paid his atten- 
tions at every opportunity — Lord Spindelow missed him, 
and did not discover tho fact until, at a hard gallop, he 
performed nearly tho whole of the journey to London. 

Then bo reined up and looked about him with the in- 
tention of riding back slowly in order to meet the man 
he wanted. 

His calculation was that if he could assassinate this 
man, destroy the letter, and hide all traces of his --rime, 
Dick Turpin's execution would take place before thcro 
would bo time to communicate again with the King. 

Then, as for tho discovery of "the murder, ho hoped to 
avoid all the consequences resulting from the same. 

This, then, gives us the necessary clue. 

We have seen how the unfortunate messenger fell into 
the ambuscade laid for him, and how the bullet which 
Lord Spindelow despatched upon its deadly errand did its 
work. 

When Tom fired, the bullet from his pistol struck hi3 ■ 
lordship near tho shoulder, inflicting a painful and dan- 
gerous-looking wound. But aware of the consequences 
that would follow his discovery and recognition, ho felt 
himself moved to double strength to make the effort to 
escape, and so he forced his way through tho hedge, and 
staggered rather than walked across a field. 

Here he came to another hedge, through which ho 
made his way with still more difficulty. 

Then another field, and afterwards he perceived a light 
gleaming in tho darkness. 

Doubting not that it proceeded from tho window of 
some cottage, ho struggled painfully on in the hopo of 
reaching it at every step. 

Ho felt, however, that his strength was rapidly leaving 
him. 

Finding this to bo tho case, oaths and curses of tho 
most horrible description issued from his lips. 

What angered him more thau all was the knowiedgo 
that, after having committed the crime of murder, he had 
been foiled at last. 

His eyes grew dizzy, and it was with dilficulty ho 
made out the objects by which he was surrounded. 

Suddenly he stumbled, and tho shock this gave him 
seemed to revive him a little. 

Greatly to his surprise, ho found that ho had reached 
the rude palisading with which tho garden of tho cot- 
tage was surrounded. 

He could seo tho humble little habitation plainly 
enough now, and, still holding by tae palisades, crept on 
slowly in the hopo of finding the gV.; 

He was successful. 

Pushing it open, and leaving a trail of blood behind 
him ws ho went, ho staggered up to the door. 

Ho tried to knock, but his strength failed him, and h9 
fell with a dull, lumbering sound against the panel. 

A faint scream came from the interior cf the cottage. 

Then the door was uu oolted. 

No soocsr was the fastening removed than the weighi 
of Lord apindelow'8 body Forced the door open with 
great violence, and he fell heavily ujiou tho threshold. 

Tho greatest consternation wa3 created in the ' ;i-c 
by tho occurrence of this event 

But when their first alarm was over, the inmates 
turned their attention to the wounded stranger. 

Gently they raised him and carried him towards the ti> *. 

They saw that blood was pouring from the wound. s»i;a 
tried in vain io check it. 



1128 



BLACK BESB; OB, 



They called upon him, and ontroated him to speak, dis- 
closing his name and place of abode. 

Bat his lordship's tongue was silenced forever; he 
could only move his lips in vain attempts at articula- 
tion. 

By the shape of his lips, however, the people fancied 
♦hat he asked for water, and so a small quantiti' was 
brought and placed to Lis lips. 

Ue drank it eagerly, and no sooner had he done so than, 
as is frequently the case under such circumstances, he 
drew a deep breath and expired. 

It was terrible and strange to think he should be over- 
taken by a retribution of this kind. 

Ho had perished as nearly as possible as the mas f *ad 
perished he had so cowardly assassinated. 

The poor inhabitants of the cottage were not a litfJs 
alarmed at such an incident as this. 

For aught they knew, they might bo regarded with 
suspicion, and have some difficulty in clearing them- 
selves. 

Searching in the pockets of the deceased, they found 
papers which disclosed his name, and title, and all the in- 
formation they required. 

The knowledge that he was a nobleman only increased 
their terror, for they know there would be a great outcry 
respecting his death. 

The particulars of the tragedy in the high-road, how- 
ever, never came to their ears. 

Lord Spindelow's relatives were communicated with, 
and the body removed. 

Then it was that Willis, finding himself freed from his 
hard taskmaster, confessed all to the King. 

Could the unscrupulous nobleman havo succeeded in 
his design of intercepting the messenger's letter-bag, there 
is no doubt that Dick Turpin would have perished, fur 
the King, having despatched the letter, would probably 
have thought no more upon the subject. 

We have yet to describe how the letter-bag was de- 
livered, and the effects produced by it. 

As will bo seen, it was the means of bringing upon 
the highwaymen no small amount of danger. 

Not to anticipate, however, wO will go back to the 
White Horse, and relate what followed Tom King's de- 
claration as to his intentions regarding his com- 
rade. 

Having spoken as he did with great firmness and 
dignity, he glanced around upon the friends who stood 
near him, as if daring them to raise a word by way of 
objection. 

Perhaps they felt this. At any rate, a silence of some 
moments ensued, which was at last broken by old 
Matthew himself. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXIV. 

THE HIGHWAYMEN DELAY THEIR DEPARTURE FROM THE 
WHITE HORSE UNTIL TOO LATE. 

" Well, Tom," ho said, " a wilful man must have his 
own way, and so I suppose you will. As to duty or right, 
I say nothing at all, my only wish being to propose that 
•which is most likely to secure the safety of all." 

" I know that, Matthew- But I am so firmly bent upon 
this enterprise, and I am so fully possessed with the 
value of this leath&r bag that I cannot think of allowing it 
to be delivered by any other hand than my own." 

" Well, then," said Matthew, "since that is the case, I 
can only wish you good luck. Let me recommend you to 
start at once, for the sooner Dick is out the better." 

" Decidedly. Come, comrades, are you ready ?" "•' 

" Wo are, quite." 

"This way, then," said Matthew — "this way. - ' 

"While he spoke, a faint clicking sound was heard 

He started, and looked towards the clock. 

The finger then stood at the quarter past, and just as 
ha was raising his finger it described a complete semi- 
circle, stopping at a quarter to seven. 

"There is danger — immediate danger, ' he 6ai.l, in a 
tone of vexation. "Confound it! What a pity it is we 
have wasted so much time in discussion! But for that, 
vju might, havo started ten minutes ago, and there would 
Lave been no tiouble at all." 

"But we must make the best of it." 

« i kesT that. This way— this way. I wish I could 



stop to give you 6omo instructions, but 1 can't. You moat 
just be content to remain here." 

With that rapidity which always characterised his 
movements whenever danger was pressing, old Matthew 
b&d crossed the parlour towards the fireplace. 

Than, very much to the surprise of the highwaymen, 
who wondered what he was going to do, ho seized hold 
.if one end of the chimney-piece, and pulled with all his 
might. 

A most singular result followed. 

The whole of the fireplace, fire and all, came out 
bodily, turning on hinges fixed at the opposite side of 
the chimney-pieco to that at which Matthew was pulling. 
The effect, indeed, was just the same as if the wholo of 
the fireplace had been a door. 

A dark, uncomfortable-looking cavity could bo 6coa 
behind. 

The highwaymen hung back a little. 
' In there," said old Matthew — "in thero — it is your 
only chance — and remain until I come to you again." 

"But " began Tom. 

" No remonstrances— in with you ! Hark! Can't you 
hear them now?" 

Footsteps indeed could be plainly heard, mingled with 
voices. 

Matthew thrust the highwaymen almost into the 
hiding-place, then, with one quick movement, restored 
the fireplace to its original condition. 

It was done instantaneously, and no trace whatever 
was left to 6how that it had ever been disturbed. 

Surely, if any hiding-place would escapo the acutcness 
of the officers, that would. 

All this, that has taken so many words to describe, 
actually took place in a briefer period of time than would 
perhaps be imagined ; in fact, before anyone at a moderate 
speed could have counted twenty, the highwaymen were 
securely hidden. 

Old Matthew, not losing his presenco of mind in the 
least, nor becoming flurried, turned round to the table 
and picked up the glasses that had just been used. 

He was in the act of doing this when the door of the 
parlour was dashed violently open, and several police 
officers appeared. 

From the way in which they glanced around the room, 
and the disappointed look which settled upon their coun- 
tenances, it was evident that they fully expected to find 
some one else there than the landlord. 

Old Matthew affected to be taken completely by sur- 
prise. 

He let one of the glasses slip from his fingers, and it 
fell to the floor with a crash. 

Then, stepping back, he ejaculated : 

" Goodness gracious, men, how you startled me, to be 
sure ! I never expected such a thing. Why, what on 
earth is the matter?" 

"Matter?" said the officer in command. "We know 
you are up to your old tricks again ; but mark mo, old 
fellow — you have been successful for a long time, but you 
will be caught at last." 

"Not by you, though," said Matthew, calmly. 

" I don't know that," said the officer. " At any rate, I 
command you, upon pain of immediato arrest to remain 
where you are. Sit down in the chair, and don't leave it.*' 

"But what for?" asked old Matthew. "Why should 
you take these proceedings against me ?" 

" Simply because we intend to search this house.'' 

"What, again?" 

" Yes, again. It is only by repeatedly doing it that rre 
can hope to succeed at last, and 1 want you there, and I 
want to keep my eyes upon you, so that you do nothing 
towards hiding anybody." 

"And who should I hide ?" 

" Oh, you know best how to answer that question • but 
on one point I am quite confident." 

" May I inquire what that is ?" 

" Yes, certainly you may." 

"Well, then, what is it?" 

" Why, I know, by my own observation, that you have 

been in continual communication with Dick Turpin in 

Newgate. Don't deny it, because, if you do, it will be 

equivalent to calling mo a liar. Now, I want to know 

! what the communication was about." 

Old Matthew shook hia hetid sii-wlj LaekvYar»Lj %ti$ 
I forwards. 



TEE KNIGHT OF TH3 R0A3. 



im 



" What do you mean by that ?" 

" Why, you see," said Matthew, " yoa have pl&ctd me in 
ft yery awkward position." 
" Indeed !— how ?" 

Why, by not permitting me to deny ii," 
"Would you have the audacity ?" 
M Yes, certainly I would, and I assure yon „nat you 
must have been deceived in some way —how, I can't pro- 
tend to tell. But why do you think I should have «oy 
communication with the prisoner ?" 

" Oh, it's all very fine, Matthew ; but I've hea-.d your 
character over and over again, and mark me this — you 
will have to bo ten times more careful and clever tnan 
••ver you have been to escape us. Let us once catch yoa, 
*nd see if we are not down on you." 

" I don't doubt it," said Matthew ; " but I take all eucn 
tbreats with composure — I am not at all afraid." 

" Well, confound your impudence !" said the officer. 
'* One would think, to hear you speak, that you were a 
much-injured man, and never credit that this house is 
known throughout London as being one of the chief 
resorts of all members of the 'Family,' and especially 
the flash ones." 

" I have enemies," said Matthew, with .a sigh — " men 
who will say anything against ma. Will you allow me 
to ask you ono question ?" 
" Oh yes, by all means." 

" Well, then, have you or any other officer ever found 
anything to warrant your suspicions when making a 
search in my house ?" 

"Yes, plenty to make us suspicious," was the answer ; 
" but, luckily for you, we have not been able to got at the 
proofs." 

" Ob, that's the waj with you," said Matthew. " But 
just tell me what you expect to find." 

" Well, then, I don't mind if I do. We expect to find 
eome of Dick Turpin's comrades here, and if they are 
beneath this roof — as we firmly believe them to be — wo 
will have them." 

" And why do you imagine such an unlikely thing as 
that ?"teaid Matthew. 

"Unlikely? What other conclusion could we come to 
upon finding that a turnkey was running backwards and 
forwards between here and Newgate all the time ? You, 
I daresay, have not had a direct communication with the 
prisoner, but, then, does it not point to the fact that 
there is some one in this house, interested in his fate, 
who has?" 

Old Matthew regarded the officer with admiration. 
Then drawing a long breath and shaking his head, he 
said, emphatically : 

" Oh ! it's a pity — a great pity." 
"What's a pity?" 

" Why, that men should mistake their vocations. Now, 
what a mistake you must have made in becoming a police 
officer." 

" Bah ! nonsense V 

"I 6tick to it," said Matthew; "just think what a 
lawyer you would have made if you had only given your 
attention to it ; I never heard anybody speak so much 
like one in my life, never — never." 

The officer hardly knew whether to feel flattered or 
offended at these remarks. 
Accordingly he passed them over without notice. 
"To the point, Matthew." ne said. "You are very 
likely surprised that 1 should De remaining nere like 
this talking to you so quietly ; but just let me alarm 
you a little." 
"Alarm me ?" repeated Matthew, with a start. 
" Yes ; while I am here keeping sucli good watch on 
all your movements, a lot of my men are round the 
building, some more are searching the cellars, somo 
more are searching the rooms upstairs, and others are 
on the roof." 

" Of course you have a warrant ?" 
" Oh yes, I have a warrant ; don't think I should put 
myself in the power of such a dangerous customer as 
you are. No, no — I know better than that." 

"Well," said Matthew, " I hope the search will soon 
be over, and that you will leave me in peace." 

" The search will soon be over," said the officer — 
" that is, if we find those we are in search of, and in the 
event of so doing, why, off you po along with us, and 
your business may take care of itself as best it may." 



Matthew smiled. 

"I am content" he said — "quite content. And wt\ 
am to sit £& this chair during your good will and yk>a»' 
sure?" 

"Yea.^ 

"Oh, it might be worse — much worse; perhaps yoa 
don't object to my drawing a little nearer to the fire ?" 

"Oh no." f 

"Well, that's a comfort; I am just going to finish my 
glass ; perhaps you would all like a drop of something ?" 

The officers behind their chief in a moment looked as 
though they should very much. 

. "Well," said the one in command, stroking his chin, 
" just a little perhaps wouldn't bo amiss." 

"Very likely," said Matthew, changing his tone and 
speaking with resolution ; " but I'll tell you what it is, 
Mr. Officers, I'll see you all jolly well d — d before you 
have a drop of anything that's in my house, except, mind 
you, when you succeed in capturing those you speak of, 
and then, why you shall be welcome to the best there is 
ta the cellar, and to as much of it as you can drink." 

" Yes, we know that," said the officer, pretending not 
to look disappointed; " you wouldn't be able to help your- 
self then, old fellow ; we should have it all our own way 
— not that I wanted a drop, and I'm sure not one of my 
men does. But you will do yourself no good, so mark t'"at. 
If ever I can once catch you, you shall pay dsarly for 
it." 

" Ah, I shouldn't wonder," said old Matthew, sipping 
his brandy-and-water with an air of satisfaction that 
was aggravating indeed to the officers, and especially 
when he smacked his lips as if to say "that's good." 
" They are a long while upstairs," he added ; " perhaps 
they may bo longer, so if you have no objections, gentle- 
men, I will have a quiet smoke and sootho my nerves." 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXY. 

THE TOLICE OFFICER AND OLD MATTHEW HAVE EiTHEi 
A STRANGE CONVERSATION WITH EACH OTHER. 

With the greatest possible composure, old Matthew filled 
his pipe, lighted it, and leaned back in his chair with the 
air of a man who was bent upon enjoying himself. 

The police officers evidently looked upon his coolness 
with great misgivings. 

" Surely," they thought, " if ho has anyone concealed 
upon the premises he could not remain so indifferent as he 
appeared to be." 

Had they not known old Matthe:v so well as they did, 
they would have been still more of this opinion. 

But they were well aware that he was as cunning as a 
fox, and quite capable of acting in this manner on pur- 
pose to throw them off their guard. 

The fact was, Matthew felt quite secure in the excel- 
lence of the hiding-place he had last devised. 

He was perfectly certain that no one had the remotest 
idea of its existence except himself and those who were 
at ihat moment concealed. 

Every now and then a lumbering sound would be 
heard above, followed by one below. 

On such occasions Matthew would just glance up and 
down, but no more. 

" You seem to take it d — d easy !" said tho chief officei 
at length, for he was getting enraged. 

bo long a time nad elapsed sit>co his men begun to 
search, that he began to be terribly afraid that flin 
chances of their finding anybody now were snisll in- 
deed. Noone'sdisappointmentcouldbe greater than his. 

He had observed th6 friendly jailer going backwards 
and forwards, as he said, and had not unreasonably 
jumped to the conclusion that the reason was some of 
Dick Turpin's comrades were concealed at the White 
Horse. 

Under this impression, he had succeeded in persuad- 
ing his superiors to allow him to have the use of about 
twenty men to make a thorough search. 

His request was granted with great reluctance, for the 
authorities were most anxious to keep the prisoner they 
had already secured, and to that end nearly the whole 
available force was occupied in watching Newgate ; and 
the Governor had by no means exaggerated when ho 
described how impossible it was for any living thing to 
leave the piisop unseen- 



1«0 



BLACK BBSS ; OS, 



A4 l?agth the trampling of many feet could be. heard 
upas the staircase. . 
Matthew looked up, and so did the offices*. 
Directly afterwards a knock was given at tho door of 
the parlour, and several more police officers entered. 

A Well, Jenkins," cried the chief, gruffly, " what ia it-— 
what's the result ?" 

" Beg pardon, sir," said Jenkins, touching Lis tat re- 
spectfully, "but I give you my word that ti have 
searched every square iich upstaii-% and can't find no 
traces of nobody." 
"Are you sure ?" 

41 Quite sure. There is not a corner in which ft cat 
could have crept which we have not rigidly examine!.'* 
" Have you left anyone up ?" 

" No, sir — I began at the top and cleared tl.e way be- 
fore me." 

Before the officer had time to make any further re- 
mark, those who had been searching in the cellars also 
appeared, and they brought with them tho same tale. 
Then the chief, looking towards old Matthew, said : 
" You hear ?" 

" I do hear perlectly well. It's just what I expected. 
You wouldn't believe that I had no one concealed. 1 
hope you are satisfied at last." 

" Well, I don't know, Mr. Gale — I don't know I Could 
I have a word or two with you in private ?" 
"Oh, certainly, if you wish!" 
"Well, then, I hope you will be -attentive." 
Then, turning to his men, he bade them depart, saying 
ho would rejoin them pvesently. 

Old Matthew -~ ondered what was coming next. 
The officer took a chair, and brought it closo to the fire, 
and seated himself. 

Little did he think that those of whom he was in scai-eh 
were at that very instant at little more than arm's-length 
from him. 

"Matthew," he said, "I hope you will have a little 
serious talk with me — it is on a serious subject." 

" Well, I don't mind," said Matthew. " Speak up !" 
"I will. Now, I hope, in the first place, you won't 
feel flattered when I say that 1 believe you to bo a very 
clever fellow — more clever than people generally are in- 
clined to admit." 

Matthew made a deprecating gesture. 
" Oh, it's true — it's true," said tho officer, " but the un- 
fortunate thing is that you should have allowed your 
cleverness to run in the wrong direction. If you had 
sided with us instead of tho 'family ' it would have been 
a much befter thing for you, and oven now it is not too 
late, which brings me to what I was gsSng to talk 
about." 

Old Matthew remained silent. 
The officer cleared his throat, and went on : 
"In spite of my close search," ho said, "I am not 
satisfied that the men I want are not hidden in this house 
— they are in some secure, out-of-the-way place. Now, 
assuming such to bo the case, I ■will tell you what I 
propose, and which I have the best of authority for 
proposing." 

"Proceed," said old Matthew, "I am paying every 
attention." 

"No doubt you are. Well, then, my proposition is 
that you delivor those highwaymen over to us. You 
need not appear to do so — the fact of your complicity 
need never be known. A wink or a sign will be enough 
to let us know where to search. Then, if we capture 
them, well and good — they cannot blame you. Stop — 
stop," he added, hurriedly, perceiving thai sid Ma.Sfch.-3W 
was trying to interrupt him — "hear me out to the 
end! In return for this, supposing you are willing, I 
am empowered to offer jou one half of tho total re- 
ward — that is to say, seven hundred pounds, and not 
only that, a perfect immunity from all that you have 
done in the past, and with the probability of doing the 
came bit cf business over again." 

"And so you advise me to betray then: V said Mat- 
thew. 

"Yes. certainly! Ana I daresay it strikes you as a 
singular thing that we officers should all be agreed to 
give you one half the reward, when in reality you will 
have so small a share in earning it ?" 

1 Well, I am rather surprised, I confoss." 



wrong. Our reason is that we wish above all things 
to secure those offenders, and we don't think we can do 
it without your aid — that's the reason, for our continual 
failures have got us into such sad disgrace that nothing 
but this capture can put ua right. I wish with all my 
heart that Dick Turpin was at liberty, so that we could 
have the chanea of capturing him. I wonder what 
business a lot of geutlemen had to interfere, and so 
take the credit out of our hands ?" 

" Seven hundred and fifty pounds ?" repeated Matthew, 
musingly. " That's a largo sura." 

" Yes, a very lai-go sum," said tho office, with glittor- 
mg eyes, and speaking with some excitement — "such a 
sum as you don't often handle, I'll warrant. It would 
be more than the amount of a year's profits, if you did 
ever so good a trade, and be very much more than you 
could hopo to get from tho highwaymen for defending 
them, besides the risk you run of your own liberty." 

"It's worth thinking over," said Matthew — "it's 
worth thinking over." 
" Do ycu indeed think so ?" 
" Yes, I do." 

"Well, then, so do I, and it you aro wiso you will 
think over it repeatedly. Perhaps you will be able to 
come to a decision at once?" 

"Well, perhaps I should," was the answer, "only for 
ono little difficulty that stands in the way." 
" And what may that be ?" 

" Why, you ought to know perfectly well that tho men 
you want are not here at the present moment, for if 
they were they could not escape tho vigilant search of 
your mea." 

Upon receiving this reply, the officer looked at old 
Matthew keenly, as if doubtful as to his veracity. 

"It is so," added our old friend, "and I don't mind 
saying that what you have just told mo has made an im- 
pression. I didn't think of it before in that light, and I 
promiso you to turn the matter over in my mind." 

" Do so, and I am certain that reflection will bring you 
to the right decision. And now let us have a glass of 
something upon the good faith of what you say.".* 
" I don't mind if I do." 

Old Matthew rose from his seat and went, into tho bar, 
with tho view of supplying his customer's wants. 

When his back was turned, there was a peculiar smile 
upon his face — one which tho officer probably would not 
have cared about seeing. 

Having obtained what was requisite, Matthew stepped 
silently to the door of the parlour, and, just peeping in, 
saw that the officer had taken advantage of his absenco 
to mako a rigid search around. 
Matthew darted into the room suddenly. 
The officer, thus caught, looked rather confused. 
"Ah!" said old Matthew — "doubtful still, I perceive. 
Well, one would think that, after having received so many 
proofs, you officers would be content to take my word," 

" Oh, pooh ! don't mention it," said the officer. " I 
could not resist the temptation of looking round me, and 
that's a fact." 

" Well, don't let ma interrupt you, then," said Matthew 
" Make no stranger of me. Search as long and as much 
as you are willing." ' 

The confident, easy tone in which these words were 
spoken, and the coolness Matthew had displayed all 
along, brought the officer at last to the conviction that 
in one respect he had been mistaken. 

If the highwaymen had been there, they were not at 
tho inn now ; but that a communication had been made 
with Dick in Newgate he was absolutely certain. 

With cunning calculation, ho made sure that more good 
was to be done "by pretending to keep on a friendly foot- 
ing with Matthew than by coming to an open rupture 
with him ; and, indeed, the officer felt ho had good cause 
to be satisfied with the impression he believed he had 
already made upon Matthew, for the temptation of hand- 
ling seven hundred and fifty pounds was a very great 
one indeed. 
It was not long after that the officer rose to take tis 

departure. . , , . , 

Matthew rose also, determined to see him safely out of 

his house. 

The officer, if ho had any intentions ot attempting to 

remain, abandoned them, for he walked out infc? Jtaifjr 



" Perhaps you feel doubtful, but if you do you ara | Jjg&Q and called his men around him 



THE BSIOfrr OV TTJE ROAD. 



!<31 



Then, bidding farewell to Matthew, ho marched off 
with them, our old friend standing on the step« of tils 
house and watching them until tho intervening t^'uses 
hid them from his view. 

Then, rubbing his hands briskly together, and with a 
smile of satisfaction on his lips, he turned round tnt'. 
L&stened to the bar. 

As he passed the girl who served the customers fca 
said, in a hurried whisper : 

"Are you quite sure all tli3 officers cave k*r* the 
houso ?" 

" I am not quite sure," was the response. " My fcalief 
is that one or more are in hiding sojoo where." 

" Well, well," said Matthew, " all you can do is to 
keep your eyes wide open. I will go back into the 
parlour, and if you see anything in the least degree sus- 
picious, give the signal instantly. I shall be on the look- 
out. Don't be afraid of making a mistake. Better have 
a thousand false alarms than give the signal of danger 
too late." 

CHAPTER DCCCLXXVL 

OLD MATTHEW RELEASES TnE HIGHWAYMEN FROM THEIR 
PLACE OF CONCEALJIENT, AND SHOWS THEM A NEW 
MODE OF LEAVING THE PREMISES. 

Knowing that he could place tho fullest trust in his 
dependant, old Matthew turned at once into the parlour, 
closing the door carefully, and, for greater security, 
slipping a small bolt into its socket. 

Before opening the secret hiding-place to conceal the 
highwaymen therein, he had taken care, by a rapid 
glance at the only window in the room, to ascertain that 
the shutters were close shut, so that there could be no 
overlooking him from that quarter. 

He placed his hand upon the mantelpiece, and looked 
steadfastly at the little clock. 

binding the signal remained unchanged, he rapidly 
pulled the fireplace out, and liberated our friends, who 
were not a little rejoiced to make their escape. 

"Are they gone, Matthew?" asked Tom, eagerly. 

" I believe so. At any rate, all we have to do is to 
watch the dial." 

" Yes, I know ; but if you will (ell me the best way to 
do it, I will leave the place at once. Tho night is wear- 
ing on, and there is no time to be lost." 

" True," said Matthew ; "and yet I should recommend 
you to wait for a few moments, in case any of the officers 
should yet be lurking about." 

"We will 6tay, Matthew, if you think it best, cf 
course." 

"Well, do so, and tell me what you think cf your 
hiding-place." 

" Oh, excellent, so far as security goes ; but docidedly 
unpleasant if you have to remain in it." 

" And especially with such a roaring fire as you have 
now," said Claude. " It was decidedly uncorv'ortable." 

"And hot as an oven," said Sixtcen-bl/ing Jack, 
wiping the perspiration from his face. 

" You must not mind such little drawbacks as those," 
said Matthew. " Is it not an excellent idea ? '' 

"Most excellent; and I should think -would have 
occurred to no other person than yourself." 

" Oh, I don't know," said Matthew, modes' ly. " I was 
looking at the cliimueypiece one day, and tho notion 
came into my head : so I set to work, and accomplished 
it all with my own hands." 

"Did you, indeed ?" 

" I did ; and worked so weit, that, in epite of the per- 
petual interruptions to which the officers subject me, I suc- 
ceeded in completing it without the knowledge being 
shared in by anyone save myself." 

" Well, it has done us good turn," cried Tom, K there's 
no doubt about that." 

"None; and it has amply repaid mo for the trouble of 
constructing it. But," he added, "did you not GTerhcar 
the conversation I had with tho officer ? 

"We did," said Tom, looking at him, seircHng.'y ; 
"every word of it." 

" I thought you would," he answered, quietly. " Xon 
guessed my object in speaking as I did ?" 

•"Well, scarcely." 
Tea did not think that I seriously intended to iwfcray 
four" 



" No, no ; I would never think that, Matthew, for* i( 
you played us false, we could never place dependence on 
any human being again.'' 

'•That's all right, then. It would have grieved Hie 
very much had you doubted me." 

"But your object, Matthew, what was it ? 

" Why, I thought if I pretended to fall in with their 
views that I should get on better than if I uttered a 
positive refusal. The officers, no doubt, will now hang 
off and on for a geod while, expecting that, at tho right 
moment, I shall deliver yoa into their hands. But there's 
no fear," he added; "I am enly fooling them, as I have 
done many a time before." 

" It was good policy to act in this manner," said Tom. 
" But now do you not think sufficient time h£3 elapsed? 
I am growing uneasy, and anxious to leave." 

"Yes, I think you may vert are >v go. But is there 
anything I can do for you during your absence ?" 

"Nothing that I know of," said Tom. "If I could 
only form some reasonable idea as to the contents of thi3 
letter, wo should then bo able to make a better arrange- 
ment. As it is, we must trust to chance, and leave things 
just as they are." 

"Veryw3ll. But if there's any chance of my render- 
ing you a service, don't fail to let me know." 

"Best 80sured of that. What time is it now ?" 

" Close upon half -past eleven." 

" Is it indeed so late ? Then it is really time we left, 
otherwise the Governor may not take it into his head to 
look at thii letter till the morning." 

"Come, then," said Matthew, taking down a key that 
was hanging on a nail, " you may as well go this way as 
any other." 

While speaking, he advanced to the window, which he 
opened, and threw back the shutters. 

" Now," he said " follow me tlirough here and I will 
show you out by a fresh route." 

With an agility and ease that, considering his size, were 
truly remarkable, old Matthew stepped on to a chair and 
passed through the window into the yard at the back. 

The highwaymen followed immediately, and by his 
directions the window was closed again and the shutters 
put to. 

" Now," he said, " there's a stable hero, the existence 
of which is well enough known to the police, but tho loft 
over it looks into a small yard at the back of a house iu 
Blackmoro Street. When you enter the stable, get up into 
the loft as quickly as possible, pass through the window 
I speak of, and drop into the yard just mentioned. Do 
you understand me ?" 

" Yes, perfectly." 

" Then take this key, and with it unlock the door at 
the back of this house. Hang the key on a nail driven 
into the doorpost, and, having crossed the threshold, shut 
the door behind you, but don't fasten it on the inside." 

"But what houso is this, Matthew ?" 

"An empty one," he replied ; "one that, by a lucky acci- 
dent, was placed in my hands to let as soon as I could find 
a suitable tenant ; but," he added with a chuckle, "it will 
be a long time before I find one, I'll warrant." 

"You're sure the house is empty ?" said Tom, laughing 

" Yes, quite sure. Walk boldly along the passage ; 
there's nothing in the way, and you will come to the front 
door. It is fastened only by a latch, but that latch can- 
not be raised from the outside. Open tho door cau- 
tiously, watch your opportunity, and emerge. Pull the 
door fshnt, and the latch will fasten itself. Then the rest 
depends upon yourselves." 

" Thanks, Matthew— thanks," said Tom King; l you 
are indeed a friend well worth the having. By taking 
thii ro'ite, surely we shall baffle tho officers." 

" I hope so," said Matthew, " yet it is impossible for me 
to say where they may be hiding at tho present moment. 
Your chief caro will bo to keep y; urselvea as much out ei 
sight as possible." 

With this caution they parted, tho highwayman wring- 
ing Matthew's hand. 

Successfully following his instructions, they soon 
autered the stable, mounted into the loft, and paused a 
moment at tho little window, or, rather, opening in the 
wall, that he had described. 

About eight ffcot below them was a small, dirty yard, 
faonndod on each side by high brick walls, over which it 
tyould be difficult indeed for anyone to look. 



BLiCS BZSS ; OB, 



A most profound silcnco reigned in this locality, -\nd 
file tall buildings all around caused a docp darkcvw to 
prevail. 

41 It will be all right," S'dd Tom, in a whisper. " I will 
go first ; you can follow." 

He rapidly lowered himself feet foremost from th*» win- 
dow while he spoke, and, having hung fov a ooccad at tho 
full Inncrth of his arms, he lot go and alighted in saiety in 
the yard beneath. 

Then placing himself close against the wall so as to 
keep out of eight, he waited for his comrades to follow 
his example. 

As may be guessed, taey were not very long in doing 
80. 

By this time their eyes had become accustomed to the 
obscurity, and they were able to see what they had not 
perceived before, namely, the back door of which Mat- 
thew had spoken. 

Towards this they crept silently, for they were fearful 
that a footfall might betray them. 

They were able all the time to keep close under the 
wall. 

The door was opened by the key, and the key hung 
upon the door-post, according to the directions they had 
received. 

That peculiar, damp, earthy smell that always per- 
vades a shut-up, uninhabited house assailed their nostrils 
as soon as they crossed the threshold, and when the door 
was closed behind them the darkness was intense indeed — 
so intense that they would have had great diffidence in 
proceeding without a light, had not old Matthew so par- 
ticularly assured them that there was nothing to fear in 
the shape of an obstruction. 

A few paces brought them to the front door, for the 
house was a small one. 

Tom listened while he placed his hand upon the latch. 

All was still, and so he slowly opened the door to the 
extent of about a quarter of an inch. 

It was well that he was thus cautious, for a heavy foot- 
step on the pavement %vithout reached their ears. 

There was a flash of light, and a hoarse, wheezy voice, 
exclaimed : 

" Half-past eleven, and a cloudy night." 

It was a watchmaa going by, and the light from his 
lantern quickly faded away. 

" That's lucky," said Tom; "it would have been awk- 
ward h»d he passed while we were just emerging. I 
think we can venture now ; at any rate, I will go first." 

Opening the door no wider than was actually necessary 
to allow his body to slip through, Tom passed out. 

He was pleased to find that the door was a projecting 
one, so that he did not step at once into tho street, but 
remained concealed by its deep shadow. 

In a whisper he informed his friends of this, and thoy 
slipped quickly out. 

"It's all right, I believe," sail Tom. "I don't think 
there's a single police officer lurking near-*' 

" Quick, then," said Claude — " tho sooner we are out of 
here the better. Should we bo seen it would look sus- 
picious at once." 

Tom assented, and at tho same time obeyed. 

Yet, as was proved, this was an unlucky move- 
ment. 

The watchman's beat extended only to the end of 
Blackmore Street, and having reached it, he was re- 
turning with all speed to his comfortable watch-box at the 
corner of Drury Lane, in which he meant to ensconce 
himself for the next half hour, leaving the street to look 
after itself. 

Sauntering thus along, he was surprised by seeing tho 
three highwaymen make their appearatco so suddenly, as 
though they had sprung from the earth. 

He knew there was no turning near, and was perfectly 
certain they had not walked down from the top of the 
strees. 

Advancing briskly to htm, he held up his lantern, as 
he cried : 

" Hullo — hullo 1 Where have you come from ? Out of 
that empty house, I believo !' ' 

"Bo off!" said Claude. "What docs it matter *o 
you ? " 

"But I'll know who you are," said the watchman. u It's 
uispieious ! Mind, or I'll spring my rattle 1 Who «re 

m, I say ?* 



"Well, if you must know," answered Sixteon-Stnng 
Jack, in a very hoarse, sepulchral voice, " it's the devil 
taking an evening walk with two of hia friends. Good 
night to you !" 

So saying, he struck the watchman's lantern from hi" 
shaking grasp, and passed quickly on, followed by hi« 
companions, and leaving the guardian of the night it. a 
state of mingled botvildermett aud dismay. 



CHAPTER DCCOLXXVII. 

THE HIGHWAYMEN PROCEED 1G IfEWOATE TO DELIVER 
THE KING'S MISSIVE. 

Turning the corner of the street, the three highwaynie™ 
were quickly out of sight. 

They drew down their hats over their brows, so as tc 
conceal their features as much as possible, and then, in as 
steady, unconcerned a manner as they could assume, made 
their way towards Newgate. 

It was a bold and adventurous act— one, in fact, 
scarcely excusable, and yet, after all, very likely to be 
successful from its sheer audacity. 

Knowing that the prison was surrounded, and so closely 
watched by the police officers, one would have thought 
that it would be the very last place they would venture 
to approach. 

The streets of London were well known to Tom and 
his comrades, and after a very little reflection they were 
able to decide within themselves which was the best 
route by which their destination should be reached. 

They were anxious to avoid the principal thoroughfares, 
and yet by no means wishful to enter such as were rarely 
used, and in which their appearance could not fail to 
attract attention. 

Yet as they walked onward, for tho most part in silence, 
they fancied more than once that persons who passed 
them looked baclc curiously. 

But, after all, this might have been more their own 
fancy than aught else. 

Strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless true, that 
they reachod tho Old Bailey in perfect safety, and with- 
out having been interrupted or questioned by anyone, 
and without having come into collision with any police 
officers. 

At the corner of a narrow lane from which they 
emerged, and which was situated nearly opposite that 
pnrt of the prison forming tho residence of the Governor, 
they paused, and well they might, for an unexpected sight 
met their view. 

Yet their surprise abated instantly, and they felt they 
might have known it had they given such a thing a 
moment's consideration. 

The Old Bailey at this dark and lonely hour of the 
night presented a scene of unusual animation. 

It was thronged by many persons, whose numbers 
increased every moment, for fresh spectators kept arriv- 
ing from every street. 

A noisy, dissolute crowd, it was composed of the 
worst specimens of humanity that tho metropolis could 
then boast. 

Somo were wandering restlessly to and fro, othorn, 
with pipes in their mouths, were lounging in groups 
against the walls of the houses, and in every other 
place against which they could plant their backs. 

Others, with wild cries and shouts, were amusing 
themselves by pushing violently through the throng, 
and whenever any accident occurred it was greeted by 
a roar of laughter. 

Vendors of nearly all kinds of eatables and drinkables 
were there in considerable numbers, working their way 
backwards and forwards, and filling tho air with their 
discordant shouts. 

Some had torches, and others a brazrer of blazing 
coals, the light from which shod a ruddy tint on all 
around, 

Never before had the highwaymen beheld so strargs a 
spectacle as this, and it was therefore almost uncon- 
sciously that they stood for some moments gazing fei 
it. 

Claude was the first ta speatc 

"Surely," he said, "this ought to be favourable te 
us. Can we not turn it to our advantage? Atnotijj 
all this confusion and noise, it is scarcely 1'J* W t.hat 



THE KNIGHT Of THB ROA» 



143* 




[OLD MATTHEW INTRODUCES A FKESH ALLY. J 



we shall be notioed. Beliuve me, I think all things are 
favourable to the accomplishment of your design." 

Tom nodded as he said : 

" I think so too ; the onlj tVmsr is, that we should be 
careful in foroing oar way through the throng." 

"Yob," said Sixteen-String Jack, " there lies our 
daufl'^i'. Some unexpected person may recognise us. 

"We must run that risk," said Tom ; " and the best 
way will be to pat on as much indifference ad we are 
able. Come, follow me — we will delay no longer. 

Tom began slowly to push through the throng, and as 
if he had no particular object in doing so— as if he had 
no precise point he wished to reaoh, but seemed to be 
wandering Mstlessly about, like the majority of those 

Pr it 8 was well that he had the presence of mind to act 
thus, for any injudicious haste would at once have had 
the effect of calling down special attention upon them. 
Ho. 180.— Black Bbss. 

Ko. lfeO. 



Short as was the distance, yet owing to 1 this .cause 
some time elapsed before the highwaymen got fairly in. 

h t,tV^°:^rTZ, for up to the present alt 

had cone well. , , 

Now, however, came their greatest danger. 
Looking right and left, they could perceive .many 

police officersfwho were bent wth exemplary oloseneB, 

nnon the duty that had been set them. 
P The fact was that there was not one of them .who >& 

no t believe in his heart that the night would not pr 

oyer without DiokTurpin making some effort to UBer 

hi ?n such a case, they were animated by , he hope 
they would be instrumental in recapturing him-itf 
cause of any reward, but merely for the credit < 
whole body of police officers. 
In ascending the steps of the Governor a hor 

Psiob Onx Halm 



'A<v, 



SLACK BK88 ; OK, 



standing for a moment at the door, Tom felt there would 
be the utmost peril ; — he could not fail to be noticed 
then by many. 

For one thing, he was not aware that the officers had 
roade up their minds to pay no attention whatever to 
anything that took place in the Old Bailey ; nor, indVad, 
were they likely to trouble themselves about anyone 
who sought admission to the prison. Their chief solici- 
tude would be to prevent any person from leaving it. 

Slowly moving forward, as if he had no such design, 
Tom King suddenly turned round and ascended the 
flight of stone steps, his eyes fixed upon the brass handle 
of the bell, and he pulled it vigorously. 

In Newgate, all doors were promptly answered, and 
scarcely had the tinkling of the bell died away than this 
front door was thrown open, and a man appeared upon 
the threshold. 

" The Governor," said Tom, disguising his voice — " I 
want to see him immediately, upon important busi- 
ness." 

" Then you cant." 

" But I must," said Tom, placing his foot in such a 
position against the doorpost that the man could not 
close the door. " I must 6ee him on most urgent busi- 
ness, and beware how you refuse me !" 

" But I tell you you cant, and there's an end of it ! 
"Wait till to-morrow !" 

"Never!" said Tom. "I don't move from here 
until the Governor comes J" 

" What's all this ?" said another voice at this moment 
— " what's all this, I say — what is it ?" 

The man at the door fell back immediately into an 
attitude of respect. 

"I beg pardon, sir," he said — "humbly beg par- 
don !" 

"But what is it — what is it?" said the the same 
voice, in snappish, querulous tones. 

" You are the Governor, I presume ?" said Tom, 
making a profound bow while he spoke. 

" Yes, yes !" replied Mr. Bradbury. " But, confound 
it all, why can't you say what it is !" 

"Well, then," said Tom, "I have to deliver this bag, 
which, I believe, comes from the King?" 
" The what ?" 

"The King. A short time ago one of the King's 
messengers met with an accident while riding here at 
full speed. I happened to be near, and asked if I could 
be of any assistance. He gave me this bag, and en- 
treated me to deliver it to the Governor of Newgate 
with all speed, as it contained a missive from the King 
of a most important character." 

The Governor looked rather amazed, and seemed to 
shrink from taking hold of the leather bag. 

"That is all," said Tom; "and, not liking to refuse 
his request, especially as my own business was bring- 
ing me to London, I promised to deliver it according 
to his request; and here it is, and that's all I know 
about it." 

The Governor took the bag. 

" Will you walk in, sir," he said, u while I look at the 
contents ?" 

Tom felt strongly inclined to say yes, but, fearful of 
the consequences oi such a mad proceeding, he restrained 
himself, and answered, in an indifferent tone : 

" No thank you, Mr. Governor, I am much obliged to 
you for your hospitality all the same, but the d< livery 
of this letter-bag has already brought me considerably 
cut of my way, and as my time is short I cannot afford 
to spare any more from my own concerns." 

" Good evening then," said the Governor, retiring. 
"Good evning," said Tom, hastily descending the 
Jteps. 

The door was closed, and the highway n mingled 
with the throng. 

Luckily :his little incident as scarcely noticed, f^i the 
popular attention was # „st then diverted by a pitched 
battle between two jen" who had rapidly changed from 
words to blo'v 

The o^'ftce officers who were nearest lookeu" on, Dut 
"* v j.oubing peculiar or suspicious, and, as before, «on- 
■mut-d to give their best attention to the walls of the 
prison. 

Tin« ide* that Tom King should be there delivering 
anythltig tc the Governor was so monstrous a one that 



it was not likely to occur to the minds ot ifcv a 
thera. 

But, having been successful so far, the highwaymen 
now became a prey to the greatest anxiety . 

Drifting with the throng of persons, fhoy hastily ex. 
changed a few cautious observations. 

" What will be the result ?" said Tom. •' How is this 
to GBd ? How fearfully short the time is now until th* 
hour appointed for execution." 

"Don't think of that, but pin your faith upon the 
King's honour ; I don't think you will have occasion to 
repent it." 

"I trust not." 

"Above all things," said Sixteen-String Jack, "don't 
let us get far away. If, as I take it, that letter con- 
tains an order to the Governor to release Dick Turpin 
immediately he will do bo, and when he appears he 
will doubtless require all the aid we shall be able to 
afford him." 

"Yes, there is no doubt of that," said Tom: "let us 
turn back again and be on the look-out." 

Accordingly they did so, aud as minute after minute 
sic wly passed away the suspense that they suffered in- 
creased to an alarming degree. 

So absorbed were they by one thought that they be- 
came altogether unmindful of themselves, and forgot all 
about looking to see whether they were noticed. 

At each instant, too, they kept creeping nearer and 
nea^r to the door of the Governor's house, for somehow, 
without knowing exactly why, they fancied this would 
be the route by which Dick Turpin would leave the 
prison. 

But from the length of time that elapsed, their hopes 
sank down to zero, and, without daring to confess it, 
each felt in his own mind a disagreeable conviction that 
the letter they had been at such pains to deliver did not 
concern Dick Turpin at all. 

CHAPTER DCCCLXXVIIi. 

TOM KING AND HIS COMRADES WATCH IN VAIN FOR TI1K 
APPEARANCE OF DICK TURPIN. 

It was at this moment that the huge clock of St. Paul's 
Cathedral proclaimed the hour of one. 

The highwaymen started and looked uneasily at each 
other as they heard the sound, because then they knew 
that a full hour had elapsed since the delivery of the 
letter. 

What, then, were they to think of so long an interval ? 

What other conclusion could they come to than that 
which had already fixed itself in their minds ? 

So far as they could tell, the gloomy prison bore its 
accustomed look, and there were no tokens that anything 
of an unusual character was taking place inside. 

The people in the street grew, if anything, more 
turbulent, and the police officers more alert and watch- 
ful. 

Tom drew a little on one side, as if to address his com- 
rades, but at that moment Claude Duvai i?aid, in a hasty, 
impressive whisper r 

"Tom — Tom, I am afraid we are seao and recog- 
nised l" 1 

"How so? — how — how?" cried his two companions. 

" Why, there's a police officer yonder — don't look at 
him — I have seen him staring at us for some time past, 
and now he has whispered to one of his comrades. They 
are suspicious." 

" What is to be done ?" 

" We have no help that I can see but to mingle in the 
throng, which is fortunately growing more dense every 
TDomani." 

" but we shall leave the door." 

" That cannot be helped. Come — come, as yon value 
your own safety and mine !" 

With these words, Claude turned rounJ and pushed his 
way among the mass of people. 

Tom King and Jack kept him in view and followed, 
for they were by IM) means desirous that a separation 
should ensue. 

It was a fortunate thought of Claude's, aval, under ttte 
circumstances, no better means could have been found of 
escaping the observation of the officers. 

In less than a moment they were completely swallowed 
up and lost in the seething mass of human beinc-a 



1HK KNIGHT OF THB ROAD. 



1 -I ".5 



The highwaymen sought for the thickest of the crowd, 
and as they made no movements calculated to attract the 
auention of those around, and as there was nothing 
remarkable in their appearance, they escaped all comment 
and notice. 

When near to tne opposite side of the street, and being, 
as they believed, out of sight of all of the officers, tkey 
ventured to make a stand. 

Looking across the dark thoroughfare, they ccnld just 
perceive the Governor's front door, looking like a black 
patch, a little darker than the walls of tne prison 
itself. 

Yet while standing there, they felt assured that the 
door could not be opened unseen by them. 

Moreover, there was an additional advantage accruing 
from this change of position, for they were now able to 
command a view of about the only other exit from New- 
gate — namely, the door at which the prisoners were ad- 
mitted. 

Over the upper portion of this door a light couio, as 
usual, be seen burning, and that was about the only sign 
there was that the place was inhabited at all. 

But another half hour elapsed, and no alteration in the 
aspect of affairs took place. 

And now it may be said that the alarm and anxiety of 
the highwaymen had reached the highest point. 

" The King has proved faithless," murmured Tom — 
" we can place no other construction upon it. Had it 
been an order for Dick's liberation he would 1'^ve been 
tree long ere now." 

" That's my opinion," said Claude. 

" And mine also," assented Jack. 

" Then, such being the case, how are we to act ? We 
must not remain here with our hands tied behind us, as it 
were, but take active measures, for on no account must 
line captain perish." 

Ll On no account," said Claude. " Yet, how very weak 
aad powerless wo are against authority." 

'• True," said Tom, sadly. " If the worst comes to the 
tvorst we must make an effort ; but, alas ! I fear it will be 
a vain one." 

"It must not be made with that spirit," said Sixteen- 
Btring Jack, " or failure is certain. Shall we remain 
waiting here any longer, or shall we endeavour to eo'ist 
the sympathies of the family in our behalf ?" 

" Let us think — let us think." 

Again there was a silence, and although the highway- 
men had expressed themselves so positively, yet they 
could not help feeling a faint hope that, after all, Dick 
would be released. 

It was a hope to be clung to to the last, and in this 
state of hopeful indecision another half hour wore 
away. 

It was now two o'clock, and the ringing sounds aroused 
them all from their abstraction. 

" We must be quick," said Claude. " If we wait much 
longer I question whether we shall have a chance of 
meeting any of the family. They have twice done us 
good service, recollect," he added, "and perhaps they may 
again." 

" Let it be so, then," said Tom ; " and as I come to think 
upon it my opinion is, that the best course to pursue will 
be for one ' o go on this errand to the family, another to 
remain here, and the third to proceed to old Matthew's in 
Drury Lane, in whom I feel the utmost confidence." 

" Good- -that's a sensible suggestion ! Now, without 
further delay, let us decide who is to remain and »ho is 
to go." 

" Then," said Tom, " if you, Claude, will consent to 
visit the family I should like to remain here, watching for 
Dick, and Jack can go to Drury Lane." 

" Agreed 1" they both cried ; and Claude added : 

" It will be better for me to go to the ken, because I 
have already been on that business before." 

With these words they separated. 

Tom King, choosing the darkest place that he could find 
— a spot where one house, projecting beyond anothw, made 
a shadowy corner — took up fes post, determined ta waujh 
with unremitting care. 

But all his watching went tor nought. 

The crowd gradually increased in bulk, the clocfca con- 
tin U' "J to chime forth at every quarter of an hour, but 
still n<* ~ther alteration in the aspect of affairs took 
place 



No door was opened — no person emerged from New- 
gate. 

Oh, how terribly uneasy Tom Kins felt, and, at the 
same time, how powerless ! 

Beally it seemed to him as though hie vcmrade was on 
this occasion destined to take his last look at lite. 

No words, however powerful and well chosec, could 
ever convey an adequate idea of the state of his feelings 
on that dreadful night. 

Three — four — five — eix o'clock sounded. 

Stili mere was no change, nor did his companions 
return. 

Then seven o'clock struck, and by that time a dusky 
kind of light filled all the street, and made the blade 
prison opposite look gloomier and more soul-chilli ng thau 
ever. 

Then, glancing around, Tom perceived Sixteen-Striug 
Jack at no great distance, and, by his manner, he was 
evidently searching for him. 

Moving from his place of concealment, Tom, watching 
an opportunity when Jack's gaze was turned in that 
direction, made a rapid sign. 

A recognition instantly followed, and he fell back. 

A moment afterwards, and he was rejoined by Jack. 

" You are securely hid here," he said. " For the last two 
hours I have been vainly searching for you, and forcing 
my way through the mob. Such a crowd surely was 
never known in London before. Should you wish to 
leave it now you would find it would take you a full hour 
to do so." 

"Indeed!" said Tom, wearily and sadly. "And what 
says Matthew?" 

" He could say nothing — nothing, at least, of any value 
But he is almost distracted by the imminence of the danger, 
yet I can tell by his manner that he is ready to abandon 
all hope." 

" And so am I," said Tom. " Where is Claude — have 
you seen him ?" 

"No." 

"Nor I." 

"Let us hope, then, that he will bring us good intelli- 
gence." 

" Yes, that's our only chance. But we stand too much 
in the shade for him to see us, should he work his way 
through the crowd to this point." 

" Shall we shift to a more open part?" 

"No, no — not now. It is growing lighter, and we 
should be careful how we show ourselves." 

" True, Tom — true. But I am so excited, and Dick's 
danger appears so very great that all others sink at once 
into insignificance when compared with it." 

" Yes, you are right. But look around you, can you 
see nothing of him?" 

"Nothing whatever." 

The hour of eight now pealed forth, and a man stand- 
ing near the highwaymen, exclaimed to those near him : 

" They're at breakfast now, I suppose ! Well, I don't 
care how soon it's over." 

"It isn't long to wait now," said another voice. "Ah, 
look ! here come the sheriffs !" 

A great commotion at this moment took place, and from 
the lower end of the Old Bailey there came loud shouts 
and cries. 

Neither Tom nor Jack could resist the temptation of 
looking in this direction, and then they caught sight of 
the horses, the gorgeous carriages, and the servants in 
their gaudy liveries. 

They paused for a moment near the Sessions House, 
then a gate was thrown open, and the carriages rolled 
into the court-yard. 

" One more hour," said the man who had before 
spoken, "and we shall begin to see something; it 
generally takes about an hour." 

Oh ! how full ol anxiety and alarm were Dick's two 
comrades then ! 

They telt as though impelled to dash themselves against 
the hard stone walls of Newgate. 

With eyes bloodshot with gazing bceadfastly so long, 
they continued to look upon the building before them. 

it must not De lost sight of that in these days execu- 
tions tooK piace generally about noon, and not at an early 
nour, as is the custom at the present day. 

At nine, or shortly afterwards, if the crowd was very 
dense, the procession usually started, and mado its way, at 



'&&> 



BLACK Bl*S 



oa, 



• slow, walking pace, towards Tyburn, which was rarely 
reached before the hour of twelve. 

As nine o'clock approached, then, the highwaymen and 
all the crowd became more impatient and excited than 
«Vf r. 

iSy this time, too. the dimensions of the crowd were 

methtng terrible to think of. 

As far as ever the eye could reach, ifi all directions, 
people were jammed together as closely as was possible, 
»ud the windows and roofs of the contiguous houses 
presented nothing but one mass of faces. 

Most o! the spectators, too, grew more, violent and 
demonstrative. 

But the huge uproar ceased as if by magic. 

The hour of nine was struck by St. Sepulchre's eiock, 
and then, with breathless eagerness, all eyes were turned 
towards the huge folding doors , through which the pro- 
cession would issue. 

A few moments only must elapse, and then those gates 
would be thrown back. 

Already in imagination they could 809 everything in 
readiness for the start. 

" The moment has come," said Tom, turning his hag- 
gard face towards his companions. " Can nothing be 
done ?" 

An impatient murmur rose from the crowd, and 
increased in sound as they found minute after minute 
elapsed without the opening of the doors. 

CHAPTER DCCCLXXLX. 

IF WHICH THE HIGHWAYMEN AND OLD MATTHEW GIVE 
THEMSELVES UP TO DESPAIR. 

Claude Duval, on separating himself from his com- 
panions, made his way at once to the Jew's Harp, in 
Hanging Sword Alley, where, as will be remembered, he 
met the " Family" on a former occasion, when he enlisted 
their services on Dick's behalf. 

But upon reaching this locality, he found, to his great 

disappointment, that immense alterations had taken place, 

and of the well-known thieves' ken not a trace remained. 

The fact was, it had been broken up by the police 

officers some months before. 

But of this fact Claude Duval was quite ignorant 
This disappointment was in truth most distressing, for 
the time was growing so fast towards morning. 

He was beginning even to have some doubts whether 
this night was a meeting night at all ; but remembering 
that the Three Tuns in Seven Dials was a well-known 
resort, he determined to hurry there, in the hope of 
success. 

But here again he met with disappointment. 
Making himself known to the landlord of the place, he 
was at once warmly received ; but in answer to his 
inquiries, he was informed that no meeting of the family 
had taken place that night, or would, and that most of the 
members were scattered over the country. 

Knowing that he could place the fullest trust in this 
inan, Claude sought his advice. 

But the landlord only shook his head by way of reply ; 
but being pressed etill further, he answered, at length : 

" Well, then, if you must know, it is my deliberate 
opinion that the captain has reached the end of his race. 
I have nothing to nay against him myself, except that he 
carried things off with rather too high a hand to please 
me ; but that's neither here nor there. 
" And can you offer no suggestion ?" 
"None whatever. The Government haa made up its 
mind to hang him, and hang him they will. Mark 
my words — thej t?ill come true." 

" I hope not," Laid Claude, and he once more sought 
i lie open air. 

He paused irresolutely now, uncertain whioh should be 
his next step to take. 

But after much reflection, he could think of nothing 
better than making his way to old Matthew's in Drurv 
Lane. 

He regretted now that he had not repaired these in the 
first instance. 

The distance was not great, and he arrived just riter 
Bixteen-String Jack had taken his departure. 

He found old Matthew in % dreadful state oi agita- 
tion. 

Bixteen-String Jaek haa told him ol his errand. 



'' No luck, then, Claude?" he said, as soon as he caoirlt 
sight of his face. "The expression of it is enough — you 
need not tell me." 

" But, Matthew," exclaimed Claude, with great earnest- 
ness and warmth, " you are a man of great resources, as 1 
know full well. Is it possible that in this emergency yot 
can find yourself quite aground ?" 

"It is," said Matthew, with a groan. "I don't believe 
any living human being could devise anything to save 
him from his fate. You see, those in power have made 
up their minds to his execution, and how is it possible for 
us to prevent it?" 

" How I regret that we troubled ourselves about the 
locket at all — that has been nothing but lost time." 

u And it has tied your hand? behind your backs as 
well," said Matthew, "for you kept waiting and waiting 
for that when .you ought to have been actively en- 



Yes — yes, I can see my mistake now plain enough ; 
but yet it is terrible to think of Dick being led forth to 
execution and us being unable to aid him." 

" It is indeed," said Matthew. " I have only just been 
told that a fresh detachment of troops has been sent 
down to Tyburn to reinforce those already there. From 
this," he added, " it would 6eem as though there was a 
suspicion a rescue would be attempted, and against well- 
armed, disciplined soldiers what chance would the 
populace have ?" 

Claude sank down in a chair, and covered his face with 
his hands. 

Old Matthew tried to say something about never 
despair, but failing in the attempt, sat down also, in an 
attitude very similar to Claude's. 

Thus they remained for some time, until the highway- 
man, suddenly starting to his feet, exclaimed : 

" But this will never do, Matthew — never — never !" 

" We may as well remain thus," said the landlord, in a 
broken voice — " we can do no good." 

" I don't know that," said Claude. "If we cannot save 
him we can at least perish in making the attempt, des- 
perate and fool-hardy as it may seem. I, for one, will 
endeavour to set him free, even if at the last moment."< 

" And so will I," said Matthew — " so will I. Just wait 
a moment — I will put on my coat, and we will be off to 
Newgate together." 

Matthew quickly donned his coat and hat, and then, 
leaving the house to take care of itself, accompanied 
Claude towards the Old Bailey. 

Long before they got anywhere near this thoroughfare, 
they found themselves surrounded by a vast crowd 
through which they with great difficulty forced them- 
selves, for every step had to be vigorously contested. 

The crowd was even denser and greater than Sixteen- 
String Jack had represented it to be. 

All were anxious to get in such a position as would 
enable them to command a view of the procession when 
it started, and those who had got anywhere near resolutely 
refused to allow another to pass them. 

It was only, then, by dint of the greatest exertions that 
Claude and Matthew managed to progress at all. 

It was shortly after the hour of nine — about the time 
when the silence that had fallen on the multitude was 
succeeded by a hoarse murmur — that old Matthew and 
Claude found themselves at length on the spot they 
wished to reach. 

Glancing keenly around, Matthew made out the form 
of Sixteen-String Jack, and at once pushed towards 
him. 

In another moment they were all standing in a group. 

Tom and Jack had ventured to indulge in the hope 
that these new-comers had brought wiva them welcome 
intelligence. 

But they were quickly disappointed. 

" The time has come," murmured Tom King. " Surely 
in another moment at the most the gates will be thrown 
open. We shall catch one sight of him then I hope." 

" The delay is extraordinary," said Sixteen-String Jack. 
"And look how excited and tumultuous the people are 
becoming ! Shall we look upon this delay as a good or a 
bad omen?" 

No one ventured to reply, and with an ever-increasing 
interest they turned their eyes towards the gate. 

The air was now rent by violent cries proceedir.y trow 
lusty throats. 



T«K KNIGHT OF TH* ROAD. 



1437 



Their patience was quite tired out at having waited 
for so long. 

All their vociferations, however, were not produotive 
of any effect. 

While they ehonted and bawled, time went relent- 
lessly on. 

The finger of St. Sepulohre's Churoh clock, at which 
ever and anon rapid glanoea were oast, moved slowly 
and steadily onward until the half hour was once more 
reached. 

No one could be more perplexed at this strange cir- 
cumstance than were the highwaymen and their friend 
the landlord. 

Strive as they would, they could come to no plausible 
solution of it. 

Ten o'clock came, and yet there were no more signs 
of the gates opening than there had been hours before. 

The behaviour of the populace now partook very 
much of the nature of a riot. 

Cries were raised that the gates should be battered 
down and the prisoner brought forth. 

All at once there was another sudden change in the 
behaviour of the mob. 

A whisper was passed from mouth to mouth almost 
with the speed of electricity, and spreading like some 
huge wave, reached the uttermost verge of the crowd. 

That whisper consisted of four words, and those four 
word 8 were : 

" Dick Turptn has escaped." 

The highwaymen started so violently upon receiving 
this intelligence, and showed so much surprise, that it 
is a wonder they escaped suspicion, and the fact oan 
only be accounted for by the preoccupation of everyone. 

" Escaped !" murmured Tom, between his lips, and 
looking as startled as though he had been told Newgate 
had been swallowed up by an earthquake — " escaped ! 
How ? Impossible !" 

" So I fear," said Claude Duval. " How can such a 
thing be true ?" 

" Have you kept good watch, Tom ?" asked old 
Matthew. 

" The very best, and I will Bwear at any moment that 
Bince I delivered the letter last night no living person 
baa left the prison." 

" Well, well," said Matthew — " this is more than 
strange ; but let me advise you to oast it from your 
minds, not to buoy yourselves up with hopes which are 
sure to be fallacious. It is some idle tale invented by 
some one to account for the delay. No, no — suoh news 
is too good to be true. Diek Turpin has not escaped." 

But tho remark was repeated again and again. 

Another hour passed away, and the gates were not 
opened. 

Then, indeed, it seemed as if there was some founda- 
tion for the report, for how would the execution take 
place at the appointed timeP 

Then such cries and groans of disappointment as arose 
from the vast mob had surely never been heard before. 

They considered they were cheated, deceived, and 
were exasperated accordingly. 

" Dare we believe it?" said Claude Duval, just after 
the clock struck. " Dare we place any faith in this 
assertion ?" 

" I don't know," said Matthew — " it seems very 
strange ; and if I thought I could only force my way 
through the crowd I would endeavour to put the question 
to some of the officers or officials of the prison. At any 
rate, I will try," he added — " I can do no harm. Wait 
here, and I shall know where to find you." 

The highwaymen made no opposition to his depar- 
ture. 

By gent! insinuating himself in between thecloaeiy- 
paoked people, old Matthew performed what seemed 
to be an impossibility, for he proved that there was 
room for yet one more among them. 

But his dimensions were so great that people instinc- 
tively shrank back to allow him passage, hoping he 
would get further away, in order that thel might be 
relieved from the extra pressure. 

And in this manner — although it was a very tedious 
operation — Matthew actually succeeded in getting to 
tho opposite side of the Old Bailey. 

Upon arriving there he found a scene of great excite- 
ment and animation going forward. 



The police officers had congregated into a huge 
group, and were conversing eagerly. 

To most of them old Matthew was known, yet 
they were so absorbed in their conversation that they 
did not perceive him. 

Venturing at last to touoh one on the shoulder, Mat- 
thew said : 

" What's this extraordinary tale I have just heard— 
is there any truth in it ?" 

The police officer eyed him suspiciously, 

" I faioy you had a hand in it," he said. " It passes 
my comprehension." 

" What ?" asked Matthew, with a fast-beating heart. 

" Why, how he could have escaped." 

" Then he has escaped ?" 

" Oh, yes, certainly ; I believe we can entertain no 
doubt upon that point, though how and by what means 
we cannot imagine." 

" It seems to me incredible," said Matthew. " I can't 
believe it even now. I thought the prison was to be 
closely watched by the whole force of police officers." 

" And so it has ; we have formed a circle round the 
building, one man being almost within reach of the other. 
I am oertain not one has been negligent in his duty ; 
every part of the outside of Newgate has been watched, 
and how Dick Turpin has escaped I can't make out, for 
no person has left the prison. Yet I am told that when 
they opened his cell no trace of him could be seen." 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXX. 

DICK'S ESCAPE FROM NEWGATE CONTINUES TO BE A 
PROFOUND MYSTERY, AND OLD MATTHEW INTRO- 
DUCES A SINGULAR PERSONAGE. 

This intelligence filled old Matthew with amazement, 
and, finding nothing more was to be gleaned, he turned 
round, and with infinite difficulty fought his way back 
to where he had left the highwaymen. 

On the present occasion, however, his task was by no 
means so difficult as it had been, for the people were 
really beginning to believe that Dick Turpin had 
escaped, and accordingly were gradually separating. 

Matthew's first words on rejoining the three friends 
were : 

"Follow me — be quick ; there's no good in remain- 
ing here any longer, and you had better retire before 
the crowd breaks up." 

" But Dick," said Tom — "is it possible that he has 
escaped?" 

"I believe it is true," said Matthew, with a smile, 
"and that's the same thing; but I am going to think 
about it." 

They walked on rapidly through the streets. 

Old Matthew led the way until, having got near to 
Drury Lane, Tom said : 

" Had we not better go in here where we left our 
horses ? Will it. not be dangerous to go to your house ?" 

"No, I think not," was his answer. " If I can guard 
against your being seen, why, you know, I have a 
hiding-place that will baffle the closest search." 

" I leave all to you," said Tom ; " but be quick, for 
I am anxious to know the result of your cogitations." 

Matthew walked boldly up White Horse Yard, and, 
finding no one was about to observe their movements, 
opened the little door in the wall. 

"We're all right," he said ; " but I should advise you 
to remain in the yard until I have seen that the coast 
is quite clear inside." 

The highwaymen consented, standing so as to be out 
of sight of anyone who might look through the win- 
dows. 

Matthew was absent only a moment, then he re- 
appeared and beckoned them. 

" All's right," he said, "there's not an officer in sight." 

He conducted them straight to tje parlour and made 
them acquainted with just wha* ^jd passed between 
himself and the officers. 

" Incomprehensible and increai*v r ao It may apperr" 
he concluded, " I suppose it is reaily true that Dies 
Turpin has escaped, though how he has managed to do 
so is positively marvellous. If he lias gone, all will be 
well, and I should recommend you to stay here till 
nightfall ; if he has not, we shall have quicker tidinge 
of it here than elsewhere." 



1435 



BLACK BE8S; OR, 



"Bat," said Tom, "can we not Bet it down as im- 
possible — as some mistake? Closely watched aa the 
prison has been, how can he have left it ?" 

Old Matthew put his finger by the side of his nose 
with a very wise expression. 

Then glancing around and speaking in a suppressed 
tone, he said : 

"I have an idea." 

" An idea ? but of wnat Kind ?" 

"About this affair. I may be wrong, you know, Out 
yet I have been putting two and two together." 

" Go on, Matthew," said the others, feverish with 
impatience, for they knew how great were his powers 
in arriving at the solution of any difficulty. 

" Well,' he said, " I incline to the belief that the King 
acted in good faith after all, and that the letter you de- 
livered was to the effeot that Diok Turpin should be re- 
leased. Bnt didn't the King tell you," he added, turning 
to Tom, " that it was not in his power to grant a proper 
pardon because of the strong feeling his ministers had 
on the subject ?" 

" Tea, he certainly said that, or something to the 
same effeot." 

" Just so. Well, then, under the ciroumetances, what 
would be the most probable letter he would address to 
the Governor P If you observe, the messenger appeared 
to have been aent off with aome aecreoy ; you might 
judge that by the time of night. Then the letter might 
command the Governor to let Dick out of Newgate 
somehow, secretly— stating that the Governor would be 
held free from the consequences of such an aot." 

Tom clapped hia handa together. 
"' "You have hit it, Matthew," he cried, enthusiasti- 
cally — "you have hit it! Now you speak, all comes 
over me with the full force of oonviction. That's it — 
we ought to have thought of it before." 

Old Matthew shook his head. 

" It's only an idea, understand," he said, " and it may 
be a very long way off the truth, yet to me there seems 
a very strong degree of probability about it." 

" There seems something more thau probability to 
mo," said Tom. 

" And to us also," added hia two companions. 

"Certainly," said Matthew, "it solves all our diffi- 
culties at once, and if I only knew for certain that Diok 
had escaped I should feel more confidence in it than ever." 

"Well, we must try and ascertain that; but if Dick 
haa escaped, surely he would make his way to Ealing." 

" Yes, it may be that he is already there." 

" Let us start off at once," cried Tom. 

"No — no," replied Matthew; ''restrain yourself; 
don't be blind to your owndangc ; it will be quite dif- 
ficult enough for you to mako your way horo by dark, 
and aa the day now is half gone I should recommend 
you to stay, besides, by nightfall, wes'u.Ui have certain 
information." 

"With some difficulty the highwaymen allowed them, 
selves to be persuaded by their old friend. 

Matthew also entreated them to use their best endea- 
vours to get a little repose. 

He assured them that they would be in perfect 
safety, as he would watch over them personally, and 
give them timely warning of the approach of danger. 

It was soon after this that he left them, and, by dint 
of making inquiriea in varioua directions, received 
confirmation of the intelligence that had already been 
imparted to him. 

The execution had not certainly taken place, and he 
felt tolerably sure that it would not be delayed except 
from some such cause aa that named. 

About duak he again sought the parlour. 

But looking in, he perceived that the three highway- 
men were all sleeping soundly. 

On making this discovery he dosed the door softly. 

" Let them stay," he murmured ; " it is better thus ; 
they will awake thoroughly refreshed, and equal to any 
emergency that may arise." 

On that particular night old Matthew felt no very 
great apprehension of a. visit from the police officers. 

It was rarely indeed that they visited his premise* 
two days running. 

Some might be watching around, but yet, if such was 
the ease, he had good hopes of £ . ^iing the highwaymen 
oat im.seeo, 



Claude Duval was the first to awake. 

He had fallen off to sleep unoonsoiously, and for a 
moment could scaroely make cut where he was. 

For one thing the darkness confused him, but in 
awaking he aroused hia two comradea, and they, like 
himself, could scarcely believe that night had come. 

Directly after this Matthew paid them another visit. 

" You are awake now, I see," he said, with a smile. 

" Yes, yes — but the news ?" 

" Good," was the answer. " The execution has not 
taken place to-day, and on every hand I receive nothing 
but confirmation of the news that Dick Turpin has been 
successful in making his escape, though how on earth 
he has managed it baffles everybody." 

Simultaneously the three highwaymen drew long 
breaths of relief. 

" It is at least a great comfort to know," said Tom 
King, " that there has been no exeoution at Tyburn to- 
day. I consider that points conclusively to the fact 
that Dick has escaped from Newgate ,• had he been safe 
in his prison the sentence of the law would most oer- 
tainly have been carried out." 

" I incline to that opinion too," said old Matthew ; 
and it is my belief that if you will mount your horses 
and ride off to the Three Spiders, that you vill find 
him there awaiting your arrival." 

"Then let us go at once," said Claude, with grenfc 
energy. " I am full of curiosity to know first whether 
this good news is really true, and if so, by what mys- 
terious agency Diok got out of Newgate." 

"That you will be sure to learn from his own lips,'' 
said Matthew, smiling; " and I suppose, as it is qui to 
dark and altogether an uncomfortable night, I shall not 
be able to persuade you to stay with me any longer." 

" No — no, Matthew," returned Tom, " not a moment 
longer, yet before we leave we must express to you how 
grateful we are for what you have done in our behalf." 

" Pooh — pooh !" 

" It's all very fine to say pooh, pooh, Matthew, but 
that doesn't alter the case in the least. Look at this 
last hiding-place of yours, for instance — it most as- 
suredly saved us, and yet you could not have con- 
structed it without great expense and trouble." 

" And you think I mind either. No, no — not a bit." 

" Well, Matthew," oontinued Tom, " I have made up 
my mind to this aa soon as I see the captain ; I shall 
relate everything to him, and then we shall decide upon 
a testimonial of some sort which we shall insist upon 
your acceptance of." 

"Well," returned old Matthew, " if you put it in that 
light I don't mind. And now, then, where do you say 
you left your horses?" 

The place was described. 

" Did you thing of going for thorn yourselves ?" 

" What do you think ?" 

" Why, that it would be unwise." 

"Who shall we send, then ?" 

" I have a little fellow here who will perform the 
task to your entire satisfaction." 

" Can he be trusted P" 

"Oh, yes, he ought to be. I knew his father well in 
years gone by, aud befriended him on many occasions, 
This is his only child ; he is an orphan, and unfor- 
tunately both deaf and dumb," 

" Then he ought to be faithful." 

"Yes ; if he only takes alter his father he will be 
faithful enough in all conscience, but I am not afraid." 

" Well, then, will you send him ?" 

"I will." 

" At once ?" 

" Yes. Should you like to sec him ?" 

" If you have no objection." 

" None in the least." 

Old Matthew left the parlour, and shortly afterwards 
returned with a boy about fourteen years of age. 

He was a very singular specimen of humanity indeed, 
with short legs, long arms, and a disproportionate head 
and body. 

He was attired with that gaudineaa which generally 
characterisea deformed persons. 

: In hia own opinion he was of great important indeed, 
yet, as he followed old Matthew into the rocm something 
after the mannerof an obedient dog, there was a peculiar 
shuffle in his gait, a bend in his shoulders, and a restless 



res &Muui of the koajj. 



148ft 



expression about his eyes that by no means pieposseesed 
the highwaymen with his appearance. 

His wide mouth was parted in a grin, and with nis 
lingers he played with the huge polished metal buttons 
upon his vest. 

By way of greeting he made a general salaam to all 
assembled, and yet as he made it his eyes, so quick and 
restless, took in every peculiarity in the highwaymen's 
appearance at one single glance. 

Then, folding his arms, he stood in an attitude as jiuch 
as to 6ay : 

"lam here — what do you want with me t" 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXXL 

TOM KING AND HIS COMRADES MEET WITH A DISAPPOINT- 
MENT ON THEIR ARRIVAL AT THE THREE SPIDERS. 

Old Matthew waited a moment in order that the high- 
waymen might look well at the messenger. 

Then making a sign to attract his attention, Matthew 
rapidly, with his fingers, instructed the boy to go to the 
stable and fetch the horses, bringing them towards the 
bottom of White Horse Yard. 

He made a low bow and retired, not, however, until he 
had taken another good look at the three highwaymen. 

"Well," said Matthew, as soon as the door had closed 
behind him, " what do you think of him — he is a queer- 
looking customer, is he not ?" 

"Very queer," 6aid Tom King, "and I don't mind say- 
ing, something very disagreeable and unpleasant in- 
deed." 

" Do you think so ?" 

" Yes, very." 

" Oh, that's only the first effect — it quickly wears off." 

" Can he be trusted ?" asked Tom, very earnestly. 

" Certainly." 

" Are you sure ? Have you ever put him to tho 
test ?" 

" Well, I can't say I have," returned Matthew, thought- 
fully, "for, candidly speaking, I never trust anybody 
more than I can help, and since I have had Manuel I 
have never required his services particularly." 

" Well," pursued Tom, " I may be mistaken, but if there 
is not treachery in him I am greatly deceived, so all that 
I can say is, be on your guard." 

" I shall, you may depend." 

" What, now, if he betrayed us ?" 

" Don't suppose such a thing !" exclaimed Matthew, 
with a start. " No — no," he added, " he would never be 
guilty of such baseness as that ! He is a good boy, and 
he knows what I have done for his father, and is also 
•ware that I am the only friend he has on earth." 

" I may be doing him an injustice," said Tom King. " I 
hope I am, and yet I fear that you are allowing yourself 
to be led away by some feeling of attachment that you 
Vad for his parent." 

Old Matthew was silent, as if these words had thrown 
Lim into a reverie. 

Eousing himself, however, he said : 

" It's a long story and some day I m*y tell you all 
»bout it." 

" About what ?" 

" About Manuel and his father, and how hj came into 
my charge." 

" We wiM ijot stop now, at any rate," said Claude 
Duval — " I am all impatience to be gone. Come, we may 
as well get outside and meet Manuel on the road." 

"Yes, that's just what I intended," said Tom King, 
" and am quite ready." 

" Farewell, then," criod old Matthew, as he led them 
into the back yard — "farewell! Remember me to the 
captain ; tell him that I am glad he has got so nicely out 
of his difficulty, and say I shall be glad to see him when- 
ever there is a chance." 

" I will, Matthew," said Tom King, grasping his hand. 

' And now, once more, many thanks, and farewell for the 
present." 

' ' Farewell !" said Matthew. ' ' I am sorry vo? ate 
going." 

Claude and Jack wso said good-bye, and the lattef , m? 
he parted from him at the little doorway, added - 

*" I hope we shall find our horses all right witb jour 
<mrot> friend ; but I confess I fully share in Tom King's 

iouw*. and. as a mere matter of caution. T only ask you 



to watch him carefully, and not to trust him with any 
secret until you have thoroughly tested him." 

"Leave me alone for that !" exclaimed old Matthew. 
"I shall look upon this service to-night as some guaran tea 
of his fidelity ; it remains to be seen how he will perform 
it." 

With these words the highwaymen departed, old 
Matthew closing the door in the wall quickly, lest any 
prying eyes should be abroad. 

When he had said it was a rainy, disagreeable night 
he had only spoken the truth. 

The sky was completely covered up by thick, heavy 
clouds, and the rain fell with the slow steadiness that 
seemed to promise a long continuance of it. 

The wind blew bleakly down the narrow passage, and 
the highwaymen were glad enough to get out of it. 

" We have a dirty night before us," said Claude, "yet 
it's all the better for that, as we are less likely to be 
pursued or interrupted, and I am anxious that we should 
make our way to Ealing with all speed." 

" So am I," said Tom. " Hark !" 

The faint clatter of horsed hoofs came upon his ears. 

" There are our steeds !" he cried. " Follow me. The 
sooner we join them the better." 

Hastening forward while he spoke, and trusting to his 
companions to follow his example, Tom crossed the 
street, and plunged down another. 

The boy was only just leaving the stables. 

He was leading out the horses. 

They were at his side before he was aware of it. 

Tom took a crown-piece from his pocket, and slipped 
tt into his hand. 

But the deaf and dumb boy seemed strangely absent 
and unobservant of what the highwaymen were doing. 

Those keen dark eyes of his were peering through the 
darkness in all directions. 

The highwaymen lost no time in mounting; but 
scarcely had they done 60 than a shrill whistle was 
blown, and the sound of horses' feet could be heard. 

" The officers," said Tom — "the officers are upon us! 
Quick ! Follow me, and I doubt not we shall outrun 
them." 

Tom turned his horse's head in the direction of 
Lincoln's-Inn-Fielas, that being the nearest route by 
which he could hope to gain the open country. 

The officers, in strong force, made their appearance •* 
the same moment. 

Glancing back and seeing this, Tom exclaimeda 

" It strikes me our suspicions were right after all 1 ~J~ 
that boy has not placed the officers on our track, it's od<i 
to me !" 

" It is very strange that they should appear so sud 
denly," said Claude ; " and yet, had they been informed 
surely they would have taken better measures for out 
capture." 

" I don't know that," was the reply. " It would ba 
easy for him to give the news to one who would hurry 
off for assistance." 

" True," said Jack. " And did you not notice that he 
Lad ample time to perform his errand and yet was only 
just leaving the stables ? His calculation may have been 
that he would have to wait for us at the corner of White 
Horse Yard, and he would have loitered with the horses 
until he was sure the officers were there." 

"It makes me feel quite uncomfortable to think of it," 
said Claude Duval, " and yet let us hope that we're mis- 
taken." 

" Hark !" said Tom King. " Now they are after us in 
good earnest ! Urge your horses to the utmost, and let us 
out-distance them as quickly as we can." 

Just while he spoke the officers came in view behind 
them in a dense throng. 

Some little delay had somehow taken place in getting 
fairly in pursuit of the highwaymen, but at length they 
had succeeded in getting a fair start. 

One cause of this delay was that all me officers knew 
well enough the resolute character of the men they were 
in hopes of capturing, and this made them desirous of all 
keeping close together in a body for protection. 

There were some who could have joined in the pursuit 
before the rest, but this they shrank from doing out of 
personal considerations, and they trusted that, whiJe 
keeping all together, they should yet be successfrl in »u» 
ning the highwaymen down. 



MW 



BLACK BBSS ; OB. 



Our friencUT horses, however, had been well attended 
to during their absence, and the long rest they had had 
made them ins* ready for a good gallop. 

Never before indeed did they appear to be possessed of 
so much vigour and mettle, and they tore along the silent 
streets at a speed that was positively alarming. 

Yet, with • dogged perseverance, the police officers 
kept on their trail, and it was not until London was left 
behind and the country fairly gained that the three high- 
waymen succeeded in quite shaking off their pursuers. 

Then Tom King, reining up suddenly, and wheeling 
his horse round, listened attentively. 

The wind, rushing through the branches of 6he trees, 
made a rustling noise, enough to drown any faint 
sound. 

But Tom's ears <rere sharp and well practiced, and 
after a moment's pause he exclaimed : 

" I think all's well, Claude ; I can hear nothing 5*" 

"Nor I." 

" Then now is the time to change our route. Quick- 
forward !" 

" You are more impatient to reach the Three Spiders 
than I am." 

Turning off completely at right angles from the course 
they had been pursuing, they made their way in almost a 
straight line for their destination. 

Even if the officers should be somewhere in the rear, 
and still keeping up the pursuit, this sudden change of 
direction would inevitably have the effect of baffling 
them. 

For the rest of the distance not another word was ex- 
changed, and although there was now no particular 
danger behind them, yet the horses were not suffered to 
relax their speed. 

At length, entering the little plantation, they pushed on 
towards the stables, and when near them, stopped to look 
up. 

The signal light was burning steadily but dimly in 
the little window, and, reassured by this, and drawing 
hopeful conclusions from it, they set about entering the 
stable without more delay. 

The door was only shut to and not fastened. 

It yielded to a touch. 

The horses were just placed in their stalls, the door 
bolted, and, reserving the task of attending to them to a 
future time, the three highwaymen hastened across the 
yard, impatient in the highest degree to have their hopes 
verified. 

Throwing open the door, they strode into the kitchen. 

Their appearance was greeted by a general cry, that 
seemed like one of dismay. 

" Good gracious," said Tom Davis, starting up from his 
seat, " you have come back at last !" 

Stifling a shriek, Maud tottered forward. 

" You have brought him," she said — " you have brought 
him ! The danger is past." 

The highwaymen staggered back as if shot, and could 
only gasp out: 

" Brought him ?" 

" Yes," said Maud, " do not fear the shook of his ap- 
pearance ; nothing could be worse than this suspense." 

" But we have not broagnt him," cried Tom King, in a 
loud voice — " we have not brought him, because we had 
every reason to believe that he was here already !" 

It was now the turn of those present to be amazed, and 
after this last speech of Tom's, a strange silence fell upon 
them all. 

Maud grasped the corner of a table for «Uflpo/t, and 
seemed by her manner as though upon the poin* of 
swooning. 

" But this mo't be explained," said Tom Davis. " Be 
quick — let us know all about it !" 

" But are you sure," cried Claude Duval, " that Dick 
has not come back — are you quite certain of it ?" 

" Yes, quit* ceitvn. What a strange question to ask! 
If he was he" ■ «fc*i* you think he would hasten to make 
his appef»ranc-» marjiest?" 

" Yes. yes — of course !" said Tom King. " But, rjerore 
going into any long explanations, just understand this im- 
"portant tact : Dick Turpin has escaped from Newgate 
without any of our assistance, and, as we came t© the con- 
clusion, had succeeded in reaching here." 

"Escaped?" cried Maud, with a shriek. "Do x,o« 
fce has escaped ?" 



" Yes, most certainly — we have conclusive evidence OB 
that point." 

She sank down with a sigh of rener, and began to 
weep. 

Tom Davis was surprised beyond all measure, and ha 
could only ask for a full account of what had happened. 

This Tom set about giving as accurately as possible 

When it was over, Tom Davis cried : 

" Hurrah ! It's all right I L don't feel afraid now — njy 
i.ot a bit of it ! If Dick has got out of Newgate, as it 
seems quite certain he has got out, he can be left to 
talve care of himself wherever he may be 1 Yes — yes, it's 
fcll /Ight ! He's got out somehow or other, and is only 
waiting for the vigilance of the police to abate a little. 
Rest assured he will be here at the very earliest 
moment !" 

" I hope so too," said Tom King, anxiously. " I cant 
take quite such a sanguine view of it as you do yet, if ho 
is out of Newgate." 

" But you told me you were sure of it." 

" Well, so I am sure of it." 

" Then," said Davis, again, " I tell you it's all right, and- 
all you have got to do in the meantime is to wait here 
patiently, and trust to his making his appearance." 

No one else present seemed inclined to look upon the 
matter in this hopeful light. 

If, as had been suggested, Dick had managed to get 
somewhere just out of Newgate and no more, he 
might again fall into the hands of the officers, and then 
nothing could save him. 

A gloomy silence followed, in which the ticking of the 
little Dutch clock became painfully audible. 

Then Tom King, starting up, said : 

" I don't know how you feel, comrades, but as for my- 
self, I can only say I find it impossible to stop here a 
moment longer — I can't stay here inactive for the life of 
me ! What do you say — will you accompany me back to 
London and endeavour to find out where the captain 
is?" 

" Yes — yes !" cried his companions, eagerly. " We 
are ready now, and to the full as anxious as yourself." 

" But " began Tom Davis, in a tone of expostula- 
tion. 

His words were suddenly interrupted by a terrific 
knocking at the front door — a knocking that seemed to 
cast quite a spell over everyone, leaving all immoveable. 

"Jack Marshall," gasped Tom Davis — "it's Jack 
Marshall, for a thousand pounds ! We're caught at last I 
No, no — hide — hide, quickly, all of you ! Be sure and get 
out of sight ! Leave nothing behind you, and I will 
delay opening the door as long as I am able !" 

The words were scarcely out of his mouth before the 
knocking was renewed with redoubled vigour. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXXI1. 

DESCRIBES THE EXTRAORDINARY INTERVIEW THAT TOOX 
PLACE BETWEEN DICK TDRPLN AND THE GOVERNOR OP 
NEWGATE. 

The Governor of Newgate was extremely surprised at 
receiving a communication from the King in so strange a 
fashion. 

Since he had been called to his present office, such an* 
event as a personal communication from royalty had 
never occurred, and he was in a state of flattering excite- 
ment accordingly. 

Certainly documents with the Kmg's signature had 
reached him many a time; but then they had always been 
forwarded through the medium of the Secretary of 
State. 

•£his, however, was no doubt a veritable regal epistle, 
with the King's own autograph, and especially addressed 
to him. 

Hastening to his own room, he unfastened the lock by 
means of a key on a small bunch that he always carried 
with him. and inside, as he expected ie found a letter 
bearing a large seal, on which was unmistakably impressed 
the royal arms of England. 

In a straggling, foreign-looking hand the letter woa 
superscribed : — 

w f© the Governor of the Prison or Nbwsmtx 
["Private and confidential,") 



THE KNIGHT OF THB ROAD. 




|THE HIGHWAIMbS AND TOM DAVIS AKB ALARMED AT THB SJ)OCKD»G AT THB DOOR. J 



>*or some moments Mr. Bradbury could not summon up 
•ourage enough to break the seal. 

He felt ready to bow himself down and pay homage to 
♦his representative of the King. 

Never before had he felt so strongly that pecuL'&riiy in 

s nature which always made him ready to worship 
v.jyone who stood higher in a worldly sense than him- 
elf. 

M length the letter was opened, and to his unmitigated 
surprise he read the following words — not wituout some 
difficulty, however, for they had the appearance of having 
been hastily scrawled : — 

" This is to certify that it is our royal pleasure that the 
Governor of our prison of Newgate shall at once set at large 
and release the prisoner he now has in custody, known by the 
same of Dick Turpin. And we still further command that 
skis release be effected as privately and secretly as possible, so 
Wo. 1 SI .—Black Buss. 

Mo. 181. 



as to leave no clue behind ; and as to the best means of doing 
this we leave entirely to the judgment of our faithful serncud 
the Governor. 

"George, Rex." 

Such was the letter, and after having perused it the 
Governor was in such a state of bewilderment that he 
could do nothing but sit helpless, while the King's letter 
seemed to dance before his eyes. 

Recovering himself, he looked more closely at it. 

Some doubt as to its genuineness had crossed faia 
mind. 

He scrutinised the signature attentively, and the result 
was that he felt perfectly convinced it was the King's own 
handwriting. He had seen it too often to make any mis- 
take. 

Yet, to satisfy any lingering doubt that he might have, 
be ufiiocked a small iron box, and took from it several 

Price One Halfpenny. 



VZl&cy Bma i ««■ 



dosur.ients to which the King's signature was ap- 

These wer3 one by one comparod, and the «^rrr.It 
was to strengthen . his conviction that the document 
was genuine. 

Having come to this conclusion, he restored the 

Sapers, and, leaning his head npon his hands, he tried 
rst to think what motives had induced the King to 
take so unusual a proceeding, and, secondly, by what 
moans he could spirit Dick Turpin out of Newgate. 

In both of these attempts he failed most signally, an& 
as a last resource he took up the lamp and his master* 
koy, muttering the while : 

" My course is clear. Tni? letter will shield me. I 
will go to Turpin — he w a clever fellow, and will give 
me some information, beyond all doubt. I can under- 
stand now why he gave me his word not to escape, and 
why he has taken things so coolly and comfortably ever 
since he has been here." 

With these reflections the Governor made his way 
towards Turpin's cell. 

The two men were there on the watch, as usual. 

The door was unfastened, and he entered in the 
manner described at the close of a preceding chapter. 

When Dick, thus suddenly aroused, perceived the 
paper in the Governor's hands, he felt a sensation of 
relief come over him 

By instinct he seemed to know that the paper was the 
warrant for his liberation. 

Accordingly, he sprang to hia feet, and tho door 
having been closed, the Governor said : 

" Come here, and read this." 

Dick advanced. 

But his excitement was so groat, and his eyes were 
*o unaccustomed to the glare of the lamp, that he failed 
to make out a single word, although he tried his ut- 
most. 

" Thank you," he said, drawing back. "Would you 
oblige me b,w reading it ? I cannot." 

The Governor did oblige him, and Dick listened with 
sensations of the utmost pleasure. 

At last he should be free. 

All his anxieties and misgivingu had pa^ed away. 

His comrade had succeeded, and the locket had proved 
its virtues. 

" Now," said the Governor, sitting down upon a chair, 
'• the authority of this paper is a thing that I cannot dis- 
pute, and of course I shall act in accordance with it ; its 
production will shield me from all after consequences." 

"There i3 no need to fear anything," said Dick; 
" but. at the same time, I should recommend you to 
preserve that letter faithfully." 

The Governor smiled, for he had fully resolved never 
to part with it. 

The position of Dick was now very much altered so 
far as the Governor was concerned — in fact, the latter 
wa3 inclined to look up to him, as was his habit to al- 
most everyone. 

But the prominent idea in the Governor's mind was 
the very probable and reasonable one that Dick Turpin 
was the holder of some important State aocret which, 
on the present occasion, had saved his life. 

Wishing to understand as much of it as possible, Mr. 
Bradbury said : 

" Now, Turpin, I have not found you to be altogether 
an unreasonable fellow, and I trust I have not gained 
your ill-will ?" 

" You certainly have not," said Dick. " I have £rt a 
few words to say upon that point." 

" Well, reserve them for the present, and listen. I 
want you, if you will, to favour me with some account 
of the origin of this letter. How came tho King to 
■writ© it ?" 

" It is simple," said Dick. " Some time ago, ciiau_d 
threw me in the way of a lady connected in some manner 
or other — I don't pretend to know how — with the royal 
family. To her I rendered a most important service, 
and, in return, she forced me to accept a small locket, 
the deliverance of which to tho King, she assured too. 
would suffice to get mo out of the greatest danger." 

" Oh !" said the Governor, drawing a long breath, 
** that's it, is it ?" And you found somo means of deli- 



sting this loeket ?" 
Yo». I did. A cc 



comrade of mine took it, T believe, and 



now you can understand why 1 £&ve j'>r> n-.v word sfcofc 
to attempt to escape." 

" I can understand it now very wsii," ssts-j v^i 
Governor, with another long breath ; " and y«t 1 ques- 
tion whether I should have placed so much faith upoa 
the King's word as you have. I should have been full 
of doubts and fears." 

Dick smiled. 

" Not if you had lived in an atmosphere of danger so 
long as I have." 

" Well, that may be," replied the Governor ; " but 
what you have told me takes a great weight off my 
mind. And now, to consider the best means by which 
you can leave the prison unseen." 

"Yes, that's important," said Diok; "and if the 
officers are watching so attentively as you stated, I don't 
know how it is to be done." 

" I spoke the truth," said tho Govrenor. " You can't 
imagine their vigilance." 

" Wait a moment," said Dick. " Wo will, if you like, 
leave the discussion of that point for a little whilo 
longer. There is something I wish to say." 

"What is it?" 

" You spoke about my having no reasonable ground 
for complaint against you." 

The Governor smiled. 

" It is quite true," continued Dick, " and, in the event 
of things turning as they have, I had made up my mind 
just what I would do." 

" Indeed !" said tho Governor. " And what may that 
be?" 

" Why, of course I might say a great many things ex- 
pressive of my gratitude, and so forth, but then they 
would only be words, after all, leaving nothing substan- 
tial behind them. Now my desire is to give you soma 
permanent mark of respect, if you will not mind accept- 
ing it." 

" I want nothing," the Governor said, though the 
words were uttered in a tone that belied their import. 

" Well," said Dick, " I am going to leave it to you in 
this way '• I wish to make a substantial recognition, and 
this is how I propose it. Do you know Hampstead 
Heath ?" 

" I do — very well," answered the Governor, with a 
smile. 

" Do you know the eastern end of it ?" 

" Yes, quite well." 

"Do you happen to remember," pursued Dick, "see- 
ing at the eastern extremity of the Heath an old tree 
that has been almost felled by time ? The branches are 
all gone, and nothing but an old trunk remains, and 
that leans so far out of the perpendicular that it 
threatens to fall every moment." 

"I cannot say I have observed it," replied the 
Governor, after a moment's consideration. " Surely I 
oould have no difficulty in finding it." 

" You will have no difficulty," said Turpin. " It is 
just in the position I describe, and so singular-looking 
a tree as that cannot be mistaken for another." 

" Well," said tho Governor, somewhat feverishly-' 
" well ?" 

" It is well," said Turpin, with a smile, " for if, at any 
time you think proper, you will repair to that spot, and, 
going to the west side of the trunk of the tree, begin to 
dig close among the roots, you will find about eighteen 
inches from the surface the substantial recognition of 
whioh I spoke." 

"But — but " began the Governor, hesitatingly. 

" You need have no scruples about appropriating it," 
returned Turpin — " in fact, I leave it entirely to you. 
If you like, you can go there and dig ; and if not, I 
hope yCa will not bt offended." 

" By no means," said the Governor, before whose eye* 
there seemed to arise a most dazzling prospect — " by nc 
means : not that I desire to have anything more than 
your thanks and the expression of your good will," h« 
added, hypooritally. 

" Well, then, you have them," said Turpin, " and yoa 
can have the other if you choose. And now, then, for 
a consideration of the other point." 

" Your leaving Newgate secretly P' 

''Yes — just so." 

" Well, how is it to bo done ?" 

" Can you think of no means f" 



TUB KNIQHT OF TUB ROAD. 



1443 



" No. I would rather leave it to you, and if you sug- 
gest anything reasonable I will consent to it." 

" Wait a moment," said Dick. 

Then, passing his hand over his forehead, he rapidiy 
brought it down upon his thigh with an air of satisfac- 
tion. 

" A good thought 1 '• he said. " Yes, I have it — a good 
thought !" 

"Well," said the Governor, anxiously, "out with it. 
Let me know what it is." 

" Send the two men outside for a haokney-coach, and 
let it be brought round opposite the door leading from 
your own house. Then we will leave here together, and 
«s soon as the coach arrives we will both pass through 
your front door, descend the steps, enter it together, and 
drive off. By that means the police officers will no 
doubt be thrown completely off their guard." 

"Humph!" said the Governor, musingly. "Is there 
no other way ?" 

CHAPTER DCCCLXXXm. 

DICK TURP1N AND THE GOVERNOR OF NEWGATE HOLD 
A DEEPLY-INTERESTING CONFERENCE. 

" None that I can think of," replied Dick. " But sup- 
pose you give the matter a few moments' consideration. 
You ought to be best able to judge what will be most 
successful." 

The Governor rubbed his head with a puzzled air. 

■" I am sadly afraid " b* began. 

" Of what ?" interrupted Dick, anxiously. 

" That your plan will never do." 

"Indeed. Why not P" 

" Simply because you have, as I might say, overlooked 
one very important fact — that of the prison being so 
closely surrounded by officers." 

" Do you think they would notice us, thsn, if we left 
by your own private door ?" 

" Yes, I do ; because when I said a short time ago that 
Newgate was so closely watched, and not a mouse could 
leave it unseen, I spoke literally. Depend upon it, the 
officers are so interested in what they are about tb°.t 
they will never for one moment remove their eyet, ' } 

Diok rested his chin in between his hands. 

" That does indeed make it diffioult : and so, jffir. 
Bradbury, I shall be obliged to leave it to you, after 
all." 

The Governor was seriously puzzled by the task that 
"was set before him. 

For the life of him he could not tell by what means 
Dick was to be spirited out of prison. 

Time was passing, too, and the crowd outside in the 
Old Bailey was something terrific, and even the presence 
of all those people inoreased the difficulty of quitting 
the prison. 

At length, Dick, after some moments' thought, raised 
his head, and fixed hia eyes with a peculiar expression 
apon the Governor. 

" Mr. Bradbury," he said, " I fancy, after all, there is 
but one way." 

" One way?" echoed the Governor, almost mechanic- 
ally. 

" Yes. As H is impossible for me to leave Newgate 
unseen, I must remain where I am." 

Ihe Governor stared at the prisoner for some moments 
in the most undisguised astonishment, and then he 
gasped rather than said : 

" Remain where you are ? Why — why " 

Dick only smiled at the puzzled expression of his 
countenance. 



"I 
said. 



must r»ake 



my meaning a little clearer," he 

" Yes, do so, pray, for may I be hanged if I can under- 
stand you now at all !" 

"Listen, then," said Dick. **I suppose when it >« 
known I have escaped " 

The Governor interrupted him. 

" You are beginning at the wrong end, my friend. It 
-will be time enough to consider what will be done after 
your escape, when you have decided as to how you are 
to obtain your freedom." 

" No, no," said Dick — " excuse me. Just allow me to 
JLnish." 

" Verx well. Go on, then." 



"I. say, after I have escaped, I suppose the vigilancs 
of tne police officers will materially abate, for there wih 
then be no necessity for them to keep up their Btriot, 
observant watch." 

" No— no, certainly not," said the Governor; "but 
what has that to do with it ?" 

" Everything," said Dick, " for, in half a dozen words, 
what I propose is that you should conceal me some- 
where in the prison for the space of twenty-four hours 
or so ; then, when it is given out and believed that I 
have escaped, and the officers, as you say, have relaxed 
their vigilance — then will be the time for me to slip off 
quietly." 

" Good!" said Mr. Bradbury, clapping his hands to- 
gether, with his eyes sparkling brightly — " good ! You 
hav\-» hit the nail right on the head this time and no 
mistake ! I wonder how it was we did not think of 
that before ?" 

" It is not yet too late," said Dick. " Am I to nnder- 
der stand that you approve of tliis suggestion ?" 

" Yes — most decidedly 1 approve of it, for what better 
one could be made ?" 

Dick was silent, and then the Governor continued, 
almost immediately : 

" There are a few obstacles in the way of carrying out 
this design." 
Dick nodded, as he replied : 

" I am quite aware of that ; but still there is no doubt 
they can be overcome." 

"Very likely," said the Governor; "and to begin 
with the first and greatest, we have the two men out- 
side." 
" Just so." 

" Now, how are they to be managed ? You cannot 
leave this cell without being seen by them ; and so 
fee question arises : shall we take them into our confi- 
dence ?" 

" Not by any means," said Dick ; " and, if you will 
excuse me, I would suggest that we speak in rather a 
lower tone of voice." 

"A good caution. But now, Turpin, if we don't take 
these men into our confidence, how shall you manage to 
get out of the cell ?" 

" We must consider," said Turpin. "There is time 
yet, and it seems to me you are the proper person to 
decide upon the best means of dealing with them." 

" It has been many and many a day," exclaimed the 
Governor, " since I puzzled my brains to such an extent ! 
If you'd give me th9 world I don't know how this is to 
be managed !" 

" Stay a little," said Dick. " Could you not manage 
to send one of them to fetch something for you ?" 

" Yes — certainly," answered the Governor, abstract- 
edly. " One could go ; but how about the other ?" 
" Why, suppose, after a time, you send him too ?" 
"I comprehend you," cried the Governor, with a 
readiness of apprehension that rather surprised Dick — 
" I comprehend you, and, as there is no time to be lost, 
I will commence at once." 

Dick did not venture to say no, for he was anxious to 
quit the cell in whioh he had passed so many lonely 
hours, though, had he followed his own inclinations, be 
would first of all have planned his proceedings from the 
beginning to the end. 

The Governor, however, rose briskly to his feet, and, 
going to the door, tapped upon it with his knuckles. 

The man outside understood the signal, and imme- 
diately opened it. 
"Miller !" he cried. 
" Yes, sir." 

" You know my room— my office, I mean, where the 
papers are kept ?" 
" Yes, sir, I know it." 

" Well, then, I want you to go there," continued the 
Governor, " and Just inside the little drawer in the table, 
and lying quite on the top of the other papers, you will 
see a letter in a large envelope. Go and bring it to 
me." 
" I will, sir," 

" You are sure you understand ? Don't fail to bring 
the right one." 

Miller shuffled off, and the Governor closed the dooi 
agwin. 

"There's one gone," he said, in a whisper, to Dick, 



!•**» 



ULACH. BBSS ; us, 



"though we must bo quick, for he will soon re- 
tern." 

" And the other ?" Turpin exclaimed— how abon* 
the other ?" 

" I will show yon," said Mr. Bradbury. But just 
wait a moment. I am not afraid that Miller will return 
fnst yet. for one thing, the distance is considerable, and 
for another, in the drawer to which I have sent hira is a 
large flat bottle of Hollands, and if he does not pay his 
respects to that before he returns, I am not G<— ernor 
of Newgate." 

Dick laughed, and then there was a pause of w>out 
half a minute's duration. 

At the end of that time the Governor again went to 
the door and tapped at it as be had done on the pre- 
vious occasion. ^ 
The other man opened it. 

"Oh, I am very sorry," said the Governor, "but you 
heard what I said to Miller a moment ago ? 
"Yes, sir." 

" Well, now, I find I have just made a mistake. The 
letter I spoke of is not in the drawer, but under the ink- 
stand in the centre of the table. He will perhaps tnrn 
all my papers topsy-turvy. Just run and tell him what 
I say. I can guard the prisoner in the meantime." 

The man nodded, and made off at once, for in Newgate 
Mr. Bradbury reigned supreme, and not one of his sub- 
ordinates ever dreamed of such an outrageous thing as 
questioning any command that might be issued. 

" Now is your time, Dick," said the Governor, turn- 
ing round, hastily. " The coast is clear, and will be for 
at least another moment." 

" Capital !" said Dick. " Upon my word, you deserve 
much for your ingenuity ! You have managed this 
cleverly indeed. What a pity you wore not a diploma- 
tist." 

The Governor smiled, and felt pleased at the compli- 
ment. 

"I flatter myself," he said, " that I should have suc- 
ceeded in that line very well. But be quick — there's no 
knowing how soon those fellows may take it into their 
heads to return." 

" But where shall I go ?" said Dick, who, in spits of 
his self-command, felt his heart beating at a more than 
usual rate. 

"When you get into tho passage," whispered the 
Governor, hurriedly, " turn to the right, and hasten for- 
ward for a short distance. On both sides of you you 
will see doors similar to this sunk deeply in the wall. 
Conceal yourself in ono of them. The passage is dark, 
and as the turnkeys will never think of looking for you 
yon will be unseen." 

" And then," said Dick, " what next ?" 
" Wait there until you see me pass along the passage, 
then step forth, and, as noiselessly as you can, follow 
in my footsteps." 

" Good !" said Dick. " I trust all to you, and depend 
npon it this will not be the worst night's work that you 
have ever done." 

With these words on his lips Dick slipped through the 
door of his cell, and as he did so he drew a long breath, 
and felt quite a joyous feeling come over him. 
It seemed to him that he was already free. 
Following the injunctions of the Governor, he turned 
■iO the right, and hastened for some distance along the 
corridor. 

As he had beon told, it was very dark, for although 
oil lamps were burning dimly here and there, yet the 
warders did not trust so much to them as to the lan- 
terns they always carried with them, and which served 
to dissipate tho darkness. 

The doors, too, were sunk verv deeply into tho <vall, 
and, as a matter of course, these recesses were in very 
dark shade indeed, and Dick felt that he oould scarcely 
lw>pe for a better hiding-place. 

All at onco, he heard a footstep, and then, imme- 
diately afterwards, perceived at somn distance the flash- 
ing of a light. r 

Murmuring voices reached his ears, and althou^ia ue 
had not gone so far along the corridor as he oould have 
■wished, yet he felt that his wisest course would be to 
ooneeal himself at once, and therefore slipping into one 
•ai the dark recess es we has j described, he squeezed lum- 
mU as closely as he could intr the corner formed by the 



door and the wall, and remained there a prey to con- 
siderable anxiety, and listening to the voices and foot- 
steps of the men who wore approaching. 

CHAPTER DCCCLXXXrV. 

Dion TO Rl*IN MAKES HIMSELF COMFORTABLE IN THB 
•RTVATE APARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNOR. 

Dick could not help leflecting how strange it was that 
he should feel so deep an interest in every move- 
ment made and word spoken by these two men, and yet 
such was the ca.se, and he strained his sense of hearing 
to the utmost, in order to make out what they were 
saying to each other. 

He gathered first, from the tones of their voices, that 
some dispute was going on oetween them. 
Directly afterwards he distinguished the words : 
" I tell you you are a fool, Dick Miller, and I don't 
go behind your back to say it !" 
" Oh, bother !" 

"Well, we shall see," returned the other turnke.v. 
"Don't you think the Governor knows all about th»t 
bottle of hollands in his drawer ? — don't you even think 
that he could have missed the smallest drop of it ?" 
"Oh, bother !" said Miller again. 
" And yet when I came into theioom," continued tha 
other, " tlieie you must be swigging at it, and not con- 
tent with that, must be so frightened at hearing some 
one come in that you dropped it." 

" Well, it was your fault !" growled Miller. " What 
the deuco did you want to come sneaking into the room 
like that for ? Who expected you, I should like to 
know, scaring a fe/low out of his blessed wits ?" 

" I didu't come sneaking in — I walked in because Jv'r 
Bradbury sent me. What excuse shall you make abo.:t 
the hollands ? — that's what I want to know." 
"Well, how does it concern you?" 
" Why, I know you of old. You would not scruple to 
put it on to my shoulders if you could 1" 
Dick Miller laughed. 

"Well, stow it now," he said; "we can finish the 
subject another time. Do you want him to overhear us P" 
" No — not I. But what will he say when wo tell him 
that we can't find the letter ho sent us for P" 

"Ah!" exclaimed Dick Miller, with an air of satis- 
faction, " I am glad to say you are as deeply in for that 
as I am — he can't blame one without blaming both." 

" Well," said the other turnkey, "he told me it was 
under tho inkstand, and I'll take my eath any minute it 
wasn't — so there's an end." 
By this time the two men got out of heaving. 
Upon reaching the door of the cell so lately occupied 
by Dick Turpin, they tapped upon it with their knuckles. 
The Governor opened it to the extent of about s 
couple of inches. 

" Well," he said, " the letter ?" 

" If you please, sir," returned Miller, humbly, " we've 
looked everywhere, and can't find it." 

" Can't find it ? Was it act under the inkstand ?" 
" No, sir." 

" Well, where can it have got to ? However, never 
mind." 

Then, turning round, as if Dick was still in the ce!' 
and as if he was about to address him, the Governoi 
said: 

" 1 will go myself, Turpin, and fetch the warrant 
since you profess to bo so particular about it ; or, if yc 
don't mind waiting, you 6hall eeo it the first thing i 
tbg morning." 

With these words, the Governor stepped nimbly ou 
of the cell, drawing the door after him. 

" Now, Miller," lie said, " put the bar up, and faster 
the door securely. Mind, you are responsible for you: 
prisoner, and if he gets out between^now and niorn'i- 
you will be punished severely." 

"All right, sir!" said the turnkey. "Yon never 
knew Dick Miller mako a failure of that kind y 
Now," he continued, as he finished putting up the fas 
' tenings, " get out of that, Mr. Diok, if you can.' 
Never for ono moment did the idea occur to the 
keys that Dick had been already liberated from his cell - 
indeed, it was not likely that so unreasonable a notion 
should enter their minds ; therefore, drawing up the fcwc 
three- legged stools with which tkoy had provided there 



Tfl« KNIGHT Of TBI BO AD. 



1445" 



•elves, they sat down with their baoks to the door, pre- 
pared to wait patiently till morning. 

The Governor walked along the passage with a faeavy 
tread, the echoes of his footsteps reverberating through 
the long, silent corridors. 

Dick observe'! his ooming, and as soon as the Governor 
passed his hiding-place, he stepped out on tiptoe. 

Then, guessing why the Governor was treading with 
such unusual heaviness, Dick cleverly and quickly fell 
into step with him, keeping such exact time, and allow- 
ing his feet to fall so lightly, that it would have required 
a very sharp ear to dis + inguish that two persons were 
walking along the stone corridor instead of one. 

At every step they took the necossitv for this caution 
abated, yet they did not venture to change their posi- 
tions. 

To what part of the prison the Governor was now 
about to conduct him, Dick Turpin scarcely knew, but 
contented himself with thinking that it would be to 
some place where, at any rate, they could sit down and 
hold a further consultation as to his future proceed- 
ings. 

In this he was not mistaken. 

Pursuing certain passages rarely used by anyone ex- 
cept himself, and which led directly to his own private 
apartments, the Governor hurried forward, nor die. he 
pause until the room was reached in which he sat down 
to transact his business. 

Dick Turpin entered closely after him, and, ia obe- 
dience with a sign from the Governor, closed the door 
and slipped a little bolt into its socket. 

Then the first thing that met their gaze was the frag- 
ments of the broken bottle of hollands, which wore 
strewn in all directions about the carpet, while the room 
was filled with the overpowering odour of that spirit. 

Instead of manifesting any anger at making this dis- 
covery, as one might have expected, the Governor 
placed his hands slowly together, and began to rub 
them one over the other with an air of great apparent 
satisfaction. 

" Capital," he said — " capital ! Nothing could be 
better!'* 

" Indeed !" said Dick. " May I ask to what yourefer ?" 

"Why, this," he replied, pointing to the broken glass 
upon the floor. " I told you they would not fail to pay 
their respects to this bottle of spirits, and by some ac- 
cident or other, you see, they have broken it. They will 
now be frightened to death, lest I should expose what 
they have done, and cause them to be punished. They 
are now quite in my power, which, just at the present 
time, is quite a fortunate circumstance." 

Again the Governor rubbed his hands, and Dick, leav- 
ing him to indulge in hi3 felicitations, drew a chair close 
op to the fire and sat down. 

He spread out his fingers to the blaze, for his cell was 
damp and chilly, and the sight of a little fire was now 
quite a pleasant thing. 

Outside in the street the roaring and howling of the 
people could bo heard with painful distinctness. 

It was a sound that Dick hated to listen to, and yet 
he could not close his ears to it. 

Little, however, did he think that his comrades 
formed a parcel of the disorderly route outside, ncr 
did ho guess how anxiously their eyes where fixed upon 
that portion of the prison occupied by the Governor. 

" Now," said Mr. Bradbury at "«ngth, turning to the 
fire, " having accomplished our purpose so far, and 
having succeeded so well, let us have a little further 
consideration." 

"With all uay heart." 

" Well, then, it seems to me the chief thing is to de- 
cide where you are to remain concealed until night- 
fall." 

Dick nodded. 

"well, continued the Governor, " I must confess 
that is a matter that puzzles me. I should be glad to 
place one of my private rooms at your disposal, but," 
he concluded, with a sigh and a shake of his head,. " *hftt 
is impossible— quite impossible." 

"Indeed!" said Dirk. "I am very forry fc> ae»r 
that." 

" It is no fault of mine," continued Mr. Bradbury — . 
** none at all, I assure you. It is Mrs. B. — a most In- 
(ui-utive woman she is, f can e-ssure yov ; and as for 



I trusting her with a secret But there, that will do- 
least said soonest mended." 
Dick laughed as he said : c 

• I don't want to cause you any trouble, Mr. Brad- 
bury, lam much obliged to you for all you have done; 
but is there no cell into which you could slip me and 
keep me safe till the appointed time ?" 

Mr. Bradbury again shook his head. 

" We are so uncommonly full," he said — " I scarcely 
ever knew such a thing, and, besides, you might be 
liable to discovery in a moment." 

" Then what on earth is to be done t" 

" That's just what I want to know, and I should be 
glad if you »»ould think the matter over." 

Dick continued to warm himself by the fire, and for 
several moments there was a profound sdence, which 
was broken at length by the Governor, who asked : 

" Well, Dick, have you yet thought of anything ?" 

" Nothing particular," was the answer. " To be sure 
there' 3 one idea ; but then " 

" Let us hear it, said the Governor — " let ns hear it, 
by all means !" 

" Well, then," began Dick, " although you have been 
Governor of this prison for so short a period, yet you 
must be aware that the present building is quite a 
modern structure." 

" Yes," said the Governor — " that's true enough." 

" Quite true," replied Dick. " Newgate was first built 
many hundreds of years ago, and from time to time the 
place has been pulled down, and rebuilt and altered." 

" Well, what of all this ?" said the Governor, growing 
interested, though he could not see what it had to do 
with finding a hiding-place for his prisoner. 

" Simply this," was Dick's answer. "In the course 
of this pulling down, and rebuilding, and alteration, 
some portions of the ancient edifice have been left, and^ 
to cut short my remarks, I have been told that under- 
neath this present prison of Newgate there exists what 
one may term another prison, being the remains of the 
dungeons formerly constructed there." 

" Yes," answered Mr. Bradbury. " I have heard 
something of the kind myself, though I never paid 
much attention to it. Still, even supposing such places 
as you mention to exist, they have not been opened for 
centuries at least, and it is very improbable that any com- 
munication exists between the old prison and the new." 

"Yet such might be the case," said Dick—" indeed, I 
have, heard it confidently asserted. Now yon under- 
stand the drift of my remarks. If we can find out this 
communication, surely, if I conceal myself in under- 
ground Newgate, I shall never be discovered, not even if 
my presence in the building was guessed at, and a close 
search made." 

The Governor shivered, and half unconsciously drew 
closer to the fire. 

" But just consider," he said, " what an uncomfort- 
able place to be in. Fancy the idea of remaining in 
vaults or dungeons that have been closed up so long- 
alone, too ! Should you not feel afraid r" 

CHAPTER DCCCLXXXV. 

THE aOVERNOB OP NEWGATE DISCOVERS THAT HE 
HAS MADE A TREMENDOUS BLUNDER. 

At these words, Dick Turpin's lips curled with a eca* 
temptuous smile. 

"Afraid," he said— "I afraid? No, fear and Dick 
Turpin have never been acquainted yet, and they will 
always continue strangers— leas* of all should I be 
afraid of darkness." 

" It is not the darkness," said the Governor, ■' but 
the associations. However, not to go into the subject 
any further, just tell me by what means yon hope to 
discover a way of communication, supposing any to 
exist." 

*' Oh," said Dick, " that's just the point." 

wish I could give you some information upon it 
but I can't." 

"Neither can I," continued Turpin, whose eyos had 
daring the last few moments been resting upon 'a rang*' 
of shelves. " Do you not think it possible that some oi- 
those volumes might give us the information we seek ?" 

"They might," said the Governor; "they are the 
annals of Newgate, though, to tell the truth, ever skioe J 



\w 



BLAex Bixsa: o«, 



hare been he« I have had enough to do in keep^*i » 
the records without looking back to the past." 

" I suppose so," said Turpin, rising and going to- 
wards the books, in which, as may be imagined, he f alt 
more than a common interest 

The Governor placed himself by his side, *„nd, with a, 
brush that he had picked up, removed a portion of the 
dust covering the books, so that the lettering could be 
eeen. 

" 1 am no boolc scholar," said Turpin. " Supposu 
yon reach down one or two of them and glance over the 
paires ; you may find something." 

The Governor evidently thought the suggestion a 
good one, for he at once took down one of the dusty 
volumes and turned over its mouldering pages. 

" If," said Dick, " you could only find a plan 01 map 
of some kind, that would be all we should require ; 
but stay — what's that ?" 

Even as he spoke, the Governor paused in turning 
over the book, for in between two of the leaves a 
folded sheet of paper had been placed. 

This ho at once spread open, and he had to be par- 
ticularly careful in the process. 

The paper was so old, and so decayed by age, that it 
almost fell to pieces beneath his touch. 

Upon it could be traced several indistinct lines, and 
in the lower right-hand corner in large letters was the 
word " Newgate." 

'• This must be the very thing," said Dick, bending 
forward eagerly. 

The Governor bent down too, and managed to de- 
cipher the words : 

" Plan of ye Prison of Newgate. Anno 1611." 

" That's the thing," said Dick, as the Governor read 
these words aloud. " I think we are all right now." 

Long and anxiously did that strange pair bend over 
the mouldering old map and follow out with their 
fingera the various lines upon it. 

It was necessary that the examination should be a 
careful one, and it was some time indeed before they 
could exactly make out the bearings of it. 

At last, having succeeded, the Governor said : 

" Here, if anywhere, are the means of communication. 
Whether such may exist to this day is very doubtful, 
and yet I have a recollection of seeing an old door at 
the extremity of one of the underground passages, the 
cells leading out of which," he added, s ' have for a long 
time been disused in consequonce of the damp." 

" Then I have good hopes of it," said Turpin. " At 
any rate, we will go there and look." 

"Agreed," said the Governor, folding up the map and 
.restoring it to its place. "What a fortunate dis- 
covery !" he added, as he turned back. 

" Most fortunate ! And now. to set the point at rest." 

" In a moment," said the Governor—" in a moment ; 
but I feel fatigued, and exhausted, and chilly, this 
evening. Suppose we have one glass together ; I should 
be better prenared to start then." 

"As you will," said Dick, carelessly. "I hold you 
responsible for my safety. You know what the King 
has written, and he will look to you to carry out his 
commands." 

" Yes," said the Governor, " there a no doubt about 
that. I will hide you somewhere, rest assured, and 
between now and morning there is time enough and to 

"Very true," said Dick ; "and I would rather be 
seated here in your pleasant company than down below 
by myself." 

The Governor went to a little cupboard, and pro- 
duced a couple of glasses and a bottle. 

A small kettle was simmering by the side of the fire, 
and with the water he made two glasses very hot and 
n.-ry strong. . . . , , , , , 

Surely, of all the sVmnge positions in whicn Uiok had 
been placed, this was strangest of all. 

Who in the whole world would credit that a notok-Jus 
highwayman like himself, whose capture had been a 
source of so much trouble, should be seated quietly by 
the fireside drinking a glass with *he Governor d 
Newgate ? , . 

Yet there he was, and could any of his comrades D^t 
haw had a glance aft him, they would have seen fraat 
be looked vei\y comfortable indeed. 



It was after a pause that had > egtm to grow irk- 
some, that Dick said: 

" Since we are to sit here a few mo?B^>it8 together, 
Mr. Bradbury, there's a little select I should bka to 
talk over with you." 

* Indeed ! What is it P" 

' Well, one that turns on', go be of bo impori*«oe 
now ; but would you mind favouring me with a sight of 
the warrant that has been re -indorsed for my execution?" 

" Bow strange !" though the Governor, for just tbea 
he remembered the wor«L= "!se had made uso of wise* 
leaving the cell. 

Then aloud he added 

" I am happy to oblige /« U in tntoh a simple tsmrg aa 
that. Here it is." 

He rose from his seat aa be gfs&e, aed p&oed a 
parchment in Turpin's haiivi 

" There," he added, pointing to some "Turing on the 
outside of it. " you see the secretary b» r just signed 
his name, and put the date." 

" Yes, I ece," said Dick; " but I am not quite satis* 
fied." 

" Indeed ! In what way can I satisfy you ?" 

"I don't understand these documents myself," Dick 
answered. " Suppose you open it, and begin to read it." 

"It'll take some time," said the Governor; "but, 
however, I can't refuse you." 

Accordingly, he opened the warrant, and went 
through the preamble at the head of it ; then uttered a 
shout of surprise. 

Dick gazed at him quietly, and from his manner it 
was evident he expected some such manifestation from 
the Governor. 

''WTiat's the matter?" he inquired, seeing that the 
Governor looked more and more amazed. 

Mr. Bradbury did not reply, but looked at the war- 
rant again, as though in doubt whether his eyes had 
served him aright. 

Then, with a look of consternation, and almost of 
horror, on his countenance, ho dropped the paper, and 
stared at Dick, who simply said : 

"Well?" 

" Well ?" exclaimed the Governor. " It is not at all 
well. But let me look again — I cannot even now believe 
it!" 

He glanced again at the warrant, and then said: 

" Xo, there can be no mistake — this is not the war- 
rant for your execution." 

Dick nodded as if he felt quite certain this was a 
fact. 

" Indeed," continued the Governor, " it is a warrant 
for a companion of yours — to wit, Tom King." 

" I don't doubt it," said Turpin ; " but I am just alittle 
curious to know by what means you could make thaj 
warrant serve for me. You told me I had been tried 
and sentence passed upon me, which was true, though 
not at Newgate." 

"Ah!" cried the Governor, drawing a breath of re- 
lief ; "you have been tried then ?" 

" Yes, certainly, but it was only for a boyish freak. I 
was taken up on a charge of deer stealing, and brought 
b if ore a magistrate named Sir Thomas Deane, who found 
me guilty and pronounced sentonoe. But what has 
that to do with the present matter ?" 

" Nothing at all," said the Governor. " The blunder lb 
mine — a most awful blunder, I must say, yet how it ha* 
remained undetected passes my comprehension." 

" It is by no means clear to me." said Turpin, "though 
I could give a guess. But explain it." 

" I will," said the Governor. " Candidly, then, I muni 
tell you that the impression was quite strong and fixed 
in my mind that yon had been confined in Newgate " 

" So I have," interrupted Dick. 
'' Tried and condemn ' 4 -." 

" Which I h»TV not," ho interrupted, agaia. 

" Well, T . fully believed so, and I thought yon onTy 
escaped when Newgate was attacked by the mob. Th&ji 
woo auring the time when Mr. Cawthorn was Governor. 
O «K nodded. 

" I wa -s in Newgate then, ht saw, but 1 was awi* 
ing trial— not condemned. Tom King was here too, 
and the wxrrant was all in readiness for his executioa, 
but, luc fly, he escaped." . , 

" That where the mistake *e. said tue Uovesnos. 4 



IHU KNTGHT OF THE ROAD. 



1417 



•went to these papers under the impression I have just . 
imtned, and, coming to this warrant, did not trouble my ' 
w»lf to glance at it particularly, for, as you see, it runs 
thus : ' Of Tom King, the accomplice of Dick Turpin and 
©thers.' You see, there's your name on it," he continued, 
pointing it out to Dick, " and so, with this impression on 
my mind, I folded it up and sent it off, believing it w»* 
veritably the warrant for your execution." 

" But would not such a mistake be discovered /' 

m I should have thought so," said the Governor. " It t» 
pretty clear the Secretary of State looked at it no more 
attentively than I did ; the probability is, he just endorsed 
it, as you see, without ever unfolding it ; or, if he was 
aware of the mistake, as he may be, his idea might 
iave been that it would be best found out afterwards." 

Dick drew a long breath. 

" I wish I had understood this fully before," he said. 
" It would have altered my course of action ; and yet, 
■pon second thoughts, perhaps things are best as they 
are." 

" Yes, rely upon it," said the Governor, who, every 
time he looked at the warrant, felt a pang of alarm. 

" But just for curiosity's sake," exclaimed Dick, " tell 
me what would have been the effect of the discovery of 
this mistake in the warrant, supposing it had been made 
before my execution ?" 

" Why, it could not have taken place, that's all," said 
the Governor — " at least, not by the time appointed. You 
would have been seized, imprisoned again, and properly 
tried. Of course a verdict of guilty would have been 
found, and your position would be just the same aa 
before." 

Dick suddenly became lost in thought. 

Bousing himself at length, he cried : 

" Say no more about it, Mr. Bradbury. Depend upon 
it, I will not mention the subject, for fear that it should 
bring you into any trouble, and for the present you know 
I am safe — in fact, I always shall be, for no matter what 
the odds may be , I will never yield myself a prisoner 
again — I have had enough of it." 

The Governor pushed the warrant out of the way, 
and drained his glass. 

" I am afraid," he said, " though I thank you all the 
same, that this matter will creep out ; some people must 
recollect all about it, and then there will be a regular 
row." 

"Don't foar," said Dick, "for through mo you have 
gained a powerful friend." 

This remembrance appeased the Governor greatly. 

Dick emptied his glass also, aM then said : 

" Come, Mr. Bradbury, we have asX here long enough ; 
it is getting fast towards morning m^T, and if the com- 
munication with old Newgate is to be discovered, now 
is the time. Lead the way — I shall be glad to be re- 
lieved of my present state of suspense." 

" No doubt," said the Governor, rather gloomily. 
** I wish from the very bottom of my heart that the day 
was over, and night come." 

" And I wish," Dick added, "that I was safe out of 
Newgate, and a mile away from it at the least." 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXXVI. 

DICK TURPIN SUCCEEDS IN GAINING ADMISSION TO A 
PORTION OF OLD NEWGATE. 

"No doubt," said the Governor, smiling at the hearti- 
ness with which Dick Turpin spoke — " no doubt, but 
some time will have to elapse before that desirable state 
of things can possibly come to pass-" 

He took up the lamp as he spoka, and stopped to- 
wards the door. 

" Excuse me for making myself so muoh at home," 
said Dick ; " but if you have no objection I will appro- 
priate this bottle of brandy to vag own use ; it strike* 
me that it will prove no bad companion to me when 
down there in the vaults." 

" Take it — take it, by all means," said the Governor ; 
" you will indeed want something to keep the damp 
•ut." 

" And a light," said Turpin — " I must have a I?gat 
of some description ; not that I care so much about 
remaining in the dark, only if I have a lamp burning ! 
shall know at once by the appearance of the flame whe- 
ther the air I breathe is pure enough to support life." 



- The Governor nodded. 

. - " A prudent thought," he said. " You must not be 
without a lamp, otherwise you might stray into some 
passage or other where the air is vitiated from having 
been o'osed up so long ; no doubt the whole place ia 
filled with a foul atmosphere." 

'• Then, if you like," said Dick, " I will take the lamp 
you have in your hand " 

" Very good." 

" But shall you not want so me light in ord<er to re- 
turn?" 

" No," replied the Governor, with a smile. " Snort as 
has been my residence in Newgate, I have already learned 
every turn and corner in it. I can find my way back in 
the dark easily ; and there will be this advantage attached 
to it, I shall be more likely to escape observation." 

Dick nodded as he answered : 

" Lead on, then, now — I am quite ready." 

The Governor obeyed, and the next mom ent this 
strangely-assorted couple were traversing the long, 
silent corridors of Newgate. 

Very still, very gloomy, and very oppressive were 
they, and a by no means comfortable sensation came 
over Dick, but he banished it as well as he could, and, 
in obedience to the injunctions of his companion, trod 
as lightly as was possible. 

More like, two ghosts, then, than two living human 
beings, they continued gliding along passages, which 
seemed interminable, especially to Dick, who was top- 
full of impatience. 

Fearing to raise an alarm, scarcely a word had been 
exchanged between them since they started, but all at 
once the Governor, pausing slightly, said, in a whisper : 

" Now, then, we shall soon know whether the entrance 
to old Newgate exists, for at the bottom of this flight 
of steps is the corridor of which I spoke." 

Dick made no reply, but raised his finger and pointed 
down the slippery staircase at the top of which they 
3tood. 

Mr. Bradbury understood him, and commenced the 
descent. 

Ever since they had quitted the Governor's apart- 
ments they had been gradually descendiug. 

Each passage that they traversed was on a lower 
level than the one preceding it. 

Never until now, however, had they reached a stair- 
case so deep and well-like as this one. 

The air, too, was bitter cold, and laden with an un- 
wholesome moisture. 

" There is not much fear of an interruption now," the 
Governor said, speaking as well as his chattering teeth 
would allow him ; " this partof the prison is never visited, 
I believe, and you may almost make yourself safe here — 
the cells are all out of repair, and quite unfit for use." 

Just as he finished speaking, the bottom of the stair- 
case was reached, and then they found themselves 
standing in an arched passage, so narrow, that by 
standing in the centre of it, and stretching out the 
arms horizontally the sides could be touched, and so 
low that Dick's hat brushed away many of the dark 
fungi that depended from the ceiling. 

The walls, too, in many places were covered with 
nitric exhalations, which had crystallised, and so sparkled 
brilliantly as the rays of the lamp fell upon them. 

But there was a general clamminess in the air, and an 
unwholesome odour that irresistibly reminded them of 
the grave. 

Mr. Bradbury seemed by no means anxious to linger 
in this passage. 

He quickened his pace considerably, and then, having 
reached the extremity of the passage, paused. 

Deeply set in the crumbling wall was a small door, 
apparently of great strength. 

Jt wa3 secured by means of massive iron bars, a huge 
tot A, and a bolt of corresponding proportions at thd 
top and bottom. 

There," said the Governor, \vith a shiver, "that's 
the door, and beyond all doubt there lies beyond it all 
that remains of old Newgate." 

It was impossible for Dick to look upon the old door- 
way without a feeling of deep, strange interest. 

" Will you hold the lamp," said the Governor, " while 
Vtry to remove the bars and bolts P" 

" Nay," said Dick, placing the bottle oa the jrra 



IMS 



BUCK BBSS; OU, 



" allow me to do that, for I fancy I am stronger than 
you a*e. But how about the look— how shall we urjo 
that?" _„_ 

" I know net," said the Governor. * The chances are 
a thousand to one whether the key belonging to it is, in 
existence. To me, the door itself looks very old und 
rotten, and if the bars are taken down and the b It* 
withdrawn, we may be able to force it open." 

Dick thought so too, and then, not without m <jh 
trouble, and difficulty, and delay, managed to remove 
the fastenings spoken of. 

The bolts gave him the greatest trouble, for It seemed 
as though they had completely rusted into their sockets. 

" Now," said the Governor, when the laB* bolt was 
« ith.lrawn, ' try if the door will open." 

Dick pressed against J t, and it gave way slightly 

" I think we shall manage it," he said. " Either the 
luck has rusted away or else the place into whioh the 
bit fits has rotted.' 

He again renewed the pressure, though the Go vernor 
exclaimed » 

" No violence, mind — no violence! This place, for all 
I know, may be visited to-aorrow, and your destruction, 
or, at least, your discovery is certain if there are any 
*p; varance3 of thie door having been forced." 

" All right," said Dick. " There you are." 

Just as he spoke the door creaked open a little way 
upon its hinges. 

The lock had been forced, but it was the doorpost 
that had given way, and on the side where they now 
stool no traces of violence could be perceived. 

No sooner was the door opened than a .quantity of 
foul air rushed forth. 

So powerful was it that both Dick and the Governor 
felt giddy and 6ick, and the light they carried was well- 
nigh extinguished. . 

But, mingling with the purer atmosphere m the damp 
passage, the foul air quickly los + its noxious qualities. 

" That's not encouraging," said Dick, as soon as he 
was able to speak. " However, we will push the door 
wide open, so as to ventilate the place a little bit. 

This he did, and remained for some time in order that 
the desired effect might be produced. 

Then, warned by the flight of time, he picked up the 
bottle of brandy from the floor, and took the lamp from 
the hands of the Governor. 

"Good-bye for the present," he 6aid— good-bye! 
"lake the door secure after rne.and when it is time for 
u:e to escape, come here again." 

"You may depend upon that," said the Governor. 
" And, if a long time elapses, do not bo either alarmed 
or uneasy, for circumstances may keep me away." 

"You may depend upon that. I shall keep perfectly 
quiet until you return. I have no wish to be dis- 
covered." 

" That is stiificient, then. Good-bye ! 

Dick, with the lamp in his hand, crossed the gloomy 
threshold, and stood in a passage leading he knew not 
whither. . , 

The Governor closed the door, and, in spite of the 
darkness, succeeded in replacing the whole of the 
fastenings, and so successfully that it was very doubt- 
ful that the fact of the door having been opened would 
be discovered. 

Although in Newgate, and in that damp, ©old pas- 
sage, Dick Turpin had felt while the Governor was 
with him that he was an inmate of this world and that 
fliere was life around him ; but a* eooa. as the old door 
was closed this impression vanished, and was succeeded 
by a totally different one. 

It seemed as though in crossing th*t threshoH he 
had stepped from life to death. 

The silence around was something terrible ; even «ie 
retreating footsteps of the Governor could not be distin ■ 
guished, and the darknesa was so dense that it defied 
altogether the illuminating powers of the lamp, whieh 
seemed to shine only like a star from a dark cloud. 

With a view of getting the better of these feelings, 
Dick applied himself to the bottle of brandy, and having , 
drunk a small portion of the spirit, felt considerably 
relieved — he looked about him, indeed, with quite a J 
different feeling, and he either imagined, or it was a 
reality, that the lamp now burned more clearly tha* 
before, and enabled him to Bee around him. 



So far as he could tell, the passage in which he stoo4 
did not differ particularly from the one he had just left f 
yet he felt a strange sensation creep over him, as he re- 
flected th** probably he was the only human being wh# 
had stood there for more than a hundred years. 

And now, as he remained quite still, listening, a faint 
sound that was before inaudible came upon his ears. 

It was the dull drip, drip of water triokling down 
somewhere in the distance. 

In such a place as that Dick felt that ft woulu be some 
relief and consolation to hear even his own voice, and 
so, in default of having anyone to speak to, he uttered 
his thoughts aloud. 

" I can't remain here an the time,'' he said — " I should 
be chilled through to the very bone. No, I will take 
advantage of this opportunity to explore the hidden 
mysteries of old Newgate. No doubt I shall find much 
to interest me and repay me for my trouble. But I 
must be careful in my wanderings. What means can I 
adopt to find my way back to this door with certainty?" 

This was a question that -required a good deal of 
deliberation. 

Many means suggested themselves to him, only, un- 
fortunately, he had not the necessary tools to carry 
them into effect. 

A simple plan would have been to make chalk marks 
upon the floor, but even this was impossible, for he had 
no chalk. 

Soon afterwards, however, it occurred to him that he 
might manage to pick out a piece of crumbling mortar 
from the wall, and make that answer bis purpose ; at 
any rate, he resolved to try. 

He suooeeded in obtaining a piece of mortar from 
between two of the stones, and, upon trying whether 
it would leave a mark behind it, was delighted to find 
that it answered the purpose almost as well as chalk 
itself, for, being soft with damp, it crumbled easily. 

Feeling now great, confidence in being able to find 
his way back, and having refreshed himself with another 
draught of brandy, Dick took up the lamp, and walked 
slowly and carefully along the passage, looking k«»«aly at 
each side of him. 

Having gone about twenty paces, he paused, and, 
stooping down, drew upon the flooring a rude repre- 
sentation of an arrow with the point turned in the 
direction of the door. 

By the aid of this he could not possibly fail to find 
his way back, nor could he be in any doubt as to which 
way he should turn ; and this precaution he resolved ta 
adopt r*3 every twenty paces or thereabouts. 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXXVn. 

IN WHIOH THE TWO SHERIFFS LOSE THEIR APPETTTBB 
FOR BREAKFAST. 

It was ia no very enviable frame of mind that the 
Governor of Newgate groped his way back through the 
dark passages to his own apartments. 

However much confidence he might place in the 
King's letter, yet he knew there could not fail to be » 
tremendous row when Turpin's absence was discovered, 
and the eonsequencea might be very disagreeable te> 
himself, though he was sustained by the thought the* 
in the end all would be welL 

His rnina wae troubled, too, respecting the egregious 
Wonder he had made with regard to the warrant. 

He was afraid that mistake would somehow or other 
become known, or the sheriffs might take it mto their 
heads to look at the document, and then a discovery 
would be certain. . . 

This would bring up a fresh charge against him, for 
he would have to clear himself from bis very culpable 
negligence. . , . 

When, therefore, he ascended to his bedroom to 
snateh an hour or ao's sleep before the business of the 
day began, he was in no humour to listen to the rail- 
ings of hia wife ; and in a short time such a storm ol 
words arose that the Governor was obliged to retreat 
vanquished from the room— sleep there was quite ovM 
of the question. . . ., 

Descending to his office, he sat there watohing t 
laykght as it gradually stole into the r^T«. 



THE KNIGHT OP THE ROAD. 



1449 




[the attack or THE police officers upon the three spiders inn.1 



He went once to the blind, and drew it slightly aside 
to peep out. 

He drew back immediately, somewhat dismayed by 
the immense concourse without. 

" They will be enraged beyond all measure," he 
muttered," when they learn their disappointment. How- 
ever, the walls of Newgate are strong, and while I am 
within them I shall be safe." 

Breakfast was brought, but Mr. Bradbury wa3 too 
excited to partake of anything. 

He solaced himself with one more perus'ai of the King's 
letter, which he carefully consigned to an inner pocket 
of his coat. 

It was shortly afterwards the intelligence was brought 
to liim tliat the sheriffs had arrived. 

It was his duty to receive them, and usher them into 
the prison, so he went forth accordingly. 

No. 182.— Black Bsas. 



No. 182. 



Never before had the Governor appeared so full of 
urbanity. , L 

He bowed so continually and so deeply, that it seemed 
as if he was unable to Btraighten his back. 

"Very good— very good !" said one of the ehenffs, in 
a wheezy voice, and who, had >e not rejoiced in the sug- 
gestive name of Moses Moses, would have been known 
by the cast of his countenance to be a descendant of 
Abraham. 

His companion was a Mr. Lupin, a silk mercer in the 
City, whose premises having once been broken into and 
robbed, had caused him ever afterwards to be an impla- 
cable foe to robbers of all kinds, and nothing in tb», 
world afforded him so much genuine satisfaction as t® 
see one of the race disposed of at Tyburn. 

"Breakfast is ready, I suppose, Bradbury," said Mr. 
Lupin. " We will sit down to breakfast, and then wa 



Prick One Halfpenny. 



MM -J*> .r 



1450 



BLACK BESS ; OR, 



shall be fortified against tho heavy duties of this day. 
The prisoner is all right, I suppose ?" 

" Oh, ye3 !" said the Governor, licking his lips, and 
hewing again so as to conceal his countenance as much 
as possible. " I have been most particular in my charge 
of him, and paid him a visit in his cell at midnight, erd 
left him there quite safe." t, 

" And were two men outside the door ?" 

" Yes, 71 responded the Governor, " they ha 1 ,* keps «-~re- 
ful watch ever since." 

" That's all right, then." 

"Mr. Lupin," said Mr. Moses, "it strikes eis it would 
be no very bad thing if we were to pay a visit to the 
cell the first thing — just a preliminary visi, f . you 
know." 

" Good — so we will !" responded his companion. " I 
am sure the sight of the rascal will impart an extra relish 
to every mouthful I eat !" 

The Governor began to tremble. 

The moment of discovery had come. 
' " I'll warrant," said Moses Moses, " that, with all his 
bravado, this Turpin will not have so good au appetite 
for his breakfast as we shall — eh, Lupin ?" 

"No — no, decidedly not," responded that individual, 
passing his arm through that of his fellow-sheriff. 

Mr. Bradbury, with a dreadful quaking at the heart, led 
the sheriffs to the vestibule of tho prison. 

Here they found the turnkey who had behaved in so 
friendly a manner to Dick, with a huge tray of eatables in 
bis hands. 

" Eh— eh ?" said Moses Moses. " Who's that for ?" 

"What is it— what is it?" inquired the Governor, 
addressing the turnkey. 

"The prisoner's breakfast, if you please, sir," he 
answered, respectfully. "I was just going to take it 
ia." 

" Dear me !" ejaculated Lupin. " The idea of a prisoner 
having such a breakfast as that ! It's time this state of 
lyings was altered. Why, the rascals positively livo in 
Newgate like kings — yes, like King» • 

" You can follow us, then," said Mr. Bradbury ; " we're 
going to the ceil now." 

To the cell accordingly ho morched, and, reaching tho 
door of it, he found the two turnkeys much in the same 
position a3 he had left them the night before. 

They rose at once, seeing tho Governor and sheriffs 
approach, and bowed verv humbly. 

" All right ?" said Moses Moses, interrogatively — 
"prisoner all right, I suppose?" 

"Oh, yes," returned Miller, with great politeness. 
" We've never stirred a blessed peg from this door since 
the Governor left us." 

" Thcu he's sure to be safe — eh, Lupin ?" 

"Yes, decidedly safe, my dear sir." 

" Then," cried Moses Moses, "just open the door, if you 
please." 

The Governor made a sign to the two men to remove 
the fastenings, trying hard all the while to look uncon- 
scious of what was about to take place. 

Little dreaming of the discovery they were about to 
make, the turnkeys pushed open the door. 

Miller crossed the threshold with the intention of warn- 
ing the prisoner that distinguished visitors were about to 
enter. 

But no sooner had ne gone far enough to enable him to 
command a view of the whole interior of the cell than he 
stood like a man suddenly transformed to ice, while 
ail that escaped his lips was the remarkable exclama- 
tion: 

" Well, blow my higgledy piggledy !" 

The other turnkey, guessing at once something was 
wrong, jumped into the cell and placed himself beside his 
comrade. 

Then, rolling his eyes around twice with a terrified ex- 
pression, he uttered a fearful yell. 

" Dear me !" said Moses Moses. " What is it ?" 

" Au escape !" said Lupin, with a pang. "Oh, there's 
a.u escape —something tells me there's an escape!" 

" An escape ?" echoed tho Governor. " Impossible ! I 
assure you I left him here safe at midnight, as these two 
meu will testify." 

Unheeding his remarks, the two sheriffs pushed their 
way into the cell, where the Governor thought it prudent 
to follow the; i. 



It needed only one glance to assure them all th*l iba 
coll was untenanted. 

The Governor pretended to look sstoundod. 

" Well," he ejaculated, "this passes my comprehension 
altogether. I left him here safe not many hours ago. 
Miller, don't you recollect that I did ?" 

"Yes, sir, I do. I recollect it very well, and I will 
swear that since then we've never inoved our backs from 
the door !" 

"Then how has he got out?" cried Mr. Lupin, in such 
evident distress tha f it was plain his appetite for his 
breakfast had vanished. "By what means has he 
escaped ?" 

This led to a close investigation of the coll, which, of 
course, produced no result except that of convincing them 
that all was just as it should be, p/sd that there was 
nothing whatever to show by what means the prisoner 
had departed 

Had lie vanished into air before their eyes, his disap- 
pearance could not have been more extraordinary or 
complete. 

For some moments the sheriffs stood staring dumbly 
at each other, the Governor in the meantime looking at 
them furtively. 

At length, in a very pompous voice, Mr. Moses Moses 
spoke. 

" Bradbury," he said," you will have to account for 
this, and it's a very odd thing to mo if you dou't find 
yourself in custody before the day is out — indeed, I have 
a good miud to give you in charge now." 

"My dear sir," said the Governor, almost falling 
flat on Ids face — "my dear sir, don't utter any such 
words !" 

" But he is gone," said Mr. Lupin, with a shriek — " he is 
gone, and he has taken my appetito with him !" 

"At any rate," pursued Moses Moses, " theso two men 
shall be carefully locked up. They shall answer for their 
neglect of duty." 

Two men more utterly astounded than were these tvr* 
tors Keys cou^a not i ^M» be found. 

The astonishment depicted upon their countenance 
was truly a eight to look at. 

Had they been by some extraordinary means convinced 
that they were hot in Newgate, but up in the moon, 
they could not have been more incredulous or over- 
whelmed. 

Mr. Lupin all at once recollected that the Governor 
had mentioned paying the prisoner a visit at midnight, 
and so he blade some inquiries on that point. 

The Governor assured them that he had then left Dick 
Turpin quite safe in his cell, and that when he opened 
the door and went out, tho men had carefully fastened 
it. 

This, however, did not satisfy the sheriffs. 

The more they thought the matter over, and the more 
they inquired into it, the more freely they became im- 
pressed with tho conviction that, the prisoner had made 
his escape at letet by the connivance of the turnkeys, 
if not by that of the Governor himself. 

At any rate, they determined that a searching investiga- 
tion should be mail:. 

Mr. Moses Moses started the idea that Dick Turpin 
might still Is somewhere in the prison, and, unlikely as 
tins idea v. as, it was seized upou gladly by the two 
turnkeys, who at once desired that the closest search 
should be made. 

They hoped, with all their hearts, fist Dick would be 
found. 

They knew their own innocence, but they felt that it 
would avail them nothing at all. 

We have overlooked the friendly turnkey, whose asto- 
nishment scarcely exceeded his joy upon finding that 
Dick Turpin had so mysteriously disappeared, yet when 
the sheriffs talked about searching the prison he felt Fear- 
fully uneasy. 

lie knew, from actual observation, how close wsh the 
watch which the officers had kept all around the prison. 
and therefore felt certain that by no possibility could Dies 
have left its precincts unseen. 

Trembling, therefore, with dread, he w?.ite<3 with 
great anxiety the reeuit of tho st&rcb tJu-oufjh tii« 
prison. 



THE KNiGtlT OF THE HOAJ). 



1451 



CHAPTER DOOOLXXXVIII 

DICK njRPIS MARTS AN UNBXPECTKD DISCOVERY IS OKF. 
OF THE CORRGDOKS OF O.'/D NEWMTE. 

The rapidity with which the intelligence spread ail o?er 
Newgate that Dick Turpiu had mysteriously disappeared 
from his cell was something astonishing. 

From mouth to mouth the strange story went, uutfl in 
the huge pile of building there was cot a single person 
unacquainted with it, the prisoners alone excepted. 

The utmost consternation was the result, and many 
were the strange, ridiculous speculations indulge^ >**• sill 
of which were very far indeed from the mark. 

Mr. Moses Moses had quite decit? 3d upon the necessity 
of a search, and he suggested to the Governor that until 
the building was thoroughly looked over the news of the 
escape should not bo suffered to reach the ears of any 
persons outside. 

The Governor, of course, readily fell into fe«3 views, 
for he had no rc.isoa to oppose thein; consequently, the 
search having been agreed upon, means were taken to aet 
about it without delay. 

"If I might suggest, Mr. Moses," said the Governor. 

" Oh, certainly, suggest what you like." 

" Well, then, I would propose that we all go to the 
vestibule aud begin our search from that point, because 
it is from there that all parts of Newgate can be 
reached." 

This proposition seemed such a reasonable one that the 
sheriffs at once adopted it. 

To the vestibule accordingly they went, and, the neces- 
sary keys having been provided, they began their difficult 
and tedious task. 

Yet they persevered, for the sheriffs really felt quite a 
personal interest in the matter, and it would have 
vexed them exceedingly had the prisoner got out of their 
clutches. 

Bat there is no necessity for us to accompany them in 
their search through the vaults aud corridors, since we 
know very well that the search could only result la a 
failure. 

Down to the lowermost vaults and up on to the top of 
the roof of the building went the sheriffs, the Governor, 
aud a party of turnkeys. 

But nowhere could they discover a single trace of jlie 
absent prisoner. 

■Without appearing to have any such design, the Gover- 
nor carefully avoided going to those damp, underground 
cells communicating with old Nowgate, and as the ac- 
quaintance of the sheriffs with the prison was very super- 
ficial indeed, they were none the wiser in this respect — in 
fact, the door at the top of the long flight of steps descend- 
ing to the ceils wa3 always kept locked, and ths hey was 
never out of the Governor's possession. 

After searching for upwards of an hour, the sheriffs, 
tired, vexed, and hot, were obliged to come to the con- 
clusion that by some means, supernatural or otherwise, 
the prisoner had vanished. 

It was then that the news was first suffered to go forth, 
and it was then the assembled crowds in the Old Bailey 
outside learned the cause of the delay. 

It was then the whisper circulated.' 

" Dick Turpin has escaped !" 

His position, however, notwithstanding the failure of 
the sheriffs to discover his retreat, was by no mea"d a 
comfortable or enviable one. 

For aught he could tell, still closer search would be 
made, or so close a watch might bo kept upon all the out- 
lets of the prison that he would be uuable to get away. 

All these thoughts pressed heavily upon him as he en- 
deavoured to while away the time by thoroughly explor- 
ing the strange place he was in. 

As wo have already stated, he took the pictautidn of 
making the arrow mark at every few yards, so that h/9 
should be in no danger of losing his way. 

For a long time he found nothing, however, to reiiwa- 
pense him for his trouble. 

All at once, however, he perceived before him some- 
thing rhat looked like a bright, glittering star. 

His first impression was that a huge diamo/id ra ust be 
lying in his path, of such lustre that it caught the faint 
light from tne lamp he carried and reflected it v, ith re- 
doubled brilliancy. 



Not long, however, did he remain under this iropree* 
sion. 

With great suddenness he understood the cvaaning cC 
what he saw, 

It was some opening or other looking out upon the day 
Mght — perhaps some opening by which he might escape. 

To carry his lamp forward with him towards this apei 
tnre would have been unwise in the extreme, as he woul 
bo in great danger of discovery, nor could he estinguis 
it, for he had not the materials with him to relight it. 

All ho jould do was to place it down upon the groun 
in a spot where it was sheltered somewhat from th 
draught, and then, w'th his eyes fixed upon the light in 
froE ', to grope slowly and cautiously towards it. 

T is proceeding he carried out, and found the distance 
he had to go much less than he had anticipated, for the 
opening was very small, and as ho drew close he per- 
ceived that it was crossed and recrossed by bars of 
iron. 

It was also high up in the wall above him, and al- 
though ho could see through it, yet he did not, as ho ex- 
pected, catch a glimpse of Use blue sky. 

On the contrary, all he saw was something looking 
very much like the roof cf some chamber in the 
prison 

All at once he arrested his steps, for the murmur of 
voices came most distinctly upon his ears. 

Clearly, then, ho was near some portion of tho new 
prison. 

As persons were so close at hand, there was a doublo 
reason for silence and caution. 

On tiptoe, therefore, and pausing between every step, 
ho crept nearer to the opening, hoping that he might 
overhear some of the conversation that was being carried 
on. 

He was successful, for, without making any noise what- 
ever, he managed to place himself close against tho wall, 
just uuder the grated aperture we have mentioned. 

One of the voices speaking ho immediately recognised 
as being that of the turnkey who had turned out so true a 
friend to him. 

In the conversation itself there was nothing important 
or interesting, chiefly because it did not concern him or 
his proceedings. 

Yet Dick listened to it intently. 

That dreadful feeling of loneliness which had settled 
at his heart now passed away — he once more felt a3 
though he belonged to this world. 

To him there was an inexpressible pleasure in listening 
to the rude voices and coarse jests of these turnkeys. 

After some speculation, Dick decided that he must be 
close to the vestibule of the prison, for iu no other part 
would the turnkeys be likely to assemble. As he after- 
wards found, he came to the correct conclusion. 

In former times there had been a door close t.K where 
he stood, communicating with a portion of the old prison, 
but becoming disused, the door was taken down and the 
wall built up. In its stead the grated opening above for 
some reason or other was left. 

Folding his arms and leaning against this wall, Dick 
remained for some time. 

He was disappointed at the result of his explorations so 
far, and he felt, besides, that he would rather stay there 
close to human beings than he would remain in sumo dark 
lonesome portion of tho vaults. 

Here, then, ho stood when the Governor asd sheriffs 
entered the vestibule as wo have just described; 

It may be imagined, perhaps, with what intorost Dick 
listened to all that passed between them. 

Ho had expected that Newgate would be searches-., -nd 
yet when he found they were setting about it in such a 
determined manner, he could not control a Gonsiderai/i* 
amount of nneasiness i\mt crept over him. 

Bnt at length he heard from the turnkeys the deligfct- 
i ful intelligence that the search had been given «£> as al- 
together hopeless, though there was a probability tue.t it 
tjould bo renewed. 

Having heard that much, Dick was content. 

He found himself weary, too, of remaining s long iti 
one place and in oue position, and. therefore, tir.Teping 
noiselessly away, went back to tne spot vvbaSTJ fee hsd 
left his lamp. 

It was burning steadily a<id clearly, 
i Near him was a passage blanching off te> ihe sSgbt, tn-' 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 

LIBRARY 



1452 



BLiCE DJEE8 ; 02, 



this passaga, for want of something better to do, he deter- 
mined to e3*»lore. 

But as he i ~^ode on he found that there was nothing at 
a\l remarkable in its appearance — nothing to repay hini 
for his trouble. 

lie was about to turn back, when his eye happened to 
fall upon something glittering on the ground near his 
feet. 

He stooped to pick it up, then examined it by the light 
of the lamp. 

To his surprise he saw it was a small portion of a gold 
chain that had evidently been broken with a great 
amount of violence. 

To one end of this chain depended a small locket of 
peculiar manufacture, and in which was the portrait of a 
young and beautiful girl. 

Dick gazed upon this portrait with very strange feel- 
ings indeed, and no wonder. 

Ho had every reason to believe that the portion of 
Newgate he was now in had remained closed up and un- 
visited for nearly a hundred years. 

It would, then, bn only natural for him to expect to find 
that this young girl was attired in the costume of days 
long gone by. 

To his surprise, however — though the word is too weak 
to express the feeling he experienced — he perceived that 
her dress was in every way modern — such, indeed, as was 
then almost universally worn. 

Well might such a discovery as this find food for Tur- 
pin's thoughts. 

Indeed, simply to find a trinket of this description in 
such a place would be strange enough. 

But how came it there ? 

One thing he could not possibly resist, and that was, 
that it had fallen there lately. 

Who, then, he asked himself, had traversed those 
passages beside himself — those passages which he fancied 
had beon untrodden for so long ? 

This was a question to which, of course, h« could re- 
turn nc reply, and so, with a vacant, absent air, he con- 
tinued to turn the locket and chain over and over, and 
every now and then would pause to gaze upon the sweet, 
innocent face that had been painted there. 

Rousing himself at length from his reflections, Dick 
carefully consigned the locket to his pocket, thso, trim- 
ming the lamp, he held it aloft so that its light should be 
well diffused, and looked around him in all directions 
with uncommon closeness and eagerness. 

Nothing, however, met hi- gaze, but the strong, damp, 
stone walls and the little doorways which at frequent 
intervals broke in upon their evenness. 

"This is strange indeed," he muttered, as he took a 
step forward, " but it will be an odd thing to me if I don't 
come to some definite conclusion respecting it." 



CHAPTER DCCCLXXXIX. 

IN WHICH DICK TURPIN HAS SOME FURTHER ABVBNTU3ES 
IN THE CORRIDORS OF OLD NEWGATE. 

Continuing to look around him thus closely, Dick Tur- 
pin slightly advanced until, having gone about half-a- 
dozen paces, he found the character of the place he was 
in altogether changed. 

The passage abruptly terminated in a large, peculiarly- 
shaped chamber, and which, after a brief examination, he 
concluded must at some time or o*her have served as a 
vestibule. 

Doors could be seen opening from it, and passages 
branching off <umilar to the one from which he had just 
emerged. 

The roof of this chamber gradually got higher towards 
the centre, and, having paused as nearly as ha could tell 
in the middle, Dick held up the lamp and endeavoured to 
ascertain its height. 

This, however, he was nut ablp to do, for overhead he 
could see nothing but a huge biacK pavib. 

Looking down again upon tbo ground, thinking per- 
haps to find some other fragment of the broken chain, he 
suddenly started 

A strange expression swept over his face, and he 
seemed iuclined to turn aside. 

But changing his disposition, he stooped dowv. 

The rays of the lamp then fell upon an object well cal- 



culated to make the senses of the boldest sicken \}i<a 
horror. 

On the ground was a large spot of blood seareely dry 
yet in some places, but evidently fast soaking fcito and 
mingling with the damp earth. 

Marvelling more and more at what he saw, and feeling 
now fearfully anxious to unravel the whole mystery, 
Dick, keeping the lamp close to the ground, tried to traca 
the blood close to another spot. 

But in this he failed completely. 

There was no clue to it whatever. 

But before him was a passage which seemed to iavite 
him to enter it — at any rate, he strode quickly foiwa* d and 
commenced an exploration of it 

Less than ton strides brought him to the termination of 
it. 

His further progress was barred by a done. 

This door was old, worm-eaten, and seemed as though 
it would only require a slight touch to push it from its 
frame. 

On the side upon which Turpin stood, it wim secured 
by bars and bolts, and these, after some deliberation with 
himself, and after listening for awhile and finding all 
silent, Dick ventured to remove. 

Pressing gently against the door, he found it opened to 
his touch. 

Beyond all was darkness. 

He listened again. But, reassured by the silence, crossed 
the threshold. 

How great was his wonder to find himself in what he 
firmly believed from its appearance to be the cellar of a 
house. 

In this he might have been mistaken, but soon all his 
doubts and surmises were set at rest, for going to the foot 
of a flight of steps that led down into it, he stood and 
heard distinctly the sound of voices above. 

The tones were quite unfamiliar to him, and he was 
quite certain that it was none of the turnkeys of Newgate 
he heard conversing, besides, a woman's voice mingled 
with the others. 

The light he carried with him prevented him from ob- 
serving earlier what now came under his notice, which 
was that there was a small grating in one portion of the 
wall, through which a few gieauis of light made their, 
way. 

Placing the lamp aside, ho went close up to this grating, 
and peered through it. 

In front was a small square, recess-like-looking place, 
at the top of which he could distinguish another grating, 
lying in a horizontal position. 

Now, however, that he had reached this place, he re- 
ceived additional confirmation of his idea, for he could 
hear the sound of many footsteps hurrying by above, as 
well as the rumbling of wheels and the trampling of 
horses' feet. 

Clearly, then, he was somewhere near a street, and be- 
yond all doubt he was in the cellar of a house which 
must mysteriously and strangely have a communication 
with Newgate. 

Retracing his footsteps, Dick closed the door, aa3 ex- 
amined it. 

The fastenings were all upon the prison cvie f tiie 
door, and he felt certain that very many years had elapsed 
since these fastenings had been removed. 

This blew to the winds the hypothesis that he had 
jlready raised in his mind to account for the discoveries 
he had made. 

If the fastenings had been removable by anyone in the 
cellar, the solution to the whole mystery would have 
been easy ; but he felt perfectly confident that it would 
be utterly impossible for anyone to pass from the cellar 
into the prison without resorting to the violent means of 
breaking down the door. 

This palpably had never been dona, so he was now 
quite as much in the dark as ever. 

Replacing the bars, and pushing the boHs into their 
rusty sockets, ho retraced his stops into *•!•« largo cham- 
ber. 

Again he endeavoured to asoer^ia the height of the 
roof, but the lamp now burned maeh more dimly than 
before, so that he met with no success — indeed, the con- 
dition of the light alarmed \iim a little, and upon examina- 
tion he found that only & small quantity of oil reo»e*a*d 
■n the reservoir made iy contain iX. 



IHB KNIGHT 0»r THE EO-VD. 



H5I 



Perhaps the flanse "weald expire fn a few minutes. " Excuse ine," continued Dick, " but I will. Now, 1 

At any rate, it could not burn long, and, much as it don't think you will be displeased to hear that I fancy 1 

▼exed him to leave the spot, he felt constrained to do so, nail be able to make my escape from the prison without 

as to find his way back to the door where the Governc* I v>ur connivance or assistance" 

would expect to soe him would be perfectly impo"*" 1 ^ ia | " Indeed ! How so ?" 

the darkness. y '• Why, in my explorations through these corridors, I 



Accordingly he retraced his steps, and, owing to tao 
excellent precautions he had taken in marking hii Kate, 
he had not the least difficulty in doing this. 

The door was reached, but scarcely had he arrived at 
it than the lamp, after flickering a moment or tvrru ex- 
pired. 

He was now in the most absolute darkness, ancr alto- 
gether without the means of dispersing it. 

Nothing remained for him to do but to stay just 
where he was, and count the seconds as they elapsed. 

How earnestly he longed for night to come, in order 
that the Governor might make his appearance. 

He could not dare to reflect upon the contingency that 
some circumstance might arise to make it impossible for 
Mr. Bradbury to pay his promised visit. 

It would be bad enough to consider the evil when it 
presented itself. 

Dick was very weary, and a long time had elapsed 
6ince he had slept. 

A drowsy feeling now came over him — perhaps caused 
by the badness of the atmosphere. 

He did not attempt to struggle against it. but, sinking 
down in a curious, uncomfortable-looking posture, dropped 
off into a profound slumber. 

Strange dreams flitted before him, in which the curious 
and fearful discoveries he had made held a prominent 
place. 

How long he would have slept if left to himself would 
be a problem difficult of solution, but all at once he was 
aroused by a slight noise, and, opening his eyes, he saw 
the door open immediately afterwards, and perceived the 
Governor standing on the threshold with a lamp f in his 
hand, the brilliancy of which absolutely dazzled him. 

That was only because he had been for such a long 
time in total darkness, and it was a feeling that quickly 
passed away. 

There was a look of anxious care upon Mr. Bradbury's 
countenance, such as Dick had never seen upon it be- 
fore. 

" You are safe, I see," was his first remark. 

"Yes, safe enough," returned Dick, shaking himself. 
" I have been asleep — I don't know how long, for the 
lamp burned out and left me in darkness." 

The Governor stared in surprise. 

He could scarcely conceive of sleeping in aish a 
place. 

But Dick was anxious to know what was going on in 
the world above, and questioned him accordingly. 

The Governor had but little to tell, and nothing that 
he said was very satisfactory. 

A tremendous outcry had been raised by the police and 
all the authorities, and the prevalent idea in the minds of 
all was that he was still concealed somewhere in ths pri- 
son. 

"I had hoped," the Governor said, " that I should be 
able to release you to-night, and, for all I know, it might 
be accomplished ; yet there is such an amount of hazard 
connected with it that I cannot help shrinking back." 

" Indeed !" said Dick. " You fear you will be seen ?" 

" I do ; not exactly that I need care much for the con- 
sequences, but still, the letter expressly states that you 
were to be liberated secretly." 

" Yes ; and it must be secretly," said Dick, " or, rely 
upon it, I shall be pounced upon at once." 

Dick began to reflect a little. 

Perceiving him to be silent, the Governor took from 
ms pocket a small package. 

*' I guessed you would be hungry," he said, M sa<2 so I 
have brought you something to eat. B?re is another 
bottle of brandy to wash it doVu with, so you must maKe 
yourself as comfortable as you can, and wait until there 
is a chance of getting free." 

" Mr. Bradbury," returned Dick, " I am much obliged 
to you for all that you have done in my behalf— Tory 
much obliged to you indeed, and rest assured I shall not 
forget it. I should be very sorry, too, to get j&a ixsio 
any trouble on my account." 

**Oh, M said the Governor, "don't mention HP 



have found a door that, strangely enough, communicates 
with the cellar of a house which, from the position of it, 
\mst be, I take it, somewhere near Newgate Market." 

"Indeed!" said the Governor. "I never k#ard of 
suoh a thing. Have you not been dreaming ?" 

41 No, I think not ; but, however, if you will leave me the 
lamp you carry, and take away this one, which has burnt 
out, I will try what I can do towards effecting my own 
release. If I succeed, all well and good — you will soon 
hear of me ; if I fail, you will find me close to the door 
her*, and I shall then be obliged to look to you for my 
safety." 

The Governor remained for some moments in reflec- 
tion. 

" If this is really the case," he exclaimed, at length, " 1 
shall be heartily rejoiced, since I shall have nothing fur- 
ther to fear from those who may take it into their heads 
to watch my movements. I will leave you, then, since 
you wish it, to your own exertions, and to-morrow night 
about this time I will, if it lies in my power, creep down 
to this door, and, if I find you are not here, I shall come 
at once to the conclusion that you have managed to avail 
yourself of the mode of escape you speak of." 

CHAPTER DCCCXC. 

DICK TURPIN IS SURPRISED TO FIND THAT HE IS WOT 
ALONE IN OLD NEWGATE. 

"Just so," said Turpin. "And in case I should be gone, 
as I hope I shall be, just let me remind you about that 
substantial recognition I was talking about." 

" Oh," replied the Governor, briskly, " there's no need 
to remind me about that — none whatever, I can assure 
you!" 

"Very likely not," said Dick, smiling, "but I only 
just mentioned it in order that I might give you a cau- 
tion." 

"A caution? Of what kind?" asked the Governor, 
his timorous nature being at once awoke to danger. 

" Why, it is simply this : I would advise you not to 
take any active steps for finding what is hidden under 
the old tree for, say, a week at least." 

" And may I ask why ?" said the Governor, after a 
pause. 

" You may — I have no objection to telling you." 

" Why is it, then ?" 

" Because 1 think it highly probable that for some time 
to come your movements will bo closely watched by the 
police officers — mind you, I don't say they will bo : I only 
think it probable, for some of them are such dunder- 
headed fellows that they might get hold of the notion 
that you were an accomplice of mine, which would be a 
very good joke indeed." 

The Governor laughed, but rather grimly. 

"At any rate," added Turpin, quiekly, "it would not 
be well for anyone to become acquainted with this secret 
besides yourself." 

" No, no — I can quite see the foroe of that. 

"Then," added Turpin, "may we conclude that it is 
agreed you will not pay your visit to Hampstead for the 
spaco of a week ?" 

" Yes," answered the Governor, with something liko a 
sigh, for no doubt he was both anxious and curious to 
know what kind of substantial recognition he was about 
to receive. 

Dick's real motive for making this bargain did not for 
a moment strike him. 

It was, however, simply because he knew very well no 
fcmih troasuro was buried among the roots of the tree he 
described, though he intended to place a reward there for 
the Governor to find. 

He could not tell what might happen to htm in the 
oourse of the next day or two, and if the Governor got 
to the tree before him it would be vexing in more than 
one respeot ; at any rate, it v *ild seem as though he 
had spoken falsely. 

Now, however, this was an\#ged, and Diokfelt quite 
contented and easy upon the point. 



1454 



BLACK M SS ; OR, 



la conclusion, the Governor said : 

"And now, if you will allow me to give you a little 
piece of advice, and ask you to follow it, don't think it is 
given from a wish to get out of any further trouble ^i-h 
you." 

"I would nover think such a tiriug," said Tnrpin. 
"Pray what is it? lam most anxious to hear anything 
you may have to communicate." 

" Well, then, caudidly speaking, if you can manage »y 
your own adroitness to get clear of Newgate to-night do 
not fail to do so." 

"I wijl not," was Dick's reply, spokeD with e^an more 
earnestness than the Governor's instruction. 

" The reason why I advise it,* 1 pursued Mr. Br&ii£«ry, 
"is that there is great talk of a thorough search through 
the prison. Hitherto I have been able to keep them from 
this part of if, but to-morrow some one may step forward 
who knows all the secrets of this edifice, and a thorough 
search, in the proper sense of the term, will be made, in 
which event, should you be lingering here, you would be 
in great danger of discovery." 

"All right," oaid Dick—" I take the hint." 

"Audi will depart," concluded the Governor, "for I 
am desirous not to be absent fro n my post for any length 
of time together. My whole thoughts are given to avoid 
giving cause for suspicions, if I can." 

" Very prudent indeed." 

The Governor stooped, and, putting down the lamp he 
had brought with him, the reservoir of which ho assured 
the highwayman contained a good supply of oil, he took 
up the extinguished one, and said: 

" Good night !" 

"Farewell!" responded Dick, shaking him by the 
hand. "I am much obliged to you for all you have done, 
and I hope I shall not have the pleasure of meeting you 
again within these walls." 

The Governor smiled, and then, evidently wishful to 
take his departure, stepped out into the outer corridor, 
fastening up the door as before, and, in spite of the dark- 
ness, mada his way back to his own apartments without 
accident. 

Dick felt loath for the Governor to go, and, indeed, 
shortly afterwards wished he had the power to recall him, 
but it was too late. 

Getting into as comfortable a position as he could, Dick 
partook cl the refreshment the Governor had brought, 
and drank a small quantity of the brandy, after which he 
Felt greatly revived, and ready to embark in any adventure 
that might present itself beforo him. 

Ho remained for some moments after ho had finished 
his meal resting his forehead on his hand, and giving 
himself up to deep thought. 

Then, rousing himself, he took from his pocket the 
locket and chain he had so strangely found. 

Once more this underwent a thorough inspection, but 
nothing more was seen than he had seen already. 

He dwelt for a long time upon the pleasing features of 
the young girl, and, as he returned the trinket to his 
pocket, he mentally made a vow to use his best endea- 
vours to discover how and by what means it had fallen 
where ho had found it. 

Rising, then, and carefully removing all traces of his 
presence there, Dick took up the lamp, and, with tolerable 
certainty and confidence, made his way towards the 
irregularly-shaped chamber, upon the floor of which ap- 
peared so terrible and ominous a sign. 

Again he made a close examination of this place, with- 
out, however, making any fresh discovery except that the 
increased illumination of the lamp enabled him to obtain 
k view of the coiling, a thing he had eo uiatioue^j eSs- 
sire.d. 

Instead of finding that the roof continued to tiiG^s up- 
wards to a point, as ho fully exported it would, fie saw 
that across the upper part cf'it was laid what looked like 
a wooden flooring supported en two joiutsi or beams, 
which, blackened all over by lime, wore only j»vst distiu • 
guishable from the darkness around them. 

While thus gazing up, a faint sound from above reached 
Lis ears; yet it was a sound, and that it came from the 
woodon floor above he felt convinced. 

Doubtless human beings were at hand, and, 'as he might 
consider that all men were at war with him, he was riu;ht 
In fearing detection. ^ 

fiJ3 first impulse, therefore, was to extinguish the lamp. 



and tfhis ho would most certainly have done, oniy ho re- 
collected just in time that he had not the means with 
him of reigniting it. 

Yet the light of that lamp might show itself through 
<«ny small crevices that there might be between the boards, 
and thus his presence become known. 

Accordingly, without pausing to reflect, but urged only 
by an instinct which ho did not attempt to resist, Dick 
hastily retreated down one of the corridors, and, 
having gone far enough as ho imagined, stooped down, 
and placed the lamp in one of the recessed doorways. 

Its light was now almost entirely cut off. 

But just at this moment Dick started and almost 
uttered a cry. 

Ic was only by a great effort of self-command that ha 
repressed it. 

The profound silence around was suddenly broken in 
upon by a sound, the nature of which he could not pre- 
cisely make out, followed by a rushing noise as of some 
heavy body falling through space. 

Then sscceeded a dull, heavy crash, and simultaneously 
a groan. 

Dick's first thought was that his imagination had de- 
ceived him, but he was not allowed long to retain this 
impression, for another groan camo fainter but more un- 
mistakably than the first. 

Wondering what could have occurred, and undecided 
how to act — for if he ventured forth with the lamphe might 
be seen — Dick remained for a moment or two a prey to the 
greatest suspense. 

faring that period he continued to hear the faint yet 
pusfu! groans, and, unable to remain a passive listener 
any longer, he, in spite of the obscurity, crept gently 
along the passage. 

The distance to tho chamber was not great, and upon 
passing over it he stopped and locked upwards. 

Ho almost expected to see something peculiar up in 
the roof, but he perceived nothing— at least, nothing but 
darkness. 

The lamp behind him, however, east a feeble gleam of 
light along the damp, moss-grown flooring, and Dick 
strained his eyes in the hope of being able to distinguish 
something. 

While thus engaged, he heard a voice say, though in 
tones no louder than the faintest whisper: 

" Help — help, for Heaven's sake, help me ! Hnva 
mercy upon me — pray have mercy upon me !" 

There was no mistaking tho character of this ap^tol. 

Some one was lying there dangerously hurt, asking fer 
assistance. 

Dick hesitated a second, and then, in tho same low 
tones, answered : 

"Speak — speak again, that I may know where you aro, 
and grope my way towards you ! Speak again ! Why Co 
you not reply to me ?" 

The silence of the grave, however, reigned around. 

Dick felt more and more uneasy every moment, bat, 
shaking off these fears which he despised himself for 
giving way to, ho sank down upon his hands and knee a, 
and, with one arm outstretched before him, crept slowly 
along the flooring. 

His motive for this proceeding was, that ho considered 
it would be dangerous to produce the light, lest it should 
be seen by some unfriendly eye. 

Some time elapsed before ho was able to make out a 
dark, dusky-looking mass in front of him, and ho would 
nover have perceived it but for the faint gleam of tferfi 
lamp which we have already referred to. 

Again he spoke, but, as before, he met with no response. 

Crawling forward a few more paces, he stretched cut 
his arm and touched the dusky form. 

It was evidently that of a k«nm being. 

The feel of the apparel also told him it w?3 a m-aa, 
and at the same time he di jcovered he was either dea.i or 
insensible. 

Dink uo longer hesitated how to act. 

L. xellow-creaturo was in difficulty and &£&gta, fci-3 II 
wa3 a natwral instinct on his part to assl. him. 

Seizing him by the shoulders, theiij he dragged him 
elowly along towards the entrance of tho corridor wiw« 
he had left the lamp 

He paused once or twice to ra t sad to listen. 

But tho deep silence roassurwl him, though at lit* 
same time it made him feel strangely uocoailorts-'is. 



THE KNIGHT OS THE ROAD. 



ItS 



Having entered the passage, however, he proceeded 
with greater confidence. 

Bo was full of the most intense curiosity to know who 
this strange being could be, and by what means he had 
bo suddenly and awfully made bis appearance in that 
portion of Newgate which Dick had Jwli»7ed was &evar 
trodden by L^uian foot. 

CHAPTER DCCCXCI. 

KCK TURl'LN li THE AUDITOR OF A .MOST EXlRAC-SSSPiSStt 
NARRAT1 VK. 

Hayino dragged the stranger aa far as tflj lunp, Wick 
Turpiu laid him down upon his back, and by the r.id of 
the light looked attentively at his countenance. 

It was ono pleasing enough to look upon, for if its 
aspect could be taken as an indix for the stranger's cha- 
racter, then, surely, he was of a noble nature and of a 
most generous disposition. 

But his handsome features now appeared quite rigid, 
as though frozeu by death, and his eyes only half closed, 
and his partially-opened mouth seemed to make it still 
more certain that he had expired. 

It might be, however, that he had only swooned in 
consequence of the fearful injuries he must have received 
from tailing from so great a height, 

Dick sincerely hoped that this would prove the case, 
for it would have been a bitter disappointment to have 
been debarred from learning the occasion of the stranger's 
presence. 

Remembering the bottle of brandy he had in hia pocket, 
he drew it forth and poured a small quantity in between 
the youug man's lips. 

At first no effect could be perceived, but soon there 
was a flutter, then a struggle and painft-j g?.sps for 
breath. 

Dick half raised him into a sitting posture, and then, to 
his great satisfaction, he perceived a portion of the 
brandy had been swallowed. 

He instantly applied more, which was drunk ceg£r!y, 

"Sir — sir," cried Dick, "whoever you maybe, r- 1 <?! 
good heaitl I will defend and assist you to the uicir- 
most." 

"Ah!" said the stranger, dreamily, and drawicg his 
hand across his forehead while he spoke, " is it possible 
that 1 have found a friend ?" 

" It is not only possible but quke true," responded 
Turpin, as cheerfully as he was able. "D'> you not feel 
much better ? Would yon like more brandy?" 

"Yes, I feel better — very much better. But no brandy 
just at present — I want to think." 

Dick remained silent, and tho stranger cte^ed his 
eyes. 

It was tolerably certain that he was endeavouring to 
collect his scattered thoughts and to remember where he 
was and how he came there. 

All at once he uttered an ejaculation, and in the same 
breath asked where he was. 

"That I will tell you presently," said Dick, "when 
you have recovered yourself a little more. My presence 
here is one of the strangest things in the world, excepting, 
of course, your own, for I believed this place was never 
entered by human beings." 

These words seemed to puzzle the stranger exceed- 
ingly. 

He was clearly fast getting better, for he was now Q&k) 
to sit up without Dick's assistance. 

He moved himself a little closer to tho wall, however, 
and rested his back against it. 

Then, in a dreamy, half- s leepy fashion, he fixed his 
eyes upon Turpin as though wondering who Si8 «x>u!d 
be. 

" Kouse yourself, sir," said Dick, perceiving tho state 
into which he was falling — " let ae entreat you to rouse 
yourself, for this is no place i:i which to linger. I wish to 
leave as soon as possible, yet I am determined not to de- 
part until you are able to accompan/ me. 1 

"Who are you," asked the stranger, "that you snould 
take so deep and great an interest in a person I believe 
yon have never seen before ?" 

" No matter who I am," said Turpin—" I am ready to 
do all that lies in the power st a human being to assist 
and recover you." 

M Bat from what motive ?" 



" Humanity and, I confess it, a deep curiosity to ki oft 
by what means you reached this place." 

The stranger glanced arouud him at tho dark, dripping 
walls, and by his manner it seemed as though he was sz 
much in the dark in this respect as Turpiu himself. 

" You have a right to my confidence," said the stranger 
| after a pause, and speaking in a more mournful tone of 
I r®ioe than he had done hitherto, " besides, my story oaa- 
I sot be too often repeated, since I have all to gain by tho 
! publicity of it, and everything to lose by keeping it a 
{ secret* ' 

** Indeed," said Dick. "You inflame my curiosity. If I 
can ass*ist ycra farther, believe mo, I am at your com- 
mands, for I do not hesitate to say that, over aud above 
all these peculiar circumstances, there is something ia 
your appearance that has wonderfully interested me on 
your behalf." 

The stranger inclined his head and smiled. 

" The time will not be altogether lost," ho said, " that I 
shall consume with my relation, for while I am speaking 
I trust I shall get stronger and better, and, by the time I 
have concluded, bo able to leave this place." 

"So do I," said Dick, "and I have no doubt wo shall 
bo successful." 

" I will begin, then, by telling you," said the stranger, 
" that tho strongest feeling or passion that 1 have yet 
knowu litis been that of friendship — friendship for one I 
have known almost as long as I can recollect — one who 
has been to me more than a brother, who is far dearer to 
me than any brother could be, although I have none. 

" In our youth our stations in life were much the same 
— that is to say, we were possessed of a little, but not 
enough to live npon without exercising our own in- 
dustry 

" The very first disagreement — if so 1 may term it — 
that took placo between myself and my friend was when 
the time came for us to make choice of our professions. 

I" You must understand that there was no similarity of 
temperament between us, which, for aught I know, might 
have been the cause of our friendship. 
{ " But from his birth — as I may say — my friend, Leonard 
Wilton, had had a passion for tho sea, and he always 
maintair-~d that, come what would, he would be a 
sailor. 

" Now, on my part, I had the greatest possible aversion 
to a se; "aring iife — indeed, so great is my natural anti- 
pathy, flat often now I cannot bear to look upon tho 
waves, and the very murmur of the waters on the beach 
thrills riie with a most uncomfortable sensation. In any- 
thing else I would have given way to my friend Leonard, 
but in this it was impossible. 

" Greatl}' as I regretted the separation, yet I felt it 
must take place — there was nothing else that he would 
turn his thoughts to ; he was bent upon becoming a sea- 
man ; and I do believe that, had I accompanied him, one 
voyage would have brought about my death. 

" However, I am entering much too closely into details ; 
I will hasten to satisfy your curiosity. 

"You must know, then, that it is nearly a year ago 
since my friend Leonard returned from his last voyage. 

"During his absence in foreign lauds a great change 
has come over my own fortunes ; a relative dying, has 
left me in possession of what is to me a large fortune, 
and I had resolved that when Leonard came back he 
should go to sea no more, and that I would share this 
fortune with him. 

" It so happened that I was absent in the north when 
his vessel reached home. I have certain knowledge thr*t 
on leaving the ship he proceeded to London, but beyond 
that I can learu nothing in this huge metropolis ; he 
seems to have been swallowed up like a drop of water 
in the ocean, and to be irretrievably lost." 

There was a tone of deep feeling and pathos in the 
young man's voice when he reached this part of uis 
narration. v o 

" Wondering at his silence," he continued, " I kaa- 
tened to London and endeavoured to seek him out. 

u In vain, however — he was nowhere to be found. 

'« I was frantic with grief, and so was Lucy. 

" Ah ! that reminds me that I had not previously men- 
tioned her name. Well, then, she is, as you may guess, 
a young girl upon whom my friend has bestowed hi* 
affections, and to whom be was about to be married. 

" She was to ioin her soKcitatioBS to mine tfcftt, r» 



UjQ 



SLACK hKftfi; OS. 



thore w>uld be no longer any necessity fo* tm to traverse 
the ocean, he would henceforth stay at homo. * 

" 1 pass over without comment whs* her grief must be 
like upon learning her lover's mysterious disappearance. 

"A thousand conjectures have occupied her mind and 
mine. I have devoted my wealth without stint, and 
given the whole of my time for a long time past in the 
hope of being aDle to learn something of his fst*. 

" I have been totally unsuccessful, however ; wA tba 
slightest clue has rewarded me for my pains." 

Again the younar man paused and brushed his hand 
across his brow 

H<s voice had grown husky while he spoke, and n.jw 
he endeavoured to clear it. 

As for Dick, he was so deeply interested in the narra- 
tive that was thus unexpectedly related to him that he 
really forgot where he was and the strange circum- 
stances by which he was surrounded. 

He did not like to urge the stranger to continue, and 
eo for a short time there was a profound silence. 

At last the young man resumed his story. 

" I have had much dealings with the police," he said, 
" but they have failed to aid me any further than by 
uttering surmises. 

" Their impression is that this young sailor, on reaching 
London, was decoyed into one of those places, so many 
of which are believed to exist, where, if a stranger enters 
with money about his person, ho is never seen or heard 
Df more. 

" At last I came to this conclusion. I mourned my 
friend as one who is dead, but yet 1 felt impelled to dis- 
cover if I could by what means he had reached his un- 
timely end. 

" 1 don't like to confess to you that there is still in my 
heart a faint, lingering hope that I may find him yet liv- 
ing, yet there is such a hope, and it is that which 
animates me to continue in my course, and that hope will 
never be extinct until I have proof positive that he is 
no more." 

Dick regarded the young man with the greatest ad- 
miration and respect. 

Qe had imagined much from his noble, intelligent-look- 
ing countonance, yet he scarcely thought that in the 
cause of friendship a man would risk and do so much. 

In a more rapid voice the young man continued : 

" Having, as I say, reluctantly come to the conclusion 
that my friend had been decoyed into some place and 
there murdered, as I told you, I devoted myself to the 
task of finding that place out. At least it would give me 
some satisfaction to bring such miscreants to justice. 

"Adopting, then, almost all disguises, I have roamed 
London at all hours of the night. 

"For some time I had the police with me keeping me 
in sight ; but as I never met with any adventure, and as I 
came no nearer to my end, I guessed tha reason was that 
the presence of the police officers was known, and there- 
fore I resolved, in spite of tho great personal risk, to pro- 
ceed upon my dangerous adventures aione. 

" I did so, but met with no more success than at L\rz\ 
yet I did not despair. 

" To pass over all my failures, I will come to the ad- 
ventures of to-night, though I ought to tell you that I 
had at last grown weary of my search — indeed, I had 
almost made the mental determination that if this night 
passed as the others had I would give up my quest alto- 
gether. 

"Now, however, I come to the strangest and most fear- 
ful portion of my narrative, which .' will reader you in 
as few words as possible. The tale is terrible," ke wilted, 
vitb a shudder of his whole body, " yet it shall be told." 



CHAPTEK DCCOXCLl 

Ul WHICH T1IK PRESENCE OF THE YOUNG 9TRAKGK* « OLD 
NEWGATE IS ACCOUNTED TOR. 

The stranger's eyes rolled so fearfully around while he 
uyoke, that it seemed as though he could, scarcely belieTe 
fee had escaped from the great danger that had threatened 
him. 

Dick, perceiving his agitation, proffered the bottle of 
briudy, which was gladly accepted ; then, after a draught, 
lu concluded his story. 

M it was early this evening," he said, " aa I irw valk- 



I ing nea fit PouT's Cathedral 1 saw a small crowd of 
people astern Wed. %g 

*' Everything Tjnusual I had come to" consider con- 
cerned me, so, quickening' my steps, I hastened to see w!-»at 
was the matter. 

"Arriving, I found that the cause of the assemblage 
was a young and beautiful girl, whose countenance looked 
Innocence. 

" She was singing in a voice which, for sweetness, I have 
never known to be equalled. I formed one of the crowd 
— indeed, the crowd gradually dispersed, though others 
continually came up. 

" But at last this young girl .-eased her song. 
"Something, I know not what, attracted me towards 
her ; perhaps it was her beauty perhaps the sweetness 
of her voice, or some mysterious influence beyond my 
own knowledge. Certainly I remained, and those who 
had been listening, fearing, I suppose, that the girl was 
about to, solicit a few pence for her song, hastily moving 
off, I was left alone with her, 

" She looked up in my face with a pleasant smile, and, 
in broken English, made some remark to me, but what 
the exact words were I cannot recollect. 

"I replied by producing my purse, and giving her L 
piece of silver. 

" She was profuse in her thanks upon receiving this 
gift, and then, placing her hand in a half-familiar, half- 
timid manner on my arm, requested me to accompany 
her. 

"For a moment I hesitated, and then there came before 
my mind what I call ' the purpose of my life ;' the recol- 
lection of it banished my hesitation, and I consented. 

" The reason I did so was because I knew full well my 
friend's impressionable nature, and I thought that had he, 
upon his arrival in London, met with anyone like this 
young girl, he would without hesitation have consented 
to accompany her wherever she went, for he knew no 
fear. 

" In a moment we turned out of the main thoroughfare. 
I quickly found myself led through a number of narrow 
passages, the existence of which I was scarcely aware of, 
although I had travelled London so much. 

"I know, however, that these streets, or, rather, pas- 
sages, exist between St. Paul's Cathedra) and the prison 
of Newgate. 

' Comijg at length to a house having by no means a 
prepossessing aspect, I was invited to enter. 

"Determined to prosecute the adventure to the utter- 
most, and hoping to find some trace of my lost friend, I 
again consented, and soon found myself seated in a room 
that was furnished strangely at variance with the exterior 
appearance of the house. 

" All this I noted carefully, though my heart beat 
strangely, for I believed I was on the right track at 
last. 

" Then this young girl poured out for me a glass of 
wine, and handed it to me. She poured out also one foi 
herself, and I observed that the liquid came from the 
same decanter. 

" The police had often cautioned me against partakin 
of any drink, lest it should be dragged. 

" But this proceeding threw me partially off my guard. 
However, I raised the wine-glass to my lips, and uttered 
some silly compliment ; but I did not drain the glass — I 
simply sipped it, perhaps swallowing a tea-spoonful, and 
I was immediately aware of a strangeness in its taste. 

" Just then the girl, having drained her glass, turned 
half aside to place it on a small table, and at that instant, 
quick as thought, I inverted my glass. 

" The wine that remained fell upon the carpet, the 
colour of which was dark, and the material soft and 
woolly ; it was absorbed in a moment and no stain was 
left behind. 

" Some more time elapsed, and I was conducted to aa 
upper chamber. 

" I had determined to keep all my wits about me, yet 
to refuse nothing. 

" Having entered, the door was closed behind ma, &aJ 
I feund myself alone. 

"Something in the atmosphere af that room seeroe-i 
to chill and oppress me, and I gasped painfully fo? 
breath. 

" Then it occurred to me this was the eflects of tV 
drug I had partaken of, and I congratulated myself that 



•THE KNISHT OF THE ROAD. 



1457 




[the highwaymen seek shelter in the secret passage.] 



I had not swallowed the whole, although the girl was 
evidently under the impression that I had done so. 

"There was a strange cloudiness in my brain to 
which I had never been accustomed, which might be 
attributed either to the strength of the drug or else to the 
fact that it is rarely indeed that I partake of any intoxi- 
cating liquor, as the effects produced make this apparent. 

" Rejoiced at this opportunity of finding myself alone, 
I determined to make a thorough search of the chamber, 
hoping I should make some discovery worth my while. 

" On the table opposite to me 1 saw trinkets of 
various kinds, the appearance of some of which struck 
me as singular, and I advanced with the intention of 
examining them. 

" All at once, however, as I passed over one portion 
of the flooring near the hearthstone, it suddenly gave 
way beneath my feet. 

"The drug then was exerting its utmost power. I 

No. 183.— Black Bess. 



was dizzy and confused, yet, finding myself falling, 1 
had the presence of mind to endeavour to drop upon my 
hands and feet. 

" Whether I succeeded or not I cannot tell you, for 
from that moment, until the time when I opened my 
eyes and saw yom bending over me, I remember nothing 
whatever." 

" That, then," said Dick, drawing a long breath, for 
no words can describe the amount of interest with 
whioh he listened to this narrative — " is all ?" 

" 5fes," was the reply — " all. And now I have to ask 
you, in return, who you are and where I now am ?" 

"I will answer your last question first," said Dick. 
" No doubt you will be taken greatly by surprise." 

" Where am I, then ?" 

"In Newgate." 

" Newgate ?" 

" You speak incredulously, and I don't wonder at i'. 



Ko. f 183, 



Pmcs "^One^Halfpenny 



i«8 



BLaCK biSSB; O*. 



It is ft fact, nevertheless. Not in the new, modern 
prison, but among the vaults remaining of the ancient 
edifice." 

The stranger's countenance at first expressed great dis- 
belief, but then he ejaculatod : 

" Yes, extraordinary as this may seem, I cannot donVt 
it. The position of the house — these strong, damp w.llt, 
all confirm your statement." 

" Well may you be taken by surprise," said Dick, " for 
I believe the very existence of this t>lace is guesspi at 
and known by very few." 

'* I never heard of such a thing," he murmured, 
flo," said Dick, sinking his voice and pointing up- 
w-.ds ; " but those above evidently know all about it." 

The young man shuddered ; but then, his thoughts re- 
verting to his fresh companion, he looked upon him with 
undisguised amazement as he said : 

" But if this is a portion of old Newgate, how comes it 
that you are an inhabitant of it ?" 

" You can scarcely call me such," said Dick- '* I am 
here for refuge. As for myself, I don't care to speak 
much. I am here. I have offended against the laws, 
and I am looking for some means of escape." 

" Then," continued the young man, still gazing upon 
him, " am I right in coDJscturing that you have escaped 
from the modern portion of the prison into this ?" 

"You can surmise what you please," was Turpin's 
answer. " But it will please me better if you will look 
upon me as one ready to do all in his power to serve you. 
Believe me, I am anxious to stand your friend. The ad- 
venture you have recounted deeply interests me. I should 
be glad indeed to bring it to a solution." 

" The brandy," said the young man at this moment — 
"pass me the brandy! I feel once more sick and 
faint !" 

" Very likely," 6aid Turpin, as he complied with his 
demand. "Drink a little— not too much, and you will 
soon experience the benefits of it." 

"I feel to have new life," answered the stranger. 
" And now tell me — what do you propose 6hall be our 
next proceeding ?" 

" That's a difficulty," returned Turpin. " It seems to 
me, however, tolerably clear that you are at last on the 
right track." 

" Do you mean for discovering the fate of my friend ?" 

" Yes." 

" It may be so — it may be so ! How easily he would 
have fallen into such a trap as was laid for me ! He 
would be totally unsuspecting — I was on my guard." 

" It's a miracle to me," said Turpin, "how you could 
have escaped with such slight injuries." 

" It is wonderful," returned the young man — " wonder- 
ful indeed !" 

There was a silence, for Dick just then was thinking 
of the locket he had found, and was wondering whether 
by any chance it might belong to the young sailor of 
whom his companion spoke ; if so, the coincidence would 
be remarkable in the extreme. 

" You are 6ileut," said the young man, at length. " Am 
I right in supposing that you are considering in your 
own mind which will be the best step for us to take 
next?" 

" Scarcely that," said Dick ; " and yet, to go back to 
a consideration of what you have related, it seems tole- 
rably certain that the young girl who so interested you is 
regularly sent out in order to decoy people to this 
place." 

The stranger nodded. 

" Then, having arrived, they are drugged, and, falling 
through the treacherous trap-door on to the ground be- 
neath, are killed." 

" That's it— evidently it." 

" And you," pursued Dick-~" rery upon it, yon ftre not 
the first who has fallen a victim to this snare. I may 
tell you that I found a spot of blood upon the ground, 
which looked as though it had fallen there recently." 

The young man shuddered. 

" I can't bear to reflect upon what would have been my 
fate!" 

" Such a place as this," Dick went on, glancing around 
him, " wouid afford every facility for concealing the dead 
bodies of their victims. They would be plundered of 
»very article of value about their persons, then flung into 
«oico ot tb""^ ceils." 



This was a very probable supposition indeed, ana m« 
stranger felt it to be so. 

He could tell, also, bj Dick's manner what was upper- 
most in his thoughts. 

"Suppose," said Turpin, "that we satisfy ours^ices 
upos this point, and not remain contented by surmise. It 
will be easy to ascertain whether in any of these cells aw 
such traces as we seek." 

The stranger's face blanched as he said : 

" If it is so — and I cannot doubt it — what an aw(o) 
sight the opening of one of these doors will disclose !" 

"Awful indeed," returned Dick Turpin, "yet I con- 
sider we ought to satisfy ourselves by one hasty glance." 

" Be it so, then," returned the 6tranger. " I am content 
to leave that point for your decision." 



CHAPTER DCCCXGIII. 

IN WHICH THE YOUNQ STRANGER DISCOVERS THE FAT* 
OF HIS FRIEND. 

Dick rose, and, taking the lamp in his hand, went towards 
the doorway nearest to him. 

The fastenings were all upon the side on which ho 
stood, and he could perceive no difficulty in removing 
them. 

He lifted down the bar, drew back the bolts, and yet he 
h"sitated to push the door open upon its hinges. 

Fixing his gaze earnestly upon the young man, who 
was either too much injured by his fall or else lacked the 
courage to look into that disused cell, for he remained in 
the position he had all along occupied, Turpin said, ear 
nestly — nay, with solemnity in his tones : 

" Do you think you are prepared to receive the worst 
confirmation of your fears?" 

" I am— I am ! Something comes over my mind at this 
moment that tells me my friend was lured into that house 
of death, and that he met the fate designed for me !" 

Dick bent his head, and then, in lower tones, re- 
sponded : 

" That, too, is my impression. And now, pardon me a 
moment if I ask you a question about your friend's 
affianced wife — Lucy, I thiuk you said her name was 
Are you well acquainted with her features ?" 

11 As well as with my own !" 

" Would you recognise her, then ?" 

" Most certainly !" 

In his anxiety, the stranger slowly rose to his feet, and 
stood looking at Dick wonderingly. 

Dick said no more, but at once pushed the door open. 

It was fortunate he stood aside, for such au over- 
powering effluvia came forth th;it, had he not done so, he 
would inevitably have been suffocated. 

Sickening with horror, he waited a few moments ; 
then, raising the lamp, went to the threshold of the 
cell. 

"Come," he 6aid, addressing his companion, "look ia 
also. I don't wibh a 6ecoud glimpse." 

Tremblingly, the young man obeyed. 

The 6ight presented to their gaze was indeed a truly 
fearful one. 

Lying in this cell, which was one of considerable extent 
were luAuj human bodies — all dead, all bearing marks 01 
great personal violence upon them ; some looking at? 
though they had only just been cast into that Strang'- 
sepulchre, while of others nothing but glistening b<>uee 
remained. 

The appearance of the light caused a tremendous 
scuffling in the cell. 

Dick knew well enough what it w«*s 

His friend, however, seemed much alarmed. 

" Itfs the rats," he said. " No doubt they swarm in this 
place by myriads. Look — look ! Over yonder in the . 
gloom you can see their eyes shining like so many bright 
points. They are dangerous creatures," he added, "and 
may not hesitate to attack us. Have you seen enough?" 

The stranger turned away, and, deemiug that a suffi- 
cient answer, Dick, with very great satisfaction, closed 
the door and bolted it. 

Turning round once more to bis companion, who sow 
was as pale as ashes, he said : 

" How long, say you, is it since your friend reaclyv? 
London and mysteriously disappeared ?" 

" Twelve rnontha" 



1*1* i*J*iw»l ^» ...» ife.jL*» 



"Indeed? to long? Then it is in vain to search 
among these poor reliaa of humanity hoping to discover 
something of him; by .this time he must be unrecognis- 
able." *>* «,•_ ■ 

" Yes," returned the young man, " and I am glad it is so." 

"Glad?" repeated Turpin, in surprise 

" Yes, because now I can still entertain my sett with a 
doubt that he may not have perished in this foul manner. 
I have yet no confirmation of it, «or do I see what 
evidence is to be obtained." 

" No," said Dick. " Yet, would it nf>t be best to know 
the wont at once, and so resign yourself to it ? If some- 
tuA** was found clearly pointing to his presence in this 
stec*. would you not accept that as sufficient testimony 
that ue has perished ?" 

" Yes," said the stranger, gloomily, " if that could be I 
should indeed give over my long search." 
I " And your dangerous one," said Dick, " for every day 
you are perilling your life. Think what a narrow escape 
f ou have had on this occasion." 

\ " I do think of it : but I think more of the manner in 
which you speak ; I oould almost believe that you possess 
some such evidence as that you speak of." 

'' And if I do," said Dick, " would it not be best for me 
to produce it ?" 

u Perhaps so — perhaps so." 

" Well, then, I confess, withont further hesitation, that 
yj chance I found upon the floor, close here to where we 
itand, a small trinket It puzzled me beyond all measure 
,o account for its presence in so strange a spot ; now, how- 
sver, I have the key to all." 

" What kind of trinket ?" asked the stranger. 

"A locket." 

" Let me see it — let me see it ! Fray let me look upon 
tl" 

" I will ; but prepare yourself for confirmation of your 
Iriend's untimely fate, In the locket is the portrait of a 
irl, young and beautiful." 

" Yes — yes ! Lucy — Lucy !" 

"Lucy no doubt; but satisfy yourself by a glance. It 
s there." 

While he spoke, Dick dropped the locket into the young 
nan's extended hand. 

No sooner did his eyes fall upon it than he uttered a 
leep groan. 

Some moments elapsed before he could recover himself 
lufficiently to gaze upon it a second time. 

" Yes — yes 1" he said, at length, in a broken voice. " I 
an doubt no longer. Well do I remember seeing this 
ocket ? The chain is broken now ; but it is of gold, and 
vas of rare workmanship. Before he went to sea, Lucy 
ilaced it round his neck with her own hands, and en- 
reated him to wear it always for her sake." 

"No doubt he did so," answered Turpin, "and his 
Murderers in their haste let it fall upon the ground." 

" That's it— that's it !" 

Dick could see teat the young man the more he thought 
.bout his friend's fate was the more overcome, and he 
ndeavoured to change the subject of his thoughts. 

" Bear with me a moment," replied the stranger. ** I 
hall be better soon. Oh, Lucy ! how will you withstand 
his awful blow ? What will be your feelings when you 
tear the awful tale ? Who could have thought that this 
if t of yours would prove the means of clearing up the 
lystery of his death ?" 

At that moment » peculiar rumbling noise attracted 
tieir attention. 

Dick held up his hand for silence. 

At the same time he placed the lamp as much out of 
ight as he could. 

The rumbling continued, and, pressing his companion's 
rm, Dick stepped forward noiselessly. 

The young man followed. 

When near the end of the passage, Dick stopped, and 
>oked upwards. 

The trap door in the ceiling was now thrown open, And 
n the edge of it was a lantern. 

The light from this shone upon the top portion of a 
wider which had been lowered into the abyss. 

It was this ladder, then, which had produced the strange 

ambling noise. 

Voices were heard speaking in suppressed accents. 

Then a man's head appeared above the edge of the 

WMattt 



Re looked down for some time intently. 
I '•' I don't see him," he muttered — " I don't see him f 
Yet he must be there — of course he's there 1 Curse it ! 
What makes me feel so nervous and terrified to-night — I 
fee] half afraid to go down 1" 

"Afraid?" said another voice. "That's a good joke 
Here— ake a drop of this ; it will give you courage. 

* And will you come down too mate ?" ■ m 

" Of course I will." 

" Then here goes." 

The man, having thus spoKen, placed his foot upon the 
ladder and began to descend. 

He took the lantern from the floor, and carried it in his 
hand. 

"Now, mate," he cried to the other, u eome along ; we'll 
both descend the ladder together." 

The other man obeyed, and, keeping as close together 
as they could, the two villains went slowly down, step by 
step. 

Dick and the young man gazed upon them with the 
utmost abhorrence. 

As for Turpin himself, he felt that it would be wrong to 
treat them as he would any other adversaries. 

Clearly he was justified in taking them by surprise, and 
overpowering them without allowing them an opportunity 
to retaliate. 

Accordingly, with a swift, noiseless footstep, he made 
his way to the centre of this circular apartment, if so we 
may term it. 

The men were now about half-way down. 

Dick stood close to the foot of the ladder. 

He had already made up his mind what to do, and so 
with a sudden exertion of his whole strength, he seized 
hold of two of the bottom rounds in the ladder and 
pulled with all his might. 

The effort succeeded. 

With an awful crash the ladder fell, carrying the two 
men with it. 

The lantern rolled far away into a corner, and was ex- 
tinguished. 

The men were so taken by surprise as to be thoroughly 
frightened. 

An attack in that quarter surely could not be made by 
human beings — they had at last been encountered by the 
inhabitants of another world. 

Dick hurried forward, calling out to bis companion at 
the same time to bring the lamp. 

He was obeyed. 

The two villains, hearing his voice, recovered some of 
their composure. 

Their greatest fear now was over — they had to en- 
counter mortals, not beings of another world. 

Accordingly, despite the fearful injuries they must have 
sustained in falling from so far so awkwardly, they 
struggled to their feet and commenced an immediate 
attack. 

Dick, however, was prepared for them, and had every 
advantage, although he was unprovided with any 
weapons. 

With his clenched fist he struck one such a violent 
blow that it put his rising again altogether out of the 
question — at least, for some time to come. 

The other shared a similar fate, and by the time the 
young man arrived with the lamp, the two wretches were 
lying insensible on the ground. 

At the sight of them the stranger could scarcely re- 
strain his fury. 

Insensible as they then were, he felt impelled to attack 
them with the utmost rage. 

" Now," said Dick, " it strikes me we have the way 
before us to get out. Help me to taise the ladder once 
more." 

With considerable difficulty the ladder was lifted up 
Gnd placed in its original position, and no sooner was this 
done than Dick and his companion mounted. 

On reaching the top, Tarpin found himself in a bed- 
chamber such as the young man had described 

It was untenanted by anyone. 

Looking at the trap-door, they saw it was so con- 
structed that the least weight pressing on one end of it 
would cause it to give way, allowing the object, whatever 
it might be, to fall through. 

As soon as this was accomplished, the spring at the 
other sad restored the trap-door to its original appearance. 



1430 



ULACK BEgfl; 08, 



u Have you a mind to linger here and make a further 
examination," asked Turpin, " or will you seek the way 
Into the street with all speed ?" 

"1 leave the conduct of affairs entirely to you," was 
the response — " it seems to me that you are better able to 
judge which is best." 

" Then I advise that we gain the street with all speed. 
Who can tell how many accomplices those miscreants may 
have ? And if wo stay wo may find ourselves opposed to a 
superior force, aiul so have to pay the penalty of our rash- 
ness with our lives." 

" As you will," answered the young man ; " the very 
air in this place seems to choke me." 

There was indeed, either in fancy or reality, a sickening 
odour pervading that apartment. 

Gladly enough, then, Turpin left it. 

The door opened upon a large square landing-place. 

Here he paused in order to look aroumt him before he 
took any fresh step. 

The staircase was broad, with massive, old-fashioned 
balusters. 

It ascended to the upper floors, and descended into the 
hall, commanding a view of the front door of the house. 

CHAPTER DCCCXCIV. 

DICK TURPIN MAKES HIS WAY TO THE THREE SPIDERS 
INN AT EALING. 

Dick Turpin, having attracted the attention of his com- 
panion, raised one arm and pointed down the staircase. 

41 There," he said — " there is the way to escape ; that's 
the front door which you see before you, and surely we 
shall have but little difficulty in descending the stairs 
and passing out of it unseen." 

'» Very little, I should think," replied the young man. 
" Lei as try it without more delay." 

Dick was glad enough to find that this young mau was 
willing to leave the house. 

As for himself, the reader need not be told he was 
anxious to depart. 

Maud and his comrades would all be wondering what 
had become of him, and auxiously expecting his re- 
turn. 

Gently descending the staircase, then, for about half a 
dozen steps, they paused. 

Some faint, sweet notes of music struck upon their 
ears. 

After listening for a moment they felt sure they pro- 
ceeded from a harpsichord. 

The air was indeed a delightful one, and whoever it 
might be who was then playing was most certainly a per- 
fect master of the instrument. 

Merely raising his finger in token of silence, Dick con- 
tinued the descent. 

On gaining the foot of the stairs, however, his com- 
panion stopped, and, touching Dick upon the arm, he said, 
in a faint whisper : 

" That is the door leading into the room where I drank 
the drugged wine ; that's the room from which the music 
proceeds, for I remember seeing a harpsichord standing 
in one corner." 

Dick nodded, and would have passed on, considering 
that had nothing to do with him. 

But other thoughts were evidently in the mind of the 
stranger, for, in the same cautious whisper, he continued : 

"Perhaps by this time some other victim may have 
been picked up, and that music is played <n order to sooth>> 
him into a kind of repose, when he will fall all the more 
unsuspectingly into the snare." 

Dick started and wondered how it was that thio 
thought had not occurred to him at first. 

11 Oloser," he whispered — " let us get closer . then we 
may overhear something." 

The next moment they were standing on the threshold 
of this room, and then, for the first time, they noticed that 
the door was not properly closed— it was ajar, but on<P 
very slightly. 

This indeed accounted for the fact of their bavlng 
heard the low, sweet strains of the musical instrument. 

All at once the music ceased) and then the two listeners 
distinctly heard a voice say, in thick, guttural accent* i 

" Very pretty, my love-^very pretty ; but i have had 
enough music— .of this room t*», tor that matter. Odaus 



" In a moment," said a female voice. " Excuse me just 
a moment, I will soon return, but I am not certain 
whether all is ready " 

" All is ready ?" repeated the other voice. " What do 
you mean by that ?" 

"Oh, nothing — don't trouble yourself about matters 
that do not concern you. There's wine on the table — don't 
spare it." 

There was a rustling sound, and Dick whispered to the 
young stranger : 

" Seize her when she come* forth — hold her fast." 

He had scarcely time to pronounce Uie words before 
the door opened. 

The girl — for tha stranger recognised her iustautly— 
was quitting the room precipitately, and was made a fast 
prisoner before she was aware of it. 

Feeling herself firmly held, and seeing, too, the pallid 
countenance of one she had so recently betrayed, she 
uttered a piercing shriek and became insensible. 

These strange occurrences had the effect of arousing 
the innjate of the room, and now, with a staggering and 
unsteady step, he came towards the door. 

" Hullo 1" he ci-ied. " What the deuce does it all mean ? 
What is it — what is it ? Why, curse me, I feel quite 
drunk and stupid, and yet I've had nothing — only a glass 
or two of wine 1" 

"You have been drugged," shouted Dick, "and but for 
our accidental presence you would in a few more minutes 
have been murdered." 

Certainly, if any words whatever would be calculated 
to enable a person to cast off the influences of a drug, 
such as those just uttered by Dick would have that 
effect. 

He was a tall, stout man, expensively dressed, and with 
many ornaments of great value glittering about his 
person. 

By his countenance, his guttural articulation, and his 
general appearance, it could be told at a glance he was a 
foreigner. Probably he had only just arrived in London. 

Hearing these words spoken, and comprehending their 
purport, he clasped his hands over his forehead, doubt- 
less with the endeavour to stop the swimming of his 
brain. 

"Get into the open air," said Dick, "and raise what 
outcry you can, and return thanks that you have had so 
narrow an escape." 

Like one in a dream, the foreigner found his way to the 
front door. 

With difficulty he undid the fastenings and sallied 
forth. 

While he was thus engaged, Dick spoke rapidly to his 
companion. 

" Prom what you know," he said, " I cannot take any 
part in bringing the inmates of this house to justice. 1 
myself should be immediately taken prisoner. I can, 
however, leave all to you. My immediate object now is 
to make my escape. That girl is now incapable of doing 
any mischief. Itaiae what alarm you can, and relate the 
whole to the police.'' 

" I will — I will," replied the young stranger, with a 
slightly bewildered air. " And since we are to part, accept 
my thanks for the very valuable services you have ren- 
dered me." 

" Not a word on that point — not a word. Farewell ! 
Most likely we shall never meet again." 

With these words on his lips, Dick turned round and 
quickly darted from the house. 

The last he saw of the foreigner was as he stood near 
the front door endeavouring to save himself from fall- 
ing. 

It would have been no slight satisfaction to Dick could 
he have remained and witnessed the clearing up of this 
transaction, but regard for his own safety made him 
aware this was impossible. 

Keeping a keen look-out on all sides of him, Dick hastily 
made his way through the streets of London in the direc- 
tion of the Three Spiders Inn at Ealing. 

The clocks gave forth the hour of eleven. 

He was sut-prised, for he imagined it was much later. 
In the perpetual darkness, however, which prevailed in 
old Newgate it was difficult indeed to keep any accurate 
note of the night of time. 

rjo far as he could tell, no polioe officers had obssitod 
feia dtspan&gs 



THS KXIGHT Of THB BOAD. 



146' 



Either they had given up keeping such vigilant guard 
around the prison, or else it had never occurred to them 
to place a watch anywhere near the house from which 
Dick had emerged. 

Although the hour was early, yet he felt no inclination 
for the long walk before him 

He was impatient in the highest degree to assare Maud 
of his safety, and also to ascertain what were the move- 
ments of his comrades. 

He had no horse, however, and to attempt to hire one 
would be running a very considerable risk—* much 
greater risk than he felt himself justified in running. 

At a rapid pace, then, he walked on towards his desti- 
nation, for above all things ho was anxious to leave London 
behind. 

On his way he revolved in his mind what means he 
could adopt of performing his journey quickly. 

His meditations were at length broken in upon by the 
sharp rattle of some vehicle that was being drawn with 
great rapidity along the high-road. 

Dick drew aside, and looked back. 

Then, through the darkness, he managed to make out 
that a light spring cart, drawn by one horse, was approach- 
ing him. 

In it was seated a man, who, by various trt>atend 
smacks of his whip, compelled the animal to keep up its 
speed. 

" I'll ask him for a lift," muttered Dick. " There's a 
little danger iu it, but not much ; and, after all, he may 
refuse." 

Just then the cart was within a yard or two of where 
he stood. 

Kaising his voice, he cried t 

"Hoi — hoi! — stop! I am travelling your way, eind 
would give something worth while for a ride !" 

The man checked nis horse somewhat abraptly, and, 
placing his hand before his eyes, strove to make out by 
whom he had been accosted. 

"It's only a slight favour that I ask of you," said 
Dick. " But this road is terribly lonely, and I have a 
long journey before me." 

" It ain't very safe to pick up acquaintances on the 
road," said the man. "But, though I can't see your face, 
yet 1 like the sound of your voice. Jump up, and, if you 
like to pay for something when we reach the Truss of 
Hay, I shall be glad of your company." 

" Agreed !" said Dick. " I am much obliged to you !" 

He scrambled up into the cart while he spoke, and the 
man, scarcely allowing him time to seat himself, cracked 
his whip, and set the horse in motion. 

It was a great satisfaction to Dick upon thus finding 
himself unexpectedly carried so swiftly towards his des- 
tination. 

But he found that his present position, advantageous as 
it seemed, had some drawbacks, for the man was of a 
most inquisitive disposition, and it was with difficulty 
that he replied to his many questions. 

The great topic of the time was, of course, Dick Tur- 
pin's marvellous escape from Newgate. 

He found his new companion had plenty to say upon 
it. 

Dick professed to be ignorant of the particulars, and 
thereupon was favoured with a narrative of a most ex- 
aggerated description. 

Sinking his voice as he concluded, he said : 

" It's my firm belief, sir, that there's but one way of 
coming to a solution of this matter." 

" Indeed 1" said Dick. " And what may that be ?" 

" Why, we all know what a villanous wretch this Dick 
Turpin is But, bless me ! what's the matter?" 

Dick had started upon hearing this epithet applied to 
him, but he recovered himself most marvellously. 

"Oh, it's nothing," he said—" nothing at all f* 

" Then what was it made you give such a jump?*' 

" I don't know — it is not worth while to trouble about 
it. I am full of curiosity to know what you were going 
to say." 

" Well, then, my belief is that Dick Turpin ra s*«fc a 
wretch that the devil would not wait for him to be pot 
out of the world in an ordinary manner, but has earned 
him off bodily. Rely upon it, we shall never see him 
again." 

" Perhaps not," replied Diet " Bat what are you pull- 
ittf tpfcrr" 



"Why, this is the Trus3 of Hay— the inn of which 1 
spoke. Eecollect you have to pay for the refreshment" 

* All right,"' said Dick—" order anything you like f" 

The cart having stopped, the man jumped out, and re- 
quested Dick to follow his example. 

At first he refused, but, being pressed by his new com* 
panion, and having no good reason to give why he should 
prefer remaining where he was, he at length reluctantly 
got down. 

"Come in !" he said. " They keep the best of refresh 
ments here, as you will say. They do a roaring trade, 
fer there are plenty, like me, who make a regular point oi 
calling." 

He pushed open the inn door as he spoke. 

Dick had no resource but to follow him, though he was 
exceedingly reluctant to do so. 

Ho had no means of disguising himself further than by 
pulling bis hat low down over his brows. 

A couple of flaring oil-lamps depending from the ceiling 
lighted up the passage leading from the front to the back 
of the inn, and from rooms on each side came forth the 
sounds of boisterous merriment. 

Dick's companion walked up to the bar window, and, 
after a brief hesitation, called for a tankard of old 
ale. 

" I will share it with you," said Dick, " for I am in no 
humour for drinking to-night." 

" Very good," was the reply. "I shall not stay more 
than a moment. I am very late to-night, and I have 
twenty miles further to go." 

Dick did not reply to this, but, throwing down the only 
coin he possessed to pay for the ale, he drank a small 
quantity himself, and his companion quickly emptied the 
tankard. 

But just as they were taking their departure, one of 
the doors leading into the passage opened, and a man's 
face appeared at it. 

Behind him were several others, who, it seemed, were 
likewise just about to quit the inn. 

The door being narrow, he stopped with the door in 
his hand to allow Dick and his companion to pass by. 

The latter walked carelessly enough, but Dick, affect- 
ing to be seized with a sudden cough, placed his hand be- 
fore his mouth, which served to conceal a great portion 
of his features. 

Apparently no notice was taken of either of them, and 
in another moment they were mounted, as before, in the 
light cart, and rolling rapidly along the high-road. 

The tankard of ale loosened the man's tongue consider- 
ably, and he ran on at a great length upon various sub- 
jects. 

But Dick had too many things pressing on his mind to 
pay much attention to what he said. 

Arriving at last pretty near to the Three Spiders Inn, 
he requested the man to allow him to alight. 

"This is your journey's end, then ?" he said. 

" Well, nearly. I have a little further to go across the 
fields, but no distance to speak of. Many thanks to you 
for your civility. Good night !" 

"Good night!" answered the man, smacking his 
whip. 

Dick stood in the roadway a minute or so till the cart 
Was almost out of sight, then, turning round abruptly, he 
made his way in a straight line for the inn. 

He reached it without meeting with any accident, only 
once he thought he heard a footstep on the road behind 
him, and, glancing back at the same instant, he fancied 
he perceived a dark figure dart into the shadow of the 



hedge. 

or ti 



this he was by ne means certain, but, occupied only 
with his anxiety to see his friends, he hurried on with 
redoubled speed, nor paused until the door was reached. 

He knocked several times gently without receiving any 
answer, and, his patience being by no means great, he 
raised his foot and kicked with might and main upon the 
lower portias *i the door. 



CHAPTER DCCCXCV. 
m highwaymen's jot axd satisfaction move w 

BJC Or SHORT DURATION. 

Thk reader will now be at no loss to understand the 
meaning of the tremendous knocking that had strut* 



BLACK BBSS ; OK, 



each terror into the hearts of Tom Davis and the high- 
waymen. 

It was Dick who was thus clamouring for admission, 
not the officers, as they supposed. 

After the words last spoken by Tom Davis, a boom of 
considerable confusion ensued. 

There could be no doubt, however, that tne- ysght 
course to pursue was to avail themselves instantly of the 
hiding-plaoe they had been at so -"men trouble to con- 
struct. .. ,- " 

Seizing a lamp, Tom King cried : 

" Follow me, all of you— follow me quickly, yet quietly I 
There is no cause for immediate alarm." 
. Maud, however, was so terrified that she could scarcely 
move. 

Knowing perfectly well, however, that not only her 
own safety but the safety of those she held so dear, 
depended upon her summoning up sufficient resolution to 
accompany them to their hiding-place, she trnd her best 
to shake off the dreadful feelings which oppressed 
her. 

Passing hastily through the bar, Tom opened the door 
at the top of the steps leading into the cellar, and quickly 
descended. 

Clande came last, and shut the door. 

In the meanwhile, the knocking was continued with 
great fury. 

Tom Davis, thinking that the hghwaymen arere now 
safe, and not wishing to give rise to fresh suspicion by 
keeping the officers waiting at the door, slowly walked 
along the passage, and presently cried out : 

" Who is it ? — who's there ?" 

" Open the door, Davis," cried Dick — " open the door ! 
Why on earth have you kept me here waiting in this 
manner?" 

Tom Davis recognised the tones of the voice in- 
stantly. 

So great was his surprise — so sudden the revolution of 
feeling which took place in his breast upon finding the 
captain was without, and not Jack Marshall and his 
officers, that he was suddenly bereft of all motion. 

Leaning against the wall, he could only gasp out the 
words : 

" The captain — the captain !" 

Ellen had heard Dick's voice, and uttered a shriek. 

When that was over her surprise was over too, and 
accordingly, hastening past Tom Davis, she, with nimble 
fingers, removed the fastenings. 

Dick pushed open the door hastily, and as hastily closed 
it behind him. 

" What on earth," he said, " is the matter with you all ? 
Why have you kept me hammering at the door in this 
fashion ?" 

Tom Davis did not reply, but recollecting all of a 
sudden that the highwaymen had gone done into the 
cellars, and were doubtless in the act of entering the 
secret passage, he turned round and ran into the bar. 

Opening the door at the top of the steps, he cried 
out: 

" Tom — Tom ! Come baclc i It's all right 1 The 
captain's here !" 

There was an immediate commotion down below after 
he had pronounced these words. 

The fact was, so expeditious had the highwaymen been 
that the secret passage had been opened, and they were 
just about to close it after them. 

Tom Davis's words arrested their purpose, and, with 
mingled joy and doubt, they rushed pell-mell towards 
the steps. 

Dick could not for the life of him understand the extra- 
ordinary behaviour of Tom Davis ; but Ellen, in a few 
words, explained the exact position of affairs. 

Over the glad meeting which now took place "© must 
pass in silence, since it was a scene no pen coulc%pnssibly 
describe. 

The most extravagant joy was, of course, the feeling 
uppermost in every breast. 

No sooner, however, were their surprise and satlgf Ac- 
tion over than a whole string ot questions were ptf jed 
forth. * * 

Nothing would do but Dick must give an account of 
all his proceedings, for there was not one who could even 
guess at them. 

Willingly enough, Dick complied, and amid a profound, 



breathless silence, he related to his friends those fact* 
which are already in possession of the reader. 

He concluded his narrative by stating that he fancied 
he had heard a footstep behind him in the lane, and that 
he had seen for a moment dark figure resembling a 
human form. 

" We cannot be too careful," said Tom Davis — " it is 
impossible that we can be. I will go now and see that 
all the fastenings are perfectly secure." 

" And Black Bess," said Dick — " I must see her." 

" She's all safe and sound, oaptain. But if you sus- 
pect any person is lurking near, don't run the risk of 
venturing forth just at present — wait for another oppor- 
tunity." 

This advice was warmly seconded by the highwaymen, 
and Dick gave way before their wishes, although his 
anxiety to see Black Bess was great indeed. 

Tom Davis was not absent long, and when he came 
back he brought with him the satisfactory intelligence 
that the inn was firmly secured at all points — that it would 
be impossible to effect a sudden entrance. 

It was now Dick's turn to question his comrades, for he 
was quite in the dark as to their proceedings, and was 
not a little anxious to receive from Tom King the account 
of his adventures at Windsor. 

His request was complied with, and surely, to all 
appearances, a happier, more comfortable party than was 
assembled in the inn kitchen at that moment could 
scarcely have been found in England. 

Had a stranger looked in upon them, the very last idea 
that would have suggested itself would have been that they 
were all in peril of their lives. 

A feeling of remarkable ease and contentment pervaded 
every breast, and such a sensation of security came over 
all that they never remembered to have felt before. 

These feelings, however, were very quickly put an end 
to by what next occurred. 

In the midst of their laughing conversation there sud- 
denly came a pause — such a pause as not unfrequently 
takes place in similar circumstances. 

They glanced from one to another, and each waited 
for some one to speak first. 

In the midst of this singular silence came the sound of 
three distinct heavy blows struck deliberately upon the 
front door. 

This startled all into life. 

Tom Davis turned perfectly white as he said : 

" There's no mistake now — officers they are, and no 
one else — it cannot turn out to be any friend of ours this 
time 1 Be quick 1" he added. " Seek the secret passage 
without delay 1" 

" Nay," cried Dick, " let us know first that there is 
reason for doing so." 

The words had scarcely passed his lips when the 
knocking was renewed. 

Then some words pronounced in a loud voice reached 
their ears. 

What the words were they could not exactly make out, 
but Tom Davis exclaimed : 

"Now are you satisfied? Did you hear them utter 
their usual summons for admission ? Oaptain, youi 
fancy did not mislead you, you have indeed been watched 
and followed to this house. What is to be done ?" 

"Enter the secret passage," was Dick's immediate 
answer. " I fear it is only too true that I have been fol- 
lowed. However, it strikes me if they should enter thej 
will be unable to find anything of us." 

The knocking was repeated for the third time, and the 
words again pronounced. 

Tom Davis had crept a little closer to the front 
door. 

^Turning round, he said in a whisper i ■ 

" Did you hear them demand admittance in tne King's 
name? If the door is not opened instantly they will 
break it down." 

Hie words were prophetic, for just at that very instant 
a W*x«f)o blow was dealt upon the stout panels of the 
door 

Haa it not been so well secured, most certainly that 
blow was sufficient to have forced it from its hinges. 

No longer now could the imminence of their danger be 
doubted. 

Again snatching up the lamp, Tom King hastened to 
the bar. 



fH* * WIGHT •» THX aOAD. 



1«6S 



fie was followed by Dick, who had to half carry Maud 
with him. 

Claude and Sixteen-String Jack brought np the rea». 

Once more the steps were descendsd, the cellars crossed, 
»nd the entrance to the secret passage reached. 

It turned out now that their false alarm had reatt," done 
them good service. 

The coverings over the passage had now been removed, 
%nd nothing remained for the highwaymen to do . bat to 
enter hastily and replace them. 

This, by an admirable, yet simple contrtvanoe that had 
nevertheless cost them many hours' thought, was quickly 
don«. 

' forward," said Dick — "it will be useless to linger 
here ! Let us take up such a position that, if necessary, we 
may make an immediate retreat." 

" Good !" cried Tom King. " I was about to propose 
the self-same thing. Follow me with what speed you 
may." 

As he spoke he walked hurriedly along the passage. 



CHAPTER DCCCXCVI. 

OESCB3BES THE ENERGETIC PROCEEDINGS OF JACK MAR 
SHALL AND HIS OFFICERS. 

It will be necessary now to go back a little in order to 
account for the events which next occurred. 

It will be recollected that on the night when Dick 
Turpin so strangely made his escape from Newgate, his 
three comrades left the White Horse Inn in Drury 
Lane. 

As they had correctly feared, the deaf and dumb boy 
whom Matthew had so befriended was a traitor. 

He had recognised the highwaymen, and no sooner 
had he started upon his errand than he betrayed them to 
a police officer. 

His scheme no doubt would have succeeded, and the 
highwaymen beyond all doubt have been captured, had 
not his long absence been too much for their impatience. 

The simple fact of going to the stable instead of wait- 
ing at the corner of White Horse Yard unquestionably 
saved their lives. 

With what followed the reader is already aware. 

With more than usual ease, Tom and his comrades 
managed to out-distance the police officers. 

Stilt, although the highwaymen had got out of sight 
and hearing, they were by no means inclined to abandon 
the chase, especially as, after going a short distance, they 
were met by a troop of their companions headed by Jack 
Marshall himself. 

A few words served to explain matters to him, and no 
sooner had he comprehended all, than for about five 
minutes he did nothing but curse the officers in every 
conceivable way. 

" They went westward, did they ?" he cried. " Well, 
we'll go westward too. Come on, it's strange indeed if 
we don't see or hear something of them." 

Accordingly, the two parties forming one, set their 
steeds in motion and galloped at a very furious rate along 
the western road. 

From time to time they paused to make inquiries as to 
whether any persons resembling those of whom they 
were in search had passed th at way. 

But on every occasion they were replied to in the 
negative 

At last, reaching a roadside inn. Jack i>jsnaJl 
determined to pause. 

He had been actively engaged for a long time »t4 3*iw 
so weary that he could scarcely sit in the 6adlle. 

Moreover, most of the horses were completely blown, 
and, if pushed, mlgnt tail them aUogothai 

It so happened that this inn was no otner wum the 
Truss of Hay, at which, as fate would have it, Dick 
Turpin made a halt. 

Having stayed long enough, as they believeo, to rest 
their horses, the police officers were just about to depart 
when Dick and his companion passed down the passage 
in the manner we have previously related. 

The officer standing at the door did not recognise Dick, 
yet he fancied that he was no other than the highwayman 
he beheld. 

Had he seen him under any other circumstance* than 
th* present, probably he would have had no doubt what- 
ever. 



The very idea that Dick Turpin should quietly walk 
into the inn where they were staying, and walk oat again, 
was really too preposterous to be entertained. 

Still, he looked vacant, hesitating and confused 

Perceiving it, Jack Marshall bawled out : . 

" JV Lat the devil are you standing shilly-shallying 
there like that for, Roberts ? What's the matter with 
you ? Are you moon-struck ?" 

"No, no, Mr. Marshall — no, no. 1 beg your pardon, 
cir." 

" Well, what is u t You look as if you had seen a 
ghost." 

" Well, sir, I'm afraid you will laugh at me, or think me 
drunk, or mad, or something of that sort, but I really do 
believe — and yet how can it be possible ?" 

"Goon!" roared the chief police officer. "What do 
you believe ?" 

" Why, that when I opened this door I saw Dick 
Turpin walk down the passage." 

Jack Marshall leaped up from his chair with a yell. 

He seized hold of Roberts, the police officer, and shook 
him violently. 

" Fodi ! — dolt I — idiot !" he screamed. " If you had any 
doubt of that kind in your mind why did you not speak, 
and not stand there looking lillfe a fool ? Bah ! Get out 
of the way !" 

He flung the officer aside with great violence, then 
made his way to the bar window. 

"Landlord," he cried, "who was it passed down the 
passage a minute or two ago — did you notice 'em ?" 

" Were there two of them, 6ir ?" 

" How the devil do I know ?" 

" Well, I only ventured to inquire," said the landlord 
offended at Jack Marshall's manner. 

" Well, supposing there were two, what were they 
like ?" 

" Why, one I know very well — he's an old friend of 
mine, and calls regularly here every time he passes." 

" Yah ! — bah ! it can't be him then !" 

" But," continued the landlord, "now you mention it, 
he had a stranger with him, and rather a strange-looking 
strang-er, if I may be&l'Gir&d to make that remark." 

Jack Marshall pricked up his ears ouce more. 

"Describe him," he cried, fiercely and excitedly — 
" describe him !" 

• l Well, sir, to tell you the truth, I can't very well, for 
he very carefully kept as much out of 6ight as he could ; 
he had his hat drawn down on his face, and altogether 1 
saw but little of him." 

"Was that the man you meant?" roared Marshall, 
addressing himself to Roberts, who had ventursd to 
emerge Into the passage. 

"Yes — yes!" he replied, nodding violently — "thaw's 
him !" 

"Then, no doubt you are right. What a chance we've 
lost! But quick — quick, all of you! The horses are 
ready, no douit ! Mount at once !" 

Probably never before had Jack Marshall been in such 
a state of tremendous excitement. 

He dashed out of the inn more like a madman than a 
6ane being. 

In the same haste, he mounted his steed, and then 
plunged his spurs into its flanks. 

" Come on," he roared — " come on, I 6ay ! Do you 
meaja to be all night ?" 

As well as they could, the officers scrambled into the 
saddles, and followed their leader in a desultory 
throng. 

Now, had the officers galloped straight off to the Three 
Spiders Inn they must inevitably have arrived there 
before Dick. 

But such was fated not to be the case. 

Jack Jaarshall, indeed, was very forcibly reminded of 
the truth of the old proverb which declares " more haste 
less speed." 

Altogether letting passion get the better of prudence, 
he paid leas attention to his horse than he should hav# 
done. 

Consequently, the tired beast, making a false ttep, 
stumbled. 

His rider was not ready to save him by checking at 
the bit, so down he went, and Jack Marshall involuntarily 
performed a very creditable somersault over his hone's 
head. 



!*B4 



BUCK BBSS, OR, 



He reached the ground with great violence, and jmrt as 
he fell, bo did he lie, bereft apparently alike of life and 

motion. 

The officers pulled up their horses as quickly as they 
could, and narrowly escaped riding over thetl efcSef. 

The struggling horse was assisted to rise, irf others 
bent over their leader. 

" Mr. Marshall," 6aid one — " Mr. Marshall ! SpeaA. ! 
Are you vary much hurt, sir — vory mnoh hurt?* 
There was no response. 
" He's stunned, if not dead I" said another. 
" Is he ?" cried Roberts, pushing his way forwards. 
" Then, d — n him, let him take that! 1 feel better now. 
Perhaps when he feels that slight pain in his side he'll 
think twice before he tries to throttle me again !" 

Roberta WM still smarting with rage at being treated 
in such a summary manner by his chief. 

All the way along the road he had been cursing and 
swearing to himself, longing for some opportunity of 
revenging himself, and wishing that his tongue had 
dropped out before he had said a word about Dick Turpin 
at all. 

Seeing his powerful foe helpless on the ground, he oould 
not resist the opportunity of gratifying Ih's vengeance, so 
while he spoke, and before any of the others oould pr»vent 
him, he dealt Jack Marshall a furious kick in the ribs —so 
furious a one that i t ffl a wonder it did not recover the 
police officer from his state of unconsciousness. 

A consultation now ensued among the officers as to 
what they should do. 

Would it be best for them to wait and endeavour to 
restore their leader to consciousness, or should a portion 
ride on in pursuit ? 

This matter was well argued, for the police officers 
were about equally divided on the point. 

The discussion soon grew so warm that it was a thou- 
sand wonders they did not come to blows. 

As it was, the confusion was something terrific, and in 
the midst of it Jack Marshall was altogether disre- 
garded. 

But what the furious kick could not do, Nature accom- 
plished for herself. 
Gradually the chief police officer came to himself. 
As may be guessed, his intellects were at first iu a slate 
of utter confusion. 

But by degrees he realised that he was lying on his 
back in a very dirty road, that every time he drew hio 
breath he had an acute pain in his 6ide as though some 
one was 6tabbing him, and that his men were all standing 
around, disputing at the top of their voices. 

At least five minutes elapsed, however, before he could 
recollect just what had occurred. 

No sooner did remembrance return to him than he 
uttered a yell. 

Its effects were peculiar. 

The police officers ceased their discussion at once, and 
became suddenly as silent as though they had been struck 
dumb. 

Certainly the circumstances were well calculated to ex- 
asperate anyone, and so we cannot wonder that the first 
thing Jack Marshall did after giving vent to that yell was 
to pour out a whole string of curses directed at all 
things in general, and at his own men in particular. 
" Help me up," he said — " help me up at once !" 
The officers came officiously towards him. 
On attempting to gain his feet, however, Jack Marshall 
suffered such intolerable pain that he alternately cursed, 
groaned and screamed. 

Rnge certainly had the better of him on that occa- 
sion. 

Comprehending that it was his horse's fault th»t he add 
been thrown, he made a rush at the dumb, unconscious 
brute, and commenced a furious attack upon it — ax attack 
that was in the highest degree ridiculous. 

But Mr. Marshall was soon exhausted, aud fell back 
again into the roadway. 

"Take me back to the inn," he said— "oh, take me 
back to the inn !" 

With great difficulty this command was obeyed, but, 
as the inn was only a few hundred yards in the rear, 
it was quickly gained. 

A plentiful external application of cold wat«» and 
*ome deep draughts of brandy went far towards restor- 
og '*"-fc Marshall to his former self 



So absorbed had he been by his own injuries that, u» 
till that moment, he had forgotten all about his pro- 
pose. 

Just tnen, recollecting Dick Turpin, he angrily de- 
manded to know why the officers had not continued th« 
pursuit 

Tlds involved a long explanation, to which he would 
not listen. 

" Hold your jaw !" he cried. "I've had enough of it! 
Another drop of brandy ! There, I shall do now? Come 
on, will you ! I will once more lead the way !" 

By the joint exertions of about half a dozen officers, 
Jack Marshall was lifted into the saddle. 

He suffered more from the pain in his side than aught 
else. 

To draw a long breath was agony. 

"Gently," he said — "we must do it gently, or I shall 
fall off! But there's time enough — time enough, for it'a 
odd to me if I don't know where to find them all I" 



CHAPTER JJCCCXCVII. 

JAOR MARSHALL AND HIS OFFICERS SUCCEED IN EFFECT- 
DIG AN ENTRANCE INTO THE THREE SPIDERS INN, AND 
BIARE THRIVE PRISONERS. 

Although Jack Marshall may be said to have used the 
utmost expedition, yet, after all, a considerable delay took 
place in consequence of the unforeseen accident which 
befel him. 

Indeed, before the officers started for the second time 
from the Truss of Hay, Dick Turpin had got comfortably 
back to the inn. 

At every step the horse look Jack Marshall suffered ex- 
treme pain, but he bore all like a martyr. 

He was eucouraged to do so by the hope that on thii 
occasion he should succeed in capturiug the whole of the 
highwaymen. 

He had an unusually large force, aud, from the direc- 
tion that Dick was taking, he had scarcely any doubt in 
his own mind that he was making direct for Ealing. 

As fast as he possibly could, Jack Marshall followed in 
his footsteps, until, at leugth reaching the disused lane 
leading up to the imn, he paused. 

"Jackson should be somewhere here," he muttered. 
" I wonder whether the rascal is at his post !" 

While speaking, he took from his pocket a small whistle, 
which he placed to his lips. 

A shrill, trilling sound was produced — not very loud, 
but yet such as would be carried to a great distance. 

No sooner had the souud died away than hasty foot- 
steps were heard, and then a man, attired as a police 
officer, made his appes ranee. 

" Oh," he said, speaking with great excitement, " is 
that you, Mr. Marshall?" 
" Yes, it is ! What news, Jackson ?" 
" Oh, most important news. I've beeL cudgelling my 
brains to think of some means by which I could let you 
know, and here you are just in the nick of time !" 

Jack Marshall smiled, and forgot the pain h6 was en- 
during. 

" I've seen him," continued Jackson, sinking hi3 voice 
— " I've seen him, and I was a good mind to put a bullet 
into him, and chance it." 

"Seen who — seen who?" asked Marshall, impatiently, i 
" Why, Dick Turpin himself — I am quite sure of it. I 
would swear to him ! He passed me." 
" Why did you not seize him ?" 

" Because I was alone," was the reply, " and he was so 
close to his friends. Had they heard the least noise they 
would have cmine forth, aud I should have been no better 
than mincemeat." 
Marshall thought so too. 

" Perhaps it is best as it is," he answered. "How f<x* 
tunate it is 1 left you here." 
" Very fortunate indeed, sir." 
" You dogged his footsteps, of course i* 
"Oh, yes." 

" Where did he go, then?" 
" To the inn." 
Jack Marshall nodded. 
" I thought as much." 
Then, speaking to himself, he added : 
u Oh, I ha^e you on the hip now, Mi . L?.bAx& * 
knew that this day would come sooner or Utar." 



TUB KNIO»T OV THE ROA». 



!«■:. 




fTOJf DATTS REFUSES TO BETRAY THE HIGHWAYMEN.] 



Having made this refleotion, he turned round and ad- 
dressed hia men. 

" Follow me, all of yon," he said, "as alowly and as 
•ilently as you can." 

He was obeyed, and, making no sound that conld be 
heard above the roaring of the wind, the police-officers 
crept like so many ghosts towards the Three Spiders 
Inn. 

They reached the front of the building without 
having given the least alarm. 

In a whisper Jack Marshall ordered hia men to dis- 
mount. 

Short aa the time had been, yet it had sufficed for him 
to make up hia mind as to the exact oourao of action he 
Bhould adopt. 

He placed his men like so many sentinels round the 
inn, and so closely together that they could eommnnioate 
by whispers. 
No. 184.— Black 8ia 



With the bnlk of hie mm and the homes he remaned 

olose to the front door. 

" Now the worst of it is," be laid, addressing his 
men, " that we must go through a little legal form ; but 
pay attention to what I say." 

The men were all attention. 

" It is quite certain," he began, " that Dick Turpin ia 
within thai, building. You know what sort of a reward 
we shall get for him, and that'e enough to make us try 
our best. And then I am almost equally certain that 
his comrades are with him, therefore understand this." 

The men were profoundly attentive. 

" We dare not break suddenly into the house and seize 
them, though that's what I should wish to do ; we must 
call upon them three times to open in the King's name" 

The men nodded, for they knew perfectly well. 

" Provide yourselves, then, with a stout piece of wood 
aad deal a couple of hard blows upen the door with the 



2So, 184. 



Pbioe One Halfpenny. 



urn 



BLACK BESS; OK 



end of it I will then call upon them to surrender in the 
usual form. Directly the words have left my mouth 
atrike the door again. I will repeat the summons, aud, 
having done so, try to demolish the door at one blow. 
This will give them no opportunity of concealing them- 
selves — they will not have time. U we make one grand 
rush we shall carry all before us." 

The men fully comprehended all that he said to tnem, 
and were moreover highly pleased with the arrangement : 
it suited them exactly. 

" To conclude," added Jack Marshall, " so anxious am 
I that you should make this capture that I will give up 
my share of the reward entirely, and the whole sum shall 
be divided equally among you all." 

Certainly if anything could have urged me pwioe 
officers to do their best this announcement on the part of 
their leader ought to have had the effect. 

Had it been prudent they would have expressed their 
satisfaction by a cheer. 

Such a proceeding as that was quite out of the question ; 
they had everything to gain by silence. 

Without much trouble, a piece of wood that exactly 
suited their purpose was found. 

It was the trunk of a young tree that had been cut 
down recently, and the branches of which had been 
lopped off. 

About half a dozen officers seized hold of this piece of 
wood, whioh thus became instantly a formidable batter- 
ing-ram. 

Retreating to a little distance, they ran at full speed to- 
wards the door. 

The blow was a tremendous one. 

It was followed by another, and then Jack Marshall, 
repeating the cwual formula, called upon the inmates to 
open the door in the King's name. 

Without waiting to see whether any attention would 
be paid to this demand, he stood aside to allow his men 
to renew their attack, which they did with a vigour that 
delighted him. 

Again he called, and again the door was battered 
upon. 

But it was stout, and strong, and well secured within, 
and calculated to stand a great deal of battering before it 
would give way. 

Yet Jack Marshall fancied that it already shook upon 
its hinges. 

The summons was given for the third time, and Jack 
Marshall said : 

" Now, my lads, one blow I Give it with all your might, 
and the door is down." 

The officers ran forward with a will. 

This time they fully expected to carry the door before 
them, and so went at it with terrific force. 

But they were deceived. 

The stout oak withstood them, and so great was the 
shock, that they could not possibly recover themselves 
from it. 

Their hold upon the trunk of the tree gave way, and 
the whole of them fell sprawling to the ground. 

"Up again," cried Marshall — " up again ! To it — to it ! 
The door cannot hold against many blows like that 1" 

Hastily and angrily the officers scrambled to their 
feet. 

The block of wood was again raised and once more 
battered againsMhe door. 

This time, however, they were careful for their own 
saxes to strike more gently. 

"Harder — harder," oried Jack Marshall — "harder! 
There ought not to have been a quarter of this delay ! You 
are giving them every opportunity for concealment." 

Just as ho spoke, one ot the upper windows in the inn 
was flung open, and Tom Davis, with a hii^e, conical 
nightcap on his heaO, made his appearance. 

This advent was greeted by a genera! yell, and there 
was an immediate suspension of hostilities. 

"Oh, murder," he cried — "murder! Thieves — thieves! 
What shall I do all alone by myself? Thieves!" 

" You blockhead !" roared Jack Marshall. " We are no 
thieves, as you are full well aware — we are his Majesty's 
officer*" 

oorae of ,% ij men had provided themselves with links, 
and. having lighted them, they came closer beneath the 
window at which Tom Davis stood. 

Th# r*4dy light shed around by thase tw^H rev«*l«d 



plainly enough the peculiar dress of the officers, and s 
was impossible to remain longer in any doubt concerning 
them. 

" Why, is it you, Mr. Marshall ?" cried Tom Davis, 
affecting the utmost astonishment. 

" Yes. of course it is. Come down sad open the door 
this second, or I'll break it from its hinges ! 

" I'm coming, Mr. Marshall — I'm corning," said Davia 
who had made his appearance in this manner solely with 
the view of gaining time. 

"Make haste, then!" roared JacK Marshall. "None oi 
your tricks ! We ki»cw you !" 

Tom Davis grinned, and pretended to be attiring him- 
self with great speed. 

About two minutes elapsed, but the patience of the 
police could extend no longer than that. 

"You refuse, then [" cried Jack Marshall. "Now, my 
lads, to it again — we'll soon have the door down!" 

Another blow was struck, and this time the stout oaken 
panels were split from top to bottom. 

The men uttered a cheer at their success. 

" Stop — stop !" roared Tom Davis. " Consider how you 
are destroying my property ! I'm coming — indeed I am 
coming!" 

He retreated from the window as he spoke, but Jack 
Marshall, resolved to wait no longer, gave the signal for s 
fresh attack. 

This last blow effectually did the business. 

With a tremendous crash the door parted in the centre, 
and the police poured in in a body. 

Before they had gone half a dozen paces down th«* 
passage they met Tom Davis. 

"Seize him," roared Jack Marshall — "seize him — make 
him your prisoner — bind him securely, and take care that 
he does not escape I" 

Tom Davis protested vigorously, but to no purpose. 
He was seized by a dozen powerful hands, and, before he 
was aware of it, securely handcuffed. 

Two men remained in onarge of him. 

" Now, my lads," said Jack Marshall, " don't be afraid ! 
We have them — depend upon it we have them ; no on« 
could leave these premises unseen ; and at the least at- 
tempt to do so, the sentinels will raise the alarm. The 
men we want may be bidden somewhere; but if so, we 
can take our time and search till we find them. Conn 
on, this will be the best night's work you have ever 
done." 

He dashed into the kitchen as he spoke, and here, in 
genuine terror, were Mrs. Davis and Ellen. 

" Seize them both," roared Jack Marshall — " seize them — 
make them prisoners ! I have sufficient evidence that they 
are all accomplices ! Keep them secure, and if we don't 
quickly find out the highwaymen, we'll make them con- 
fess which is their hiding-place." 

His commands were oarried out with unnecessary 
roughness. 

Mrs. Davis and Ellen were both prisoners and securely 
bound. 

With great speed the police officers then spread them- 
selves over the ground floor of the inn, but in none of 
the rooms did they find any trace of the highwaymen. 

By no means discouraged at this, Jack Mars nail sent a 
portion of his force upstairs to search the upper rooms, 
while with the remainder he proceeded to the ooUars. 



CHAPTEB DOOOXOVIIL 

JA OX MARSHALL AHD HB OFFICERS DISCOVER THE 
DOOR IN THE STABLE. 

As soon as ever the highwaymen had descended the 
cellar steps, Ellen, acting upon the instructions given her 
by Tom Davis, had locked the door and takeu out the key, 
which, also by his directions, she threw into the fire. 

The object for this proceeding is obvious enough. It 
was merely to delay the officers and so give the highway- 
man more time U> make their exit by the secret, passage- 
Jack Marshall knew his way to the cellars perfectly 
well ; but when he arrived at the door, to his great, anges 
and disgust, he discovered it was fast and the key gonn. 

The Throe Spiders Inn was an old place, and evtry 
part of it was built in the most substantial manner. 
Sr»n this door, aithoug » saly seeming to ooauausMStf 



TH» »fUI HT 0» ID BOAS. 



HOT 



with the Milan, looked m strong m though intended for * 
prison. 

It wu perfectly possible to force it, but, from Ms ex- 
perience st the front door, the chief officer fVt •» e it 
would take s considerable time. 

Furious with rage, he returned to the kitchen, in waich 
some of the officers remained on guard over the three 
prisoners. 

Marching direct up to Tom Davis, Jack Mavuhail 
alonched his fist and shook it threateningly in his 
face. 

"Ton rascal!" he said— "you rillain! i hare long 
had my suspicions of you. and now they are verified! 
Deliver up the key of the cellar door. J oorara»»<* rou 
to do s* '*" the name of the King ' " 

" And I solemnly declare that the key is not ia my 
possession, nor do I know where you will find it." 

" This subterfuge will not avail you in the least !" roared 
the officer. " I ask you once, calmly, whether you will 
daliver up that key ? You can refuse or not, just as you 
ffke, but if you do, I will take care that it is mentioned 
at the time of your trial, and you will find it will help to 
go against you." 

" I cannot do so," said Tom Davis, affecting a contrite 
air. " If I could it would be a different matter, but I 
can't** 

Jack Marshall uttered a curse. 

He saw there was no hope for it — the door must be 
broken down. 

As he turned away once more with the intention of re- 
turning to the bar, one of his men stepped up to him, and, 
after a preliminary cough, ventured to touch him gently 
on the arm. 

"Mr. Marshall, sir," he said — " Mr. Marshall. a 

"Well, Saunders, what is it?" 

" Would you mind, Mr. Marshall, if I made you just 
one suggestion ? An idea has come into my head— really, 
sir, quite an idea." 

" You don't mean it," said Marshall. 

"I do indeed, sir." 

"Well, then, what is it?" 

"Why, sir, I think we have forgotten the stables. We 
ought to have gone there almost in the first instance, and 
taken possession of the horses ; that would have out off 
all hopes of their escape." 

Jack Marshall gave quite a start. 

This was really a fresh thought to him, though when it 
was suggested to him he wondered how on earth it was 
he had overlooked anything so obvious and important. 

Far from his intention, however, was it to allow his 
subordinate to indulge in the belief that he had made so 
grave an omission. 

Accordingly, turning to him, he said : 

" It's quite a good thought of yours, Saunders, but you 
must not imagine for a moment that I had forgotten such 
a palpable thing as that." 

" Oh no, sir, not for the world," returned Saunders, 
with a smirk and a bow. 

" Indeed," continued Marshall, " when you spoke I was 
wondering whether we should go to the stable before we 
broke open this door or afterwards." 

Saunders was silent. 

"We'll go there at once," said Marshall, after a momen- 
tary pause. 

Assembling his men round him, he instructed two to 
use their best efforts to break down the door. 

With the remainder he sallied out into the yard at the 
back of the inn. 

Although well aware it would have been the wisest 
and most prudent course to secure the horses in the stable 
fir6t of all, yet Jack Marshall did not feel uneauy on this 
score, simply because he belie' jd himself y*\ in good 
time. 

His men had kept the closest possible watch aii round 
the premises, and, had anvone aaumpted to leave, an alarm 
would have been given. ' 

His first act npou gaining tan yard was to accost an 
eJicer who was standing there. 

"Isallwoll?" be asked. "Have yoa seen or heard 
anything ? 

'• NotSing at all, Mr. Marshall— all's well." 

x The just pass the word round, will you, for all to 
keep an estra good look-out ? Wa shall unsarth them pre- 



Scarcely raising his voice above the pitch in which this 
conversation had been carried on, this sentinel spoke. 

His words were heard by two men standing on either 
side of him, and from mouth to inexth the orders flew, 
and in a moment of time the intelligence had made a com- 
plete circuit of the inn. 

The lighted torches carried by soma of the officers 
enabled them to see all around thorn, and this was for- 
tunate, for the night was one of unusual gloom. 

On arriving at the stable door Ml was Tound to be per- 
fectly quiet * 
The door was closed and securery padlocked. 
If Jack Marshall had had any apprehensions— which 
he h»,d not — they would have vanished then. 

How could tbe highwaymen have entered the stable 
and looked the padloc*." on the out-side ? 

That was manifestly an impossibility. 

So his omission was of no importance at all. 

In his own mind he felt vertaic he should not have 
committed so great an oversight but foi th> >■ ufusion of 
his faculties, caused partly by his heavy r»ii from his 
horse and partly by the excitement he felt at being in so 
fair a way to capture Dick Turpin 

One smashing blow with a heavy stone served to de- 
molish the padlock at once. 

The stable door flew open. 

"Lights !" cried Marshall — " lights, * say ! Be quick !" 

The officers carrying the links pressed forwatd, and 
directly afterwards the whole interior of the stable was 
well lighted up. 

The first thing JacK Marshall did was to utter a most 
fearful yell. 

His men thought for a moment that he must have met 
with some sudden, severe accident. 

" Done I" he said- -" we're done— we're too late, after 
all!" 

While he spoke, he glanced despairingly around 
him. 

But the stable was empty. 

Not a horse stood in one of the stalls, except the one 
kept by Tom Davis, though, by the signs of confusion 
around, it was evident the place had been very lately 
visited. 

" Look about you," were the next words Jack Marshall 
spoke — " look about you ! The scent is warm yet — they 
can't have got far away !" 

At the same momeut, recollecting the little door at the 
back of the stable, the existence of which he had on a 
former occasion discovered, he hastened towards it. 

It was bolted on the inner side, but, regardless of that 
incontestable proof that the highwaymen had not passed 
that way, he opened the door, and immediately found 
himself confronted by one of his men. 

" Have you seen tnera i n roared the chief officer at the 
top of his voice — " have they passed this way ?" 

" No, Mr. Marshall, that they certainly have not." 

" Are you quite sure ? — has not one left the stable ?" 

" I am positive of it — at least, not from this part, I am 
quite certain." 

" Well, have you heard anything ?" 

" Nothing particular. I heard the horses kicking and 
prancing about, and I heard one neigh ; but I thought no- 
thing of that." 

Upon hearing this, Jack Marshall poured out a torrent 
of imprecations — he seemed somewhat eased by this pro- 
cess ; and, having settled it in his own mind that the 
blame was all attributable to this one man, he turned back 
with the view of discovering, if possible, by what mys- 
terious means the highwaymen had got their horses out 
of the stable unseen. 

With regard to this point, he was as much in the dark 
as ever. 

Among his men the universal opinion was that the 
highwaymen had entered and left the stable by some 
secret, unknown door, and accordingly they set ab tat 
looking for it, which was somethiuK particularly in their 
line. 

For some moments tney were hauled, but all »t ones, 
as they were scrar i ig the loose straw from the flooring, 
one man uttered a loud shout. 

"A trap-d.-or!" he said — "a trapdoor! Look here, 
now, who vrould have thought of that?" 

The men all pressed eagerly around him, all d then th*y 
saw by what means the trap-door had bees discovered. 



[468 



B1A0B. BESS; OS, 



It was through a pure accident, but for which they 
night have remained in entire ignorance of it. 

Evidently, however, the trap-door had been closed in 
haste, and care had not been taken to clear away the straw 
close around the edges, consequently, when i* was let 
down, a portion of the straw was wedged in bet* eon the 
trap-door au"i its frame. 

Jack Marsnall sav " m and guashed his teeth. 

" I might have guessed ii — I might have guessed it ! 
They have beei here all along, as I suspected, though I 
never could arrive at any proof. They have had plenty 
of time to construct secret passages and suchlike, in anti- 
cipation of the coming of a day like this. They did not 
calculate upon that, however," he concluded, pointing to 
the trap-door. 

The men saw the gesture, though they did not exactly 
eatch the import of the words he spoke. 

They concluded, however, that his desire was ttv. 
trap-door should be raised, and accordingly they bent 
all their energies to this task. 

With much greater ease than they had dared to 
anticipate, the trap-door was raised. It was thrown back 
quite flat upon its hinges; then, to their astonishment 
and admiration, they saw a gently-sloping pathway, lead- 
ing downwards into the earth — a pathway perfectly 
practicable for horses' feet ; and indeed all doubt was set 
at rest as to the highwaymen having gone that way, for 
the ground of which the pathway was composed was 
damp and soft, and left very clearly the impression of the 
horses' footprints. 

At this moment, however, a loud cry was simulta- 
neously set up by the officers who formed the cordon 
round the inn. 

This cry, coming suddenly upon the ears of those in the 
stabling, arrested their steps. 

The noise becoming louder still, Jack Marshall dashed 
out of the stable into the yard again, being fully under 
the impression that the highwaymen had been seen while 
attempting to quit the premises. 

In this he found himself deceived ; but a great surprise 
was in store for him. 

At the first glance, he saw that nearly the whole of the 
inn was one mass of flames. 

How it had caught fire no one knew, and the (lames 
had spread with such rapidity and so universally that the 
first alarm given to the officers was the whole ohnulta- 
neously bursting out into a blaze. 

The fact was, the inn had been built chiefly of wood, 
and this, through age, had become excessively dry — indeed, 
it was scarcely possible to find anything more inflam- 
mable. 

Thb oflkors in the inn, keeping guard over the 
prisoners, were almost the last to know what had 
happened. 

When, however, they came out into the yard, the roar- 
ing of the flames was something terrific. 

It was scarcely possible for even an astute officer like 
Jack Marshall to remain altogether unmoved and un- 
bewildered at so extraordinary an occurrence. 

There is to all people a fascination in a fire on a grand 
scale. 

For several moments, then, he, In common with his 
men, could do nothing but gaze upon the grand and 
awful sight before them. 

Every moment the flames increased in volume and 
brilliancy, while showers of sparks flew about in every 
direction. 

It was not until the roof of the old inn fell, with a 
tremendous crash, almost smothering the fire, that Jack 
Marshall recovered proper possession of his fa<,ulties. and 
remembered what ought to be done. 

Kaising his voice so that it was heard distinctly aoore 
the roaring of the flames, he cried : 

" Keep an extra look-out, all of you — keep a goou 100k - 
out I I am confident they are not far away !" 

These orders were quickly transmitted from t.\8 to 
another, until all were made acquainted with them. 

And now the fire, recovering from the effects oi the 
fallen roof, broke out afresh with additional vigour. 

Tom Davis, his wife, and Ellen gazed upon the destruc- 
tion of their home with saddened feelings. 

They felt there was an end to the careless, happy fife 
Wxer bad led so long. 

gtiwji ts had been their residence there, they had 



grown to like the place, and it would ever be endeared 
to them by its associationa. 

In a few hours from that moment nothing would be 
left of it save a heap of smouldering ruina. 

They wondered also when they should gaze upon 
*h»t spot again, more especially Tom Davis, for he 
better comprehended the dangers of the position in 
which he stood than of the rest. 

Neither nia wife nor Ellen had an exact ulen of the 
peril of their position ; but Tom himself knew that the 
punishment of aiding and abetting felons was most 
severe, and in his case he was well aware that the full 
rigour of the law would be enforced. 

After particularly bidding his men to look sharply after 
their prisoners, and take care that they did not by any 
sudden movement escape, Jack Marshall, collecting his 
men around him, once more bade them follow him into 
the stable. 

When he returned to it, he felt annoyed at the inter- 
ruption that had ensued. 

Most certainly it would have the effect of allowing the 
highwaymen to get further away, not that this gave any 
very great uneasiness, for the idea he had formed in his 
own mind was that the highwaymen had cleverly con- 
structed some subterranean retreat to which they could 
betake themselves, and remain in security till all danger 
was over. 

The discovery of the trap-door, he felt, was a thing 
they had not calculated upon, so, bidding his men to be 
as silent as possible, he commanded them to follow 
him. 

Several carried lighted links, and by the aid of these 
the nature of the place they were in was disclosed. 

In spite of his anger, and vexation, and hurry, Jack 
Marshall could not forbear from giving expression to the 
admiration he felt at what he saw. . 



OHAPTEK DOCOXOIX. 

RETURNS TO THE PROCEEDINGS OF TUB FOUR HIGHWAY- 
MEN. 

We now return to the highwaymen and Maud, who, 
it will be remembered, we left in the secret passage. 

Without any delay or accident, they reached the 
inclined plane leading up to the door of the stable. 

As Tom King carried the light, he now stood aside and 
allowed (Jlaude and Jack to pass him. 

With nimble fingers, they undid the fastenings, and 
raised the. trap-door. 

"Courage — courage, dear Maud!" said Dick to his 
trembling companion. " Be of good heart, for while you 
are with me you are safe 1 Depend upon it, long before 
the officers can search the inn we shall be far away." 

Maud was slightly reassured by these words, for she 
had too often been in situations of danger with Dick not 
to place some confidence in his powers. 

Moreover, she saw that his comrades, though rapid in 
their movements, appeared by no means discomposed. 

Dick pressed on eagerly, for he was anxious ctce more 
to place himself beside Black Bess. 

A long time had elapsed since he had seen her last, and 
he had gone through many vicissitudes. 

As soon, therefore, as the stable was gained, he released 
Maud's hand, then hurried to the stall where Black Bess 
was standing. 

The intelligent animal recognised hor master at once, 
as was evidenced by her actions. 

She neighed and pawed the ground. 

A keen sensation of pleasure shot through Dick 
Turpin's heart wheu he perceived this manifestation of 
pleasure and recognition- 

" Woa, lass ?" he cried. " Quietlv — qutetly ! Then yon 
managed to get home safely after ail ? Well — well, I 
suppose you are right by this time, and in readiness for a 
long gallop ?" 

Not forgetful of the injury his gallant mare had received, 
Dick new raised her mane in order to inspect it. 

He was highly gratified to find that it h*d entirely 
healed, and there was little to f«»r in the future of the 
consequences arising from it. 

In the meanwhile, the highwaymen had been busy 
caparisoning their steeas. 

Dick, reminded of the flight of time and the necessity 
for immediate action, now followed their exasap^a. 



TBB KNIQHT 0» TUB EOAii. 



lttft 



Ts» saddle and bridle wop, quickly placed on. 

" Are you ready Dick ; " said Tom King, in a sup- 
pressed voice. 

" Yes, quite ready , 

" Then come on, xr the sooner we leave this stable the 
better." 

Dick advanced, 1« ding Uaud by one hand and Rack 
Bess by the other. 

Tom King followed, leading his own horse anl 
Claude's. 

Sixteen-String J «& carried the light and led his own 
steed, Claude Dural being left to replace the trap- 
door. 

This he did wtth every imaginable amount of cau- 
tion. 

He was anxious to leave the top of the trap-door 
eovered with straw, and, as he believed, he had not left 
any sticking m the crevices in such a way as to Defay 
them. 

It is certain, however, that he must have done so. 

All felt greatly relieved when this much was over. 

The distance to the opening of the passage was still 
»o siderable, yet they did not apprehend any interruption 
to their progress, and they believed that, upon emerging 
from it, they would not be seen or molested by any- 
one. 

Without waiting another moment, they pushed for- 
ward. 

As they proceeded, they could not avoid castrng glances 
of admiration upon their own work. 

The difficulties in the way of excavation had been 
great, and, in order to keep the roof and sides of the pas- 
sage from falling in, they had been obliged, with great 
care and labour, to prop them up by means of beams and 
planks of wood. 

When close to the opening from the passage, and at a 
spot where, from the looseness of the soil, they had been 
compelled to put up more supports than elsewhere, Tom 
King suddenly cried : 

° Halt ! It is just possible," he said — " indeed, it is 
very likely that the officers will be clever enough to find 
out the entrance to this secret passage. Who can tell 
what has taken place since our departure ?" 

"Well, well, Tom," said Dick Turpin. "what of that? 
—why do you pause ?" 

"Because," he s^i 'I have an idea." 

" Well, the» ?jeak quickly." 

" If th* oCcers should find out this passage, and make 
their way along it, they will be very quickly indeed upon 
out tTack. It would be a good thing to put a stop to their 
progress, and that can be done by " 

Tom did not say any more, but explained what he 
meant by a gesture. 

" You would let the passage fall in ?" 

He nodded. 

" It might be worth our while," said Dick. " Who can 
Bay? But, then, we may involve ourselves in great 
danger by making the attempt." 

"I think not," said Tom. " 
quickly — shall it be done ?" 

" 1 will leave it with yon to decide," returned Tur- 
pin. 

Tom found that Claude Duval and Sixteen-String Jack 
heartily approved of the scheme. 

Having constructed the place, ol course they knew the 
best and easiest way for demolishing it. 

Accordingly, certain of the posts were loosened, and 
planks removed. 

The earth began to fall in very fast. 

" U we had such a thine as a rope handy," said Tom 
King, " we could do it easily. One pull at the post, and 
then down the whole must come." 

" Try it without, Tom," said his companions. -Give 
a smart pull, and then run back." 

Despite the imminent danger of being crushed by some 
of the falling earth, Tom did not hesitate to adopt this 
course. 

Before he had , npleted his purpose, however, he was 

warned of danger by a cry from his companions 

He turned, and hastily retreated. 

Well was it for him that he was so hasty in his move- 
ments. 

With a strange rushinfe crashing sound, the roof of the 
passage fall la. 



But you must decide 



Tons upon tons of earth came down, and effectually 
stopped up the passage. 

" There," cried Tom, rubbing his hands with great 
satisfaction, * I rather think the officers will find it diffi- 
cult to follow us now ! We shall be able to get a good 
start." 

This little matter being over, they pushed on at ii*» 
creased speed, in order to make up for the time they had 
lost. 

By the fresh, cool air that blew upon their faces, they 
could tell how near they were to the mouth of the pas 
sagn. 

In a few moments more it was reached, and, as there 
was no longer f*» necessity for a light, it was extin- 
guished. 

Slowly and cautiously they made their way out among 
the trees. 

As soon as they had all assembled, thev looked up, and 
were astonished 10 perceive that the sky was tinted with 
a brilliant red. 

Clouds of smoke, too, could be seen rising up above 
the tree-tops. 

For some moments this spectacle wa3 gazed on in 
silence. 

Dick Turpin was the first to speak. 

"They have burnt our house down," he said. "It is 
perfectly certain that the inn is on fire. There's no other 
building hereabouts." 

" I wish we could tell exactly what has happened since 
our departure," returned Tom King. "But no matter. 
Doubtless we shall have enough to do in looking aftei 
our own safety." 

" Depend upon it we shall," said Turpin. " My own 
escape from Newgate — the fact of my being tracked to 
this place, as no doubt I have been, will create a tremen- 
dous commotion everywhere, and great efforts will be made 
to capture us." 

" It appears to me," said Claude Duval, " that before 
we go any further it will be necessary for us to hold a 
kind of council of war and decide upon the nature of the 
proceedings we should next take." 

"Exactly," returned Dick. "I was about to make the 
same remark myself. Suppose we all give our views 
upon the subject, and then decide ? I don't think we are 
in much danger of molestation here." 

"Nor I," returned Sixteen-btring Jack, "though very 
likely as soon as we attempt to quit the cover of these 
trees we shall be seen. It is a desperate, well-organised 
attack that they have made. All their preparations are 
doubtless very complete." 

"For my own part," said Tom King, after a short 
silence, " I am in favour of a separation — of course, a 
temporary one." 

"And I — and I," cried Claude Duval and Sixteen- 
String Jack both together, so that it was evident the same 
idea had occurred to them 

" There are many good reasons for adopting such a 
course," said Dick Turpin, to whom they all now looked 
for a decision ; " but then, for my own part, I am sorry 
that we should separate. One would think that we should 
gain strength by union." 

"No doubt we should," 6aid Tom King, "but then, how 
much that would increase the chances of being seen. 
Here are five of us — quite a large party I may say — and 
wherever we go we must attract a good deal of no- 
tice." 

" Certainly more than when alone," said Dick Turpin. 
"But how is it you intend to separate ?" 

Tom King questioned his two companions, and found 
that they, like himself, had decided upon going singly. 

" It will be best, Dick," Tom continued — " much the 
best, for one can get out of the way and escape when 
two or a greater number eould not possibly do so." 

"You shall decide among yourselves," answered Tur- 
pin ; "I will not attempt to coutro you in such a matter ; 
I don't wish it. If you think our separation will conduce 
to our safety, let us part." 

" But not until we have arra ged for some meeting- 
place," said Tom King, quickly. " We must name a certain 
place and tima and we must he tnero by some means at 
other." . 

But where ? 

This was the point that set them all thinking. 

It was hard to decide which plane would be heat suited 



1470 



BLA.OK BE88 ; OB, 



for such * purpose, and where they would bo least likely 
to meet with an interruption. 

It was at last resolved that the meeting-place shov'.d be 
on Hampstead Heath, n«»x a tree in a lonely, d ,u*<late 
part of it, which was well known to all of tnew 

This had the advantage of being at no great distance 
from the metropolis, and yet it was lonely, for in those 
days, when the Heath was in the open country and more 
than double the size it is at present, few people ventured 
to turn aside from the Lathy-kept roads which interse^d 
it. 

" The hour," said IncK, "may as well be midmgnt ; it is 
easily remembered, and by that time all will be quiet." 

"Agreed. And now when shall the meeting be ?" 

"I should advise," replied Dick, "that we all seek out 
some place of concealment and endeavour to lie hidden 
until this disturbance blows over. Being thus apart, we 
shall probably be able to accomplish this very important 
object — what say you ?" 

" The advice is good — it could not possibly be better. 
How long shall we remain separated ?" 

" Let us say nine days," answered Turpin — " that's the 
time given for the endurance of a wonder ; by then, very 
likely, the officers will have abated their vigilance ; at any 
rate, it would be safe to meet then, and our future pro- 
ceedings would be decided upon." 

All this while Maud remained perfectly silent, listen- 
ing attentively to all that was said, and gazing alternately 
into the countenances of the highwaymen as well as the 
ebscurity of the place would permit. 

Now, however, with considerable timidity she spoke. 

u If you would take a suggestion from me," she said— 
"if you would listen to what I have to propose——" 

All were silent. 

"It is," she eaid, still more uesitati^-'y "that you all 
endeavour to leave England. I- -no ther land you would 
be in safety." 

" It is wort* consideration," replied Dick ; " but at 
present ma w impracticable. * 

"Indeed!" said Maud, with a deeply-disappointed air. 
"Why impracticable ?" 

"Are you so selfish as to forget the danger in whith 
Tom Davis and Ellen are now -in? In their disappoint- 
ment, who cau say what the officers may do ? I cannot 
think of leaving them to their fate. We must ascertain 
their condition, and do what we can to assist their " 

This proposal met with universal assent. 

"It would be base indeed," said Tom King, " to abandon 
them after having done so much for us." 

"I did not think of their danger," said Maud — "it did 
not occur to me they would be iu any. Do not imagine," 
6he continued, earnestly, "that I would wish you to for- 
sake such true and tried friends." 

"Right," said Dick — "quite right! And now, my 
friends, are we all agreed ? If so, the sooner we separate 
the better." 

" Quite agreed," murmured the other three; for they 
were unable to think of any further arrangements. 

Still they lingered for several moments. 

After being for so long in company, the idea of Darting 
was a most unpleasant one. 

" A6 I was the first to speak," said Tom King, "let me 
be the first to go through the disagreeable ceremony. 
Farewell !" 

"Farewell!" returned the others. "Don't forget the 
time and place of meeting." 

" Depend upon it," said Tom King, " I shall not. J I 
am alive and uncaptured, you will see me there." 

Taking his horse by the bridle, he walked slo«>w «* 
among the trees. 

The others gazed after him until he vanished t&m their 
sight % 

Claude went next, totnug an opposite direction. 

Then Sixteen-Striug Jack started also by another 
route, and Dick Turpiu and Maud were left alone. 

From this it will be seen that the highwaymen would 
leave the plantation at four different points, which would 
make it all the mere diSicult for the police officers to 
obser» s *hem, or prevent their departure. 

We must content ourselves with following their move- 
ments one at a time, and it seems only right to give the 
precedence to Dick Turpin himself. 

ile d.*ew a long breath — which could almost be called 
» lagto — whoa the last of his comrades had left him ; then 



suddenly remembering the danger in which he stood, he 
turned to Maud. 

" It will not be possible to mount at present, because of 
the low-lying branches of the trees, but I will lead Black 
Bess out by the shortest path I know of ; then, once mora 
in her life she must carry a double buiden." 

"As you ltke," returned Maud. "While I am with 
you I am content. I ask no more. The danger seems 
diminished more than one half when I share it with 
you." 

Dick did aot reply, out at once set forward, for he was 
anxious to get upon the back of Black Bess. 

He regarded her arching ueck and proud, impatient 
step with feelings of the greatest admiration. 

" She will carry U9 bravely !" he ejaculated, in a 
triumphant voice. " When once in the saddle I shall not 
fear all the officers in the kingdom." 

He pushed on through the trees as quickly as the nature 
of the ground would permit, until, at length, by the thin- 
ness of the vegetation, he was warned that he was near 
the edge of the plantation. 

" We cannot be too cautious," he said. " Remain here, 
Maud, and hold Black Bess by the bridle, so. That will 



do nicely. Now I will creep forward with what stealth- 
fulness I am capable, and ascertain whether any officers 
are near. It may be that this wood is watched ; at any 



rate, it is important that the point should be decided." 

He waved his hand while he spoke, and glided tn* 4 *^ 
and noiselessly oyer the soft turf Det»» a 



ma trees. 



CHAPTER OM. 



TUCK. TXJRPm AND MAUD HAKE A HALT AT THE WOOD 
PIGEON DJN. 

They were anxious moments for Maud that elapsed while 
Dick was absent on this, as it seemed to her, most 
perilous errand. 

Glad enough was she when she caught the sound of his 
returning footstep and perceived his form. 

" All is well, Maud," he said. " I have looked around 
cauviously and can see no signs of the officers. Dome, I 
think we may venture to mount now." 

So saying, he vaulted into the saddle, and, stooping 
down, lifted Maud on to the back of Black Bess in front of 
him. 

" Gently," he cried — " gently — gently, Bess !" 

It was difficult, however, to curb the impatience of 
Black Bess at this time— she was full of fire and 
spirit. 

With cautious steps, however, the wood was left, and 
the open country gained. 

Firmly couvmced now that all was well, and knowing 
that he was out of danger, Dick uttered a faint cheer. 

No sooner did the sound reach the ears of Black Bess 
than she gave a bound forward that almost unseated 
Maud. 

Then, at a long, swinging gallop, she took her course 
across the open country. 

Soon the red tint in the sky, proceeding from the blaz- 
ing inn, disappeared frow view. 

Still Dick did not offer to check the speed of Black 
Bess, though, by keeping the reins firmly in his hand, he 
prevented her from increasing it. 

In this manner, they continued to gallop over the 
country until a tolerably wide cross-road was reached. 

From its appearance, it did not seem as though it was 
much frequented, for in some places it was thickly over- 
grown with grass. 

Believing himself perfectly safe and free from pursuit, 
Dick diminished his mare's speed to a walk. 

He had long ago learned the necessity of restraining 
h. ', so that when the moment of danger came she would 
bu able to put forth all her energies. 

Taking advantage of this opportunity for conversation, 
Maud asked Dick what his intentions were. 

" To tell the truth," he said, "I scarcely know. I havo 
not made up my mind, but shall be guided by the chapter 
of events." 

" But will it not be better to seek out some place al 
refuge ?" 

" It would be better if some place could be found whete 
we could remain in quiet ; the difficulty is the disoovary at 
it." 

Maud sighed. 



TH1 KNIGHT 07 THX ROAD. 



1471 



" You are weary, no doubt," cried Turpln, overhearing 
It, " and, to apeak the truth, so am I. I should be glad 
enough of a few days' quiet and peacefulness with you. 
Let us hope we may meet with such a place ere long." 

Maud uttered the same hope with gr»-at forvenoy. 

The silence that prevailed around theia, and the utter 
solitude in which they seemed to be, gave them an assur- 
ance of safety which was perhaps more imaginary than 
real. 

But the night w*3 last wearing away. 

In the east, indications of the corning day could plainly 
be perceived, eud before long daylight would be shed 
around them. 

Diek still maintained his course along the cross-country 
road, for it continued to prasent the same signs s of only 
being slightly used. 

This, then, of all others, was the route for hira to 
take. 

He was especially desirous to avoid meeting with any- 
one, since a horse carrying a double burden could not fail 
to attract universal notice. 

All at once, however, upon turning round a bend in tne 
road, Dick came in sight of a small roadside public- 
house. 

A little further on he could see where two other roads 
branched off, one running at right angle9 to the direction 
he was taking. 

Now he paused altogether, and both Maud and himseli 
looked with considerable curiosity and interest at the old- 
fashioned building before them. 

In the faint, grey morning light it looked particularly 
pleasing, and around it and in its whole appearanoe there 
was an air of tranquillity and peace that especially recom- 
mended it to the fugitives. 

At last in a faint va>*- ^.and ventured to speak. 

"8bi»'T-" 336 said, "In r -his place we shall find the «e- 
tu^.. .,, which you spoke. We are far away from Ealing, 
and who id there that could trace us here, and 1.1 so lonely 
and retired a spot ?" 

" No one, I should think," returned Dick, musingly, for 
•ven he felt the charm of this delightful spot. 

" Well, then, let us stay now — I am fatigued, and should 
be glad to rest." 

" We will, Maud, for although we have travelled thus 
far unseen, we cannet hope to go much further by broad 
daylight without meeting or overtaking somebody. Yes 
— yes, we will stay here." 

He walked Black Bess slowly towards the inn as he 
spoke, and on drawing close enough to make out what 
was written on the swinging signboard, he saw that the 
house was called the Wood Pigeon, and was kept by 
Stephen Marshall. 

" How strange !" he ejaculated, as his eye fell upon the 
uarae " We have only just escaped from Marshall, and 
here's Marshall again." 

" But not the same." 

" No, surely not the same," returned Dick ; " but the 
coincidence is singular." 

He felt half inclined to turn back even then, for he had 
grown to dislike the name. 

But it was a common ono, and it was scarcely likely 
that the keeper of this little roadside inn could be* known 
to or by the chief police oflicer- 

While thus engaged in thouglit, the front door ot the 
Inn was opened, and a burly, good-tempered-looking man 
made his appearance on the threshold. 

"Morning," he said — "mcrning, sir. Would you like to 
stay here for a time — 1 have every accommodation ?" 

" I think so," said Dick, " for we have come some dis- 
tance, and are weary." 

" Then let me recommend you to stay here, for it is 
more than six miles to the next inn, where, although I 
say it, you will find „ne accommodatJon very inferior to 
what you will have here." 

While speaking, tho landlord, reading assent in the 
eyes of the travelliys, cam* forward and assisted Maud to 
alight. 

Dick sprang nimn'y to tne ground. 
You have a capital uag tliere, 6*t," said the landlord, 
looking at Black Bess with admiring eyes. 

" Yea, very fair," said Dick, hastily. " Is the cutler 
about?" 

" He is very UXely not awake yet," said the landlord. 
' fl you don't mind, I will take the lady into the bouse, 



and in tbe meanwhile you can go round to the stable ; yon 
will find him somewhere about ; I will be with you in a 
minute or so." 

"All right," said Dick, and, taking Black Bess by the 
bridle, he led her off in the direction that had been 
pointed out to him. 

After much shonting and pulling at the handle of a 
cracKed bell, he managed to arouse the attention of the 
ostler, who, by his appearance- had evidently been sleep- 
ing on tbe straw. 

It was a rare thing for anyone to bring a horse to be 
put up at the Wood Pigeon, and so this lad was prepared 
to treat Dick with all imaginable deference. 

The gift of half a crown, too, made a wonderful im- 
pressing upon him. 

He felt convinced that Dick must be a nobleman at the 
very least 

Before he had finished giving his instructions about 
Black Bess, and before she had been thoroughly rubbed 
down, the landlord appeart d. 

'' I think I will stay her« all day," Dick said. 

' Very good, sir ; your g >o J lady does seem tired, and 1 
am rure you will have no fault to find with the accommo- 
dation ; all that we have is of the very best quality." 

Having seen to Black Bess, Dick returned with the 
landlord across the yard. 

Entering the inn, the landlord led him to the room hi 
which Maud was seated. 

But before he could accost her the profound stillness 
which prevailed at that early morning hour was broken 
ia upon by the hasty tranipfhig of horses' feet and the 
rattle cf rapidly-revolving wheels. 

Dick reached the little projecting window *i on* 
gferidb 

Scarcely had he done so than a post-chaise, drawn b; 
four horses, drew ap in front of the inn, with a sudden- 
ness that seemed as though it would overturn it. 

The horses looked excessively fatigued, and thai 
ftanks were dripping with perspiration. 

The postilion, too, took off his cap and wiped his fore 
head on the sleeve of his coat, while he vociferated loudly 
for the ostler. 

The landlord was in a state of great confusion imme- 
diately. 

Never before in all his long residence at the Wood 
Pigeon had he known a post-ehaise to pass the house, let 
alone stop at his door. 

In the midst of his confusion, he recollected his own 
duty, and so hastened to the froi.t of the inn. 

By the time he reached it, the door of the post-chaise 
was opened from within, and a young man of strikingly 
handsome appearance alighted. 

Holding up his hands, he next assisted a lady to 
alight. 

She was richly attired, and seemed to be in an early 
stage of girlhood. 

Great traces of agitation could be seen upon her coun- 
tenance, of which, however, Maud and Dick obtained 
only a momentary glimpse, for the young man half-led, 
half-carried her into the inn. 

He spoke loudly, so that Dick could not avoid hearing 
what he said, though, to speak truth, the highwayman 
was so much interested with this young couple, and had 
so grown to consider it was necessary for him to make 
himself acquainted with all things that came under his 
notice, that he would without scruple have listened intently 
at the door. 

At present there was no necessity for this course. 

" A bottle of your best wine, landlord — and quickly I" 
he cried, in fish, full tones, " and a little cake, or some- 
thing of that kind — whatever you can get most quickly !" 

Then, by the sound of steps without, Dick coali tell 
that the young man had led his companion into a ••pom 
on the opposite side of the passage, which ran completely 
from the front to the back of the inn. 

" Ai elopement," said Dick, to Maud, with a smile — 
"a runaway match, or something of that kind. Well, if 
they f ~e toad of each ciVir they ought to be happy, and 
I consider no oue should interfere." 

Iu the meanwhile, the postilion was busily engaged in 
rubbing down his horses, and supplying them with hay 
and water. 

" We sha'n't stay many minuies," D*.ok hoard aim s»y, 
in a confidential voice, to the ostler. " The faot is, U*i 



1472 



HtiCK BKSS ; Oft, 



>.• -iTs father is close behind us in pursuit. We should not 
nave stopped here," he added, "only the young lady was 
near to fainting from fatigue." 



CHAPTER CML 

DICK TURVD* FTJTD8 DAKGER KVEN IN THft WOOD PIGEON 

raw. 

A few minutes elapsed, and the postilion, haying finished 
attending to the horse*, withdrew himself ink) the interior 
of the inn in order to refresh his inner man. 

While he was thus engaged, a party, consisting of four 
mounted men. suddenly appeared in front of the inn. 

At fir6t ii looked like a mystery for them to appear so 
suddenly and silently. 

But the fact is they had made, .heir way along the grass- 
grown, country road, and consequently the hoofs of the 
horses had not made sufficient noise to attract notice. 

No sooner did the first horseman catch sight of the 
post-chaise than he uttered an Indignant cry, and flung 
himself off his horse in what appeared to be a very 
dangerous manner. 

He was a stout, well-dressed, stern-looking man. appa- 
rently about forty years of age — perhaps he was younger. 

A piercing shriek coming from the room in which 
the young couple were seated was next heard, and testi- 
fied that she had witnessed this fresh arrival. 

The other three horsemen appeared to be the servants 
of the stern-looking man, who, beyond a doubt, was the 
young girl's father. 

With the same reckless precipitation which had cha- 
racterised his descent from his horse, he dashed into the 
inn, and broke open the door communicating with the 
apartment in which his daughter sat. 

Shouting aloud, the stern-looking man cried : 

" Draw, wretch ! — villain 1 — scoundrel, that you are ! — 
draw, I say, and defend yourself, or I will cut yot. down 
as you stand !" 

"No, no, father 1" cried the young girl. "Spare him 
— spare him ! Tour resentment now comes too late — he is 
my husband." 

A fearful oath escaped the father'o lips. * " 

Then came a stifled cry, followed quickly by a Jail 
sound. 

Dick could tell, as well as if he had been there to see, 
Ijiat the angry father had spurned his daughter from him, 
and that she had fallen insensible to the floor. 

At present, however, he could not see any reason to 
interfere ; yet he drew his sword, and crept closer to the 
door of the room. 

The young man uttered an angry shout when he 
witnessed this cruel act on the part of the bride's 
father. 

Under the impulse of that anger, he must have drawn 
his sword, for the clash of steel was heard. 

Directly afterwards the door of Dick's room was 
thrown open, and the landlord, as white as a ghost, and 
trembling from head to foot, made his appearance. 

"Oh, sir — sir," he said, "you wear a sword ! Put a 
stop to that dreadful conflict in the other room ! I shall 
have murder done in my house, and then I am a ruined 
man !" 

Dick only needed some excuse for interference, and, 
unheeding a remonstrance from Maud, he hurriedly left 
the room. 

But the three servants who had arrived with the 
stranger guarded the door of the room. 

Dick did not hesitate in making the attempt to force his 
way past them. 

Before, however, he had time to accomplish his purpose, 
ae saw the young man's sword suddenly struck aside by 
iim-: of his more skilful opponent. 

With his face more like a demon's than a man's, the 
angry father shortened his arm and gave a sudden and 
fearful lunge. 

The young man's weapon was not in readin&a vo 
parry the blow. 

The point of the glittering rapier entered his left 
breast, and such was the violence of the blow tfcat the 
progress of the weapon was not stopped until the hilt 
struck audibly against his breast. 

Quick as thought, the weapen was withdrawn, and 
again pasted through the young man's body, who now 



staggered backwards, dropped his sworn, clasped hfe 
hands over his wound, made an effort to stand, and tLen 
fell lifeless to the floor. 

" At last, villain 1" said the stranger, flinging down bis 
blood-stained sword. 

Then, pointing to his daughtv., and addressing nil 
attendants, he said : 

"Qrtickl Raise her and carry her away— the sooner 
the better!" 

At the first touch of these men, however, the young 
girl recovered her consciousness. 

She sprang ti- her feet with a wild, conicsed look .u ber 
eyes; then her glance fell upon the form of her newly- 
made hiiAhaud. lying still in <leath upon the floor, with 
the hi xid yet welling from his wounds. 

Tne cry that then escaped her lips would surely have 
pierced a heart of stone. 

Releasing herself jnddeniy from the grasp of the 
servants, she sprang forward, and, before ahe <v>ul<l be 
prevented, flung herself at full length upon the young 
man's body. 

Her tears and cries were then something fearful to 
witness. 

She tried a dozen different methods of recalling the 
beloved one to life, but, failing in them all, she started up 
again with a wild, hysterical cry, that ended in a deal o* 
loud, prolonged, uninirthful laughter. 

All who heard it were dismayed. 

The father uttered a groan of anguish. 

There could be no mistaking that fearful laugh or the 
strange glitter of the eyes — both proclaimed insanity. 

u Seize her !" cried the young girl's father, addressing 
his servants — " seize her, or she will do herself a mischief I 
Make her secure and carry her to the post-chaise !" 

The poor girl echoed the last words, and then again 
broke out into a peal of frenzied laughter. 

The servants proceeded to carry out the instructions 
given them, but as soon as they touched the bride she 
uttered shriek upon shriek, calling all the while upon her 
husband to protect and save her, who, alas ! no longer 
heard that voice which had ever been like music in his 
ears. 

Without more force than was absolutely required, the 
young girl was carried out of the inn and placed in the 
post-chaise. » 

Her father regarded her with a stern, unpitying look. 
One would have thought that this terrible eveut would 
have caused him to relent and to repent, but so far from 
it, his auger was increased. 

The landlord, whose dismay it is impossible to describe, 
hastened after him, and seized him by the coat 

" Sir — sir," he cried, " I am a ruined man — yes, a 
rained man ! And it is you who have wrought the evil ! 
Murder is in my house ! What is to be done ?" 

The stranger shook him off roughly. 

" Do what you like," he said — " I care not. It is no 
business of mine." 

He was about to step into the post-chaise, but Dick 
Turpin advanced. 

What he would have said or done under the circum- 
stances is hard to say, for just at that moment the land- 
lord cried : 

" If my brother was only here now I should be in a 
different position. He is the chief police officer in London, 
and vdll be here to-day. I can describe you to him. 
You shall, at any rate, reap the conjequences of this 
deed !" 

These words made Diok stagger back, and well they 
might. 

His own safety rose instantly paramount to every other 
consideration. 

Could it really be possible that he had journeyed so 
far, and had in the end taken up his quartern in a place 
where Jack Marshall would be most likely to find 
him P 

The moment of irresolution and copfusion sufficed to 
allow the stranger to escape. 

One of his own servants surane upon the hack of one 
of the horses I elomriiifr to the post-chaise, and urged 
the whole onward at full gallop. 

The others followed on the steeds upon whioh they 
had arrived. 

In less than a couple of moments the whole party waa 
oat of eight, leaving the landlord dambfoundered, per* 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



1473 




••s?r — 



[DICK TUItPIN ASTONISHGS THE LANDLORD OP THE WOOD PIGEON INN ] 



which liad the i„ime« 



plexed, confused, freely able to believe what had just I ™Zg*g%J^JSi ZSL 



taken place. 

The postboy, too, witnessed with rago and fear the 
violent seizure of hia vehicle. But one of the horses 
belonging to the stranger still remained, so, with a fierce 
shout, ho sprang on to his back, and galloped off in 
pursuit. 

" Did you not say that your brother is the chief police 
officer in London ?" 

" Yes— to be sure he is, and how thankful I am I 
have some one so powerful to aid me. Let me see ? 
Why, is it possible ? Ho promised, if he possibly could, 
to call upon me here to-day. Perhaps I may see him 
in the course of a few moments." 

During the occurrence of these last events, Maud /iad 
left the fnn and made her way to Turpin'a aide. 

This last STieech of the landlord, however, forced a 

No. 185.— Black Bess. 



The result might have been awkward, but just then a 
diversion happened which told greatly in her favour. 

The landlady had not risen when the poat-chaiso 
arrived— in fact, she did not mnlce her appearance down- 
stairs until after the newly-made bride was carried off 
by her father. 

The first thing she did was to rush into the room 
where the encounter had taken place, and, having done 
so, her eyes were horrified by the frightful spectacle 
prosented to them. , 

The young man was lying there cold and immovable 
in death, just in the same position as ho had fallen, 
while tho blood that had flowed from hia wounds formed 
quite a pool around him. 

Upon seeing this, the landlady threw up her arma and 



No: 186 



• Phice One Halfpenny. 

No, 186 will be Published next Thursday. 



BLACK BESS : OS. 



gurgled hysterically, and then fell down In a swocn, to 
all outward appearances as lifeless as the young stranger. 

It was that which took place just after Maud had 
screamed, and the landlord, being made acquainted with it, 
rushed into the inn. 

"Hush — hush 1" said Dick, speaking to h6r as reassur- 
ingly as he could — "don't be alarmed! We kno\v our 
danger in good time, and all will be well. Do you be&f 
— do you understand? I tell you to bo calm. " 

" Yes — yes." 

" We are in no danger yet — most ~ertainly in no danger. 
And now pay particular attention vo my instructions." 

She looked up into his face attentively. 

"It will never do for us to remain here any longer," he 
continued, speaking in a hurried tone of voice ; " we can- 
not tell one moment from another when Jack Marshall 
and his officers will arrive. I am resolved to depart at 
once. I will take advantage of this confusion that is 
reigning around, and hasten to the stables. In the mean- 
while, you enter the ism and, without attracting any more 
notice than you can help, leave it by the back door ; you 
will see me there, and after that Black lies* will do the 
rest." 

Hastily as these instructions were given her, and great 
as was the confusion of her mind, Maud perfectly under- 
stood them. 

Dick left her, hastily darting round the corner of the 
inn at full speed, for just then ho one happened to be 
about. 

He had no difficulty in entering the stables. 

Black Bess was there, and according to his request all 
her trappings had been hung up on the stall in which she 
stood. 

With nimble fingers he placed them- upon her back, 
and he had her already for the road in a space of tisne so 
short that it would have made the ostler of the Wood 
Pigeon ready to die of vexation. 

Rapid as all his movements had been, yet by the time 
ho gained the door of the stable Maud had enterod the yard. 

She hastened towards him, and Dick without more 
ado mounted. 

Swinging her into the saddle before him in the same 
way as before, he rode with rather dangerous swiftness 
to the front of the inn. 



CHAPTER CM1I. 

DICK TUUPIN LEAVES THE WOOD PIGEON INN, AND HAS AN 
ADVENTURE ON THE ROAD. 

Either the ostler had been observing Dick's motions, or 
else the clatter of Black Bess's hoofs had attracted atten- 
tion, for the landlord and all his household hastily made 
their appearance at the front door. 

" Hi, hi ! — stop !" he roared — " stop — stop ! What does 
it ill mean ? Is eves-ybody mad, or am I ?" 

The laudlord might well ask this question, for the 
events that had so recently occurred in such rapil suc- 
cession were quite calculated to disturb the equilibrium 
of one who had led such an even life as himself. 

Dick made no reply, but he slackened his mare's speed 
somewhat. 

Then, plunging his hand into his pocket, he Jrew forth 
a guinea. 

" Here," he said, as he threw it among the? ,Toup, "that 
will do for the reckoning." 

No sooner had the words passed his lips th&n he again 
gave Black Bess the impulse forward. 

As he did so, a loud, peculiar shout from tl,e rt;v 
became audible, and he turned quickly to ascertain tiki 
cause. 

To his extreme annoyance, for he hoped to leave the 
inn unseen, he perceived a throng of police officers ap- 
proaching. 

They were at too great a distance for their coartenanoer 
to be distinguished, yet Dick fancied, rrom the general 
appearance of the one who rode a little in advance of the 
rest, that he ^as no other than his pertinacious foe, Jack 
Marshall 

Black Beo» had had but a 'jrief rest, yet that Lad 
sufficed to recruit her energies' vor/lerfully. 

Besides, although they had favelled so many lr.tleB, 
Dick had carefully husbanded It ,r strength 

fee had now the best of all reasons for congrat-naiing 
bicujolf upon having adopted do prudent a course. 



He did not hesitate to urge her to jaut forth her utmost 
powers of spewi. 

As if by magic, then, the troop of police officers were 
left behind. 

They tried indeed to keep up a pursuit, but found it 
impossible — their horses were ttioroughly exhausted. 

Dick continued his headlong course until he felt that 
he had gone far enough to be perfectly secure from all 
danger of pursuit. 

Then, by slow degrees, he tightened the rein. 

Maud was anxious and alarmed. 

She looked apprehensively behind her, being scarcely 
able to believe that they were out of danger. 

" I am vexed," Dick said, "and for more reasons than 
one. I fully intended that you should have plenty of 
rest before we journeyed further ; as it is, we are in the 
open daylight without knowing where to look for 
shelter." 

" Don't let that trouble you," said Maud — "it is not 
worth your consideration. You should remember your 
own life is at stake, and that you should do everything in 
your power to preserve it." 

" Well, Maud, we will do our best. I should like to 
get some distance further from the officers than I am now ; 
I am sorry, too, to put Black Bess to another gallop, yet 
it must be done." 

He suited the action to the word, and for some time not 
another word was exchanged — in fact, it was not until 
the sun had attained a considerable altitude, and until the 
business of the day had fairly commenced, that Dick 
again drew rein. 

He then found himself in a most beautiful and pictur- 
esque portion of the country — a place in which he would 
have been glad enough to linger for a time. 

Not even the least observant person could have looked 
around without perceiving the many rare natural beauties 
of the place. 

In the bright morning sunlight, too, all objects had a 
particularly fresh and pleasant appearance. 

Indeed, it was scarcely possible to look upon that scene 
under a more favourable aspect. 

Far away before them the road could be traced, stretch- 
ing itself like a broad strip of white ribbon, and Dick's 
keen eye presently descried, at a great distance, the form 
of a mouT ted man, who was riding towards them. 

Evidei tly the sight reminded him of something, for he 
brought Black Bess completely to a halt, and plunged his 
hands i; : quick succession into his different pockets. 

" Ma' id," he said, at last, in answer to the inquiring 
look Sue gave while ho was thus engaged, " it is as I 
fear." 

" What ?" she asked, with an expression of alarm. 

" I nave no money. That was the last guinea I flung 
to the landlord as he was standing at his door. We can- 
not go on thus ; we must have money before we can pro- 
ceed further." 

"But," asked Maud, trembling with dread, "tell me 
where you can obtain it ?" 

Dick raised his arm and pointed over the low hedge- 
row i. 

' Do you see ?" he asked. 

fhe figure of the horseman was now much more 
distinctly visible than it had been before, for the simple 
r^;,aou that he had come much closer. 

" I see that horseman," said Maud, more agitated than 
before ; " but surely you do not mean " 

" Yes, Maud, I do. The only means by which I can 

obtain money is by taking it on the road. I will commit 

S ■: > act of violence, and, from the appearance of the 

stranger, I should fancy that the loss of such a trifle as I 

shall take from him will not inconvenienc3 '~.'~u much." 

"But you forget." 

" Forgot what ?*'• 

"Your own danger." 

Dick laughed lightly. 

"But consid jr." persisted Maid, with great earnest' 
ness — " consider that the officers are clost. behind you. 
and that it is broad daylight. This act cannot fall to 
bring the officers upon your track." 

'• They will trace me easily enough as it is," was 
TurpinN iejoinder. " No — no, Maud, I see no reason to 
hold back ; fortune has thrown this chance into my way, 
and I should be unwise in the extreme not to avail mv- 
seif of it." 



TUB KNIGHT OP THB ROAD. 



1475 



" For once," said Maud — " only for once let ine request 
yon to allow him to pass unmolested." 

" Do not entreat that favour," replied Dick, "for it is 
one I cannot grant, though it pains me to refuse yoa. 
There's little or no dang?r, and, as I said before, money 
is more necessary to our safety tnan anything else." 

Maud burst into tears, but Dick affected to tako no 
notice of her emotion. 

"Come, dear Maud," be said, "let me as.-ist you to the 
ground. There, that will do nicely. D) not be in tho 
least frightened. Sit dowu on tl,it little grassy embank. 
men!, and remain there; in a few minutes I shall return. 
Do not be afraid ; the adventure is a trifling one after 
all." 

These words, however, did not reassure Maud in the 
least, for she wept bitterly. 

She had learned from experience, however, tuai when 
Dick had once made up his mind to pursue any particular 
course it was quite vain to attempt to dissuade him from 
it." 

At such times there was only one thing she could do, 
and that was to submit. 

This course 6he adopted on the present occasion , but 
dreading the encounter that was about to ensue, she shut 
out the sight of everything around her by clasping her 
bands closely over her face. 

In the meanwhile, with the easiest air imaginable, Dick 
Turpin trotted forward, and to have glanced at him, «;o 
one in the world would have believed that his position 
was really so perilous as it was. 

But this little adventure, coming upon him so unex- 
pectedly, seemed to have quite a reviving effect uron his 
spirits — indeed, as he walked Black Bess slowly forwards 
he lightly hummed a tune. 

When hastily leaving the Three Spiders, he had only 
just time to buckle on a sword. 

He was altogether unprovided with firearms or ammu- 
nition. 

To all appearances, however, this circumstance did uot 
trouble him in the least. 

The 6tranger came on at rather a smart trot, and every 
step his horse took produced a jingling sound. 

He was wrapped in a cloak, fur the morning air was 
chill ; but every now and then the wind would blow it 
partially aside and disclose his apparel, which *7%s that of 
an officer of the guards iu an undress uniform. 

Apparently he took but little notice of Dick as ba 
walked Black Cess deliberately along the road. 

Nor did Dick seem particularly attentive, although his 
eyes were keenly fixed upon every movement the 
strauger made. 

At length, when close enough for his purpose, Dick 
stopped Black Bess just in tho centre of the road, and the 
stranger, perceiving it, had to check his steed somewhat 
abruptly to prevent a collision. 

Dick took advantage of this event by taking off nis hat 
and making a low bow. 

The officer, who was evidently also a gentleman, with 
great politeness and grace returned tho salutation. 

He would have passed on, though, had not Dick's voice 
arrested his progress. 

"One moment, sir," he said. "Excuse mo if I inter- 
rupt you on your jouruey — one moment, if you please." 

The officer looked at Dick closely, thinking perhaps 
♦.hat he might be some forgotten acquaintance. 

Failing to recognise him, however, he said : 

" I am at your commands, sir. What is your pleasure ?" 

"lean scarcely say," said Dick, with a laugh, "but 
just at the present moment I happen to bo iu a little 
difficulty, and I am sure you will rejoice when I tell you 
that, above all others, you are the very man who will got 
me out of it." 

"Indeed!" said the stranger, with Seme snow ot 
surprise and interest, for Dick's manner of accosting him 
was such that ho never for one moment guessed at his 
intention. 

> — — = 

CHAPTER CMIII. 

THE CONCLISION OK DICK TURPIs'S ADVENTURB WITI» 
THE OFFICER. 

" Indeed and in fact," returned Dick, very gravely. 

" I am at a loss to understand you," ejaculated Jhe 
stranger 



" No doubt you are," said Dick ; ''■ but I shall quickly 
make myself clear. It would be a shame to keep you in 
a state of ignorance upon such a point. The fact is. the 
difficulty I am in is the want of money." 

The stranger repeated the words half unconsciously, 
and backed his horse several paces. 

"Yes," said Dick, speaking now in a bolder and moas 
determined tone of voice, " my last guinea is gone, and 
i look to you, sir, to replenish my purse." 

" Well, d — n your impudence !" said the stranger. 
a Curse mo if ever I heard of such a thing in my fife ! 
Be off with you !" 

" Stay •" cried Dick, in a loud voice, as by ono bound 
he caused Black Bess to plant herself exactly in front of 
the officer's steed — "stay! I intend to stand no non- 
sense ! At the same time, I would gladly avoid violence; 
therefore, let me advise you to hand over your money 
quietly, without making the least fuss — indeed, it would 
uot be becoming of you as a gentleman to do so." 

" Wouldn't it ? Then I beg leave to differ with you 
upon that point — to differ with you entirely ! And now 
1 tell you plainly, Mr. Highwayman, that no money of 
mine shall you have !" 

"You will alter your mind," said Dick — "I feel sure 
you will alter your mind ! How very unwise it would 
be of you to risk your valuable life for a trifling sum of 
money !'' 

" Well, I must say you are the coolest customer that 
ever I met with or heard of in the whole course of ray 
life," said the stranger, forced against his will into admi- 
ration. " Do you always take these matters in so equable 
a manner?" 

" Ahem !" said Dick, " it depends. But when I am 
with a gentleman like yourself, I endeavour to treat him 
as a gentleman." 

The stranger laughed at this compliment. 

" 1 don't intend to risk my life for what money I have 
about me," he said, "because it is a mere trifle. Still 
less, however, do I feel inclined to give it up without any 
show of lesistanoft. You shall have my purse upon one 
condition." 

" Name it." 

" It is, then, that you draw your sword, alight, and 
cross blades with me, just in a frieudly way. And if you 
can succeed in giving me three distinct hits before I have 
touched you twice, the purso is yours ; on the other hand, 
if you f;.il, I retain my money." 

"Agreed!" said Dick, as he sprang lightly from the 
saddle. "Nothing could bo more congenial to my tem- 
per !" 

" Nor to mine," said the stranger, " for I have a chance 
of keeping what I have, with the additional satisfaction 
that no one can taunt me with having tamely submitted 
to being robbed on the highway." 

The stranger alighted also, and secured his horse to tho 
branch of a tree. 

Then, diawing a tolerably well-filled purse from his 
; ■'.- it, he threw it into the middle of the road. 

'•There," ho said, "there's the money. The victor 
takes it !" 

With the same nimbleness that had characterised all 
his movements, the stranger now pulled off his coat and 
rolled up his shirt-sleeves, disclosing an arm that, though 
slender, was evidently very muscular. 

But Dick did not think it worth while to disapparel him- 
self. 

Perceiving that he advanced with his coat on, the 
strauger said : 

"I don't want io take you at an unfair advantage — it 
is not in my nature to do so. I believe that without 
vanity I can'say I »m a good swordsman. I should like 
you to stand on equal ground with myself. Most cer- 
tainly your coat will impede your movements." 

' Nu matter," said Dick, in the same easy, careloe9 
maun sr in which he had all along spoken. " I am used 
to lighting with my coat on ; and besides, we shall save 
time." 

Tho stranger did not say another word, but immediately 
crossed his blade over Dick's. 

His attitude and the manner in which he fixed his eyes 
made the highwayman aware that he was pitted igainat 
an antagonist of no ordinary description 

The C3xt moment this singular conflict begea. 

The Wades of the swords rattled together aa tha iwa 



U76 



BLAOX BESS ; OB, 



combatants bold therusolves prepared for attack or de- 
fence. 

The stranger was the first to make a thrust, and it was 
given so suddenly — so straightforwardly — that it seemed 
as though it must inevitably reach home. 

Cut Dick parried it at once, then, quick as lightning 
changing the direction of bis sword, stra^fi the oilicer 
lightly on the shoulder, t 

" One !" be said, with a la^gh. 

The officer's face Hushed, and it was perfectly certain 
ll'-at bo had made up his mind he should obtain an easy 
victory over the highwayman, and the thrust that had 
been parried so skilfully was his favourite means of at- 
tack, and never before had ho known it to fail him. 

Yet, considering all things, he preserved his calmness 
admirably, and be again crossed his sword ovsi that of 
Dick Turpin. 

The stranger now waited to be attacked, and Dick did 
not leave him long in suspense. 

Watching bis opportunity, he suddenly lunged forward, 
and struck his adversary on the am just above the elbow ; 
at the same time, bo felt a slight touch himself. 

"Two and one!" be said. "Then the next stroke 
must decide it." 

Some traces of excitement now began *,o manifest them- 
selves in the stranger's manner. 

Never before had be encountered an opponent so skil- 
ful as Dick Turpin. 

lie felt that his credit as a swordsman was now at 
stake, and this feeling went very far indeed towards un- 
nerving him. 

As for Dick himself, he was to all outward appearances 
as indifferent as ever ; but that might have arisen from 
his consciousness of his own superior powers as a swords- 
man. 

Again the weapons clanged together. 

Rapid thrusts were interchanged and parried. 

Then, by mutual consent, they paused. 

At this moment a shriek came upon their ears. 

It issued from Maud's lips. 

From the distance she had witnessed this conflict, and, 
of course, she was unable to tell that it was oue of a 
friendly character. 

Thinking only of Dick's danger, she came hurrying 
on. 

" That is some one with you?" said the stranger, in- 
terrogatively. 

" It is," said Dick, "and this must be settled before 
she comes up. Now, then, to it again !" 

There was more of earnestinws in Dick's manner than 
there had been hitherto, and the stranger felt it. 

Scarcely had the swords been crossed than Dick, with 
a rapid movement, disengaged his own sword, and tapped 
the officer lightly on the breast. 

" Three !" ho said. "Just iu time !" 

With another cry, Maud bounded forward, and reached 
his side. 

She clasped her arms around him, and could scarcely 
believe at first that he was unhurt and safe. 

" All's well, Maud," he said — " all's well ! This gentle- 
man and myself have had a friendly bout together — no- 
thing more." 

With an evident sense of chagrin the stranger sheathed 
his sword, drew down his shirt-sleeves, and resumed his 
coat ; aud Dick sheathed his owu weapon likewise, and, 
with a careless, almost indifferent, step, walked to the 
spot where the purse was lying, and picked it up. 

" Farewell," he said, perceiving that the stranger had 
already gained the saddle, and was about to gallop off — 
" farewell, sir ! Aud should you ever hear Dick Turpins 
name meutioued, you at least will be able to bear testi- 
moii7 that he did not behave himself like a common foot- 
pad !" 

Tho officer bestowed a stare of intense and undisguised 
astonishment upon Dick, then, muttetiug: 

" I might have guessed it," plutged his spurs into his 
horse's flanks and galloped away, for this disclosure of 
his adversary's nam* ^Ud not iu the least degree reconcile 
him to his defeat. 

"Are you sure you are unhurt," said Maud *. v you 

quite certain of it ?" 

" Quite ; aud was in no danger except from you. Yes, 
.ad that shriek of yours come upon my ears at a critical 
lontent the consequences would have been serious ; but 



no matter, I have gained my end ; here is a pc«*»- and if 
the stranger is satisfied I am." 

He consigned it to bis pocket as he spoko. 

TheL once more both resumed their places upon the 
back of Black Bess. 

" I am not afraid that ho will betray me," Dick said, in 
answer to a question from Maud, "nor do I think ho 
would give the officers any informatics However, I feel 
that to journey any further along this road by daylight 
would be unwise, so at tha second turning we como to we 
will leave it." 

" Why not the first ?" 

"Simply because the officers might, take it into their 
heads to rido down it ; it would be merb safer to ride oa 
to the second." 

Maud felt that this reason was a good one, and said no 
more. 

Dick again put Black Bess to tho gallop, as he was 
anxious to leave the road he was now on, from the simple 
fact that a long, uninterrupted view could be obtained of 
it. 

He did not reach a second turning, however, until he 
had gone considerably more than a mile. 

At length he stopped suddenly. 

" There's a lane,' : he said ; " but we have passed it ; the 
entrance is so dark and narrow that I could scarcely 
make out what it was at first." 

Maud looked around her in some surprise, for although 
she had been on the look-out she had seen nothing of the 
lane Dick spoke of. 

Black Bess's head was now turned round, and after they 
had retraced their steps for a short distance they found 
themselves opposite to tho entrance of one of those 
narrow, winding, leafy lanes that are to be found in al- 
most every part of England. 

CHAPTER CMIV. 

DICK TURPIN MEETS WITH ANOTHER SINGULAR ADVEN- 
TURE. 

On either side trees had been planted very closely to- 
gether, aud they were of great antiquity, as was evi- 
denced by the immense thickness of their trunks. 

Theso trees were indeed so closely in contact that it 
would have been hard to squeeze any bulky object be- 
tween them, and their branches shot out in such profusion 
above that they completely covered the lane, forming a 
kind of arched canopy to it. 

Dick without hesitation made his way along it, and as 
soon as ever they had got beneath the shadow of the old 
trees, such an air of peacefuluess and quiet came over all 
things that they felt themselves to be iu perfect safety. 

" We are not likely to meet with anyone here, Maud," 
said Dick, "so we can journey on without much fear. 
Still you are weary, aud should any shelter present itself, 
rely upon it I shall not hesitate to avail myself of it." 

" If it will bo safe to do so," said Maud. 

" Oh, it will be safe enough, never fear; leave all con- 
sideration of danger to me." 

So great was the silence around, and such an impres- 
sion diil it produce upon Dick, that he could not prevail 
upon himself to disturb it. 

Tho fact was he was terribly fatigued, though his con- 
stitution was so strong that he was only made seusifcie ol 
it by a longing desire for repose. 

It was thereloro at a pace scarcely exceeding a walk 
that bo allowed Black Bess to make her way along thU 
lane. 

Another reason which induced him to adopt this course 
was out of consideration for his steed. 

Black Bess had beer •npon her legs for many hours, aud 
had travelled many miles. 

Comparatively speaking, it was rest for Dick to sit iu 
the saddle while his maro was going so gently. 

But although his bodily powers enjoyed this repose his 
mental ones did not. 

He was very uneasy, net only on account of his com- 
rades, but particularly on behalf of Tom Davis and 
Ellen, who he feared would find themselves in a very 
difficult, unpleasant position. 

Maud glanced up at bis face and saw h" the expression 
of it that something was troubling him. 

In a moment she asked what it was. 

" i will tell you." he said. " It is as you rcaj »y • 



THH KNIGHT Of THB ROAD. 



1477 



matter of hp very great moment, yet for the life of me 
I can't think it so. It concerns a promise that I made — a 
promise that I cannot see reasonable hopes of being able 
to perform." 

"What promise was it ?" asked Maud . t»-onderingly- 
" The one I made to Mr. Bradbury, the Governor of 
Newgate. I told him that if he went withip a week to 
Hampstead Heath he would find buried at tho foot of a 
certain tree that I described to him. soma recompense for 
what he did on my behalf." 
"And is it not there ?" 

"No, certainly not; I ODly represented to him that 
there was, thinking I should have no difficulty whatever 
in riding there and concealing such a sura aS I considered 
an adequate reward for all that he had done ; but now 
how am I to hope to achieve it ?" 

Maud shook her head. 

" I am afraid," she said, "that the Governor will meet 
with a disappointment." 

"I should be vexed for such a thing as that to occur, 1- ' 
sa'd Dick. " I place great value on a promise, and I 
should not like the Governor of Newgate or anyone else 
to be able to say that Dick Turpin had gone from his 
word. No — no, Maud, that would never do ; somehow or 
other, and in spite of all risks, the money must be put 
there before the week has expired." 

" But under present circumstances," said Maud, "is it 
not a total impossibility ? You have no money except 
what you carry with you, and how could you possibly 
venture on to Hampstead Heath for the purpose of bury- 
ing if 

"The latter part would be easy enough," said Dick ; 
" the worst of it is I have not enough ; I should not like 
to insult the Governor by offering him such a trifling, 
sum as this purse contains. I must set my wits to work, 
and doubtless ere long I shall see some means or other of 
fulfilling my project." 

After speaking these words Dick relapsed into silence. 

He was turning the matter over in his mind in every 
possible way. 

Thus plunged in deep thought he rode on, he scarcely 
knew for how long a period. 

The progress Black Bess made was very slow, for she 
found she was allowed to go just at her own pace. 

All at once both Maud and Dick were startled by an 
unexpected but by no means alarming sound, yet it was 
ene that made Black Bess prick up her ears and Droject 
them forwards. 

The sound was repeated. 

" That's a laugh," said Dick, in some amazement. 
" Who can it be in such a lonely, out-of-the-way place as 
this, giving way to laughter?" 

Maud clung to him full of terror. 

" Be not alarmed," he said ; " surely we ought not to be 
terrified at hearing tho sound of laughter." 

" But who is it ?" 

" That we shall know in a very short time," said Dick, 
" for the sound came from somewhere very close at hand. 
We will look first if possible without revealing ourselves, 
then we can perfectly satisfy ourselves that there is no 
danger." 

CreeOng close under tho shadow of the trees, Dick 
made 'jis way along the lane to a point where it turned 
cf a*, rather a sharp angle. 

TV aching this spot, he paused and reconnoitred. 

J. I a little distance off he perceived a sight that was at 
onf,e \icturesque and amusing. 

A. .Wtle way further on the character of tho lane 
»l angul — in fact, it seemed as though it emerged upon a 
» Hd ki d of common or heath. 

Near Ihe edge of the lane Dick saw a cart piled up 
n ith a ' t iscellaueous assemblage of articles, fcnd a yellow 
caravan $ 

Heat) II on the ground were in all about half a dasen 
penioB/ nearly all of whom were laughing heartily. 

H'W/ iooked iu order to ascertain the cause of their 
laughter iud soon found it to oe the autica cf a boy cer- 
tainly not more than seven or eight yeara of ag*, wba 
v v: t-*te. jpting some difficult feats of tumbling. 

Mmj J looked, » oon this scene with gre-ai surprise ata 
can , Jsitj . 

• 'Iney are sxrWing covers," said Dick, in amwwi to 
an inquiring glance that sh<; beU, upon him. " Qood. taa- 
Ivsi people uo doubt, who have sat down here ty ?«t}.' 



Certainly the utmost good feeling seemed to exist 
among the whole group ; there was not one sowowfuL, de- 
jected-looking countenance. 

" Shall we avoid them ?" asked Maud. 
" I think not," said Dick. " I feel sure that such wan- 
derers as these would gladly extend a friendly hand to 
us. They are more comfortable than one would imagine at 
a first glance, and unless you have some strong objection 
I should recommend that" we go to them and ask them 
for rest and shelter. r 

" If you think it would be safe to do eo," said Maud, 
11 1 should be glad indeed, for I am utterly weary." 

" So am I," said Dick, "so is Black Bess, and this sweet 
grass I hat grows hereabout will make for once an excel- 
lent substitute for a feed of corn." 

Dick's resolution boing thus takm he ventured to show 
himself. 

Slightly increasing his speed, ho rode towards the merrr 
group. 

_ The sound of a horse's hoofs attracted universal atten- 
tion, and they all fixed their eyes curiously upon Maui 
and Dick. 

The boy whose antics had amused the rest no sooner 
perceived the new-comers than he ran towards thorn, 
made a grotesque bow, then, turning a succession of 
somersaults along the road, stopped suddenly upon his 
feet. 

He bowed again, and held out his hand to solicit % 
donation. 

Dick stopped and threw him a piece of silver. 

•' Ask your friends," he said, "whether they will allow 
us to join them for a short time ? We are hungry and 
weary ?" 

Astonished at the gift of so large a sum of money, the 
boy cut a fantastic caper and hurried off. 

He quickly communicated his message. 

In the meanwhile Dick continued to ride slowly to- 
wards them. 

A man now rose from the grass on which he had been 
sitting, and advanced towards Dick half respectfully, 
half confidently. 

"You are quite welcome to stop," he said, "and to 
share everything wo have. You won't find us close 
hearted, though we are poor and cannot afford to bo very 
generous." 

" I will pay liberally for everything," said Dick. 
" Don't think I want to trespass upon you in that re- 
spect." 

" Then you are heartily welcome," said the man, " and 
we will make you as comfortable as our rough moans will 
permit." 

Dick looked at this man with more than common in- 
terest. 

In spito of the poor, ragged clothes he wore, there was 
an indefinable something in his manner that showed at 
once that ho had occupied a tolerable position in life — 
indeed, his mode of speech at once displayed this 
fact. 

Maud was assisted to alight. 

Dick followed quickly, and removed the trappings from 
Black Bess with his own hands. 

" I am known as Herr Smithini," said the man, address- 
ing Maud, " and if you will come with me I will intro- 
duce you to my wife, who will do her best to make you 
comfortable." 

The remainder of the troop looked somewhat surprised 
when Dick removed the bridle from Black Bess, thus 
allowing her perfect freedom ; but then they wero not 
aware that tho highwayman could call his steed at any 
moment to his side by uttoriug that peculiar chirping 
signal whistle. 



CHAPTER CMV. 

DICK TURPIN BELIEVES THAT HE HAS FOUND A FIRM, 
TRUE FRIEND. T> 

The troop of strolling players, for such they were, con- 
sisted of Smithini, two other men, two fomalco, and the 
boy. 

The men, though clad in loose, ill-fitting garments, 
wero evidently tumblers, as was shown by the flexi- 
bility of all their joints whenever they moved. 

Without exception, they made Dick v*ry woieo?3t$ 
, viting him to a share of their pr jvi^iunb. 



1478 



BLACK BESS ; OK, 



Dick consented willingly enough, and renewed his 
offers of reward. 

These men were all to C. certain extent outcasts from 
society, like himself, and therefore very likely to befriond 
him — at any rate, he resolved to run the risk of placing 
confidence iu them, if only for Maud's saks. 

'• We matte ourselves as happy as we can," said i 
Smithini, when Dick alluded to the laughter which his 
presence had interrupted. ' but 1 can a.isuro you. sir, we 
have little cause for mirth at the present time, having 
met with a great misfortune." 

"Indeed! What is it?" 

'• The loss of our best horse — ono that we had taught, 
■with what trouble and patience you could not comprehend, 
to perform many tricks. What caused the creature's death 
■we cannot guess ; it may have been cold, exposure — I 
know not what. Certain it is that the mopi attractive 
feature in our exhibition is goue." 

" Then your entertainment is a circus P" 

The man nodded. 

"Yes," he said. "And here you seo my company, or 
rather the remains of it," ho added, rather sadly, " for 
there was a time when my position was very different 
from what it is now. It is useless to repine — we must do 
the best we can, and hope for better times." 

Dick would very willingly have questioned this man 
respecting his past life ; he felt quite sure that he should 
obtain from him many details of a strange and interesting 
nature. 

But after the rude meal was partaken of, such a feeling 
of drowsiness and heaviness came over him as he had 
never before experienced. 

He tried in vain to struggle with it. 

" I know not whether it is your intention to stas^ yere 
long," he said, rousing himself with some difficulty, " but 
if you would let me sleep somewhere until sunset I 
•would taKe in as the greatest favour you can grant." 

" It shall be so. We are tired, and our horses also. 
Make yourself content." 

By the directions of the leader of" the troop, some 
canvas was pulled out of the waggon and fixed upon poles, 
60 that a rude kind of tent was formed. 

Hero Dick threw himself down, and quickly fell 
asleep. 

Maud was in the yellow caravan, also wrapped in 
6lumber, for she was quite worn out with the anxieties 
and fatigues of the last few days. 

Before retiring to rest, however, Dick had entreated 
Bmithini to give him immediate warning if ha perceived 
the approach of any police officers. 

Nothing but extreme physical exhaustion would have 
made it possible for Dick to sleep under sucii circum- 
stances as these. 

But he did sleep, and soundly. 

When he at length opened his eyes, it seemed as 
though not more than a moment had elapsed since he had 
closed them. 

Looking around, however, he saw that it was fast 
growing dark. 

For some time he remained perfectly still. 

He was thinking over his position, and endeavouring 
to decide what should be his next step. 

Among these friendly strollers there was no doubt ho 
would be able to find a refuge, and Maud as well. 

But then he recollected the promise he had made to the 
Governor of Newgate. 

By what means ho could possibly obtain the e.im of 
money needed, and bury it in time at the foot of the tree 
on Hampstead Heath, seemed an absolute mystery 

Suddenly, in the midst of his perplexities, he wis struck 
by a bright thought. 

He was all exultation in a moment. 

Almost any other perso , however, would havo shrunk 
b^ck in dismay at the b ro idea of what Dick contem- 
plated. 

" Yes," he said tc himself, " that's the course ; it is 
pimple and straightforward. I will go to Drury Lar.a ,- 
Matthew will willingly lend me the money I require ; 
there will be no obstacle in that quarter, and, at the 
same time, I shall be able to learn intelligence of Tom 
Davis. Why, that alone would be worth the risk. .Yes? 
my mind is made up, I'll go!" 

This seemed, however, little short of madness ; it was 
Virtually courting danger for danger's sake. 



Although he had arrived at this decision, Dick found 
many difficulties in the way of carrying It oot 

First and foremost came Maud. 

What was he to do with her in the meanwhile, for U 
&&* impossible for her to accompany him to tse Wnite 
Horse ? 

" I must speak to her," ho said — " 1 must persuade bar 
to let me go. These players will doubtless t&ke her 
under their charge ; she will be safe with them, and if 
they keep faith with me, why, this man shall be so well 
rewarded that he will step at once into his lost position. 
All my difficulties are clearing themselves away. Now 
my course is clear and straightforward I must follow 
it." 

With these words, Iv.ck rose and emerged from the 
tent- 
Close at hand, he saw the figure of Smithini. 

" You have slept long," he said — " you must have been 
fatigued." 

" I was." 

" Come this way, then. You see they have made a fire 
yonder ; we will, if you like, have one more meal 
together, and then I suppose we must part." 

" Yes — I suppose so ; but before I leave I have an 
offer to make to you." 

Just as he spoke these words, the fire was reached, 
round which the whole party had assembled. 

Maud was there, and Dick hastened to place himself by 
her side. 

The scene was ono thai! recommended itself to Dick 
from its very novelty, and he heartily joined in good- 
fellowship with these strangers among whom he had been 
so suddenly cast. 

W T hen the meal was over, he led Maud away to a littlo 
distance to speak to her. 

"Black Bess is safe, you say ?" 

" Yes — quite safe, or was, only a short time back." 

Dick whistled, theu waited a moment. 

The quick beat of hoofs over the heath was heard, and 
the next moment Black Bess was by her master's side 
caressing him. 

" Yes, all's well," he said. " And now, Maud, I have 
something to propose to you which will be for the good 
of all. It will entail some sacrifice on your part, but you 
must not hesitate to make it." 

She looked at him strangely, wondering what would 
come next. 

In a few words, then, he announced his decision. 

Maud recoiled with horror at the bare idea. 

It needed all Dick's rhetoric only to partially reassure 
her ; but at length he succeeded. 

He hit upon the right course for inducing her to con- 
sent to allow him to visit the White Horse. 

It was by representing how selfish his conduct and 
hers would "appear if they left Tom Davis and Ellen to 
their fate. 

The consent of Smithini to the arrangement alone was 
wanting, and Dick now hastened to seek him out. 

" I would rather not tell you who I am," he said, 
bluntly, as soon as they had met; "but, as you may 
guess, I am an offender against tho laws. The officers of 
justico are in pursuit of me. They are no friends of yours 
unless I make a great mistake." 

" They are certainly not friends," said Smithini, with 
some bitterness. "Often and often, by a needless inter- 
ference, they have deprived me of much money." 

" I don't doubt it ; but to return to what I was saying. 
You were telling me that your position was once very 
different." 

" It was," answered the man. "I had a largo stud of 
horses, and the best troup of equestrians and tumblers 
hi the kingdom. Now you seo to what I am reduced. I 
expect the next thing will be, we shall have to part with 
the waggon and tents for a subsistence, by picking up a 
few coppers by performing in tho roadway." 

" Not so," said Dick, laying his hand on his shoulder. 
" If you only consent to what I propose, you will have 
no need to take this gloomy view of things. I require a 
service at your hands ; if you grant it, the recompense 
shall be such a iewa"rd as will enable you to resume your 
former position." 

Smithini locked at Tsrpia incredulously for a mo- 
ment. 

" You speak fair," he said, " and there is a truthful 



THE KNIGHT OF THH ROAD. 



1479 



ring in yoar voice ; but such good fortune is bard to 
believe. If you are in earnest, however, give me your 
Land." 

" I am in ear-vnt," said Dick, as ho complie.d with his 
demand. 

Smithini grasped his band warmly, and then, with great 
solemnity, said : 

" If you make good your promise, I "swear there is no 
service in the power of man to perform that I would not 
rentier you. Now, then, let me hear it ' 

Dies was more pleased than ev V with this man's 
manner. 

He told him that he should wish to iei».VO Maui -with 
Dim for a day or two, during which time he was to take 
the greatest care of her — to shield her from all danger. 
and if, on his return, he found her safe, his promise should 
be kept. 

" It seems a trifling service to perform for so great a 
reward. I scarcely like to accept your terms." 

" I like you none the worse for that," said Dick, " and, 
in proof of it, I will take you entirely into my conlidence, 
for you don't look like the man to betray the trust placed 
in you by another." 



CHAPTER CMVI. 

JMCK TUUrES ASSUMES HIS DISGUISE AND SETS OUT FOR 
LONDON. 

A look of surprise came over Smithini's face as Dick 
thus spoke. 

" You can trust me," he said. "Never fear that I will 
betray you." 

11 I don't fear," said Dick, sinking his voice to a lower 
tone, and glancing cautiously around, so as to make sure 
they were out of hearing of everybody, "and for that 
reason I shall tell you, without reserve, who I am. You 
must have heard of me in some way or other. I am known 
by the name of Dick Turpin." 

" The highwayman ?" 

" The same." 

The 6troller held out his baud. 

"I have heard much concerning you," he sail, "and 
what's more, I like what I have beard, and will Jo my 
best to befriend you — indeed, almost from the first I 
guessed at your identity, but I waited to see whether you 
would disclose yourself." 

"I have done so," said Dick. "That is my wife that 
I wish to leave in your care. She is sought for by the 
officers, as well as myself, and therefore it is necessary 
that she should keep herself in strict concealment." 

The man nodded. 

* As for myself, business of an urgent and of a 
dangerous nature compels me to make my way to Lon- 
don." 

Smithini gave a start of surprise. 

" To London ?" he replied. 

Dick nodded. 

" Let me advise you not to go." 

"Why?" 

"Because, if you do go, capture i3 certain." 

Dick laughed his old, quiet laugh. 

" You must leave me to take care of myself," he said, 
'•' mid to act as I may judge best. I thank you for your 
caution, but it is needless." 

"No offence, I hope?" 

" None in the least, and now. since all this is arranged, 
I will seek my wife, and let her know the result of this 
interview." 

" Very good. There is only one thing, and that you 
appear to have forgotten." 

- What is it ?" 

•• To make some aiwLgeni? at as to meeting again.' 

" Can you not remain hereabout ?" 

" It would interfere seriously with my plans, wero I to 
do so," said the man, after a pause, ' though, of course, 
you can command me. For my own part, however, 1 
think the safest and most prudent course would be to 
coutinuo my movements just as though I had never seen 
you. Your wife will travel with ua, and there will then 
be no ground for suspicion." 

"You are quite right," said Dick. "Let it be so. 
Veil me to what place you thought of going next ?" 

''My n zi halt," said the strollfir, "wili be about a 



dozen miles from here, a small town called S fiel . 

I may stay there a day, perhaps only a few hours. 1 . I 
am not there when you arrive, push on to the nexh 
village. You will hear tidings of us all along on our 
route." #§ 

"It will be easy to trace jou," said Dick, "and so I 
know quite sufficient." 

With these words he turned away, and made Maud 
acquainted with the arrangements that had been agreed 
to by himself and Smithini. 

^ To them she did not venture to offer any opposition. 
She knew how perfectly useless it would be to attempt 
to dissuade Dick from setting out upon this expedition, 
and sle had sufficient good sense to know that tho 
arrangement made was the very best possible under the 
circumstances. 

Although matters bad been settled so far, there was 
one point upon which Dick was seriously troubled. 

He could not make up his mind as to the precise means 
ho rhould take to reach London. 

The question was, should he go with Black Bess or 
not? 

Much was to be said on both sides. 

If he took her it would double the chance of his 
discovery, for she would be moro likely to be recognised 
than himself. 

On the other hand, should he leave her behind, he 
would be cutting off hi3 own escape. 

While in thi9 ctate of indecision, Dick's eyes rested 
mechanically ot> one nf the vehicles belonging to the 
strollers. 

It was a clumsey-looking covered cart, in which odds 
and ends of various descriptions had been stowed 
away. 

While looking at it, Dick was reminded of an adven- 
turo he once had, which had met with a most successful 
termination. 

It was when, upon the Guildford Eoad, he had assumed 
the disguise of a waggoner, and bad played the part to 
such great perfection. 

This recollection suggested to him the idea that, among 
his new friends, he would have plenty of opportunities of 
disguising himself, and he began to wonder whether it 
would not be possible to drive to London in absolute 
safety. 

The more he thought upon this project the more be 
approved of it — especially, as he was unable to think of 
anything else. 

At last he resolved that this should be his mode of 
action, and all that remained was to arrange with Smithini 
to have the horse and cart, and to leave Black Bess 
behind. 

There was little difficulty about this — indeed, the 
stroller's eyes sparkled when the proposition to leave 
Black Bess in his charge was made to him. 

"She's a beautiful-looking creature," he said, "and 
well known, so that it may prove not a little dangerous 
to travel with her ; but if you make up your mind to leave 
her in my charge I will disguise her so effectually that 
even you would be in doubt as to her identity — at least, at 
first sight." 

" Indeed ?" said Dick, curiously. " How ?" 

" I will show you." 

He hastened to the yellow caravan, and presently re- 
turned with a stone bottle, and brush. 

" Catch her," he said, "and I will show you now." 

"She wants little catching," answered Dick, and as 
soon as he spoke he gave the signal whistle. 

There was a beat of hoofs, and in a moment Black Bess 
was by his side. 

" There are few horses capable of learning such a trick 
as that," said the stroller — " very few, and I have had 
aome expwience its it. Why, she could be made to do 
anything." 

"I believe it-" 

"Keep her quiet thets, and you will se« >*uat an altera- 
tion can be made in the course of a few moment." 

Dick possessed absolute control over his mare, so he 
had no difficulty in keeping her quiet while the stroller 
began his preparations. 

Dick quickly guessed at his intention, and requested 
him to go on without stopping until the operation was 
completed. 

The stone bottle contained a preparation they mado (&• 



460 



BLACK BES8; OS, 



of to keep the cos% ef a horse perfectly and dazzingly 
white. 

He began with the head first and foremost 

With considerable skill he made a whit© stfjf open 
Black Bess's forehead just between her eyea. which alone 
altered her appearance greatly. 

So well too was this done, that it wonld h«7& required 
a very close examination indeed to have discovered the 
deception. * 

More white was placed around the lower part of the 
head in such a manner as to look perfectly natural. 

Then each of her feet was painted white likewise. 

" There," said the stroller, as he drew back, " that's an 
alteration, is it not ? and it will stand everything except 
a good wetting ; but you see how simple the operation is, 
and how quickly it can be renewed." 

Dick was delighted, and so much was his mare dis- 
guised that he felt half inclined to make his journey upon 
her back. 

In this, however, he wa3 overruled, for the stroller 
assured him that she should be perfectly safe. 

The cart was now quite ready, and Dick, having taken 
a last look at his bonny mare, hastened to the spot where 
Maud was standing in order to bid her farewell. 

At the prospect of parting and remaining for some time 
in the company of people who were perfect strangers to 
her, Maud could not restrain her tears. 

She wept and sobbed as though her heart would 
break. 

She clung to Dick tightly, convulsively, for she had in 
her heart the presentiment that he would again fall into 
the hands of his enemies. 

But Dick endeavoured to make light of the whole 
matter, and finally managed to tear himself away. 

An old fustian suit of clothes was brought forward 
by the stroller, and these were large enough to allow Dick 
to place them on over his ordinary apparel. 

The effect of all this was to give him a much more 
bulky appearance than he usually wore. 

A dirty-whito felt hat with a large flapping brim was 
placed upon his head, and it served in no trifling degree 
to conceal his features. 

Then round his neck he wore cue of those huge woollen 
mufflers so frequently seen wrapped around the mouths 
of carters and waggoners. 

Indeed, after a little trouble in disguising himself, Dick 
looked the character wonderfully, and when he cracked 
his whip and assumed a lounging, awkward gait, the im- 
personation was perfect. 

"Do not fear for me," said Dick; " I feel quite assured 
all will be well ; in such a disguise as this the cleverest 
police officer in London would fail to recognise me — even 
old Matthew himself will not know me. Depend upon it, 
Maud, I will be careful, and if possible I will be with 
you by daybreak in the morning, but if I don't some you 
must not infer from my absence that I am in any danger." 

" Do come," said Maud, weeping still— "do oome, for I 
shall suffer a thousand anxieties until I witness your 
return." 

Dick laughed at her fears, then, scrambling up into the 
cart, ho seated himself in front of it, wrapping him- 
self up well in several old sacks and pieces of canvas, 
and when he had thus prepared himself in readiness to 
6tart, Maud could not help admitting that he looked as 
unlike himself as he possibly could do — indeed, the trans- 
formation was so complete that she could scarcely believe 
in it. 



OliAPTEB CMVII. 

DICK TITKPIN'S DISGUISE IS PUT TO A VER7 SIVBIUB TEST. 

Dick Turpin was not long in finding that the horse 
harnessed to the covered cart was of very indifferent 
quality indeed, and required no small amount of wnip- 
ping to urge beyond a jog trot of about four miles an 
hour. 

It was clear that he would have to rely altogether upon 
the excellence of his disguise and the unlikelihood that 
he should be suspected of playing such a part. «■ 

Should flight even become necessary it was quite out 
of tho question. 

As he rode on, however, a consideration presented 
i'.self to him, which, in the hurry and confusion of events, 
he had overlooked. 



This was that, as he was journoying towards London, 
he would run a very great risk of meeting either with 
Jack Marshall or some of his officers. 

They might allow him to ride by them unquestioned, 
but then again they might not, and Dick by no means 
relished the prospect of putting the ex'~*-'«nce of his 
disguise to so severe a proof. 

Had the horse been capabio 01 making , . tie better 
speed, Dick would certainly have made his waj to London 
by a very circuitous route. 
1 But time was of great importance, and he felt con- 
strained to take the nearest and most direct road. 

While jogging on thus and making these reflections, he 
suddenly perceived, upon looking up, a troop of officers 
at no great distance on the road before him. 

At the first sight he thought they were advancing, but 
quickly found that this was an error. 

For some reason or other they had come to a halt, and 
had collected into a dense throng. 

What reason they could have for adopting this pro- 
ceeding, Dick, of course, had no idea. 

Yet he soon found by their gestures that a very 
animated discussion was going on among them. 

It must be confessed that Dick by no means relished 
thus riding direct among his foes, yet how was he to 
avoid it? 

In all probability his approach had been noticed, and 
if he slackened his speed or turned back, suspicion would 
be aroused. 

Clearly he had no resource but to drive on, putting 
trust in the hope that they would allow him to pass 
through their midst unquestioned. 

Dick felt uneasy, and to conceal his uneasiness ho 
began to sing a song fhat he had learnt in his boyhood, 
and certainly the fact of his doing this was calculated to 
lead to the impression that he was quite at his ease. 

He next perceived that the spot where the officers had 
assembled was just where two roads crossed each 
other. 

Although he kept singing, Dick strained his ears in the 
hope of being able to catch some word or other uttered 
by his foes. 

But in this he was unsuccessful. 

At length, when very near to them, the whole body of 
officers, numbering altogether about thirteen, faced round 
and looked at him. 

" Hullo you there !" said a voice, which he recognised 
immediately as being that of Jack Marshall. " Stop your 
confounded row a moment, and just pay attention to 
me I" 

" Murder 1" said Dick, as he abruptly reined in his 
horse. 

The animal readily enough came to a standstill. 

"How far have you come along this road?" asked 
Jack Marshall, in blustering tones. 

" Be that your business now ?" asked Dick. 

" It is my business !" said Jack Marshall. " Do you 
see that ?" 

As he spoko ho drew from his pocket a small constable's 
staff with a gilt crown on the top of it. 

" Yes, I see it," said Dick, whose voice was as perfectly 
disguised as any voice could be, so that it is no wonder 
whatever that Jack Marshall should fail to recognise it. 

" Well, then, you will understand that we are officers, 
and representatives of his Majesty the King. We are 
in pursuit of a highwayman." 

" Oh, murder !" 

" Hold your row, will you, and just tell me how far you 
have travelled r" 

" Well, sir," said Dick, touching his hat, and suddenly 
assuming a very respectful demeanour, " may be a matter 
of thirty miles or thereabout." 

" Thirty miles, eh ? And I suppose you have not let 
anyone pass you on the road without just having a look 
at them, eh ?" 

" Well I can't say that I have." 

" Then just pay particular attention to what I am gcinp: 
to say, and, mind you, I give you this caution, that if 
you speak untruthfully you will be liable to arrest aird 
imprisonment at any moment." 

Dick pretended to be desperately frightened. 

"Now, then, once more pay attention: Have you seen 
a man mounted on a black horse, carrying a female before 
him in the saddle ?" 



THE KNIGHT OP THE ROAD. 



1481 




[dick turpin's disguise is put to a severe test.] 



" Mounted on a black horse ?" repeated Dick, as 
though endeavouring to tax his memory, but in reality 
he waa debating within himself whether he should re- 
turn an affirmative or negative reply. 

If he said yes, the ofiicers would doubtless ride along 
the road he had just traversed, and if so, would come 
up with the strollers, and so briDg Maud into .danger ; 
whereas, if he said no, he might be troubled with them 
still further. . . . , , 

Yet this was the course which, in a brief and scarcely 
noticeable hesitation, he resolved to adopt. 

"No, sir," he said. " I have been thinking carefully. 
I haven't seen nobody on a black horse." 

" You are quit© sure ?" 

{* Onite " 

"I said' so, M*. Marshall," interrupted an officer at 
this moment—" I said so. I feel quite convinced that 
he must have taken this turning to the left !' 
■\ No. 186.— Black Bess. . 



" And I say he must have gone to the right, exclaimed 
another voice, " since that would take him quickest into 
the open country-he would have no town and villages 

1D " Hdd yoor row, all of you," roared Jack Marshall, 
" and leave me to manage matters myself . 

Then turning to Dick, he said : 

" I believe you are deceiving me. 

« Me deceive you, sir ?" said Dick. "Not on no ac- 
connt-I wouldn't be guilty of such a thing. Theie s 
nobody like what you have described passed me since 

There was no good reason for doubting Dick's word, 
and most certainly there was nothing in his manner in 
the least degree suspioious. . . . ,. 

Perhaps, had it been day instead of night, he would 
not so easily have avoided recognition. 

But darkness waa greatly in his favour. 



No. 186. 



Pbice One Halfpenny. 
No. 187 will be Published next Monday. 



MKJ 



F.r JVCi BESS ; OB, 



"Sfci Jack Marshall was not satisfied, and for the simple 
reason tha[ lie Lad got the idea firmly fixed in bia mind 
that Dick nad taken the straightforward road. 

He had maintained this very vigorously in spite of tho 
general voice of his men, who were all inclined tc think 
that the highwayman had turned either to tho left or the 
right. 

This, in fact, was the subject of discussion when Pick 
first caught sight of them. 

It was mortifying, then, in the extreme for Mr. 
Marshall thus to tlnd himself in the wrong. 

" What have you in your cart ?" he asked, at length. 

" Nothing at all, sir — just nothing at all. I am going 
now to London to fetch my load." 

Jack Marshall determined to have a peep at tho 
interior of the vehicle, being moved to do so by t?/o 
thought that if ho found tho waggouer speaking the 
truth in this iustanc» it would bo only fair to presume 
that the information he had just given was correct. 

Accordingly, riding to the back r\f the cart, ^ack 
Marshall lifted up the canvas, and, one of his men pro- 
ducing a light, took a peep at the interior. 

The cart was evidently empty, save and except a very 
email quantity of dirty straw that was littered on the 
bottom of it. 

Jack Marshall let go of the canvas with a feeling of 
disappointment. 

He did not know why it was, but somehow there 
seemed to come over his mind a species of reluctance to 
part company with the supposed carter. 

But he had no pretext for detaining him, and so, 
gruffly and angrily, bade him drive on. Dick gladly 
enough complied with the mandate, and left the officers 
to make up their minds whether to turn to the left or the 
right. 

He drew a long breath when he found that he had 
fairly escaped from this danger, for once or twice ho had 
felt particularly uneasy, especially when Jack Marshall 
had called for a light. 

Now that all had passed off so well, he was able to 
find ample grounds for congratulation. 

His disguise had successfully withstood a very severe 
test, and certainly this incident encouraged hiiu not a 
little in the hope that he should carry out his mission 
successfully. 

It must not be thought, however, that it had the effect 
of in any way abating his caution. 

Suddenly, however, the sharp clatter of a horse's hoofs 
going at a furious gallop smote upon his ears. 

There was a bend in the road, so that he was not able 
to see for any great distance before him. 

But tho clattering sound increased, and then, with 
great suddenness, the siugle horseman, going at the 
utmost speed of which his horse was capable, appeared 
in sight. 

Despite the suddenness of the whole affair — for when 
Dick first caught sight of the rider ho was only a few 
yards in advancn of him — he recognised him. 

It was his old, faithful, well-tried comrade, Tom 
King. 

Beyond all doubt, he was being hotly pursued by 

Eolice officers, though at present the clatter of their 
orses' feet could not be heard. 

Involuntarily a shout came from Dick Turpin's 
lips. 

It caused the flying horseman to turn his head, and if 
Dick had had up to that moment any doubt as to the 
identity of this horseman, all his doubt would have boen 
Bet at rest, for Tom King's countenance was fully ex- 
posed to view. 

In the excitement of the moment, Dick forgot he was 
disguised, and wondered how it was his comrade did net 
recognise him. 

All Tom did, however, was to apply Ms spur more 
vigorously to his horse's already-bleeding flanks, and the 
next moment he was far away down the road. 

The beat of his horse's feet soon became inaudible, and 
scarcely had this happened than Dick distinctly hesrd the 
approach of a large body of mounted men. 

The speed they were coming at was something aiarnv- 
teg. 

" Confound it !" Dick muttered. " I am doomed to be 
tntortunato to-night ! Ten to one I shall have to 
eacounter this second troop of officers, and it's rather too 



much to expect that my disguise will stand a scrutiny a 
second time." 

His resolve was, however, quickly taken. 

He would push on at the best speed the nuserable horse 
was capable of making, and he trusted, by keeping close 
to one side of the way, to bo out of the way of the horse* 
men, who would thus gallop past without any obstruc- 
tion 

To this end, tt\en, he pulled tho left rain rather sharply, 
for up to tho present moment he had kept in tho middle oi 
the highway. 

Tho horse, not expecting such a movement, or making 
a false step, or crossing its legs from some other cause, 
dtumbled, and before Dick could save it, fell down upon 
its side, where it lay without makiDg the slightest effort 
to rise again. 



CHAPTER CMVIII. 
dick runr-p? runs a risk to render iris comrade, 

TOM KINO, A SERVICE. 

Dick's vexation and anger now reached their climax. 

By the merest chance in the woi Id, he had saved him- 
self from being hurled from his seat when the horse sud- 
denly fell down. 

Descending carefully, he went to the creature's help, 
and endeavoured to force it to rise. 

Before he had time to do anything further than this tho 
troop of officers came in signt. 

The cart was now drawn most awkwardly across tho 
road, occupying nearly the whole of it. 

The police officers evidently caught sight of the ob- 
struction, for a loud shout came upon Dick's ears. 

His position now was about as awkward and perilous 
as could well bo imagined. 

Should he be recognised, nothing in the world could 
SrtTe Him ° ;, her from capture or death — no other alterna- 
tive womd ">e offered to him. 

That presence of mind and coolness whiuJi had on so 
many occasions stood him in such good stead did not 
desert him on the present occasion, and almost mechani- 
cally he made up his mind as to wbat would bo the best 
thing to do. It was thoroughly to assume tho character 
he had taken up, and to bend all his energies towards 
assisting his horse to regain his feet. 

This could only be done by removing a portion of the 
harness. 

While he was engaged in unfastening the traces, the 
officers, who had slackened pace when they first caught 
sight of the horse lyi g across their path, now came up 
with him, and, as he t alf expected, stopped. 

" Hullo, fellow !" said a voice. 

Dick placed his knee upon his horse's head and looked 
up 

" Elavo you travelled far along this road?" was the 
Grst question. 

"Yes, a good way. But don't bother — don't you see 
ray horse is down !" 

" You had better be civil," said the same voice. " Wo 
are officers. You must have seen a man gallop past at 
full speed a few minutes ago. Now, tell me truly, which 
way did he go ?" 

Dick had expected this answor, and had wondered 
whether he should really do his comrade a service by 
sending the officers on a wrong track. 

It coull scarcely make Tom's position worse than it 
was, but then, should the officers discover they had been 
trifled with, most unquestionably they would take him 
into custody tho next time they encountered him. 

But Dick was not likely to hesitato long between con- 
sidering bis own safety and the safety of a companion, 
so without the least hesitation whatever he answered the 
officer's question by saying : 

" Yes, I seed him sure enough, and a Sno rate he was 
going at for sartain." 

" But which way did he go— straight on ?" cried the 
officer, impatiently. 

"No — no," said Dick, "he didn't go ..raight on, least- 
ways, he did too, but not straight along the road." 

"You mean he took to the fields ?" 

41 Yes, that's what I mean," said Dick, with a grin &ad 
while he spoke he raised his arm and pointed across the 
meadows. " He jumped his horse clear over that hodga," 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



be said. " I never saw such a leap in my life, and then 
down went the Captain, and that's all about it." 

" Down went the Captain ?" said the officer. " What do 
you mean by that ?" 

Dick grinned again so as to show all his teeth, then 
pointed to his horse. 

The officer uttered an irapatJbnt exclamation, then, 
turning round- he addressod himself to his companions, 
and said : 

" No doubt this fellow hero speaks the truth ; he would 
be sure to leave the highway at the first opportunity ; ho I at the very top of his voiee. 
would suspect that another party was a little iu ad- 
vance." ~" ~" "" "* 

"He has. ten to one, got under cover of that wood." 3 CHAPTER CMIX 

said another officer, who had been standing up in his 
Btirrups and looking around at the face of the country as 



was fearfully exhausted, and he trembled at every step, 
and could scarcely put one foot before another. 

About ten minutes later the front of the roadside inn 
was reached. 

The light he had seen came from a candle fixed in one 
of the windows, and this was the only sign of inhabita- 
bility that the house displayed. 

The stoppage of tho clumsy Tohicle, however, attracted 
the attention of those within, for the landlord came 
bustling out and immediate!? began bawling for the ostler 



well as the darkness would permit, 

"No doubt. Ride on a little way ; before going far we 
must come to a gate which we can pass through, and that 
would bo much better than risking a leap." 

The officers were unanimous on this point, and set 
their h>»rses in motion. 

Dick bawled after them. 

" Here — here," he said — "stop a minute." 

They stopped of course. 

" I've done what you wanted," he said, " and one good 
turn — I've heard say — always deserves another, so per- 
haps some of you will help me to get Captain up, for I 
can't do it myself." 

The officer uttered an oath, which was the only reply 
he condescended to mako to Dick's request. 

Like his followers, he was quite indignant at the idea 
of such a thing. 

Dick smiled quietly to himself, and soon had the satis- 
faction of seeing the officers push open a gate and pass 
through it into tho meadows. 

" I hope it will do Tom a good turn," he said — " I do 
with all ray heart ! I hope too that he has left the high- 
road and taken to the fields, otherwise ho will stand a 
good chance of falling foul with Jack Marshall &ad his 
troop." 

Indeed, Dick was more uneasy on this point than he 
cared to confess even to himself. 

He did not for a moment believe that Tom would be 
likely to continue galloping along the high-road, and 
there was a strong probability that upon coming to the 
spot where Dick had met with Jack Marshall he would 
turn either to the right or the left. 

When a choice is to be made between a right road and 
a wrong, the latter is almost sure to be chosen, and it 
was this that made Dick uneasy. 

" I can't help him any further," ho said, as he applied 
tho whip vigorously to his horse ; " he must do as I am 
doing — shift for himself in the best way he can." 

At length, after bestowing many lashes, the unwilling 
beast struggled to his feet. 

Dick harnessed him as rapidly as ho could, then, re- 
mounting to hia seat, continued his interrupted journey. 

" li things are to go on at this rate," he muttered, " it 
will be daybreak before I reach Drury Laue. At the 
best I shall have a good deal of trouble in lea vine London 
before the day has fairly begun." 

This seemed very probable, for the night was growing 
much advanced, and even if he was 60 lucky as to meet 
with no other interruption, a long time must necessarily 
elapse before he could reach Drury Lane. 

At length Dick managed to whip his horse into a 
shambling, cantering kind of gallop, which, althoagh it 
threatened every moment to break s<5no portion of the 
harness, and made the cart jolt most fearfully, yt=4 got 
over the ground in something like tolorable stylo. 

It was a speed, however, that could not be naainUIitcd 

Gradually the animal's pace became slower and slower, 
until the highwayman was seriouslv afraid that ha would 
come to a dead stojx 

It was iu>> at this crisis that he perceived before n't m 
In the distance a faint, twinkling light, and as soon as b» 
perceived it ho began to wonder whereabouts he waa. 

" That surely must be the Boar's Head Inn. Yes," he \ 



DICK TURPIN FINDS HIMSELF BESt^T BY DIFFICULTIES AT 
THE WHITE JIOR.SK. 

TnESE cries at length had the etiect of causing a dwarfed, 
ill-shapen man to make his appearance. 

He came hobbling forward, and grumbling in no 
measured terms at having been disturbed, especially by a 
man of Dick Turpiu's appearance. 

The landlord contented himself with turning back into 
the inn, for ho knew thart, as a rule, drivers of covered 
carts wero not ve.y profitable customers, and it certainly 
was a waste of time to bestow any extra civility upon 
them. 

Dick dismounted with great agility, and, going closo up 
to tho ostler, he said : 

" Just do as I want you, and say nothing, and it will be 
a good job for you." 

The only reply Dick received was a stare of wonder- 
ment. 

" Fetch me first," he said, " a quarter of a peck of outs 
in a bucket, and half a gallon of new ale — be quick." 

The ostler hurried off to obey this command. 

It may have been that he guessed something good for 
himself was about to result. 

At length, appearing with tho articles ordered, Dick 
took the bucket containing tho corn from him, and then, 
very much to the ostler's amazement, emptied the whole 
of the ale into it, and stirred the oats well up with his 
hand. 

The com was then put before the horse, who at once 
made a vigorous attack upon it. 

" Well," ejaculated the ostler, " that's a rum trick for 
you to be up to, any way." 

" Very likely," said Dick; " but you need say nothing 
about it, need you ?" 

" Oh no, I can keep my mouth shut as well as anybody 
else." 

" I thought so. Then just go into the house and fetch 
another half gallon of ale." 

" Another half gallon ?" 

" Yes, I've said it ; there's the money to pay for what 
I've had." 

Dick placed half a guinea in the man's palm. 

He soon returned, and Dick took one draught from the 
foaming tankard, then, giving it back to the ostler, ha 
said: 

" You can drink tho rest and keep the change for your- 
self." 

The ostler nodded, and winked, and grinned, and wont 
through several strange antics, by all of which he in- 
tended to imply that he should maintain an iuviolablo 
secrecy. 

The horse devoured tho oats eagerly, yet some time 
elapsed before he had finished hi3 meal. 

A draught of water was next given him, and Dick pre- 
pared to resume his journey. 

The effects produced by this stimulating food wore 
really wiufdcrful. 

The hoiso no longer seemed like the same animal. 

No sooner did Dick apply the whip to him for the 
first time than he started off at a rate that must have 
astonished himself. 

The rest of the journey was accomplished without 
the oceunence of any other incident worthy of record. 

Towards tho last the horse got terribly knocked up, 



continued, as he glanced quickly around him, " that's . but then Dick, knew ho could be well attended to at the 
evidently it Well, I trust no one #ill be staying tliere, j White Horse. 

in which case I will run the risk ot making a halt my- I More from mere .jravado than aught else, Dick made 
•elf." I his way to Drury Lane by driving up Long Acre, aod 

With this determination l.e ruche 1 on, rut 'he horsey ing down Bow Street. 



1484 



BLACK BESS ; OB, 



This course took him directly past the principal police 
station in the metropolis. 

At that late hour, however, the place looked dismal 
and quiet enough. 

A miserable oil lamp was flickering over the door, 
and in front an officer was pacing up and down. 

•Upon Diok he did not bestow a second glance, and 
the highwayman, taking tho next turning to the left, 
drove straight up to old Matthew's door, where he 
paused. 

Descending from his seat in as clumsy a manner as 
he possibly oould, and endeavouring to keep up tho 
character he had assumed in the minutest details, he 
pushed open the door and entered the inn. 

The house was almost empty, though from one room 
came sounds as though some dispute or other wero 
going on. 

Taking no notice of this, Dick walked straight np to 
the bar. 

At first ho saw no one, but after knocking sharply on 
tho counter the little Jewish boy that old Matthew had 
taken under his protection made his appearance. 

From the description given by his three comrades, 
Dick was able to recognise this boy easily enough. 

His vexation at seeing him was great, and he was 
sorry that Matthew, generally so aoute, should in this 
instance permit himself to be so grossly imposed upon. 

Before he left, Dick determined that the landlord 
should be no longer in ignorance of the traitor he had 
got under his roof. 

For the moment Dick forgot that this boy was both 
•leaf and dumb, so he called out for brandy-and-water. 

The sign which the boy made was so expressive that 
even had he known nothing about it previously it would 
have sufficed to let Dick know that he was deficient of 
the faculties of hearing and speaking. 

As is often the case, what this boy laoked in one sense 
he made up for in another. 

He was uncommonly acute, and oould tell pretty 
accurately by the mere movement of the lips what was 
said to him, especially when any kind of liquor was 
called for. 

Therefore, as soon as Dick spoke he placed his hand 
upon a small barrel on whioh the word " Brandy" was 
painted. 

Diok nodded, and the boy immediately proceeded to 
serve him. 

The brandy-and-water was put down on the counter 
and paid for. 

Diok thought the boy looked keenly at him, but he 
took no notioe of that, for by this time he had grown 
to feel quite confident in his disguise. 

He sipped at his brandy-and-water, and the boy re- 
tired to the inner room. 

Dick now found himself in a position of unexpected 
difficulty. 

In his calculations he had altogether omitted the pre- 
sent contingency. 

How to gain access to old Matthew was a mystery. 

Had the girl been there as usual the matter would 
have been easy enough, but with this traitorous boy the 
case was altogether different. 

Reflectively, then, Dick continued to sip at his brandy- 
and-water, and while he was so engaged he heard the 
door in front of the inn pushed open and slammed 
shut. 

He turned round at once and saw a man approach 
whose appearance seemed strangely familiar to him, 
yet, though ho tried his best, Diok could not remember 
when and where he had seen him before. 

This man, with a peculiar gait, lounged up to the bar, 
and, placing his arms upon the counter, looked closely 
in Dick's face. 

Turpin stood the scrutiny bravely, and\w felt pretty 
certain that this man had not penetrated his disguise. 

Dick, however, had recognised him. 

When his countenance was revealed by the light in 
the bar he knew it at once, and remembered where he 
had seen it before. 

He was the man who on a former ocoasion crept into 
the inn and concealed himself in the cupboard uuder- 
ueath the counter. 

The full particulars of the manner in which this spy 
had been Bcalded by old Matthew had of course been re- 



lated to Dick, and the man had also been pointed out 
to him. 

Apparently he was no longer a member of the police 
force, for he was dressed in shabby, ragged garments. 

The fact was, he had been dismissed some time before 
for a gross breach of duty, and sinoe that time had led 
a precarious life in the streets. 

The boy again came forward, for he had witnessed 
this new arrival. 

He recognised the man also, and Dick fancied that a 
significant glance of recognition was exchanged between 
them. 

The man did not speak, but put down some coppers 
on the counter. 

The boy knew what he wanted, for he produced a 
small glass of neat gin. 

" Going far to-night, governor ?" he said, addressing 
Dick. 

" Yes," was the reply, " I have a considerable journey 
to make." 

The man drank his gin very slowly, but continued all 
the while to gaze into Dick's countenanoe in a manner 
that made the highwayman begin to grow uneasy. 

Difficulties were increasing around him, nor could he 
for his life see a clear way out of them. 

His glass being by this time finished, he pushed it 
forward for replenishment, and exactly at this moment 
a footstep was heard upon the stairs, the foot of which 
was close to the bar window. 

The footstep was a heavy one, and this man no sooner 
heard it than he tilted up his glass and made a pre- 
cipitate retreat. 

Direotly afterwards a door was opened, and old 
Matthew made his appearance. 

" What's the meaning of that confounded row ?" he 
said — " who is it quarrelling there?" 

He turned up the passage towards the door of the 
room from which the angry sounds proceeded. 

Dick left the bar counter, and, stepping quickly after 
the landlord, touched him on the arm and whispered ia 
his ear : 

" It is I, Matthew — Dick. Don't bo frightened, or 
speak, or recognise me — that deaf and dumb boy is a 
traitor and will betray me." 

Old Matthew tried to answer, but could not. 

He staggered back several paces, nor did he stop 
until his back, coming in contact with the wall of the 
passage, brought him to a sudden halt. 

His eyes rolled fearfully, and his mouth opened to its 
fullest extent, while over his whole countenanoe was 
spread an expression of utter incredulity. 

Dick then did on the spur of the moment the very 
best thing he possibly could, even had he determined 
to do so after spending several hours in reflection upon it. 

He turned abruptly round, and retraoed his steps to 
the bar counter, where, taking up his glass, he 
began again to sip his brandy-and-water. 



CHAPTER CMX. 

DICK TURPIN MAKES HIMSELF KNOWN TO OLD 
MATTHEW, AND GIVES HIM A CAUTION. 

Thus left to himself, old Matthew recovered from his 
astonishment more rapidly than he would have done 
under any other circumstances. 

Dick now felt perfectly secure. 

He had the utmost faith in old Matthew's resources. 

He had learned by experience how fertile he was in 
expedients of every kind, and therefore did not doubt 
that he would devise the best means of obtaining an 
interview without drawing down any suspicion by so 
doing. 

Matthew gave a great start and then became calm, 
though a close observer could have detected Aie great 
amount of agitation under which he laboured. 

Carrying out his original intention, he entered the 
room from which the sounds of quarrel continued to 
come. 

He bestirred himself vigorously, and soon quelled the 
disturbance. 

Having done so, he returned to the bar. 

He took no notice whatever of Dick, but, having 
passed through the door, closed it behind him. 

From a shelf he took down a book and carried it into 



THE KNIGHT 0* THE KOAD. 



1435 



the little parlour beyond where the deaf and dumb bey 
was sitting. 

By signs he instructed hiru to copy out some accounts 
of money owing, as entered in the book, and having thus 
secured an employment for the young Judas, he returned 
to the bar. 

"Speak to me in a whisper," he said, leaning forward 
over the counter. "Bb careful not to raise jour voice." 

11 All right, Matthew ; but don't look so scared." 

"Scared?" 

"Yes. One would think, to look a* yo-J tlxzi -*U9 had 
just seen a ghost." 

"Worse and worse !" 

"How worse ?" 

" I have seen you !" 

Dick laughed lightly. 

"Never mind me," ho sairl, lean look after wiyscX 
I don't wish to bring you into any trouble either, so, as 
soen as I have carried out my intentions, I will de- 
part." 

"But, oh! captain," said Matthew, "what could have 
induced you to be so thoughtless — so insane as to venture 
here to-night ?" 

" Pshaw 1 It's nothing! Am I not well disguised?" 

" You are, in>leed !" 

" Should you have recognised me ?" 

" I think not. I never knew a change to be so com- 
plete." 

" Then," said Dick, " I may think myself tolerably safe, 
I presume ?" 

" Well — well," cried Matthew, " since you are here, 
speak quickly, and tell me all you can." 

" I intend to do so." 

"I don't ask you to come in," said the landlord, 
" simply because I think you will be safer standing where 
you are. You need not feel afraid that the police officers 
will recognise you, and we can carry on a conversation 
undisturbed." 

" I quite approve of the notion," said Dick. " In the 
first place, then, I have bad news to communicate. Our 
pleasant life at Ealing has come to an end." 

" I knew that," said Matthew, sharply. 

" You knew it — how ?" 

" Why, simply because Ellen, Tom Davis, and his wife 
were brought prisoners to Bow Street late last night, or 
rather early this morning." 

"Yes, yes — of course. What has been done with 
them?" 

" They were carried before the magistrate, of course." 

"Well — well, and the result?" 

" What result could you expect? The whole case was 
made perfectly clear and straightforward. The magistrate 
said he had never known such an outrageous case in his 
life." 

"Were you present at the trial, then ?" 

" Of course I was ; though it was not exactly a trial, 
but an examination." 

" Well — well, it's much the same thing. You know 
what I mean." 

" i do, and, as you might expect, the magistrate has 
committed them all three to take their trial next week at 
the assizes." 

" Will their case come on so soon ?" 

" It will, indeed. Not that I expect it will be on the 
first day ; but perhaps towards the end of the session. 
At the most they will be brought to trial in eight or nine 
days." 

" Something must be done for them," said Dick, " that'" 
quite clear." 

" What can you do ?" asked Matthew. 

" That I don't know, my friend ; but J shall think it 
over, and, rely upon it, we shall make an effort." 

"But, good Heavens!" said Matthew, "if you w*>n» eo 
fortunate as to make your escape from the Three Spiders 
in the way you did, why did vou tempt your fate by re- 
turning here to-night?" 

"Simply because it was a necessity, x have corae, 
Matthew, on purpose to ask you to grant me a favour.' ' 

" Name it, and you shall have it." 

" Well, then," said Dick, " it will be necessary for t»» 
to enter into some kind of explanation " 

" Go on ; you are perfectly secure. The only thing is, 
you are in an uncomfortable position to carry on a con- 
versation. I should like you in the parlour yoadftr. and 



to pass a comfortable hour ; but that is out of the ques- 
tion." 

" So I suppose. Well, this will do for me, so listen." 

Dick then, as rapidly as he possibly could, gaye old 
Matthew a brief outline of all the strange adventures 
that had befallen him in Newgate. 

To every syllable Matthew listened with the utmost in- 
tentnoss. 

He concluded by saying : 

" Well, now, you see, Matthew, I feel, and I think you 
will feel with me, that the Governor of Newgate, having 
so far befriended me, deserves some kind of reward for it, 
and that's why I mentioned about the money buried be- 
neath the tree." 

" And you have no money ?" 

" No, Matthew — not a fraction, and for that reason I 
asked him not to attempt to visit the place until a week 
had expired." 

"I see. And you want me to let you have such a sum 
of money as you require ?" 

" That's it, Matthew. I am sorry to trouble you, but 
it will be all right in the end. You see, but for this un- 
fortunate attack being made so suddenly upon the inn, I 
should have been able to carry out my intention with the 
greatest of ease." 

" Of course you would ! But what a pity, captain, for 
you to run the risk of your life upon such a trifling 
matter as that !" 

Dick shrugged his shoulders. 

" How could I help it ?" he said. " Would you have 
me break my word ?" 

" You might have sent a messenger." 

"Where do you think I could obtain one? "No — no, 
my friend, I consider that I have managed things very 
well indeed. I am quite contented with all that I have 
done so far." 

"Well, perhaps you ought to he," said Matthew, re- 
flectively, " for with so sharp a look-out as to my certain 
knowledge is kept for you, it seems marvellous that you 
should have reached here unseen." 

" Stop a minute," said Dick, " and I will tell you some- 
thing that will give you still more confidence in my dis- 
guise. I* is a capital joke, too." 

Matthew prepared to listen, and Dick accordingly 
favoured him with an account of his adventures on the 
road. 

Old Matthew listened to the recital with the most un- 
comfortable feelings. 

But Dick tried to make as light of all the incidents as 
he possibly could. 

"But it's running too great a risk," he said — "it's 
carrying matters too far. For your own sake and for 
others you ought to be more careful." 

"But what better result could I hope for or obtain?" 
said Dick. "Careful or not, here I am, you see, in 
safety." 

" Yes, so you are — I can't deny that : but still, don't 
be too bold— don't boast of what you have done. The 
sooner you start from here, the better ; so I will fetch 
you the money you want at once." 

" Don't be in too much hurry, Matthew. I have one 
or two important things to talk over before I can take my 
departure." 

" Well — well, but be quick." 

" I will. In the first place, you must contrive by some 
means or other to get rid of that rascally boy of 
yours." 

" Yes," said Matthew, with a sudden start, and glanc- 
ing towards the inner room. " You said something about 
his betraying you." 

" Yes, and he will do it. When Tom, Claude, and Jack 
were here last, if you remember, you sent him for their 
horses. He put the officers vepcz. ieo scent, and, had not 
my three coincides started off themselves, their capture 
must have been certain, and it would have happened, too, 
at your very door." 

"Is this really true?" exclaimed Matthew, sealery 
able to believe what he heard. 

"Perfectly true,'* said Dick; "and therefore I say 
don't hesitate any longer about getting rid of him. If 
ysu keep him, he will some day or o*her bring »bout vour 
destruction." 

"He 6hall go, captain — jo v*tu1 gv- at c*ca. *will 
have no traitors beneath my roof ! I confess tnere »n 



1486 



BLAOS. BS2S ; OX 



many things which I have discovered which I have not 
liken, yet I have looked upon all bis delinquencies with a 
lenient eye, for, Dick, I knew his father. Ho was one of 
icy best friends, and a truer, better man never breathed." 
" Then it's a pity lie is so unworthy a son." 
" He is dead now, Dick, and his mother too. fc-he was 
a Jewess, and it is from her no doubt, that he inSisrits 
his treacherous disposition." 

There was a tone of deep regret perceptible in old 
Matthew's voice as ho thus spoke, and it was quite 
certain that it would cost him a paug thus to get rid of 
the son of his old friend. 



CIIAPTEIt CMXL 

AFFAIRS AT TIIB WHITE HORSE LVN ASSUSfE A CRITICAL 
ASPECT. 

''Say no more upon the point, Dicl;," were the landlord's 
Best words. " You have nothing more to fear of him ; I 
will take effectual means to get rid of hira." 

" And now, then, before you go, tell mo in a fe?r wards 
about Maud. And the rest — where are they ?" 

Dick complied, and then added : 

"Tom King was in great peril I know; how he has 
fared, of course I can tell no better than yourself ; and as 
for Sixteen-String Jade and Claude Duval, I have not 
seen them since we parted." 

'Well, well, and I suppose you hope to meet all together 
some time before Tom Davis is brought to trial ?" 

" Yes, I hope so." 

" But, then, if you do, in what way are you to help 
him ?" 

" I am not prepared to say, Matthew ; but between now 
Rnd then you can think it over as well as myself, and no 
doubt something will suggest itself." 

" I will try," said Matthew, " for after all that he has 
done, it would be a world of pities for Tom Davis to be 
sentenced to transportation for life, and you may depend 
that is the lightest penalty they will indict upon 
him." 

"It must not bo — it shall not be!" said Dick, vehe- 
mently, and bringing his hand down with great force upon 
the counter. 

"Hush — hush!" said Matthew. "Be careful; you 
forget your caution." 

"I did for tho moment; but Tom Davis must be 
saved or rescued, no matter at what sacrifice. If you 
have means of communicating with him, don't fail to let 
him know what I have said." 

" I shall bo able to communicate with him, no doubt ; 
but now, Did;, whetheryou have anything more to say or 
not, let me entreat you to depart. I will go upstairs and 
fetch the mouey you require ; I will not be a moment 
longer than I can help." 

Dick assented, and the landlord at once hastened 
upstairs. 

No sooner had old Matthew departed than the treacher- 
ous boy issued from the inner room. 

Ho glanced stealthily and quickly around him for a 
second, then, with an assumption of boldness, walked 
towards the door, opened it, and passed into the 
passage. 

Under the circumstances, Dick wondered how far he 
should be justified in interfering with the movements of 
this lad. 

It might be that his deafness was only simulated, and 
if so, he could easily have overheard sufficient of the con- 
versation to let him know that it was only a sc«niing 
carter who stood at the bar. 

In this case he would, beyond a douDt, communicate 
with those outside. 

Should he run tho risk of allowing him to pass bj' ? 

That was the question uppermost in Dick's mind, and 
he had very little time to make up his mind concerning 

Tho boy marched on, pretending to k.,K vorj indif- 
ferent indeed, but only partially succeeding. 

He had to pass quite closoto where Dick was standing, 
and just as he reached this spot tho highwayman suddenly 
stepped out his foot. 

The boy did not see it, or, at any rate, a „..til tec 
late, for he was [ripped up a3 cleverly as it was possible 
for anyone to be. 



He fell with a tremendous crash on his face in th* pas- 
sage, and lay for a moment as though half stunned. 

Then, springing rapidly to his feet, he plunged on« 
hand into the breast of his coat, as though ho had a wea- 
pon concealed there. 

His whole face then looked like a demon's. 

His eyes flashed, and his teeth were closely cleuche! 
togethor. 

Blood war; streaming from his face, but Dick pitied him 
not in tho least — indeed, lie was glad to think the oppor- 
tunity had been afforded him of giving tho rascal a taste 
of what he deserved. 

If his firtft intention had been to draw any concealed 
wospon, a second thought made him change his mind. 

Stamping and scowling with rage, he continued his 
ci.-urse along tho passage. 

Just then, however, old Matthew could be heard de- 
scending the staircase, and immediately afterwards the 
door at the foot of the stairs was flung open. 

The boy saw him, and stopped irresolutely. 

Dick said, in a suppressed voice : 

"Look, Matthew, there he goes! I stopped him a little, 
but he wants to give the alarm !" 

Old Matthew deposited a heavy bag of money on the 
counter with a dab, and theu, with a rapidity of move- 
ment that no one could have expected from a man of hia 
years and bulk, he darted along the passage, and seised 
the boy by the back of the neck. 

"You rascal!" ho said — "you infernal scamp ! But I 
will pay you out for this! Oh, coufound it," he added, 
" I forgot he can't hear a word I say !" 

"Secure him somewhere," said Dick. 

"Never fear," answered old Matthew. "Look to 
yourself — leave him to me. There's the money." 

" All right, I have it." 

" Then now depart." 

" No, no — not so hurriedly ! Place that boy securely 
somewhere, and then come to me." 

Reluctantly Matthew consented. 

The boy kicked, and plunged, and struggled, but all 
was in vain. 

In Matthew's hands ho was powerless to do anything 
at all in the shapo of resistance that was worthy of the 
name. 

As soon as ho had dragged him into the inner room, 
old Matthew flung the boy into the large easy-chair be- 
tide tic.' tire. 

At the same moment, with great dexterity, he whipped 
off his huge apron, and twisted it up liko a rope. 

This he passed under the boy's chin, and round the 
back of this chair, where he tied it so tightly that the boy 
was obliged to cease struggling at once, otherwise he 
would have been in imminent danger of strangula- 
tion. 

To fasten his hands was cow an easy task, and as he 
was dumb the necessity for gagging him was done away 
with. 

" He is all right now," Matthew said, as he came out 
of the parlour and quietly shut the door behind him. " 1 
could never have believed that he was such a little vil- 
lain." 

" Ho is a dangerous creature indeed," said Dick, "and 
I should advise you to bo very careful how you deal witt 
him. His disposition is malicious — nay, even fiendish, 
and he would not care to what length ho went in order 
to obtain his revenge." 

"I don't fear him," said Matthew, "and just at the 
present moment you will admit that we have something 
more important to talk about." 

" We have." 

" Well, then, captaiu, as you have got the money safo, 
let me once more entreat "you to depart. Don't think 1 
am anxious to get rid of you. I am only concerned for 
your safety." 

" I know that, old friend. Don't think I misunderstand 
your notions." 

"Consider for a moment," continued the landlord, 
" how awkward a fix you would be in should you un- 
fortunately bo recognised. You have no Black Bcs3 now 
to carry you clear of your pursuers, only that miserable 
horse at the door." 

v Have you seen it ?" 

"Yes. I peeped at it through cae of the wuidctrs is? 
sS&ira." 



RMOHT Or THE BOAD. 



i**r 



" It fs a miserabln wretch ; but then I think T am toler- 
ably safe." 

" Well, will you go ?" 

"I will, Matthew, and many thanks to you for the 
favour you have done me to-night." 
" Pooh — pooh ! Don't mention it " 
"I shall not forget it, rest assured of that. And 
now I must ask you to lay me under one more obliga- 
tion." 

" And what is that ?" 

"Just go to the door, and have a look up and down the 
street. Tell me whether you see anyone hauijiug about 
who looks suspicious — in a word, see whether tke coast 
is clear." 

" 1 will, Dick. That is well thought of . r 
The landlord Lastily made his way to the front of the 
inn. 

He was absent about five minutes ; then he returned 
with a very serious look upon his face. 

"What's the matter?" asked Dick, eagerly. 
" Why, the coast is not clear." 
" Indeed ! Who's about ?" 

" Why, a man who owes me a bitter grudge. He has 
sworn over and over again to have his revenge. You 
remember, I daresay, that an officer concealed himself in 
this cupboard here, and I scalded him well with a keitle- 
ful of boiling water?" 

" Yes, I remember. Ho was at the bar, drinking, a 
moment before you came downstairs." 
"To-night?" 

" Yes — mott certainly to-night — a little while ago." 
Old Matthew gave a long, low whistle. 
" That's awkward," he said — " very awkward 1" 
" And what's more," continued Dick, " it's very odd to 
me if a eecret sign or glance of intelligence did not pass 
between him and that nice little boy of yours." 
Old Matthew gave a low groan. 

" If that's it, captain, depend upon it it's all's over ! 
You're nabbed— nabbed as sure as you are a living man !" 
" How so, Matthew ?" said Turpin, feeling fearfully 
uneasy. " What do you mean ?" 

" Why, I must tell you that this man was sometime ago 
dismissed from the police force ; but ever since then ho 
has acted as a spy for the rest. His old companions give 
him a trifle now and then, and he sniffs out information 
for them." 

" A regular spy, in fact ?" 

" Yes, nothing less, and in consequence of that little 
trick I served him, he cherishes the most violent hatred 
against me. I have been told he has frequently declared 
he will never rest until he has brought about my ruin, 
and for that reason ho is always hanging about in the 
street" 

" You make me very uncomfortable, Matthew," said 
Dick Turpin. " I hope things are not quite so bad as 
you make out. He looked keenly at me as I stood beside 
him at the counter; but I feel pretty sure there was no 
recognition on his part." 

" Well, there may not be," said old Matthew, seeming 
rather relieved upon receiving this assurance. 

"But," continued Dick, "if I had not stopped that boy 
as I did, you cay depend he would not have been in 
ignorance of my identity by this time-" 



CHAPTER CMXII. 

DICK TURPIN HAS HIS KF.VENGE EPON THE SPY. 

Old Matthew rubbed his head most vigorously, as was 
his habit when anything occurred of a troublesome 
nature. 

" I wish I knew how to solve the point," he ejaculated, 
after a brief pause, "but how on earth to discc-r*? 
whether any police officers are lurking outside I know 
not." 

"Is it not possible," said Dick, ,: that you magnify the 
danger ?" f 

"In what manner ?" 

" May it not be that this man is only skulking about 
outside in his usual fashion ?" 

"There is a possibility of it." 

"You have not seen anything else suspicions, have 
yoo?" 

•Ho, nothing more, I saw no trace of officers, and yet, 



whenever I seo him I think they are never far dis- 
tant." 
u And what was he doing ?" asked Dick. 
" Why, when I first went to the door, I saw nothing, 
Dnt 1 stood perfectly still looking about me, then I fan- 
cied I heard a slight movement in the ca:t, and so drew 
back into the shadow of the doorway as well as I could." 
" A noise in the cart ?" 

"Yes, and immediately afterward" that felktw lowered 
himself out of it." 

" That's very strange," said Dick. 
" So I think," returned Matthew. " He must have had 
some suspicions, or why should ho have adopted such a 
proceeding as that ?" 

" Curse him !" said Dick, clenching his fists. " I wish 
I could lay hold of him somehow ; I'd put an end to his 
speaking for some time to come. But for him, no doubt 
I could have driven off quietly, without anyone being the 
wiser." 

" Very likely indeed,"" said Matthew ; "but I am afraid 
there's little chance of it now, though I don't wish to say 
anything to discourage you." 
Dick drew a long breath. 

"How had I better act, Matthew?" he said, at 
length. 
The landlord shrugged his shoulders. 
" I wish I could advise you," he said; "but this is a 
matter that baffles me altogether. You see, he may have 
told the officers that he suspected you were only an 
assumed carter, and if so, they would arrest you on bare 
suspicion." 

"And I suppose," continued Dick, "they would take 
care not to show themselves until I emerged into the 
street." 

" Decidedly not ; and, for aught I know, a dozen of 
them may be hidden somewhere." 

"It bothers me," said Dick — "it bothers me en- 
tirely." 

Old Matthew began to think. 

"Look here," he said, at length, "this is the best thing 
I can think of." 
"Out with it, then." 

" I will put on my hat and go outside, take hold of the 
horse's head, and lead him round the corner, into Clare 
Market." 

" And what good would that do ?" said Dick, in some 
amazement. 

" Why, this much : I should have my eyes about me, 
and if any police officers were concealed I should at once 
become aware of it, for, don't you see, they would either 1 
attempt to prevent me from moving the cart, or else I 
should see them quit their place of concealment and 
follow it." 

" So you would, Matthew — so you would ; that didn't 
occur to me. But what shall I do in the meanwhile ?" 

" I will tell you ; there will bo no difficulty abrut 
it." 

" I am glad to hear it." 

" As soon as I go to the front of the house, liston. If 
you hear no contention or disturbance — if, in fact, you do 
not hear me raise my voice — conclude all is well, and just 
hasten down the passage, and through that door. You 
will then be in that little yard that is well known to you. 
Open the other door, and you will find yourae'if in White 
Horse Yard. Make your way along it into Clare Market, 
and look about for mo. If you see mo, and all is well, I 
shall be patting the neck of the horse, and stroking it; 
but if I am not doing so do not show you self, but clear 
off in the best way you are able." 

Dick Turpin was highly delighted with this plan, and 
congratulated old Matthew upon hisiigenuity. 

"I can't stop to listen to anything of that sort," ho 
said, as he took his broad-brimmed hut down from a peg. 
"I will be off, and be sm-e you listen whether there is a 
noise outside." 

The next moment old Matthew passed through tha 
front door, and Dick listened eagerly. 

But the silence was not broken by old Matthew's voice, 
and almost immediately he heard the wheels begin to 
revolve. 

" All right," he muttered. "What a capital old chap 
Matthew is, to be sure ! That's one t ing more that I 
owe htm." 

While he was speaking he secured the bag of gold about 



jibs 



itla person, thon, following the instructions be had re- 
ceived, he entered the yard and hastened towards Glare 
Market as quickly as his legs would carry him. 

He felt rather nervous when he first stepped out inte 
White Horse Yard, but that feeling immediately vanished 
when he found no notice was taken of his appear- 
ance. 

From this it was only .air to assume that bo officers 
■were concealed in that quarter, for if so they would un- 
questionably e pounced upon him. 

Feeling much more easy in his mind, he continued on his 
way, aud having reached a dark, obscure corner, paused 
to look about him. 

A moment or two elapsed before he could catch sight 
of old Matthew. But at length he perceived him, and to 
his great joy he saw he was patting the horse upon the 
neck. 

" All right," ejaculated Dick, with a sigh of great re- 
lief — " all's going well — I have nothing to fear." 

With these words on his lips he hastened to the spot 
where the horse was standing. 

,: Look out for the spy," said Matthew, as soon as Dick 
was close to the vehicle ; " there's no one besides him 
about ; he has followed me so far at a distance, and I 
should not be surprised at his following you." 

"Shouldn't you?" said Dick. " Then I should. Where 
is be — can you see him?" 

•' Yes, there he is, on the other side of the way, stand- 
ing near that shop ; he is pretending to look at the things 
in the window." 

Old Matthew pointed, and Dick immediately perceived 
the spy standing at no great distance. 

"He won't follow me, I'll warrant!" he exclaimed. 
" Juat bring the horse quietly alter me, and see how 1 
will dispose of him." 

" Captain — captain," said Matthew, " don't be rash — 
pray don't be rash ! Go quietly away, and leave him to 
me." 

Bat Dick was quite deaf to these words. 

He strode rapidly along the street, then orossed directly 
over to the shop at the window of which the spy was 
standing. 

Late as was the hour, the shops in the neighbourhood 
■were for the most part unclosed, though apparently little 
business was being done in any of them. 

The spy was evidently taken by surprise by these 
movements on the part of Dick Turpin. 

He was conscious of the highwayman's approach, yet 
knew not exactly whether to stand still or to fly. 

He hesitated until it was too lato to make a retreat. 

Dick clapped his hand upon his shoulder. 

The man taced round at once. 

"Don't bo so fond ot prying iuto my business," said 
Dick, iu a menacing voice, " or it will be the worse for 
you, and, just to prove that this is no idle threat, 1 will 
give you a taste of what you may expect." 

It so happened that the shop before which this man 
was standing was one belonging to a general dealer in 
provisions. 

Not only in the shop and in the window were his 
articles exposed for sale, but out upon the pavement as 
well. 

Among other things, cheese was piled up, and there was 
also an enormous box filled to the brim with eggs, betide 
which one of the shopmen was standing observing the 
movements of Dick and the spy with great attention, 

No sooner were the last words out of Dick Turpia's 
mouth than, quick as thought, he seized the spy by the 
iiape of his neck and the se^it of his breeches. 

With an exertion of his utmost strength, Dick lifted 
him fairly from the ground, and flung him with full force 
into the box of eggs. 

There was a loud cry, an oath, and a fearful crash. 

Then the body of the spy almost completely disappeared, 
for the eggs gave way immediately beneath his weight. 

Dick did not stop to see any more — Ue kBo 13 * the sooner 
he beat a ret-eat the better. 

By this time Matthew had brought the horse close to 
the shop, and Dick, with extraordinary speed, asceadod 
to his seat and Bet the horse in motion. 

The shopman, who had witnessed the whcle tr&usac- 
tion, ran forward with the intention of stopping tfc? cart, 
but old Matthew placed himself full before him. 

" Ten pounds," he said—" ten pounds, Tom, if you 



keep quiet! You know mo. Just make it as hot lor the 
fellow as yo t can — I om him a grudge." 

Tne man thus addressed looked rather amazed far a 
moment, but he knew old Matthew perfectly well and 
felt certain he would be as good as his word. 

Accordingly, he turned round, and, addressing the poor 
wretch who was struggling vainly in the box to release 
himself, said : 

"You rascal! What do you mean by this ? You shall 
suffer for it! Here— here ! police— police!" 

A crowd immediately assembled, though where the 
people came from so suddenly seemed a mystery. 

Just as the cart turned round the corner of the street, 
Dick looked back, and then he had the satisfaction of be- 
holding the spy still kicking and struggling :n his efforts 
to liberate «uniself from his unple-^nt positioa. 

CHAPTER CM-AlU 

IN WHICH THE SPY ACQUAINTS TUP POLIc-El OFFICEKS 
WITH HIS SUSPICIONS. 

Old Matthew, perceiving how ready the shopman was 
to take the hint that had been given him, drew aside. 

He wished most particularly to watch the ensuing pro- 
ceedings, yet he did not desire to appear to be mixed up 
in any of them. 

A hundred voices began to ask at once what was the 
matter, but no one seemed in a position to reply. 

Battles were sprung, watchmen came hurrying forward, 
and lusty throats bawled out for the police. 

" Bull me out," roared the man in the box — "pull me 
out, 1 say ! Won't one of you lend me a hand?" 

" Let him alone," said the shopman, as several hastened 
forward in answer to the appeal — " let him alone, ean't 
you ? He's safe prisoner where he is, that's one comfort." 

The crowd drew back, and so the spy was thrown upon 
his own resources. 

His furious struggles, however, only served to break 
more of the eggs, and the consequence was, that instead 
of getting out of the box at all, be kept gradually sinking 
lower and lower down into it. 

At last, when the confusion had reached its height, a 
couple ot police officers came hastily round the corner. 

The people made way for them, and no sooner did thoy 
pause in front of the shop than they immediately 
recognised the spy. 

" Seize him," cried the shopman — "seize him! He's a 
desperate character! Don't let go of him on any 
account!" 

" Why," said one police officer, stopping suddenly 
short, and gazing with surprise into the countonance of 
his companion — " why, it's Jackson !" 

" Yes, d — n it, it i3 Jackson, sure enough f roared the 
spy. " Help me out, can't you ? Don't stand there like a 
couple ot idiots!" 

" Gome — come, you had better not bo abusive. What 
does it all mean ?" 

" Bull me out, and I'll tell you pretty quickly." 

The officers thought fit to comply with this demand, 
and by their joint exertions the spy was released from 
his uncomfortable position. 

"Now, then," cried one of the officers, addressing the 
shopman, "what's this all about? Just explain it!" 

"Bah!" said the spy. "Don't be a fool, Brown — 
don't be a fool !" 

" What do you mean P" 

"Why, 1 speak plain enough! Here, come-closer — 1 
want to whisper something. There — there, what do you 
think of that?" 

The spy whispereJ something in the ear of Brown, the 
police officer, which caused that worthy emissary of tho 
law fairly to stagger back. 

Then a loud shout of laughter came from tne crowd as 
they perceived the plight Jackson was in. 

He had truly taken a most uncomfortable bath, and as 
the eggs exposed for sale were none of the freshest, a by 
no means pleasant odour exhaled from him. 

"What did he say, Brown ?" gasped the other poiict 
officer. 

" Why, he says that a few minutes ago either D'.ofi: 
Turpin "or one of his comrades was here disguised as a 
carter, and it was in consequence of his recognition that 



TSB XWI3HT OF THE ROAD. 



U» 




[dick tukpin hurls the spy into the egg-chest.] 



he was pushed back into the egg-chest as we found 
him. 

Nothing would oon tent the shopman but having Jack- 
9o n hauled off to the police station, and there charged 
with doing wilful damage to his property. 

The officers in vain protested that it was all non- 
sense; the shopman was obstinate, and so they 
accordingly went. 

The matter was hurried over as quickly as possible, 
and then the spy was questioned more closely as to the 
intelligence he had given. 

When he set forth the details, he was met with general 
disbelief ; and when asked pointedly by what means 
he had recognised Dick Turpin he was forced to admit 
that he was not quite confident, but he merely suspected 
that the carter was the highwayman in disguise, and 
it* *v , 8n9 P ioion ne could give no other reason than 
that he had seen him in c .nversation with old Matthew, 
the landlord of the White Horse. 

No. 187— Black Bess. 



Still, that was deemed sufficiently important to 
warrant them in setting out in pursuit of the driver of 
the cart, and arresting him, if only on the charge of 
committing an assault upon Jackson. 

By the time they bad arrived at this resolution, how- 
ever, a considerable period had elapsed. 

The cart had vanished, and no one was in a position 
to say which way it had gone. 

To look for it in any of the myriad streets of London 
seemed an idle task. 

And so the officers felt, although they set about it. 

But let it be clearly understood that, if they had 
known for certain that the carter really was Dick in 
disguise, their measures would have been of a much 
more energetic character, and it is quite possible tha* 
by run king close inquiries and sending out in all direc- 
tions they might have got upon his track. 

This was not done, however. 

Only one party of officers went ont in pursuit, and these 



No. r 187 



Pfuos One Halfpenny. 



• v> 



DI.ACR BEM ; CW. 



•nade ffttlc progress, for although they inquired in every 
lirection, they were unable to meet with a single person 
»ho could recollect ««^ing a cart such as they des- 
cribed. 

The fact was, DicV, with a boldness to which he cer- 
tainly owed his safety, had goue straight in the directioE 
of Bow Street, which carried him pa.st the front of old 
Drury Laue Theatre. 

Here the scene was one of tremendous commotion. 

The King had gone that night to see the play, and the 
house was consequently crowded bj a highly-fashionable 
audience. 

The street was literally choked up with vehicle^. 

Amid the general confusion and excitement, Dick was 
unnoticed as he steadily wound his way in and out through 
the throng until he got into a clearer street. 

Then, lashing his horse, he made him put forth his ut- 
most rate of speed. 

Now, if Dick had oheyed thp very natural impulse to 
turu down any one of the quiet streets in the neighbour- 
hood the officers would, in all probability* have got upou 
his track, as the passage of the vehicle through any one 
of them must have been seen by some person or other. 

lie made his way directly westward, but while he 
journeyed on his thoughts were busy. 

Re had more causes than one for gratification. 

Maud and Black Bess he knew to be in perfect safety, 
he had performed his errand without accident, and had 
in his possession a sufficient sum of money to satisfy the 
Governor ot Newgate. 

He had also made old Matthew aware of the fact that 
he had a traitor beneath his roof. 

Another consideration, however, now presentei itself 
to Dick's mind, and while he reflected upon it he allowed 
his horse to proceed very slowly. 

Morning, he saw, was yet some hours distant, and the 
juestion occurred to him whether he should not avail 
nimself of the present opportunity and secure the bag 
of gold. 

He had fully intended to hasten back to Maud ; out 
then, on his return journey, he might meet with danger, 
and the bag of money might be lost. 

Now he was at no great distance from Ham^tead 
Heath, and by turning off to the right he could reach 
there in little moro than half an hour. 

To bury the gold would be the work of a few moments 
only ; then from that point he would be able to make 
his way to Somefield, where he had appointed to over- 
take Maud. 

"Yes." he said, at length, "that shall be it. My mind 
is made up. Who can tell how long a time may elapse 
before I have so good a chauce of burying this money 
as 1 have now ?" 

While he spoke the words, he turned abm.jtly down a 
dark narrow laue witn which he was doi very well 
acquainted, but which, nevertheless, he believed would 
take him near the point he wished to reach. 

This lane was quite deserted, and no wo uder, foi its 
condition was disgraceful. 

So deep was the mire that the tired horse pould haraly 
struggle through it. 

In consequence of this the journey to Rampstp.id Heath 
occupied a much longer period than Dick had calculated 
upon. 

At length he paused upon the verge of the vast open 
gp-.ce. 
* It was now m-cessary to take au observation before pro- 
ceeding further. 

The heath itself appeared to atreJeh for mil»s before 
him in the darkness, and although ha turned his eyes in 
every .lirection he failed U> perceive the giitnmeriujj of 
a single light. 

Having formed • tolerably correct idea of his position, 
Dick turned to the right, and when he parsed again it 
was close to the tree he had described so particularly to 
the Governor. 

And, indeed, the appearance of this tree was so sin^fnr 
thai it could not fall to be recognised by auyone who took 
the trouble to loob for it. 

T^roo^h a '•:■'■ opaqae pnrtkta ot the ehnj '* *he-t, 
%-ttw*fa!i ww* skr, *fe*» w*s*» «6a6 forth si <jW*Mmm, usinty 
hgbi, wnich Dick hwlod vUh pleasure, « ft \vonld he oV 
great assistance to him in carrying out lus proceed- 
ings 



First of all, he 6tood for several momeuts in a listening 
attitude. 

The silence was profound, and, without any great 
stretch of imagination, he could have believed that h<- 
was thousands of miles away from any of his ftllow- 
creatures 

The horse seemed quite content, to stop, for, bending 
dowu his head, he commenced eating with great vora- 
ciousness the grass that was growiug everywhere 
around. 



CHaFTEK CMXIV. 

IN vCHICIf DICK TirrUTN RECKtVES SOME DISUTrRRES TTSO 
ADVICE. 

FlNTO*"a all around him so very still, Dick Turpro deter- 
mined not to lose any more time, but to commence 'lug- 
ging a hole in the ground forthwith. 

lie was but ill provided with tools for this pmp*j»e; 
yet, by using hi bauds aud a knife, he managed in a 
short space of tiije to scrape out a considerable q iam iiy 
of earth. 

Tnis being done, he carefully placed the bag to the 
hole. filled it up with dirt, and carefully pressed down 
the surface so as to restore it to its original condi- 
tion. 

Once, wheu he paused ij the midst of his labours, 
he fancied he heard a slight sound close at hand. 

He listened immediately ; but as it was not repeated 
he concluded his fancy had misled him. 

At last, when all was finished, be rose from his knees, 
and, as he did so, he felt, certain that, ho caught sight of 
a dim, shadowy figure in the distance. 

A cry of vexation and anger escaped his lips. 

There could be no doubt all his proceedings had fcxvn 
watched by some oue, aud that some one, whoever he 
might be, would beyond doubt take the first opportunity, 
after Dick's departure, to try and ascertain what had 
been buried so carefully among the root*; of the old 
tree. 

For a wonder, Dick was at a loss what to do on the 
spur of the moment, aud this hesitation, brief as it 
was, deprived him til the chance he had of rushing 
forward and suddenly seizing the intruder. 

Now, when he looked all around, nothing but the broad 
expause of heath met his view. 

•'Confound it!" he said to himself. " What shall 1 
do now? To attempt to find him would be perfectly 
idle. He could dodge me till daybreak. I must think • 
little while." 

By way of assisting himself in this operation, he took 
hold of the reius, and forced his horse to quit his nieul 
and while he was doing so a blight idea entered his 
brain. 

"I will drive off," he muttered, "and pretend to take 
no notice, and wheu I have gone a little way I will de- 
scend from the cart, and creep stealthily h^re on foc- 
Theu, no doubt, he will be thrown off his guard, and I 
shall be able to seize him." 

This resolve was no sooner made than it. was carried 
out, though, at present, Dick had no very clear idea o) 
what he was to do after he had succeeded in captur- 
ing the man who, he imagined, had watched his move- 
ments. 

Despite the danger of such a course, Dick drove across 
the heath, preferring to do so to trusting to any of iui 
bad roads that intercepted it. 

On the soft turf the progress of the cart made scarcely 
a sound — at any rate, he felt certaiu that no one could 
hear it at a distance of a few yards. 

Having gone far enough as he imagined to answer 
his piipose. In- stopped the horse aud descended. 

He was not afraid that the animal wce-ld stray far- 
it would be ouly too glad of the opportunity to renew 
iis feast. 

Shriuking low down to the eround, Dick then swiftly, 
yet noiselessly, male his way back again to the old tr**» 

As he neared it his speed abated; and his cauiiou ta 

Vteaa o»rj ■» tew yards dtetoni, he ■topped a»itw-f>*8»»» 
and, placing his bands up to hid eyes ir. onicr to «•« 
more distinctly, he strove to pierce the t;Lw«a. 

Then he saw, or fancied he saw, closv fc. tb« trutti ■* 



•ha might or tub *oa£>. 



1491 



the old tree, the figure of a nun kneelisg iowa as 
he bad knelt, and busily engaged Li digging ap the 
earth. 

The longer he gazed the more confident he felt that 
he had not made any mistake, so, creeping still closer, 
and watching fir a favourable opportunity, be mado a 
sudden bound upon the stranger, who little suspect-*") his 
return. 

A yell of fear broke the silence that had foi *.• :. vg 
reigned around the spot. 

The man, finding himself in the grasf of some o*ia, 
trembled from head to foot, and would haw f alleu io ei*> 
ground had not Dick held him up. 

" Who are you ?" he roared. " Let me see your face ? 
Why are you here ?" 

"Oh, mercy!" said a voice, in humble tones. "Do 
have mercy upon me — pray do !" 

" I know that voice," 6aid Dick, peering iutently into 
the stranger's face, "and yet surely it must be a mis- 
take." 

"No, no — not any mistake," was the reply, "for I 
kn« je your voice now, captain. It's all ri^Ut. Mr. 
Bradbury, at your service." 
Dick released his hold instantly. 
" You have cause to be thankful that you have escaped 
so well. Z am generally hasty in my movements, and 
not very particular as to what I do. However, I'm glad 
it's all right." 

The Governor grunted and rubbed himself very 
vigorously with both his hands at the back of his 
neck, for Dick's grasp had been by no means a tender 
one. 

" Oh !" he said, " yon gave roe a dreadful fright — an 
awful fright I" 
" Indeed 1 How so?" 

" I will tell you. I don't mi.id confessing that this 
tree has haunted my imagination ever since you spoke 
to me about it, and it has only been t y the exercise of 
great self-command that I have kept myself from paying 
a visit to this spot for so long, but to-uight I felt im- 
pelled to make my way here. I could not resu* the 
temptation." 

" And you saw me digging here, I suppose ?" said 
Dick. 

"I fancied so," said the Qovernor, "but could not 
make sure. I didn't know whether to advance and 
make myself known, or remain in concealment, and 
while I was debating this point in my mind you got up 
into the cart and drove away." 
" Well, and then ?" 

" Why, I thought the best thing I could do was to 
possess myself of the treasure, and make haste back to 
Loudon, so I began to dig, as you see." 

" And did you not guess that I had returned ?" 
"No," said the Qovernor — "not for a moment. I 
believed some other person hud been watching, and, 
having seen all that had been done, had come for- 
ward with the intention of appropriating the money 
himself." 

" I see, and hence your alarm. Well, you have good 
oeuse for gratification. The money you will find per- 
fectly safe, tied up in a leather bag, and I hope the 
amount will satisfy your expectations." 

" You have just placed it there, of course ?" said the 
Governor, inquiringly. 

" You had bettor not trouble yourself to make any in- 
quiries upon that point," said Dick. " Let it suffice that 
you find the money where I told you you would. I may 
have come to-night merely to make sure thai the money 
was safe, you understand." 

The Governer said "Yes," but it is questkvaa«sle 
wuether he really understood what Dick meant w 
not 

" Well, captain," he added, after a short pause, " there « 
been a tremendous commotion in Newgate, ( can ass v re 
you I" 
" No doubt." 

" I confess that I have been in a perpetual st'te of fe\er 
ever since your departure. I have trembled fot your 
safety." 
Dick smiled. 

"I am all right, vou see. and well V;!e f Ake care of 
myself. I was by Bow Street police swion a little while 
qrA hut things seemed quiet enough there,* 



The Governor repeated the words in a tone of incredu- 
lous amazement. 

" It's quite true," said Dick, carelessly, "and I daresay 
you will hear something of it when you get back to 
London." 

" You are too rash," said the Governor — 'much too 
rash ! You tempt youi fate. 1 am much obliged to you 
for your behaviour to me, for a little extra money will be 
of the greatest utility to me at the preuent moment I 
like you, captain — indeed I do I" 
" I am glad to hear it." 

"And •* proof of it" addod the Governor, coming a 
step closer, "I will give you a word of advice, and i 
oiJy hope you will have sufficient good sense to act in 
accordance with it." 

" Weil,' siiid Dick, " I am prepared to listen to any 
suggfltfjon you like to make, but I cannot pledge myself 
to act in accordance with it." 

" V-'oU, then, my advice is not only to you, but to all 
your companions, to take the very first opportunity you 
can find of leaving England. It is truly too hot to hold 
you, and so you will find to your cost." 
Dick uttered a half-impatient exclamation. 
" You receive ray advice with disdain," said the 
Governor, with a slightly-mortified air. " But, then, 1 
know very well good advice is generally thrown away. 
This is good advice, as anyone would tell you who had 
considered your position. If you were only a little care- 
ful, you could manage to get down somewhere on the 
south coast, and there engage a fisherman at some quiet 
spot or other to take you across the channel. He could 
run you ashore on some lonely part of the coast of 
France, and there you w»uld be perfectly safe." 

" Well — well," said Dick, thoughtfully, " I am ready 
to admit that tho advice you have given is well worthy 
of consideration, and rest assured that when I meet my 
comrades the next time I will suggest it to them. For 
the present we must say farewell, and I hope, without 
meaning any offence to you, that we shall never meet 
again." 

» Farewell, captain !" said the Governor. " I do not 
eeho your wish, for, as I 6aid before, I rather like you ; 
but if we do meet, I really hope it will be in some place 
where you are in safety." 

"Thanks for the wish," said Dick. " And now again 
good-bye ! Dig a little deeper, and you will find the re- 
ward I promised you. In spite of obstacles from which 
most men would have shrunk back with alarm, Dick 
Turpin has been as good as his word." 

He turned abruptly upon his heel as he spoke, and 
vanished almost immediately from the sight of the 
Governor, who, without further delay, dropped down 
upon his knees again, and resumed his task of digging 
beneath the tree. 



CHAPTER CMXV. 

DESCRIBES THE STRANGE ADVENTURE THAT DICK MSt 
WITH ON HIS WAY TO SOMEFIELD. 

Dick had some little difficulty in finding the cart, but not 
much ; and, having succeeded, he once more climbed into 
his seat, and set the horse in motion. 

The night had been an unusually dark one, and now, 
strangely enough, although daybreak was approaching, 
it positively grew darker, so that Dick had to make hu 
way with the greatest caution — in fact, he trusted more 
to the instinct of his' horse to keep him clear of any ob- 
structions in the path than he did to his own eyesight 
consequently the heath was crossed in safety, and when 
once he emerged upon the road, Dick felt in a position to 
resume the commard. 

Applying the whip unsparingly, he induced the wretched 
animal to make something like tolerable progress along 
the n?&d. 

It was still necessary to keep a sharp look-out, although 
Dick was perfectly familiar with every object around — 
in fact, there were few parts round London that he wm 
better acquainted with than with this. 

In order to reach Somefield, it was necessary to travel 
by i he Oxford Road, without a considerable ciiwit ww 
made. 

Now Dick felt by no means inclined to adopt thi* 
oounte. 



UM 



•tiOK MBS ; OB, 



There was danger, to be sure, in venturing along such 
a well-frequented high-road ; but then, on the ether 
hand, the hour was one when few people ware likely to 
be travelling, and he hoped, by making an effort, to get 
so far by daybreak as to be able to make the rest of ^vs 
way through the narrow, winding lanes. 

This, then, was the course he adopted, and, as he had 
correctly anticipated, he journeyed on and on f<vr mlhs 
without so much as catching a glimpse of * r^unan 
being. 

When the Oxford Road was fairly reached, his rate «,/ 
progress became much accelerated, for the grootd was 
firm and smooth beneath the horse's feet. 

in this manner he continued without meeting with the 
slightest interruption until day began to dawn. 

Huge masses of white mist huug over all the meadows, 
and so obstructed the view that it was not possible to ««s 
for any great distance. 

By degrees the morning broke clearer and brighter. 

Dick plied the whip with renewed energy, for he had 
not got so far upon his journey by this time as he 
hoped. 

The sun rose, and found him descending into a hollow, 
very disagreeable piece of roadway, and one that was de- 
tested by every traveller. 

The road was formed down the declivious sides of two 
long, high hills, which formed indeed a most delightful 
valley. 

Owing to the deep shadows cast by the trees that grew 
luxuriantly near the foot of these hills, the bottom or 
lowest part of the road was almost plunged in gloom, and 
it was here that many an ambush had been laid for pass- 
ing travellers. 

Now the valley was almost filled with the white, fleecy 
mist of which we have spoken. 

But the sun, rising higher and higher, gradually dis- 
pelled it. 

It rolled away in huge, undulating masses, until at 
length the sun, appearing above the summit of the hill, 
poured down a full flood of golden light. 

The scene then was one of real beauty, and there were 
few indeed who could look upon it without sensations of 
admiration. 

Dick was not one of them, and as, after reaching the 
bottom of the descent, he commenced to urge his horse 
up the precipitous hill before him, he looked around him 
with feelings of real delight. 

By chance, when about three-parts up this hill, he 
glanced upwards, and then beheld a sight which filled 
him with the greatest astonishment — so much so that he 
unconsciously pulled the rein, and the horse, feeling the 
check, stopped at once. 

Of this circumstance he also remained in ignorance, for 
all his faculties were bound up in watching what he saw 
on the brow of the hill above. 

First he saw, with extraordinary distinctness, the figure 
of a man on horseback. 

It needed not a second glance to enable Dick to recog- 
nise this horseman; it was his old comrade, Sixteen- 
String Jack. 

Suddenly another horseman appeared in jight, and a 
greeting of the warmest description then took place 
between them. 

This other horseman was Claude Duval ; Dick recog- 
nised him perfectly. 

He sat where he was like a mau in a dream. 

Dick saw Claude raise his riding-whip and point in a 
certain direction. 

Sixteen-String Jack turned his head to look, and some 
laughing remark appeared to be exchanged. 

But what filled Dick with the greatest surprise w»<* 
tnat there seemed a kind of mistiness and unreality about 
the figures which be thus beheld. 

He thought it strange that, being on the brow of the 
bill as they were then, and with their horses' beads turned 
towards him, that they did not observe his presence. 

Dick resolved to make himself known, and shouted. 

His voice, clear and loud, rang out with great distinct- 
ness in the valley, and most certainly the sound must 
have reached the ears of any persons above. 

To Dick's amazement, however, not the slightest notice 
was taken by Claude and Jack. 

He shouted again and again, but with uo better effect 
imMM 



Wondering at so strange a circomstanea, and feeling a 
kind of awe in his breast, he gazed again in silence, in 
order to make sure that his senses were not deceiving 
him 

No, there could be no mistake — Olande and Jack were 
surely there. 

Having come to this ooneiu.v'on, be once moro raised 
his whip and started his horse. 

At a oluinsy balf-oauter, halt-gallop, thd tired beast 
struggled up the remainder oi the bH'l 

When within abont a hundred «*rds or more of the top, 
Dick shouted again, and at the pie^iee mometit whun the 
sound escaped his lips the two figures instantly vanished, 
so suddenly that it was impossible to say in what direction 
they had gone. 

They seemed to be annihilated in the twinkling of an 
eye. 

More puzzled still, Dick continued hu course up- 
ward. 

" They have gone down the hill on the oth*3 side," he 
said— "yes, that must be it. But how suddenly they 
went — they seemed to dissolve into the air ; and their 
horses' heads were turned in this direction. It's very 
strange !" 

The more Dick thought about tt the more uncomfort- 
able he felt. 

A kind of nameless fear came creeping slowly over 
him, until it obtained entire possession of his faculties. 

it was then that he reached the summit of the hill. 

A glorious sight indeed lay before him. 

For miles and miles a most beautiful landscape could be 
beheld — a landscape only dotted here and there with 
trees, and for the most part composed of meadows, which 
displayed every shade of green. 

But this prospect, although so magnificent, was un- 
heeded by the highwayman, upon whose countenance an 
expression of amazement — not to say horror— gradually 
settled. 

And no wonder, for neither down the broad high-road 
which he could see extending far below the bottom of the 
hill, nor in the meadows on either side of it, could he 
perceive the least trace of his comrades. 

He rubbed his eyes, and began to wonder whether ha 
was really in his right senses. 

But, so far as he could judge, everything around bora 
an accustomed and natural aspect. 

Where, then, had his comrades gone ? 

Most certainly not down the high-road. Upon that 
point there could not possibly be two opinions, tor such 
was its length that they had not had sufficient time tc 
reach the bottom even if they had urged their horses to 
the utmost gallop, which was an unlikely thing for them 
to do, in consequence of the precipitous character of the 
descent. 

Neither had they leaped over any of the hedges, for the 
smooth meadows offered no concealment whatever, and 
had they done so Dick must infallibly have perceived 
them. 

The longer he stood on the brow of the hill, and the 
more he comprehended all these circumstances, the more 
did his wonder increase. 

He was not more certain of his own existence than he 
was that he had seen Claude Duval and Sixteen-String 
Jack only a few fleeting moments ago occupying the 
very space of ground on which he now stood. 

Now the keenest and most piercing eye would 
altogether have failed in descrying them anywhere. 

There were uo hiding-places anywhere near. 

Tho smooth, velvet-like pasture-land was not broken 
anywhere by so much as a furrow. 

They were not concealed behind any hedgerow, foe 
these were all unusually low and bare of leaves, so that 
it was easy to see completely through them. 

As the mystery of his friends' disappearance increased, 
a cold, uncomfortable feeling spread itself all over Dick's 
frame, and he felt as though seine icy object hat? been 
placed in contact with his heart. 

There was only one conclusion that be could adopt that 
offered anything approaching to a solution of this 
mysterious affair, and that conclusion Dick was most re- 
luctant to adopt, though, in a manner of speaking, he was 
driven to it. 

The beings he had seen upon the summit of the hill 
were not oi this earth, they were not living ereatarMtf 



H8 KIOOVT •» ru «ua 



1488 



Iwh and blood like himself, bat ansubetantial phan- 
toms. 

Had they not been, how could they possibly have so 
completely disappeared iu such a brief space of time ? 

CHAPTER CMXVI. 

m W7T1CH DICK FCTDS HIS PERILS A2R> PEEILEHTIE? 
INCREASING. 

Dick Tobfqt pufted off his bat and wiptd away the cold, 
death-like drops of perspiration that had gathered there 
upon his brow. 

He looked around him, bat he saw nothing but what 
served to make him feel more conclusively than ever that 
be had met with a supernatural adventure. 

And what could so strange, so unparalleied an event 
portend ? 

Was it the precursor of danger to himself, or of peril 
to his comrades ? 

He doubted not there was some good reason why he 
had thus so suddenly and strangely been brought face to 
face with two of his companions. 

But what the reason was baffled him entirely. 

If he had chosen to interpret it as the harbinger of 
peril to himself he would have appeared to be correct, 
for now, as his eyes wandered along the broad level high- 
road, he caught sight of a body of police officers, who 
evidently were riding forward at the best speed they 
could make. 

Dick quitted his exposed situation at once, and with 
all his faculties aroused by this fresh danger he debated 
within himself which would be the best course for him 
now to adopt. 

In the space of a few minutes the officers would arrive 
at the top of the hill. What, then, should he do in the 
meantime ? 

Flight was out of the question ; he felt that so con- 
clusively that he abandoned the idea almost as soon as it 
was formed. 

With such a miserable horse as he now possessed, the 
police officers would have no trouble in overtaking him, 
nor would he have the least chance if he trusted to his 
own fleetness of foot. 

He could think of no other course that offered the 
slightest chance of safety save that of endeavouring to 
assume with what perfection he could the character he 
had undertaken to play. 

Accordingly, carefully placing his hat once more upon 
his head, he took his seat in front of the cart. 

Then he urged his horse onward, hoping that he might 
pass through the ranks of the officers without danger. 

This, however, was a hope scarcely to be indulged 
In. 

The disguise had already served him well on many oc- 
casions, but then that was during the night, and many 
things vhich pass muster in an artificial light would ba 
instantly detected by day. 

The question was, then, would the officers look so par- 
ticularly at him or take so much notice of him as he 
drove quietly past as to penetrate his disguise. 

He could only trnst not, and drive quietly on. 

This course he carried out, hanging his head down 
upon his breast and appearing as if hall asleep. 

Furtively, however, from time to time he glanced at 
the officers, who were now very close at hand indeed, but 
not so close as he had anticipated, for they had reduced 
their speed. 

They were permitting their exhausted horses to ascend 
the hill at a wulking pace. 

The officers were talking. Dick could hear their voices 
floating distinctly on the still, calm morning air. 

Another moment and he was able to tell the orecise 
words they made use of. 

" As 1 live," said one of them, " it's the same rascal ! 
I'll swear to him and his bru*" on four lege at any 
minute." 

" And 111 swear to the cart," said another. 

" Curse his impudence," added a third. u I firmly be- 
lieve he sent us out of our way on purpose. If I only feli 
•ore of it he should pay dearly for the act." 

" Rely upon it it was done on purpose," said another. 
M Tom King would very likely throw him a guinea and 
Md him be silent— *t ahf rate, let Oft take him in cus- 



H Agreed — seize him at one* — well have a prisoner of 
some sort. I am determined not to havt all my night's 
work for nothing !" 

It was the police officer in oosunend who spoke :hese 
last words 

Can anyone form a remote idea of the state of Dick 
Turpin's mind as he overheard this conversation ? 

There was no time left for him to act or even tc think ; 
the officers were now close upon him, and several of them, 
spurring their horses, dashed forward, and in a moment 
surrounded the cart. 

One and all drew their pistols, presenting them full at 
Dick's head, while another saved him the trouble of stop- 
ping the horse by seizing hold of she. bridle. 

The cart came to a standstill. 

Dick looked up in well-affected amazement. 

It was a bold thing for him to do, but he did it, for ho 
had a reason. 

The officers saw his face, but they failed to recognise 
him. 

" Surrender," they cried — " you are our prisoner !" 

"P — p — p — prisoner?" said Dick, stammeringly, and 
pretending to tremble with fright. 

" Yes ; and now surrender ! If you reefejt, yon are a 
dead man!" 

Resistance indeed was vain, and Dick did not attempt 
it ; but with a wonderful coolness and presence of mind 
he continued to act in accordance with his assumed 
character. 

"B- but, gentlemen," he said, touching his hat at 
every word—" gentlemen all, what have I done ? I 
haven't been stealing." 

" No, you have not been stealing," was the answer ; 
" but you recollect as, don't you — you remember when 
you saw as before ?" 

" Yes — yes ; Captain was down." 

" Yes ; and you gave us false information as to the 
road the highwayman took. That's felony, and you 
shall be punished for it ! Come down off your perch ; 
we'll have the darbies on you in a jiffey !" 

Dick hesitated, and pretended to do so from fright ; 
but it was in order to decide upon his next actions. 

Clearly he could not better his situation by remaining 
where he was; and therefore, slowly and reluctantly, 
and with many expressions of terror and shakes of the 
head, he clumsily got up, and as clumsily began to de- 
scend from his vehicle. 

But the officers were impatient, and seizing him 
rudely, pulled him down into the road. Then, with 
great expertness, one of them clapped the handcuffs over 
his wrists. 

So suddenly was this done, that even Dick was taken 
at unawares. 

He had not quite made up his mind whether he should 
submit to being handcuffed or not. 

Now it was too late ; his wrists were fast 

The officer evidently thought he had performed a very 
clever, dexterous feat, for he laughed exultingly as he 
said: 

" There, now, my fine fellow, what do you think of 
that ? How do you feel now ?" 

Dick pretended to cry. 

" Let me off," he said — " oh, do let me off, and I will 
do anything you like I I did tell you wrong, I know I 
did; but, then,. I was afraid I should have my brains 
blown out !" 

" Eh ? What ?" said the chief officer, at this moment 
" Why were you afraid of that ?" 

" Why — why, sir, if you please," said Dick, " if yoa 
will only let me off, I will tell yon the whole truth." 

"Well, well, tell it" 

"But will you let me off afterwards ?" ^ 

" Silence !" said the officer who stood next to him, 
accompanying the words with such a thump, that Dick 
felt as though all the breath was suddenly jerked out of 
his body — " silence I What do yop mean by speaking 
like that ? Mind your manners." 

Dick pretended to be still more humble and contrite. 

" I am very sorry, sir," he said — " very sorry, but I was 
mortally frightened !" 

" Who by ? Why don't you tell all, as you promised t" 

" Well, so I will, your worship. You must understand 

Iwhen that fellow came galloping along, be saw me in ah* 
cart and ha polled up all of a sadden tiha." 



1494 



BLACK. BBSS; OH, 



"Yes, yes." 

a Then he swore an awful oath, and he said that the 
grabs was behind, and swore again that if I so much as 
opened my mouth to say which way he had gone, be 
would certainly find it out, and blow my brain-, out, if U 
was a year to come. He looked at me, aud said he should 
know me again." 

" And so, on those grounds, yon gave us fpl*e informa- 
tion, eh ?" said the police oiflcer. 

"Yes, yes, I have." 

"Well, then, my fine fellow, you ha>.e boeu clever 
enough to admit your guilt ; and let me tell you all you 
have just said will be used against you in evidence. You 
heard me give the caution, of course ?" 

" Oh, yes, yes," said the officers, fn chorus, though ^H 
a word in the shape of caution had beer, spoken. 

" But won't «ou let me off ?" said Dick, more ruefully 
than ever. " I have told you the truth. Why don't you 
let me off?" 

"We'll let von off this far," said the officer, with a 
wink ; " Well carry you straight before Squire Bartlett, 
who lives near at nand, aud he will take charge of you. 
We would take you with us to London, only we have 
more important matters on hand." 

Dick turpin put in a wild, incoherent, terrified appeal. 

It produced no effect whatever upon the officers. 

They were, indeed, without exception, quite rejoiced to 
think tbat they had succeeded in making a prisoner of 
some sort or other. It consoled them, in a very great 
measure, for the disappointment they had experienced 
throughout the night. 



CHAPTER CMXVII. 

DICK TURPIN IS CARRIED BEFORE SQUIRE BARTLETT, AND 

COMMITTED. 

Even in such a perilous and trying position as this, Dick 
was able to find some slight amount of consolation, 
although it was so slight that probably anyone else wo*»ld 
have passed it over altogether. 

But he had heard the officers express their intention of 
not taking bim to London, but simply of conducting him 
before some country justice of the peace. 

He was very careful, however, not to allow any signs of 
the satisfaction this afforded him to appear in his coun- 
tenance, lest this should arouse the now dormant sus- 
picions of his captors. 

Indeed, 'ie was not a little amazed himself to discover 
that his disguise stood such close scrutiny. 

He had not dared to hope that the result would prove 
so favourable. On the contrary, he had made up his 
mind that his detection would follow as a matter of 
course. 

The chief reason, however, why he was not recognised 
consisted in the fact that the officers' minds were fully 
impressed with the idea that he was a carter and no- 
thing else. 

They had seen him on a preceding occasion going 
towards London, aud now they met him returning, and 
to all appearance quite unconcerned. 

That this could be Dick Turpin was an idea su mon- 
strous and extravagant that it nevor for one moment 
crossed their minds; indeed, it may be safely said it 
would b« the very last thing they would think of. 

And so, as it never occurred to them to suspect that 
the carter was not what he professed to be, Dick stood 
in slight danger of discovery now. 

The only thing that would betray him would be *Dy 
forgetfulness or oversight on his part. 

If for one moment he spoke in his own natural Toioe, 
detection would follow. 

In a matter of this kind, however, Dick was not likely 
o be careless; and, moreover, the character he was 
playing was th» one of all others which he could sustain 
with the best abffliy, for during bis early life he bad 
lived far in the country, and had had daily opportunities 
of noting the peculiarities of thj labouring man 

Accordingly, although the eyes of so many of hia 
enemies were directed upon him, Dick Turpin was uh- 
known* 

The residence of the squire they had mentioned was 
very close at hand — indeed, almost in eight of where 
(key stood, and towards it they now ioa<L* thai* way. 



The horse and cart were also valiantly taken prissnett 
and led along towards the justice's. 

Many were the jokes made and laughs raised at Dick's 
expense, but he showed no signs of merriment or resent- 
ment on his countenance. 

He kept up a perpetual appeal to be lei off, alleging 
various reasons for not being brought before the squire. 

To all of these the officers turned a deaf ear, though 
they served them as materials for sport. 

At length, breasting the hill, Dick looked around, and 
perceived a large, substantially-built white mansion, 
situated very pleasantly upon the declivity of the hill. 

This he doubted not was the residence of Squire Bart* 
lett, and he shortly after found that his conjecture was 
quite correct. 

Although the hour was such an early on^, min wreaths 
of smoke could be seen curling from some of the chim- 
neys, and the officers noted this with great satisfaction. 

As the distance was not great, and all the way down- 
hill, it was soon performed. 

They clamoured loudly at the lodge gates, and were 
admitted. 

While the little procession made its way up the wiud- 
uig avenue leading to the house, Dick's reflections were 
Dy no means of a pleasant character. 

He was as yet not very far from London, and it was 
quite possible that this country justice might by his 
inquiries find out that he was only disguised, or he 
might be clever enough to recognise him. 

At any rate, Dick felt that he had an ordeal of no tri- 
fling kind to pass through. 

But he endeavoured to nerve himself for it as best he 
could. 

The officers made their way round to the back of the 
house, and, after muoh knocking, were admitted into a 
kind of court-yard. 

Here they alighted from their steeds, and a few servants, 
who were up at that early hour, issued from various doors, 
all filled with curiosity to know the meaning of this 
strange arrival. 

"Is his worship here?" asked the officer in com- 
mand. 

" Yes," replied the servant he addressed. 

u Then tell him he's wanted immediately." 

"I can't." 

"Why not?" 

" He's in bed n 

" Weh, wake b ; m.* 

" It's more than my lead e worth, or yours e\ther." 

"Pooh, pooh — nonsense — nothing of the kind 1" said 
the officer. " We have a prisoner of great importance, 
and it is necessary that he should be examined without 
delay, so call his worship up at once I Say I am here— 
Davis, the police officer from London." 

At this moment one of the upper windows was thrown 
opon with great violence, and a nightcapped bead ap- 
peared. 

" On, law 1" exclaimed the servant — " there's his 
worship ! Now there'll be a row I" 

" Hallo — hallo 1" said the justice, in very gruff, choleric 
tones — " what's the meaning of this infernal row at this 
hour in the morning ? I'll have you all committed to 
prison 1 Be off — be off at once !" 

" Your worship," said the officer in command, taking 
off his hat, and speaking with great respect, " I am very 
sorry to disturb you, but 1 havw a prisoner here of very 
great importance indeed, and I want you to order him 
into safe custody." 

" Oan t, tl en f You must wait till twelve o'clock l H 

•'But it V impossible, jour worship!" said the ponce 
officer " We are in pursuit of Tom King and we charge 
this man here with beii.g his accomplice, tor he gave us 
false informat' >a during the night." 

" Tom King, lid yo-. say ?" said the justice. 

" Yes, the not niouc highwayman 1" 

" Catch him, then— atch him 1 I'll add fifty pounds to 
the reward mysi-H ! O — n the fellow's impudence — he 
robbed a sister ot mint, in a stage-coach some time ago 1 
Wait a minute, and 1 will be with you. Go into the 
justicing-room." 

Ths squire, now all aiire, withd 1 -** nimself from the 
window, and the servants, having neard his words, ne 
longer scrupled to show the officers Um way to Mm 
jusSoinp-'oom 



TOT KHiQHT 07 XH» UOAD. 



1*95 



This was a large empty apartment on the ground floor 
af the mansion, that had about as cheerless a look as any 
room well could. 

A rude table was placed on a raised platform at one 
»nd and above t>*t was a large arm-chair. 

Koine liUlo delay took place; but by the time the 
officers had settled themselves in this apartment, the 
magistrate, with his nightcap on, aud wrapped up n * 
dressing-gown of an alarming pattern, stalked m, acd 
took his seat in the arm-chair already mentioned. 

" Where is this fellow ?" he said. " Ok, there kis U I 
Why, I can see what he's capable of with half an eye. 
Wheie's my clerk ? Not here, of «3ourse. I'll discrtrge 
him. Mr. Officer !" 

" Yea, your worship." 

" I'll commit him — I'll commfS him at once. Ill write 
out the committal now, and you can have him locked up 
in the cage and kept safe." 

"But — but," 6aid Dick, playing hie part still with ad- 
miration — "but — but, your worship, I told him the truth, 
all about it, and ho said " 

" Silence, you ruffian !" bawled the justioe. " How dare 
you interrupt the proceedings in the court ? WLat's your 
villaDous" name .' Speak the truth, now!" 

" What's your name ?" said the officer who stood nearest 
to Dick, and who, while he spoke. >rave him a tremondous 
smack on hi9 back. " Why don't you speak when his wor- 
ship speaks to you?" 

Disk's fingers instinctively curled up, and he felt the 
greatest disposition in the world to knock the officer 
down. 

But with a great effort he controlled this impulse, and 
after much stammering and, stuttering, said : 

" John." 

"John — John," said tho magistrate — "of course his 
name's John, and Smith's his other name, or if it isn't 
it'll do as well as any. There you are. Lock him up ; 
d — u him, it's like his impudence to fetch a justice out of 
bed at this hour in the morning, when thore are no 
fires alight, and disturbing his rest. But wait till the 
rascal comes before me again — I'll let him know what's 
what!" 

And with this vague threat the magistrate put a paper 
into the officer's hand, upon which was scrawled some 
words that would have puzzled a lawyer to decipher, aud 
haviug done so, he made his retreat in a very hasty and 
undignified manner. 

Dick was perfectly amazed at the manner in which the 
proceedings were carried on, and wondered whether that 
was the way in which the squire generally meted out 
justice. 

He was not allowed much opportunity for speculating 
on this or any other topic, for the officers proceeded to 
hustle him off. 

" What are you going to do? Where are you going 
to take me ? Didn*t I promise to tell you the truth, aud 
haven't I done bo?" 

"Oh, 6top your row !" said the chief officer — " we have 
wasted too much time already. Come on — you will soon 
know what \ "-intend to do with you." 



CHAPTER CMXVlII. 

WCfc "VURPrN IS Hn.SDED OVER TO THE CUSTODY OF TUB 
PARISH CONSTABLE AND HIS ASSISTANT. 

With . v Vse words, the police officer very unceio...oinously 
bundled Dick out of the justicing-roorn, and, after tra- 
versing several other apartments and a corridor, reached 
at length the yard, where the horses were waiting. 

By the directions of their chief, the officers mounted-- 
all 6ave two, who placed themselves on each side of the 
prisoner. 

In this manner they commenced their march, Dick 
wondering to what sort of a place of confinemen' they 
would consign him. 

He was not kept very long in doubt, for, going down a 
narrow, winding lane that 6kirted a large and dense pre- 
serve, they came ail at once upon a s!oepy-!ooking little 
village that was entirely shut in from observation on one 
eide by the sloping hill, and on the other by the preserve 
jast mentioned. 

0« that clear, sunshiny morning, however, almost 



every place looked beautiful, and in particular this little 
village looked charming. 

Early as was the hour, the inhabitants were or the 
most port astir, and the unusual fact of the appro* 4 of a 
body of norsemen quickly became known, so that by the 
time the first house in the village was reached quite a 
large crowd had assembled to greet them. j 

All looked inquiringly upon the officers and their pri- 
soner, but did not venture to make any remark. * 

The chief officer, however, in a loud voice called out 
fof the parish constable, and as soon as the words were 
prufiouaoed a little fut man came bustling through the 
crowd, and rummaging with his hand in one of his coat 
pockets as he did so. 

The reason for this quickly became apparent, for, with- 
drawing his hand, he produced a little black staff about 
eight inches in length, with a gilt crown on the top of it, 
which was the badge of his authority ar.d office. 

"Here I am," he said — "here i am, at your ser- 
vice." 

"We have a prisoner here," said the chief officer, 
" who has been duly committed by the squire, and he 
must be looked after with particular care and attention. 
We give him into your charge." 

" All right," said the constable, with a pompous air 
—"all right! I will take care of him, never fear. But 
what a desperate-looking character he is I" 

" Yes— you had better be careful. Shall you take him 
single-handed ?" 

" No, no — not if I know it !" cried the constable, and, 
as he spoke, he faced round and continued: "Simon — 
Simon, you rascal, where have you got to this blessed 
morning? Siraou, 1 say! Curse you, you are always 
out of the way when you're wanted !" 

These words caused a rather singular-looking indi- 
vidual to thrust himself prominently forward. 

It was no other than the parish constable's factotum 
and general assistant— a tall, loose-jointed fellow, neither 
a man nor a boy, with a vacant, silly expression on nis 
face, and a tremendous shock of uncombed bair. 

But although his appearance did not give him credit 
for it, yet he was, nevertheless, possessed of a very un- 
usual amouut of strength, and therefore the parish con- 
stable was always anxious to have hiiu at hand when it 
was necessary to make any capture. 

Dick was now pushed "forward by the police officers, 
and given into the charge of the constable and Simon. 

Little did they think, as they performed this act, how 
great a prize they were allowing to slip out of their 
fingers. 

" Now," said the one in command, " Mr. Constable, 
bear in mind that we have delivered him to you 6a:a 
and sound, and you will be answerable for his re-a^- 
pearauce at the proper moment. Forward, my lads!" 
he added — " we are not yet too late to continue our 
pursuit." 

With these words, the officers departed, in order to 
continue their search for Tom King, leaving a much 
more valuable prize behind, and, as one might almost 
say, unguarded. 

Dick watched the departure of the police officers with 
anxious eyes. 

He could scarcely bring himself to believe in the 
occurrences of the "last hour. 

Indeed, from the time when he had seen his two com- 
rades so suddenly and mysteriously appear upon tin 
summit of the hill, he had appeared to be iu a dream. 

"Now then, you low-lived, ill-brought-up-lookinp 
wretch,*' said the constable, addressing his prisoner 
"what are you staring for like that? Come along 
cau't you ? Oh, you won't ? Then take that !" 

i*i *, it must not be understood, from any portion of 
this speech, that Dick iu any way refused to comply with 
tho sonstable's injunctions; but that functionary wished 
to make some display of his power; so, when he bade 
Di*k take that, he struck him a sharp Wow with the 
crown of his staff. 

Dick fel» the greatest inclination to knock the fellow 
down, but it was not his policy to maintain too aggressive 
an attitude against this man, for already the highwaymat 
had decided upon the course of action he should adopt. 

But he could not resist suddenly snatching the little 
staff out of the constable's hand and throwing it to some 
distance, although the feat was rendered difficult bon 



*u»C* BUI ; OX, 



.<•*» feet that the h««;dcuffs w«r, still about his 

vrt«ta. 

The Cuusrable stood white and shaking with rage at 
Mi« commission of so dreadful an act. 

To his mind, it wab little short of sacrilege. 

The staff, after describing many eccentrio curve* in 
ihe air, Fell at last in the middle of a huge, slime- 
covered pond, and was Immediately lost to riew. 

° Murder !" gasped the constable. " Seize him, Simon ! 
Hold him — hold him tight ! The world is coming to an 
end ! He has insulted the King through me, his 
Majesty's unworthy representative!" 

•' Yes, decidedly unworthy," said Dick, at which 
words there was a general laugh among the villagers 
assembled. 

"Bring him along, Simon '" roared the constable, as 
soon as he could make himself heard — " bring him along — 
1 will not dally another moment !" 

"Now, look here, Simon," 6aid Dick — "just say which 
way you want me to go, and I will obey ; but don't you 
try to haul me along, or you will find you have an ugly 
customer to deal with." 

Simon fully appreciated the force of these remarks, so 
he made a sign for Dick to follow. 

The trio then marched along up the village street, the 
people following and pressing round, and the constable 
giving vent to such vague threats as — 

" I'll make it hot for you, my flue fellow — I'll let you 
know the consequences of insulting me! The institu- 
tions of this country are not to be overturned by a 
scoundrel like you! But you shall suffer for it ; you 
shall know what it is to be a day and a night in my 
charge !" 

To these speeches Dick paid not the least atten- 
tion. 

He heard them, it is true, but his mind was busy with 
other matters. 

Chiefly he was curious to know where his captors were 
going to lead him, and he looked piercingly in advance, 
hoping to catch an early sight of his destination. 

From the constable and the other people of the village 
Dick felt he had little to fear in the way of recognition, 
although be made up his mind not to relax his caution to 
too great, an extent. 

To his surprise, the long, straggling street of the 
village was quite passed through ; and as he looked along 
the road before him, he could perceive only one building, 
and that looked more like a huge summer-bouee than 
aught else. 

About a hundred yards or so beyond this was a toll-bar. 

Zi quickly became apparent that this summer-house- 
looking building was the destination of the constable; 
and on drawing closer to it, Dick perceived it was the 
village cage, or round-house, where offenders against the 
laws were temporarily confined. 

Dick's lips curled in derision when he found he was 
about to be committed to such a place. 

Although handcuffed, he felt there would be little diffi- 
culty in forcing his way out of it. 

By the instructions of the constable, Simon drew forth 
■i huge bunch of keys, and, selecting one key larger than 
i lie rest, he opened the door of the round-house. 

" The blunderbuss,'' he said — " bring out the btunder- 
hnss!" 

At these words there was a general retrogressive move- 
ment on the part of the crowd. 

Simon entered tho little building, and quickly appeared 
ivith the weapon in question. 

It was ft huge, clumsy looking affair, and seemed as 
'hough it had bten ru.uv factured ages ago by some in- 
nate of the village. 

The barrel was, as usual, of brass, but the bore was 
suggestive of that of a cannon, while the bell-shaped 
mouth was as large as an ordinary Imsin. 

Dick looked with ai.-irm at this instrument of destruc- 
tion — not th-it he feared much fr^n being fired at with it, 
but from his idea of the awful consequences that mast 
ensue to the person who was foolhardy enough to pull 
cho trigger. 

"Is it loaded, Simon ?" said the constable, 

" Tea, sir, it is loaded. I loaded it yesterday." 

" Well, then. ]ust put these in additional, will 
von ?" 

And as bi fcpoke, the constable pulled out of his pocket 



a handful of nails, which he poured at onoe into tha 
capacious mouth of the blunderbuss. 

They were then rammed tightly down, and the cos- 
stable, continuing his instructions, said : 

" Push him inside, Simon, and shut the door. Then sit 
down here on the edge of the stocks, and keep watch. If 
he attempts to escape — mark you, if he only attempts— < 
don't wait for orders to blaze away !" 



CHAPTER CMXIX. 

DICK TDTtFtN IS 8ECURELT LODGED m THE VILLAGE CASK, 
.AST> SIMON KEEPS GOOD GUARD WITH WIE BLUNDEX- 
BUSS. 

Simon handled the blunderbuss very carefully, and be- 
fore venturing to carry into execution that portion of the 
constable's command which related to pushing the pri- 
soner into tho round-house and locking the door, he 
lodged the clumsy, awe-inspiring firearm against one of 
the upright posts of the stocks which were placed facing 
the road and a little on one side of the cage. 

" Understand," said Dick again, when Simo» came to- 
wards him, " I will not suffer myself to be handled by 
anyone ! If you want me to go inside, just say so." 

Simon stood aside, and waved his hand. 

" In with him," shouted the constable — "in with him f 
Why don't you bundle him in, you lazy varlet ? Do you 
think I want to stand here all the morning?" 

" I am going, Mr. Constable," said Dick — " I am going. 
But surely you are not in earnest in telling Simon to fire 
off that blunderbuss ?" 

" In earnest?" repeated the constable. "Of course I'm 
in earnest ! What else should I be, let me ask you ?" 

" Well, then, if Simon b*s any respect for hia Hfe he 
won't do it. I'd lay a wager that the moment the trigger 
is pulled it will burst, and be blown into a thousand 
pieces." 

"Pooh, pooh — that s no business of yours! In with 
him, Simon — ifc with him, I say !" 

Dick walked quietly to the door of the round-house, tor 
he did not want to draw down upon himself any more of 
the public attention than he could possibly avoid. 

It was plain, however, to see that his words had pro- 
duced some impression upon Simon, for that individual 
eyed the blunderbuss apparently with anything but 
comfortable feelings. 

No sooner had Dick crossed the threshold than the 
door was slammed shut and the key turned in the 
lock. 

At first he could scarcely make out what kind of 
place he was in, owing to the semi-darkness. 

But his nose was assailed by a most powerful an.i 
disagreeable odour, showing that the constable and his 
assistant were by no means careful to keep the cage as 
clean as it might be. 

Indeed Dick's whole attention when he first entered 
this place was occupied in listening to what was said 
outside. 

" Don't you mind what that fellow says about the 
blunderbuss," cried the constable ; " it's all right. He 
only said that to frighten you. He's a desperate character. 
There's only half an ounce of powder in it, and a quarter 
ot a pound of duck 6hot. And, mark you, if he tries tu 
get out f you pull the trigger, and never mind the conse- 
quences ; but if he does escape, I'll have you taken up 
before his worship, and you shall be transported." 

This threat appeared to produce a eonsadorable effect 
upon Simon. 

There were some chinks in tne woodwork of which 
the cage was composed, and Dick had found one of 
them, to which he applied his eye. 

He could obtain a partial view ol wIvm was eoing on 
outside. 

He saw Simon wilk slowly towards the stocks, with 
something of the ah of s man wbo is walking to hi* 
execution. 

Then he beheld him pick up trvt- ohuiderbues. soat 
himself on a portion of the woodoa frame, aad tbow 
remain on guard. 

"Don't you move," said the constable — "don't y©» 
move, on any account, until I come hack te you xxA 
give you leave." 



Vat bright or the boas. 




[DICK TUnriN LOO IS SIMON AND THE BEADLE tN THE CAGE.] 



Simon did Dot make any verbal reply, but sat still, 
Itoo'sing very stupid and foolish. 

"Do you hear what I say ?" roared tho constable, for 
his temper had been greatly tried tha* morning. 

" Yes, I can hear right enough." 

■ Well, then, why don't you say so ?" 

Simon was again silent. 

"Understand distinctly," continued tLo constable, ur- 
posely raising his voice that it might reach the ears of the 
prisoner within the cage, "if he so much us show the 
tip of his nose in the attempt to escape, shoot him d own 
like you would a crow." 

"But — but " said Simon, hesitatingly. 

"But what?" 

"Suppose I killed him ?" 

" Well, then he will bo a good riddance — that's aH I u 
ar." 

" But sha'n't I be had up for it?" 

Ho. 188.— Black Bxsb, 



lay. 



" No — certainly not. Tou have my authority. Be'* 
been duly warned ©f the consequences, and if he attempt*! 
to escape, why, the consequences will be on his own 
head. I'm off now," the aonstable added; "and mind 
that you keep a good guard during my absence." 

With these words, the constable turned round and 
marched away. 

Several of the villagers accompanied him, of course 
anxious to draw him into conversation respecting tho 
events of the morning. 

Others less atfxious in this respect, but more so in 
another, lingered around the cage, looking at Simon with 
admiring eyes, but keeping a safe distance from tha 
blunderbuss, the effects of an explosion of which they 
justly dreaded. 

At last, however, these villagers, one by one, dis- 
persed ; there did not seem to be one thorough idfesi 
fcmong the group— all had their work to do. 



ISO. 1S3. 



Price One Halfpenny 
No, IS9 will be Published next Monday, 



i4*% 



BLACK BESS: OH. 



And so in a short time they took their departure, and 
Simon was left alone. 

lie watched the last until he had disappeared from 
sight; then, with an audible sigh, h placed the blunder- 
butts carefully against the upright post of the stocks, and 
assumed a very hopeless, dejected attitude. 

It was clear that ho was by no means pleased with his 
duty ; but ho had no means of escape from it. 

Dick continued to watch him through the crevice for 
several moments, and then, turning round, ho gazed 
about him, anxious to make himself acquainted with his 
prison^ 

The interior of the round-house was now much more 
clearly discernible than when ho first entered it, for his 
eyes had accustomed themselves to the very small amount 
of light which crept in. 

Nothing more cheerless, desolate, and disgusting could 
be imagined. 

The village pound was not in a worse condition, and 
that was saying a good deal. 

There was no seat in the place, and nothing that would 
servo as one. 

The walls, though not very stout nv* strong, were, 
nevertheless, smooth. 

The top was formed merely of thatch, so that, but for 
the presence of Simon and the blunderbuss outside, it 
would have been no difficult matter to escape. 

This last word was continually before his mind, and, 
having made himself as familiar as he wished to be with 
the inside of the round-house, he turned his back to the 
wall. Selecting the cleanest place he could find, and leaning 
against it, ho supported himself by driving his heels 
into the thiok clayey mud which formed the floor- 
ing. 

Hero he gave himself up to thought, wondering which 
would b the best means of achieving his freedom. 

After all, he thought Biiuon was not a man to be 
particularly dreaded. 

"'here would be a risk in attempting to break forth, but 
.. ct Dick Turpin thought it might be run successfully. 
Ten to one if the fellow would have the courage or 
presence of mind to discharge the blunderbuss at the right 
icoment, or, if ho did, it would be without an aim. 

But another consideration suggested itself, which made 
Dick quite unwilling to run this risk. 

The blunderbuss would certainly bo fired, and if he 
should be so fortunate as to escape any injury from the 
various missiles it contained, the explosion, nevertheless, 
would resound far and wide through the still, quiet air, 
and spread an immediate alarm. 

Before he should be able to get to any great distance 
there was a strong probability of his being overtaken and 
recaptured. 

"No," said Dick, after debating the subject at great 
length — "no, I will not run tho risk just at present. I 
will wait. Perhaps fortune will favour me — who 
knows ?" 

Dick's resolution was to stay till nightfall, which 
certainly would afford him a better chance of making his 
escape, though there was the fear that he might not be 
allowed to remain so long in his present quarters. 

That was a chance, and a chance he resolved it should 
remain. 

And now, in the silence and solitude of this place, he 
began for tho first time to give himself up to a little calm 
reflection. 

Instantaneously his thoughts travelled back to the time 
when that singular incident had befallen him at the 
summit of the hill. 

The more he pondered upon this, the more at a loss he 
felt to comprehend it. 

The most reasonable conclusion he could come to wps 
what he had seen was a delusion of the senses merely; 
but, then, the forms of his two comrades looked so 
palpable and plain that he could scarcely reconcile him- 
self to this belief. 

And so, with his mind in a *,„ate of great uneasiness 
and alarm, Dick slowly passed the day. 

About noon the constable made his appearance, bring- 
ing with him some dinuer for Simon. 

Then Dick learned that Squire Bartleti was unablo to 
atiend to his magisterial functions that day, in conse- 
quence of a hunting appointment he had with several 
6'jitleinen in the neighbourhood 



Dick heard this intelligence with tho greatest satieiaa- 
tion. 

" Are you sure he's all right ?" asked the oonstable. 
" Well, I think ho is," said Simon. " But since the door 
was closed, I have not heard him move." 

" That's only his artfulness," said the constable. " I've 
had some experience with mca of his stamp, and know 
how to deal with them. He wants taming a little, and I 
calculate hunger will do it." 

A't-or a few more words, the constable took his 
departure, and Simon was once more left alone. 

Dick had now decided upon the pursuit of a definite 
course of action, which he hoped would result in his 
perfect, freedom. 

Whether it wouhJ do so or not depended upon various 
contingencies ; but ho hail great hopes. 

His first task was to rid himself of the handcuffs, which 
galled and chafed him exceedingly. 

He had made many and continual efforts to accomplish 
this, but to no purpose. 

Now, however, with stern, angry determination, ho set 
about it, resolved to endure any amount of pain in order 
to get his hands at liberty. 

Squeezing his left hand, which was rather less than 
his right, into tho smallest possible dimensions, ho began 
to tug with might and main in order to get it through the 
strong steel hoop. 

In the effort, tho skin was torn from the back of his 
haud in long strips. 

The pain was intense ; but, cleuching his teeth together, 
he persevered, for he felt each time his hand was drawn 
further and further through tho riyg. 

At last he was free, so far as ridding his left hand of 
the handcuff was concerned. 

He had not time to liberate his right, for he knew that 
ff»- a time the manacle hooped about it would offer him 
w»ut slight inconvenience. 

Now that he had done so much towards the accomplish- 
ment of nis design, he became exceedingly impatient for 
night to close in. 

It was some comfort for him to think that it was that 
-aeon of tho year when darkness sets in early. 

By slow degives, the interior of his prison could 6e less 
and less distinctly perceived ; but when darkness fairly 
s tiled around, Dick made no immediate attempt at libera- 
tion. 

lie was waiting for the chance to present itself of leav- 
the round-house quietly and speedily. 

It required a great effort of self-control to remain thus 
idle when ho might be taking steps to quit the cage. 

But his long and weary waiting was rewarded at 
last. 

Tho sound of a voice from the distance, and then the 
heavy tread of some one approaching, roused all his 
faculties. 

Again applying his eyes to the crevice in the wood- 
work, he looked forth, and saw, at some distance, a 
small, flickering light. 

It grew brighter and clearer, for it was coming closer. 

Then he perceived tho bulky figure of the constable 
approaching. 

He was carrying a lantern in his hand, and it was from 
this the light proceeded. 

Simon gavo utterance to a responsive shout. 

Ho was glad enough to ceo his master approaching, for 
the solitude in which ho had so long remained had 
become almost insupportable. 

" All's well, Simon, eh ?" said the constable, when he 
got a little nearer. 

" Yes, all's well," was the answer, very sulkily given — 
" at least, 1 suppose all's well." 

" Why suppose ?" 

" Because I've not heard a single sound since I saw you 
iast, and 1 can hardly bring myself to believe that he is 
in the cage at all. " 

" Why— why— what you don't mean to say that— 
that " 

"That what?" 

" That he's escaped ?" 

"No, no— I don't believe he has," said Simon. "1 
have never took my eyes off tho building for a blessed 
minute." 

The account given by his factotum r>y no means plcasod 
or reassured the constable 



THS KNluIIT OF t _E ROAD 



1439 



Ho was very anxioi to make certain that his prisoner 
wag safe. 

He hail "eceived a message from the squire, bidding 
him bring the prisoner befere him and two other magisr 
trates at noon on the morrow, and he had heard quite 
enough to bo aware that the uiairistiato had a personal 
feeling in the matter 

In thpso parts the squire was absolute, and fc.iowiag 
his pow-;r made the constable exceedingly auxious that 
nil should go well with tho prisoner, of whom, It need 
sjnreely bo stated, ho stood in great dread. 

Soaie time elapsed, during which he remained in duep 
reflection. 

Dick's breath came short and fast. 

lie wondered whether the chance ho had hopeo. /or 
and calculated upon was really about to present it- 
self. 

"Ain't yon going to let mo go home?" said Simoa, at 
last, breaking in upon his superior's meditation. " I am 
cold through to tho bone, and if I stop hero much longer 
I shall go to sleep !" 

"You had better not!" said the constable. "But I'll 

tell you what you shall do. You shall take my lantern, 

nd I will take tho blunderbuss, and yon shall opon the 

door of the cage, and peep in to see whether the prisoner 

is all right." 

But Simon did not relish this proposal. 

"And where shall you be?" he ventured to ask. 

"Why, keeping guard outside here, you idiot!" was tho 
reply. " If he attempts to escape, why, pop ! and down 
he goes !" 

"I don't like to go in by myself in tho dark," said 
Simon. " I am frightened." 

" It won't be in the dark." 

" Yes it will !" 

" How can it be, if you take the lantern with you ?" 

" Well, that makes no difference. And I'll tell you what 
it is," said Simon, with sudden boldness, "I ain't going 
in by myself, and that's a fact!" 

The oonstable seemed about to break forth into somo 
ebullition of rage; but, if so, be controlled the im- 
pulse. 

"Don't be a fool, Simon," he said — "don't be a fool! 
Ycu have nothing whatever to fear. Take the lantern, 
and walk in boldly." 

"Not first," said Simon, more doggedly than before — 
" not first. Arter you, if you please." 



CHAPTER CMXX. 

OT WHICH DICK TURPIN, THE PARISH CONS»ABLE, AND 
SIMON CHANGE PLACES. 

The constable hesitated a moment or two, and it was 
about an even chance whether the door of tho cage 
would be opened at all that night or not. 

The desire to ascertain whether his prisoner was safe, 
however, overcame every other consideration in his 
Dreast, especially when he remembered how serious the 
consequences would bo to him should an escape take 
place. 

Sinking his voico, he continued : 

"I really think he is a dangerous fellow, Simon; but 
♦wo of us needn't bo afraid of him. Look here, we'll 
both go together, and take one peep to .ascertain that he 
is all safe, and then we'll lock the door again." 

"That'8tnore reasonable," said Simon — "a good deal 
more reasonable, and I don't mind it." 

Tho matter being thus arranged, tho constabla took 
up the blunderbuss, and Simon took the lantern. 

Tho pair of them, advancing a few step3, stopped before 
the door. 

The key was thruac into the lock:, and turned. 

At this moment a faint, smothered cry, sounding like 
a groan, came to their ears. 

It made both of them start with affright. 

The coustable trembled from head to foot, and even 
his very lips turned whito as ho ejaculated : 

"Why, what was that, Simon — what was that?" 

" Blest if I know] Have you got the blunderbuss ?" 

" Yes — yes." 

• On full cook ?" 

u Yes — yes." 

" Meroy I" said a faint voice. *' Have pity upon nic ! 



If you have any focliugs of compassiou, d©a'\ allow me to 
p tish here in this manner!" 

" Why — why, Simon ■ - " 

" iTos, master?" 

"It sounds as if he was uncommonly bad— » Icii't 
it?" 

" Oh, very !" 

"Just push the door opon a little furthu*, and poke 
tho lantern in. Don't be frightened. I'll stand behind 
you with the blunderbuss. I'll keep him back, I'll war- 
rant !" 

Simon was rather curious to kuow what was tho matter 
with tho prisoner, and his curiosity enabled him to some 
extent to overgct his fears. 

Thrusting in tho lantern as he had boon directed, ho 
bent forward and glanced around tho interior of the 
cage. 

" Well — well," said the constable, anxiously, vainly en- 
deavouring, by standing on tip-too, to peep over his 
factotum's shoulder, "can you see him?" 

" Yes, master. I can »ej him plain enough." 

" Whero is ho?" 

"He do seem uncommonly bad, to ba suro." 

"But whero is he, I say?" 

" Lying on his blessed back, master — flat on his back, 
and ho looks to mo a3 if ho was about to kick the 
bucket." 

" But ho mustn't," said tho constable — " but he 
mustu't !" 

" Have pity," said Dick, again, in a weak voice — "do 
have pity upon me ! Help mo, or I shall surely die !" 

"But you mustn't !" roarod tho constable. 

Dick responded with a groan. 

" I wonder what's tho matter with him, master ?" asked 
Simon. 

"I don't know. What's to bo done ?" 

Simon scratched his head, but did not reply. 

" He's handcuffed — yes, he's handcuffed, and there 
are two of us, and wo'vo got the blunderbuss," pursued 
tho constable, with more determination in his voioo and 
manner. " We oughtn't to bo afraid, eh, Simon ?" 

" No — no " 

" Wo ought to bo a match for him. Tho ouly thing 1 
wish is, that it was a littlo lighter — I don't liko the 
dark." 

At this moment, Dick renewed his appeal for assistance, 
and, judging by tho tone of his voico and tho manner m 
which he was lying on tho ground, it would appear that 
he was very bad indeed. 

Tho motionless manner in which ho continued to 
remain served to inspire tho constablo and Simon with 
courage. 

They began to think there would surely not be so 
much danger after all in venturing into tho rouud-houso 
in order to see what really was tho matter with the 
prisoner. 

Accordingly, after much hesitation, aud taking their 
steps in such a manner that they seemed half inclined to 
turn round and run away again, they approached the spot 
where Dick was lying 

" What's tho matter ?" said tho constablo, more boldly, 
and grasping tho blunderbuss while he spoke — " what's 
the matter? What do you want?" 

"Oh dear — oh dear!" 

" Don't speak and look like that. Why don't you say 
what'*, the matter ?" 

Dick groaned. 

"Oh!" he said — -'oh, if I could only got up just a 
very little ! I fancy I should be better thea!" 

" And why don't you get up ?" 

" I — I can't ; but I will try." 

Apparently with great pain and difficulty, Dick slowl) 
raised himself from the ground. 

Simon, holding the lantern in his hand, looked on with 
the deepest interest, and tho constable — who, prudently o» 
otherwise, had got behind Simon — peeped furtively first 
from one side, then from tho other. 

All at once, however, with tho sudcJonne39 of a light 
uing's flash, Dick started up. 

No movement could possibly have been made mon 
rtpid ; but the fact was, ho had been careful to get in sucl 
a position first that he could spring to his feet withou 
difficulty. 

In doing so, ho gave Simon a tremendous push, which 



1500 



BLACK. BESS ; OH, 



he could scarcely have withstood even had he been on 
his guard and prepared for it. 

But, taking him unawares ad it did, he went back as 
though shot. • ' 

The constable was behind him, and was, if possible/still 
more taken by surprise — in fact,, beforo he knew what 
had happened, or how it had come to pas?, ho found 
himself lying on his back on the muddy floor of tho cage, 
with Simon struggling on the top of him. 

Neither did he know how or by what means the 
trigger of the bluuderbuss was pulled; certainly the 
weapon exploded with tremendous violence, lighting up 
for a moment tho whole interior of the cage with a 
vivid glare, and then, with a crashing sound, the various 
missiles with which it had been loaded went hurtling 
through the thatch-covered roof. 
After that there was silence and darkness. 
With tho same quick movement, Dick, finding his ruse 
so successful, had darted to the door, wkich'he constablo 
had loft ajar, 
•The koy was stli jng in the lock. 

Quick 3fl thought, he closed the do' r and turned the 
key. 

The tables were then turned ; he was no longer the 
•prisoner, but the jailer. 

The noise made by the repo' t of the blunderbuss 
could not fail, he felt sure, to ".each the ears of the in- 
mates of the village, and set tl»em all on tho alert. 

It was necessary, then, fcr him to make his escape with 
all speed. 

Yet, though aware of this, Dick could not resist the 
temptation of waiting to ascertain what had been the 
effects of tho exj,\osion of the blunderbuss. 

Accordingly ue tapped sharply with his knuckles upon 
the door of „he round-house as he cried : 

" Mr. Constable — Mr. Constable ! Simon — Simon !" 
Iiiwsiul groans alone responded to him. 
' Speak — speak !" said Dick. " Has the old thing 
burst ? If so, don't blame me — I gave you a caution." 

There was no reply, and just then Dick, glancing to- 
wards tho village, saw lights moving about in all direc- 
tions, while simultaneously the shouting of voices Mid 
trampling of footsteps came upon his ears. 

" It would be madness to stay longer," he muttered — 
" perfect madness ; so I must leave the matter in doubt. 
Where shall I find the horse and cart, I wonder ? I sup- 
pose I must not trouble my head about them. Well, 
well, it doesn't matter." 

As he spoke, he made his way with great rapidity from 
the cage, striking right across the country in the direc- 
tion of his destination. 

Before going far, however, he paused, for he found 
himself on tho verge of a large sheet of water. 
He had made up his mind what to do. 
As quickly as possible he tore off his disguise, which, 
it will be remembered, he had put on over his ordinary 
apparel. 

He rolled it up into the smallest compass he possibly 
could, making it into a bundle, in tho centre of which he 
placed a large, heavy stone. 

Then, with all his might, he flung the parcel away 
from him, and it fell with a loud splash into the water, 
and was immediately lost to sight. 

Dick shook himself, and then gave a long-drawn sigh 
of relief. 

"Ah!" ho s».d, "I must not despise my disguise, but 
yet I feel now far more comfortable and like myself. 
They will be puzzled to track me now, that's certain, and 
the sooner I get to Somefield the better." 

As he spoke, he again S6t himself in motio.., wsJ as he 
walked rapidly along there was one subject upon which 
he did not fail to congratulate himself most heartily. 

This was, that he had decided when he did to part 
with the gold he had received from old Matthew, other- 
wise, when taken prisoner by the j)oliee, this money 
would have been found about him, ana consequently have 
awakened all their suspicions. 

Indeed, when he looked back upon wnat he had gone 
through, he could not avoid a slight shivering feeling, 
which increased when his thoughts reverted to the 
strange manner in which he had witnessed Claude Duval 
and Si l' teen-String Jack vanish from the summit of the 
hill 



CHAPTER CMXXI. 

DICK MEETS WITH ANOTHER ADVENTf KS -»H HIS WAT TO 
SOMEFIELD 

No amount of reflection, however, could -n^ke his ideas 
any clearer on this point. 

The whole affair was a complete mysl»-r, unless he 
eUose to ascribe it to supernatural agency, a ud this Dick 
'.vaa loath indeed to do. 

Vainly, however, as he strode hastily along, did he 
endeavour to come to some reasonable conjecture until, 
at length, he was obliged to give up in utter despair. 

By this time he had once more reached the high- 
road. 

Before he ventured to set nis foot upon it hs paused, 
and reconnoitred carefully around him. 

On ail sides was an intense and perfect silence, and 
at length, reassured by thi3, ho ventured to spring iver 
the low hedgerow that alone divided him from the high- 
way. 

The night was cold, with the moon shining at times 
with great biilliaucy in the sky, but a brisk wind from 
the south-west drove innumerable clouds across tho face 
of the firmament, so that at intervals all was darkness 
and obscurity. 

But when the moon broke forth, her light seemed all 
the more vivid aud silvery by tho contrast. 

All at once Dick became aware, in spite of the pro- 
found silence, he was not alone on the high-road. 

On one occasion, when the moon peeped forth, he 
saw beforo him, but only for an instant, a faint, flitting 
figure. 

He fancied it was a female ; but the glimpse he had 
was too momentary for him to feel certain on this 
point. 

He walked on at a slightly relucod rate, for he 
wished to have no spy upon any of his movements. 

A more profound darkness than usual now overspread 
tho scene. 

When at length the moon once more broke forth, Dick 
saw, at no great distance before him, a rude, clumsily- 
constructed wooden bridge. 

Beneath this, water was running with considerable 
velocity, for he could hear it where he then stood. 

The moonlight, too, enabled him to trace its course in 
a long, irregular line. 

His attention was diverted from a contemplation of 
this by again catching sight of tho fleetiag figure. 

It was now near the centre of the bridge, where it 
paused and looked upward. 

Then Dick saw clearly, and beyond doubt, that it was 
a female, by her form aud general appearance certainly 
young, and most likely beautiful. 

Dick wondored what could have brought her at so late 
an hour to so desolate a spot, aud while half hesitating 
whether to stay and watch her further movements, or 
to advance, he uttered a cry of horror. 

To his great surprise the young girl, after remaining 
motionless a moment, sprang suddenly on to the low 
parapet of the bridge, aud from thence dashed herself 
headforemost into the river below. 

A faint, smothered kind of shriek and then a splash 
were the next sounds that reached Dick's ears. 

Not for one moment did ho hesita-te as to the course he 
should adopt. 

At full speed he ran along until ho reached tho banks 
of the river, close to tLo rude archway of the bridge. 

Then, placing his hands before his eyes, he looked 
keenly and scrutiuisiogly over tho surface of the 
water. 

To his vexation, another- cloud at this moment swept 
over the moon's disc, yet not before he faucied he saw 
something white floating in the water close to where he 
stood. 

To plunge into the rushing, foaming tide was his next 
act. 

Dick was an excellent swimmer, and struck out boldly 
for the object he wished to reach. 

The force of the current was so great that it carried 
him a long way down the stream in the course of a few 
seconds. 

But he was inspired to make every exertion to acceto 
rate his progress, for, despite the obscurity, he perceived 
the form of the young girl before him. 



THE KNIGHT OJ? TUB ROAD. 



1501 



At last, with a glad cry, he seized hold of a portion of 
nor apparel, and, having dono so, turned his face without 
delay towards the land. 

The shore was quickly and easily reached ; and, kneel- 
ing down, he supported the head of the young girl, and 
tried to re-awaken her to consciousness. 

To all appearances, however, life was gone. 

Her face was ashy pale, and as cold as death itself. 

Dick had no means at hand for restoring her, and bo, 
anxiously, he rose to his feet and looked around, trusting 
to find some place of shelter to which he could take 
her. 

In doing so, his keen eye detected a faiut, twinkling 
light. 

But it was on the other side of the river, and to reach 
it it would bo necessary to cross over the bridge. 

But Dick did not hesitate to pick the young gu\ up in 
his arms. 

She was a burden light to carry, for she was thin even 
to emaciation. 

Ami now, as the moon broke forth again more clearly, 
and Dick looked down into the young girl's countenance, 
he saw, despite the reposeful expression upon it, that 
there were many traces of grief and sorrow visible. 

Forgetting all his own danger in the concern he felt 
for this young girl, Dick hurried on. 

The bridge was quickly crossed and the light neared. 

It was not long before he discovered that it proceeded 
from a roadside inn, the inmates of which had caused a 
bright light to be placed in one of the windows. 

The door was closed when Dick reached the building, 
but by one sudden blow with his foot he dashed it open 
and hurried at full speed along a passage and into a large 
kitchen, in which a bright lire was briskly burning, and 
where many people were assembled. 

His sudden and strange appearance caused a universal 
start of dismay. 

" Help her I" said Dick. " I believe life is not yet ex- 
tinct. I have saved her from the river." 

A portly, good-tempered female — doubtless the land- 
lady — came hurrying into the kitchen, and uo sooner did 
ehe catch sight of the young girl than she uttered a loud 
cry. 

" Mercy on us, and save us !" she cried. " Why, as I 
live, it's Miss Danville !" 

The words produced an immediate consternation upon 
all around, and it was evident by their manner that the 
name was familiar enough to every one of them. 

In particular, one, a young man poorly clad, yet having 
a noble, ingenuous countenance, sprang forward from the 
rest and, with a cry of anguish, threw himself down be- 
side the senseless gi*l. 

" Lizzy — Lizzy," he cried — " dear Lizzy, awake — 
awake ! I have returnod !" 

But his words and the no doubt well-known tones of 
his voice failed to produce the least effect, and he uttered 
another angui bed cry. 

The landlady, however, by this time had recovered her 
presence of mind, and, calling her domestics around her, 
the young girl was carried from the room, and means 
taken to restore her if possible to consciousness. 

No sooner had Dick placed the young girl down in 
safety than the reaction came upon him. 

His strength suddenly departed, and he sank down upon 
a seat almost fainting. 

This can scarcely be wondered at considering the amount 
of exertion he had gone througl, and the length of time 
that had elapsed sinco he had partaken of any food. 

One of the persons seated in the kitchen placed a glass 
of hot spirits to Dick's lips, who drank almost uncon- 
sciously. 

The result, however, wa3 soon apparent. 

He again opened his eyes to their usual extent, tmd re- 
covered from the death-like feeling that had assailed 
him. 

The youn^ man who had called upon Miss Danville by 
her Christian name bent over Dick, full of concern for his 
condition. 

"May Hea\~*n bless you, sir," he said, " for the act you 
have done to-night ! I cannot thank you as I should — my 
voice fails me !" 

"That's esaough," said Dick. 'If you wish to show 
your appreciation of it, get me something mbstantH' in 
tine shape of food, (or I am almost dead from hanger.'' 



This was a demand Instantly and easily complied with, 
and soon Dick had a most tempting and appetising repast 
spread before him. 

The young man quitted the room, anxious to learn 
with what success the effort had been met to reanimate 
the young girl. 

No sooner had the door closed behind aim than Dick 
was besieged with many eager questions, and finding 
that the curiosity of all was greatly excited, he took the 
wisest and quickest means of satisfying it, which was 
to relate what had occurred in as few words as he pos- 
sibly could. 

In return, he asked whetner anyone could furnish him 
with any further particulars. 

"Yes," said the landlord, drawing a long whiff of 
smoke from his pipe, " I fancy you are about the only 
one beneath this roof who could not give all her history. 
Poor girl I we are all sorry for her, and wonder how her 
own flesh and blood could treat her as they have." 

" If it would not take you loDg," said Dick, " could 
ycu give me a brief account of what you know, for I 
confess my curiosity is fully roused ?" 

" With pleasure," 6aid the landlord. " You must know, 
then, sir, that this young girl is the only daughter of the 
richest man in this part of the country. He is generally 
called Squire Danville. He is a justice of the peace, and 
I know not what else beside. 

" It is pretty generally whispered — and I daresay with 
good truth — that he never was very fond eithor of his 
wife or his daughter, and for this reason : 

'' His whole hopes were fixed upon a son, to whom he 
believed he should be able to leave his vast wealth aud 
ancient possessions; but this daughter came into the 
world, and, with an unnatural feeling difficult to compre- 
hend, he looked upon her as an object which had defeated 
his happiness. 

" He visited his wrath, too, upon his wife, as if she 
could help what had occurred ; but, being of a weak and 
patient spirit, she bore all in silence until she died. 

" This girl, Miss Danville, grew up almost unrecognised 
and unthought of by her father, but her gentle, winning 
ways made her a favourite with all who knew her. 

"She was loved, while her father was feared and 
hated. 

" When very young, an attachment sprung up between 
her and the nephew of the housekeeper, a young, true- 
hearted, courageous, good-looking fellow, who, I believe, 
loves the very ground she treads on." 

" The same that has just quitted the room, I suppose ?" 
interrupted Dick. 

" Yes, the 6ame. 

" Well, how long this attachment went on, or how long 
it would have continued, is very hard to say ; but a cer- 
tain fact recalled to the squire's brain that he had a child 
— a daughter. 

" This fact was, that Squire Bartlett " 

At the mention of this name, Dick could not help giving 
a slight start, it came upon him so unexpectedly. 

The landlord did not fail to notice it, for he said: 

" You know this squire, then ?" 

"Scarcely," said Dick. "I have seen him once, that's 
all. But the name sounded familiar, and surprised 
me." 

" Well, then, as I was saying, this Squire Bartlett, who 
is also very rich, possesses a large estate, which joins 
that belonging to Squire Dauville. 

1 He has an only son — a dissolute, mean-spirited, 
cowardly hound, who, thank goodness, has not been 
muih in this part of the country ; and, if all I have 
heard about him is the truth, he is a wretch not fit to 
live 

"The two squires, as you may guess, were great friends, 
and it was nothing more than natural, I suppose, that they 
should talk upon the subject of their properties adjoin- 
ing each other in the way they did. 

" In brief, a kind of compact or agreement was made 
between them that their children should marry, so that, 
in the future, the whole possessions would become 
one. 

" They never thought of consulting the young folks is 
any way, but the blow came upon Miss Danville like * 
thunderbolt. 

" Her father ordered her into his presence, and, trem- 
blingly, she obeyed, t«eling as though she had committed 



1602 



BLACK BESS ; 08i 



some threat crime, and was about to be led into the pre- 
sence of her judge. 

"She heard her father espress his fc-.sention3 with feel- 
ings which I cannot describe. 

"He took scarcely any notice of her, but bade be r 
prepare to receive her future husband at once. 

" Great drffereuco was now mad3 in tho manner ; n 
which she was treated. 

"She was now dressed in a manner suitable to her 
father's rank, and allowed to sit at the dinner-tabie with 
him. 

"She was quickly brought face to face wiUi young 
Bartlstt, and i don't wonder that she should immediately 
conceive an utter aversion for him. 

" She loathed the very sight of him, and toolc so little 
fifiare to disguise her feelings, that all noted the change in 
her aspect, particularly the young man, who ground his 
teeth, and turned livid with rage ; while he determined, 
no matter at what odds, to have his revenge upon her. 

"She refused most positively to become his wife, and 
her father broke out into a storm of passion tho like of 
which she had never before known. 

" He was furious to think that, not content with 
having caused him one great disappointment in life, she 
was now endeavouring to cause him another. 

" Such conduct he considered ungrateful and base in 
the extreme, but he determined not to be baulked this 
time. 

"You may guess some one who was soon at hand 
whispered in his ears some particulars of the behaviour 
of his daughter and the housekeeper's nephew towards 
each other. 

" Inquiry served to show that tho whisper was correct, 
and he drove the young man ignominiously forth. 

" Since then he has been reduced to great straits, for 
the housekeeper was dismissed also. 

"Tho two squires, and young Bartlett as well, were all 
eager in the extreme that the marriage should take place ; 
but Miss Danville showed a firmness and a spirit of 
resistance which had never been expected, and which 
filled them with surprise. 

"But her father determined to carry things with a 
high hand. 

"I know he had her confined like an ordinary prisoner, 
and scarcely allowed her enough to eat and drink. 

" The poor girl pined and sorrowed, but all in vain ; 
nothiug would turn him from his purpose. 

"To-morrow is the day fixed for the solemnisation of 
the marriage, and I can only suppose that, driven to ex- 
tremities, she somehow managed to escape ; and, feeiing 
utterly wretched— perhaps in a delirium — threw herself 
into the water as you saw, in order to put an end to that 
existenco which ought to be to her a blessing, and not a 
curse." 



CHAPTER CMXXII. 
dick' turpin finds his tatii still beset wrrii 

DIFFICULTIES. 

"It is a sad chough story," said Dick Turpin, "and I 
for one am very sorry for the lovers. I cannot consider 
them in any way to b.'ame." 

" Neither can I," assent ^d the landlord ; " and although 
I am a tenant under the squire, yet I hold this place under 
a lease which, I fancy, will not expire before his death." 

" So you feel yourself independt nt of him ?" 

"Yes, quite ; and if I eould do anything to make tii^se 
two young folks happy, I would do it ghW*ly." 

" So would I." 

A murmur of assent went round the room., 

Clearly they were all of one way of thinking 

Dick Turpin had been accommodated with a Ter.-y com- 
fortable seat nearest to the fire, aud while he t tad par- 
taken of his meal, which he washed down with seme of 
the very best alo in the landlord'" cellar, he had got 
quite dry. 

Ho was now anxious io continue hia journey, tor mid- 
night was rapidly approaching. 

It was just as he had made up his mind t j riso and 
take his departure that the door of tho kitchen was 
opened again, and the housekeeper's nephew made his 
appearance. 

Vhore was a great degree of bashful ues% not to say 



awkwardness, in his manner, and ho glanced with some 
timidity into the facos of al 1 present. 

He evidently wished to say something, yet lacked the 
courage ; aud tho opportunity to speak was quickly lost, 
for he was immediately questioned as to the state of Miss 
Danville. 

"She has quite recovered," he said, in a sad tone, 
''but seems quite delirious. She could not have been in 
nor right mind when sha attempted to destroy herself, 
nor is she now." 

"But she will sook be better, I trust," said tko land- 
lord. 

" I hope so. But, then, Tnat brings me to what I wished 
to say. I believe that all here present know my story, 
and aro my friends ?" 

" We are — we aro !" was tho response that came from 
every lip. 

" Well, then, my friends, since you admit yourselves to 
bo such, give mo ycur advice. I am young, and have 
had but little experience in the world. In what way 
shall I act for the best ?" 

This was a point open to a great deal of debate, and 
Dick Turpin was not slow to perceive it. 

Nor was ho any slower in making up his mind as to 
what he should say. 

"I have saved the lady," ho began, "and therefore 
consider that I have a good right to some voice ia the 
matter." * 

"Yes, yes, certainly," murmured several. 

" Well, Vhen, my advice is simple, short, p!ain, and 
easy to follow. It is, young sir, that you go at onco to 
Miss Danville, and persuade her to fly with you. Do not 
hesitate or scruple ; you have a right to consult your own 
happiness, and so has she. Her father, by his conduct, 
has forfeited all right and title to the name ; think 
nothing of him. I wish I could help you further than I 
can, but, unfortunately, it is impossible. However, take 
my advice, which is all that I can give. Place as gre°' 
a distance between yourself and this inn as you can, in 
the shortest possible space of time." 

Dick Turpin spoke warmly, and his words found an 
echo in tho breasts of all present. 

Probably they would have hesitajed to give such clear 
aud straightforward advice, yet when it was thus given 
by another they could not .vilhhold their approbation of 
it. 

A flush of colour mounted into the young man's cheeks, 
as ho said : 

"You fiH me with joy, but I feel that such conduct on 
my part ,vould be wrong — reprehensible in the highest 
degree." 

,: No, no — not a bit," said Turpin. " Procure Miss 
Danville's consent — and if I understand tho case at all it 
will not be wanting — aud then, as soon as you have it, 
off and away. When you are married, you will be 
master of the situation." 

After a few more hesitating remarks, the young man 
withdrew, and as soon as he had gone Dick rose up from 
his seat. 

" A„-e you going ?" said the landlord. 

" Yes, pressing business calls me, and I cannot Jinger. 
I have already stayed too long." 

"And I must go too," said another voice. 

A man whom Dick had scarcely noticed rose from an 
obscure corner near tho fireplace. 

He was a stout, well-built, burly-looking fellow, with 
closely-cropped hair, a thick, red, bull-like neck, and ar 
altogether animal expression, if wo may be allowed tj 
uso such a term. 

Yet Dick looked at his well-developed form with 
some admiration. 

The man's appearance, joined to his peculiar costume, 
enabled Dick to decide positively as to his calling. 

Ho was a regular trained boxer or prize-fighter, 

As soon as he had spoken, the landlord said : 

" Very well, Mr. Reynalds — I will give orders for your 
pony to bo put iu at once." 

" Do, and ask that lazy fellow of yor** to be quick for 
once in his life, if such a thing is possible." 

With this, Dick conceived he had nothing to do ; but 
being, in a manner of speaking, interrupted by this 
stranger, he had paused. 

Now, however, he began to take his leave. 

But Mr, Eeynalds came forward agaiik 



TH» KXIGHT OP THB BOAJD. 



j sm 



"Beg your pardon, sir," he said, bluntly, and with 
g«cuine John Bull freedom, "but I like your pluck and yonr 
ways, though you are a stranger to ;qo I am going some 
miles to-night, and if you happen to be travelling my 
way, why, I shall be glad of your company." 

Dick Turpin said a few words expressive of his thanks 
for this kind offer, and while he was uttering .nem he 
hu debating in his own mind whether he should accept 
of the invitation or not. 

Certainly, as time had been lost, it would be an ad- 
vantage, should Mr. Reynalds be travelling wards 
SomeHeld, to share his vehicle with him. 

But, somehow or other, a presentiment of danger (»me 
over Dick, and he felt impelled to decline. 

The feeling, however, was one of which he felt 
ashamed, and so he banished it. 

" I am journeying north from here," he said. 

"So am I," returned the prize-fighter. "May I ask" 
how far you are going ?" 

" To Somefield." 

" Somefield ?" he repeated. " AL.' I am not going quite 
so far as that, but within a couple of miles or so of it. 
Did you come here on foot ?" 

"Yss." 

" Then you had a long walk bef oro you — that's all I 
can Say. However, if you are willing to take half my 
gig, and riiie with me as far as I am going, you are 
heartily welcome to do 'So." 

" 1 am much obliged," said Dick; " and accept the offer 
with great pleasure I am much obliged to you for 
it." 

"Nay, nay, don't mention it ; it isn't worth a word of 
thanks ; and perhaps you would oblige me still further by 
taking one more glass before we part ; we shall have 
time, for I know what a long-winded rascal the ostler 
is." 

Thjs offer, after some little pressing, Dick Turpin ac- 
cepted. 

Two farewell glasses were brought, and disposed of, 
and by that time word wa3 brought that the horse and gig 
were ready at the door. 

Once more bidding adieu, Dick and the prize-irghter 
departed. 

On going out of the front door of the inn, Dick per- 
ceived a small, well-built pony harnessed to a light little 
gig, with large wheels that seemed built expressly for 
epeed. 

" There's a turn out, sir," said the prize-fighter, with 
perhaps pardonable pride — " there's a turn out, sir ! 
Fit for any prince in the world! The lightest, best- 
made gig, and the fastest pony to be found wahin a 
hundred miles!" 

"Very likely," said Dick, as he followed his com- 
panion's example, and climbed into the vehicle — " very 
likely." 

Scarcely had ho taken his seat than the prize-fighter, 
snatching hold of the reins, uttered a peculiar shout. 

It was clearly one which the pony perfectly understood, 
for it started off at a most tremendous pace, and in a few 
moments the inn was left far behind. 

"Don't she go rarely?" said Mr. Reynalds, addressing 
Dick, and breaking the silence. "Did you ever ride 
behind 6weh a one ?" 

" I can't say I ever did. You travel a good deal, I sup- 
pose ?" 

" Yes. I am mostly knocking about the country — first 
ip one place, then in another. Perhaps you know me, 
sir, though you are a stranger tome?" 

" No — I can't say that I do." 

"Well, then, my name is Reynalds — you heard the 
landlord say so — Reynalds, the prize-fighter, I am gener- 
ally called." 

" I have heard of you," said Dick, " though I little 
thought I should make acquaintance with you so 
Strangely." 

"Curious things do come about, and this Is one of 
them But I am tired of this life ; I have made up my 
mind not to (iglit any mora." 

"Indeed?" 

" Yes, I think I can manage tolerably well without 
it" 

"You have been fortunate, then — made money ?" 

" Well, yes, fairish ; but 1 have a little speculation under 
tend at the present moment which I hare an idea will 



cause me but little trouble, and the net gain will toe im- 
mense - 

" I hope you will bo successful," said Dick — " I hope so 
with all my heart." 

"Do you indeed?" 

" Yes. But why did you speak in that strange tone ?" 

" Oh, did I ? Then I'meant nothing— nothing at all. of 
course. But we are rolling along rarely, are we not ?" 

" Yes*, we are." 

" You see those twinkling lights yonder ? That's where 
I shall stop ? Somefield, as I told you, lies befcwee" 'wo 
and three miles beyond." 

" Then we shall soon pari; company 3 " 

" Yes, I think that very likely." 

" But," exclaimed Dick, " you are pulling tip , *°*hat'a 
that for ?" 

" This," was the prize-fighter's reply, as he let fall the 
reins and clutched Dick tightly by the throat — " this ! I 
know ycu ! Give in— it's no use to struggle, Dick Turpin, 
you are my prisoner, and I will have the whole of the 
reward I" 



CHAPTER CMXXIII. 

DICK TURriN HAS A LIFE-AND-DEATH STRUGGLE WITH THE 
rRIZE-FIGIITER. 

This attack was so sudden and unexpected that the high- 
wayman had been thrown completely off his guard, and 
before he could well make out what had happened he was 
overpowered. 

" Now I have you," said Mr. Reynolds. " And perhaps 
you understand the little speculation to which I referred. 
In two more minutes we shall be in the next town, and 
all will bear witness how I bring you in a prisoner, cap- 
tured by my own unaided exertions'" 

Pressing Dick's throat still tighter with one hand, 
the prize-fighter removed the other, and placed it in his 
pocket, doubtless with the intention of drawing forth 
something with which he would be able to secure his pri- 
soner. 

Dick Turpin seized that moment to make an effort of 
resistance. 

He had been gradually summoning up all his powers, 
for ho knew the struggle would be no trifling one. 

The prize-fighter swore most fearfully, for he imagined 
his object had been accomplished. 

But he found each moment that Dick appeared to grow 
stronger, and, adept as he was at wrestling and feats of 
strength, ho felt that, for once in his life, he had encoun- 
tered some one worthy of being called his match. 

A struggle of the most furious character now took place 
in the narrow precincts of the gig. 

Both had obtained a good hold, and it would have 
been difficult for anyone to have decided as to which 
would provo the victor. 

No one was near, however, to note the different phases 
of the conflict. 

But the two men fought none the less desperately on 
that account. 

Suddenly, the prize-fighter, urged to desperation by 
disappointment and tho peril of his position — for he felt 
Dick was obtaining the mastery over him — uttered again 
that peculiar cry which was the signal for the pony to set 
itself in motion. 

Nor on this occasion was the signal disregarded. 

With a bound that almost threw them both out of 
tho vehiclo into the road, the pony started off, terrified 
by tno noise behind it. 

Dick guessed at onoe the purpose of the prize-fighter, 
and. it made him fully conscious of the desperate cha- 
racter of the man with whom he had to deal. 

His object was to run the ric?k of tho danger, and 
make his horse enter the town just before them, when 
doubtless he would easily obtain a.isistance. 

It is true this would not enable h ; m to lay slaim to 
the whole of this reward, but he felt he would rather 
forego the whole <it it than that Dick should escape 
him. 

The highwayman dared not turn his attention to the 
horse in tho least, nor put one hand to seize the reins, 
as such a course would have given his exponent the 
advantage. 

Altogether heedless, then, of where tho terrified beast 
was going, or what obstructions lay in his path, Dick 



1*04 



BLACK DES6; OB, 



bent the whole of his energies to overcoming his an- 
tagonist. 

The prize-fighter fe-lt himself getting gradually w, eted, 
but he still held on tenaciously. 

He knew the town was now within a few yai <T» of 
them, and he trusted in being able to retain his pri loner 
until then. # 

Dick knew this well, and guessed why he continued to 
struggle so fiercely. 

Cold drops of perspiratioD started out upon Lis ore- 
head, for he could not closf his eyes to the fact th t he 
was in very imminent danger indeed of being cap- 
tared. 

On went the horse at a more furious speed than ever, 
striking sparks from the hard ground with" his hoofs as 
he went. 

Hitherto he had kept directly in tb,e middle of the road, 
and, providing he continued to do this, and did not abate 
his speed, there was just the possibility that he would 
get through the town almost bvfere anyone was aware of 
what was the matter. 

This was a frail hope to cling to, but it was better than 
none at all. 

Dick did not dare to think of what a trifle would bring 
their headlong course to a stop. 

The sudden turning of a corner, the approach of any 
c*her vehicle, or, indeed, the slightest obstruction in 
tht.'r way, and then most surely they would go down 
with a crash. 

The next moment the lights of the town flashed before 
Dick's eyes. 

The prize-fighter saw them, and tried to shout for 
6uecour. 

Eat Dick's pressure on his windpipe was so great 
that he could only give vent to a gurgling sound. 

The street wa.i clear. 

Several people, though, were standing about here and 
there, gazing with amazement at the strange sight that 
fatted past them almost before they knew what it 
was. 

The market-place was reached, and passed, aud Dick 
began to think that he should be fortunate enough to 
ride completely into the open country once more. 

The prize-fighter also had this fear, for he changed his 
tactics. 

In his rage, ho felt altogether indifferent as to the 
amount of danger which might befall himself, and so he 
struggled furiously to fall over one side of the gig into 
the roadway, endeavouring, of course, to drag Dick 
Turpin with him. 

The consequence of such a fall might perhaps have 
been death to both of them, but for this the prize-fighter 
did not care — death was preferable to beiug vanquished. 

And now, indeed, the hardest portion of the struggle 
had arrived, for hitherto the prize-fighter had endea- 
voured to cousult his own safety as far as possible, and 
his struggle had been more to overcome the highwayman 
and bind him. 

Now it was Rlmost more than Dick could do to prevent, 
him from throwing himself into the road. 

Could he have done so, and remained in the vehicle 
himself, all would have been well, comparatively speaking, 
though his danger then would have been considered ap- 
palling by most persons. 

Dick felt that he was being drawn slowly but surely 
nearer to the edge of the gig. 

He felt that in another moment nothing could savo 
them from falling over. 

Rendered desperate by his position, he took a desperate 
course to save himself. 

With great suddenness ho released his hold upon his 
antagonist, and at the same instant clenched both hli fists 
and struck him two hard blows. 

The man's grasp perceptibly relaxed. 

But Dick followed up the blows by others. 

The prize-fighter tried, but it vain, to obtain another 
grasp of his adversary. 

But Dick eluded him, then dealt one more blow of so 
decisive a character that it put a complete termination to 
the contest 

With a rush and a hideous crash the priie-flghter fell 
over the wheel of the gig into the roadway. 

To what extent he was injured Dick had no means of 
"Bearing, for such was the prodigious rate at which the 



pony was going, that his foe was in a moment out of 
sight. 

Dick drew a long breath of thankfulness for this 
escape, and then had to settle down to face a danger 
scarcely less alarming. fc 

The pony was now com^etely maddened, and Dick 
questioned whether any meaio could be adopted for 
checking his career. 

Xfce ruins had dropped, and how to regain them was a 
mystery. 

While going so swiftly, it seemed the height of mad- 
ness to attempt to leap out of the vehicle, and allow the 
creature to take its own course. 

Yet Dick felt this was. what he would he compelled to 
<k. 

Just then his foot touched against, something, and he 
stooped down to examine it more closely. 

To has joy he found it was the rein, which had fallen 
over both ends of the dash-board of the gig, and so 
had remained secure- 
Seizing hold of it, Dick began slowly but firmly to 
pull it tight. 

But the horse seemed altogether heedless of the pres- 
sure of the bit. 

Dick knew that his tremendous pace could not be 
checked all at onoe, but he hoped to do so by degrees. 

His chief concern was to keep in the middle of the 
highway. 

Tighter and tighter he pulled the reins, and yet 
tighter still, and he had at length the satisfaction of 
perceiving that the horse's speed perceptibly dimi- 
nished. 

He bent forward, and pulled again with his whole 
strength, which proved, unfortunately, too great for the 
strength of tho reins themselves. 

With a sudden snap the leather parted, and the frantic 
animal, again feeling his head at liberty, aud chafing 
under the restraint he had just endured, flew onwards 
again, if possible at greater speed. 

Dick now had clearly no resource but to run the 
risk of descending from the vehicle, and, after a mo- 
ment's consideration, he determined to do so by lower- 
ing himself over the back. 

Climbing over the seat, ar.d clinging tightly to the 
scroll iron-work at tho back, he lowered himself down 
until his feet almost touched the ground. 

It required, even then, a great effort of courage to let 

go- 
But Dick did so, and though he strove to save himself 
from falling, ho failed to do so, and reached the ground 
with most unpleasant violence. 

For a few seconds all the breath was knocked out of 
his body, but he seemed to be recovered by hearing a 
tremendous crash. 

Raising himself up a little, he looked in advance, and 
then saw that one wheel of the gig had come in contact 
with a post, after which the vehicle seemed to vanish as 
though by magic, while the pony, with portions of the 
wreck clinging to his harness, continued his mad 



CHAPTER CMXXIV. 

DICK TURPIN TAKES REFUGE IN A TREE, BUT FINDS I IK 
13 BY NO MEANS OUT OF DANGER. 

! Dick Turpin struggled to hi3 feet, and wiped his face, 
which had not escaped injury by his fall. 

He had good cause indeed for congratulating himself 
apon having made up his mind to quit the gig when he 
did. 

Had he remained only a few moments longer the chance 
would have been lost, and he could scarcely have escaped 
with life had he been seated in the vehicle when it came 
into such violent contact with the post. 

Dick's brain was still confused, aiid he stood for some 
time in the road in a strange, dreamy conditio*. 

He was startled, ho-.revjr, by hearing behind the 
sounds of horses' hoofs beating rapidly on the hard road, 
and at the very same moment he also permved in tho 
distance before him two faint, glimmering lights, which, 
from their distance apart, evidently proceeded from » 
stage-coach, or some other vehicle carrying lamps. 

Dick started at once into life and energy. 

" The prize-fighter has given the alarm," he ronttei^ev 



THE K*JISHT OF THE BOAD. 



1505 




[the officers take effectual measures to dislodge dick turpin from the tree*.] 



— " that's quite certain. Perhaps, after all, he was not 
much injured by his frightful fall — at any rate, they 
are coming, and it must be after me !" 

He paused and wondered what step he should take 
to secure his own safety. 

He remembered that he was on foot, while hie pur- 
suers were tolerably well mounted. 

Therefore flight seemed a thing altogether out of the 
question. 

No matter how fleet of foot he might be, in the end 
he must inevitably be overtaken. 

Moreover, he felt in no condition for making use of 
his running powers, for he began to feel now more 
acutely than he had at first how much he had been 
bruised and shaken by falling. 

On both sides of the road tall trees were growing, most 
of them with trunks many feet in oircumferenoe, and with 
branohea stretching far and wide in every direction. 

Mo. 189.— Black Bess. 



" I may be able to conceal myself in one of those 
trees," he thought — " at any rate, I will try. They 
oannot see me, 1 feel assured, and it would take them a 
long time to examine these trees, one by one in suc- 
cession, supposing they had a suspicion that I had 
taken refuge in one of them. 

While speaking these words, Dick had fixed his eyes 
upon one particular tree, which he determined to select 
as his hiding-place. 

It was one that afforded several facilities for climb- 
ing. 

Scrambling up the bank at the side of the road, on 
which the hedge was planted, he managed, by reaching 
up his arms to their full extent, to grasp a stout hori- 
zontal bough. i 

To raise himself by the aid of his hands and feet was 
now quite easy, and in less than a moment he had 
ascended half-way op the trso, and had euseouoed himself 



No. 189. 



Price One Halfpenny. 



-nm 



BLk.CS. BBS* ; OB, 



is a moot woere the branches and twigs seemed to grow 
ttftckesu 

Hero It* remain-.-d, sitting perfectly still, and waiting, 
not wii::o«t great anxiety, to ascertain what w""*''! 
happen next. 

The trampling of tbe horBes' feet in one direction, and 
the rattling of wheels in another now grew much plainer 
than before, and, glancing down through the Interstices of 
the trees. Dick again perceived the shining lights. 

Directly afterwards a body of mounted men galloped 
past. 

But upon reaoning the spot where the gig had crashed 
against the post they came to a halt. 

" Hullo !" said a voice, " he's reached the end of his 
race, that's certain ! My eyes, what a smash !" 

He pointed as he spoke to the different fragme ts of 
tiie gig that were strewn in all directions over the road- 
way. 

" I wonder where the horse is ?" said a voice. •* Do you 
think he has niauaged to get on to the back of it and 
galloped off ? He's a desperate character, you know, and 
might have done such a thing." 

" Well, we shall soon know that, I think for here ccsnes 
•omething or other." 

44 What is it — the stage-coach ?" 

44 No, no," said another voice — l4 not the stage-coach; 
it is no doubt the mail-cart." 

» Yes — yes, to be sure ! And if it is, the driver and the 
guard will be able to tell us whether a man has galloped 
past them." 

41 So they will." 

A moment's silence took place. 

Although this conversation took place at some distance 
down the road below the spot where Dick was hidden, 
yet he was able to hear distinctly every word of it, for the 
night air was very still, and what little wind there was 
waited the sounds towards him. 

41 Hoi — hoi !" cried one of the mounted police officers. 
" Stop — stop, will you ? Pull up !" 

The driver ot the mail-cart stopped his panting horses 
somewhat suddenly, and, in a gruff voice, demanded : 

" What's the matter ?" 

14 Why, there's a smash here — do you see ? And just tell 
us whether you have seen a man mounted on a pony 
gallop past you ?" 

" No, no," answered the driver — 4l we've not seen that ! 
But we have seen a pony, with a couple of shafts dangling 
at its sides, gallop down the road yonder as though it was 
mad." 

41 And there was no one on its back ?" 

44 No, cot exactly," said the driver, with a grin. 44 1 
should Hke to see the man that would attempt such a 
thing." 

41 Well, we're after Dick Turpin t" said the officer who 
had before spoke*. 

" What ?" cried the driver of the mail-cart, in some 
alarm. 4l You don't mean to say he's on this road, do 
you?" 

44 Yes, he is, or was a short time since. Why, do you 
know, he got up into a gentleman's gig j&d, after having 
robbed him, bundled him out neck and crop into the road. 
It's a thousand wonders that he escaped with his life, and 
even now the gentleman lias in <"> very dangerous 
state." 

41 You don't mean it ?" 

44 It's a fact." 

44 But when did it happen r* 5 

" Only a few minutes ago." 

The driver rolled his eyes fearfully as he asked : 

"But what did Turpit> 4o? w 

44 Why, drove off in the gentleman's gig, to be sure, as 
if the very devil was behind him. We came on in 
pursuit, and here, you see, it seems he met with a little 
mishap while going at such a furious rate." 

41 Yes, it certainly looks like it. But where is ite ? 

44 That's just what I want to know. I fancied he might 
have got on the horse's back and galloped down the road ; 
but, as it appears he has not done that, wiiy, I tain* xi 
we look about here wo shall find him." 

44 Yes," said the guard, " depend upon it he could not 
be in the gig while it went all to smash like this without 
being hurt a bit. He ivon't get far away, take my word 
f.-.-rthatP . 

" Jim's right,"" » aia ttie driTer ' " ^ ou m9L S de P en(l tt P oa 



it he's biding somewhere close at hand; I sho^-sit 
wonder if the rascal isn't listening to every word we 
say." 

At these words the officers faced about and ran against 
each other, producing great confusion. 

44 Well search I n said the one in command. " Now, 
my lads, let us look about us. F"a ten *.o one, hiding in 
some ditch or other." 

44 No," said the guard, emphatically, 4l it's my belief that 
he'd scramble up into one of those fcrees ; it could be 
managed easily enough. When once there, who coukl 
see him ?" 

The officers looked Tip and shook their heads wisely as 
they beheld the dense foliage of the trees. 

•' Now," said the guard, " 111 tell you what — I've an idea 
— a grand idea." 

41 What is it ?" 

44 Why, if he's up in one o' them trees it will be very 
hard to find out which one it is, won't it ?" 

44 Yes, very," said the chief officer. ll We might fire a 
bullet mto one of them ; but I'll warrant he'd have the 
good sense to remain quite still— I'll warrant he would 
stand fire." 

"Yes, from a pistol," said the guard, "because he 
would think there was a good chance of one bullet miss- 
ing him. But how about this little weapon, eh ? — what 
do you think ol this ?" 

From the leather case beside the mail-cart he produced 
a large-sized carbine of the kind then made use of by the 
military. 

44 Yes," continued the guard, as he jumped down off the 
steps of the mail-cart, " I rather think this will be the 
ticket. And, mark me, if Dick Turpin is up in one of those 
trees I'll show him something h« has never thought of in 
all his life." 

44 Is it loaded ?" said the chief officer. 

44 Yes, of course it's loaded. The priming mayn't be 
just the thing; but, however, I'll soon put that 
right." 

As he spoke, the guard threw up the pan, shoek out the 
grains of powder in it, and placed in some fresh. 

'' Now," he said, " I am ready, and this gun has in it a 
rattling good charge, I can assure you." 

" Stop a bit," said the chief officer. 41 Are you going to 
fire up in the trees with it ?" 

44 Of course I am!" 

44 But how do you know which one he is in ?" 

44 1 will soon find that out," said the guard, as he pot 
the carbine up to his shoulder. 41 1 will begin with this 
one." 

" Stop — tftop !" 

44 What for ?" 

41 Why, you know," said the oificer, " that I must call 
him first to surrender." 

" Oh, yes — certainly ; I forgot." 

The police officer then stepped a little more into the 
middle of the roadway, and, pitching his voice in a higher 
key, exclaimed : 

" Dick Turpin, we, his Majesty's officers of police, have 
good reason for believing that you have concealed your- 
self in one of these trees, and in the King's name we call 
upon you to surrender, and if, after having called upon 
you three times—— " 

14 Blow it I" said the guard, impatiently, " be quick ! 
Don't you know I am in a hHrry ?" 

* l You be d— d !" said the officer, angrily. " Who told 
you to interfere ? Don't you think I know my duty 
better than you do ?" 

' 4 Oh yes, that's right enough," said the guard, in a 
more mollified tone : " but you ore so awfully loag- 
windeo.* 

The chief officer evidently thought something of f tie 
guard's carbi&/\ or he would not have smothered hia 
resentment so oasily. 

Once more looking up into the trees, he said : 

" Dick Turpin, i call upon you to surrender, ar/' warn 
you if you do not that we shall fire, and the ooosoij a^-aotja 
will then be on your own head !" 

A profound silence followed this epoech, that wotiJd 
have been perfect save for the incessant rustling of the 

" Dick Turpin, for the second umo i call cpon -pyx. W 
surrender !" 

Atcain there wag a deep silsm^*- 



KHIGHT O* TKJJ V 



1507 



Tor the third time," said tb* chief officer, in a louder 
vcioe than before— "for the third time, I call upon you to 
m render!" 

Again a deep silence. 

* Have you done ?" said tba goArd. 

'Ye*. 
And time too," be muttered, as he placed the butt of 
riwi oarbine to bis sheulder. 

The chief officer pretended not to overi*"e* this 
remark. 

•' If he's ti*ere," said the guard, " it wili be a oa;* with 
Him, and no mistake! I loaded the carbine myself, and 
know just how many bullets are in it." 

" Blaze away, then !" 

The guard pointed the carbine full at the tree, and then 
polled the trigger. 

A slight flash and a tremendous report then followed, 
and the next thing the officers perceived was the guard 
lying at full length on his back in the middle of the road, 
with the muzzle of the carbine pointed skywards. 

The bullets went crashing among the bongho of the 
tree in truly an alarming fashion. 

Most effectually had all doubt been set at rest respect- 
ing the presence of the highwayman in that tree at 
least 

Had he been there he must have fallen to the earth, 
riddled with bullets. 

The guard scrambled up to his feet again, and looked 
very ferocious when he saw all the officers were laughing 
at his expense. 

" 0n, grin away," he said — " grin away, and be d — d to 
you ! It only shows what an uncommon.y good charge 
I'd got in the carbine ! If you'll wait half a minute, we'll 
have a try at the next tree." 

The officers showed no signs of dissent. 

The carbine accordingly was loaded, and one of the 
officers produced from a little bag a number of pistol 
bullets, quite a handful of which was poured in, and 
tightly rammed down. 

Again the weapon was raised and discharged. 

But with no more result than before. 

The guard staggered back after he had pulled the 
trigger, and tried hard to keep his balance, but he failed, 
and sat down with such force that all the breath was 
jerked out of his body. 

He looked upon all these failures and mishaps 
with great complacency, however, for he said to the 
officers : 

" We may make sore he isn't in either of those trees, 
mayn't we ? But he might be hiding in the next, or the 
oext , and if he is in any one of them I'll find him, for I 
won't stop until I have fired into every tree." 

While speaking, he recommenced the task of loading 
the carbine. 

It was an operation that did not require many minutes, 
and for the third time he stood facing the trees. Now, up to 
the present moment Dick had looked upon these proceed- 
ings with a tolerable amount of composure, simply 
because the muzzle of the carbine was not pointed at the 
tree in which he had so snugly ensconced himself, and he 
clung to the hope that after a few trials they would 
get disgusted with wasting so much powder and 
shot. 

But their proceedings were more energetic and persever- 
ing than he had at all calculated upon, and be began to 
feel extremely uneasy, for the tree at which the carbine 
was now directed stood next to the one where he was 
hidden. 

He fixed his eyes upon the guard, and then involuntarily 
closed them. 

When he pulled the trigger tne report and crashing of 
the bullets among the oranches was alarming in the 
extreme ; but he quickly recovered himself, for be fou^d 
Lo was as yet unhurt. 

He had been labouring 1 under great apprehension, how- 
ever, for it was quite possible that one </ the many 
bullets crammed into the carbine might go eo far wide of 
i.6 mark as to reach him. 

Now, however, be held his breath, while his neart beat 
hard and fast. 

The guard, still undaunted, was as actively engaged j& 
«■- a in reioeding his formidable weapon. 



CHAPTER CMXXV. 

THX^OUASS OT THJt SiAOy-CABT PKKSHVKKS8 » *H» 
FTtOSECOTION OK HIS PLAN. 

Dick Torfin was now truly in a most critical petition. 

What step to take he knew not. 

He was decidedly unwilling ic cry out, ai d so igno- 
miniously surrender himself to »be police ; bu for all that, 
be could not make t his mind to sit there » I remain an 
animated target. 

In fact, he felt sure, should the guard hte the ---'linr 
into the tree, his destructioa would be immediate 
certain. 

It was quite impossible for him to escape at least one 
of the bullets, and he kne< )rell that any one of them 
would be sufficient to cause death. 

No words can possibly describe the amount of intent- 
ness with which he regarded the proceedings of his foes 
below. 

Oh, how he hated that officious, troublesome guard of 
the mail-cart. 

Without him the officers could never have carried out 
their present plan of operations. 

Dick sat and watched the reloading of the carbine. 

He waited until the whole operation was completed, 
and then, with a start, remembered that he had not yet 
made up his mind bow he should act. 

" I'll tell you what," 6aid the chief officer, " I am tired 
of this sort of thing, for I don't believe he is in the trees 
at all ; however, you shall have this one fire, and if it 
produces no results we'll part company." 

'* Oh, just as you like," said the guard — "just as yov 
like ! I don't mind it — I look upon it as a capital bit of 
sport." 

But the officers clearly did not do so, for they were 
"onscious that if they were now on the wrong scent they 
were giving the highwayman every opportunity of com- 
pleting his escape. 

" Are you ready ?" said tho officer, gruffly. 

" Yes, quite ready." 

" Then bang away ; and make haste about it !" 

For the fourth time the carbine was raised and pointed 
at the trees. 

Dick sat perfectly still, and as he did so he fancied be 
could see right down the barrel of the murderous fire- 
arm. 

Only a second elapsed, and yet to Dick it seemed a 
whole age. 

A thousand thoughts passed through his mind. 

He felt that he was on the brink of destruction. 

He gave a thought to Maud, to his friends, to all he had 
any occasion to remember with kindness, and then closed 
his eyes and compressed his lips with the resolution to 
die calmly. 

Nothing short of a miracle could save him. 

But his conviction tobs that if his time had come it 
would be much better to perish by one of the bullets from 
the guard's carbine than descend to be taken prisoner by 
the police. 

In either case his death would be certain. 

But a loud cry at this moment made him open Lis eyos 
and start so violently that the branches of the trie* 
clashed together. 

It was the driver of the mail-cart who nad given utter- 
ance to the shout. 

The guard had turned rom quick as lightning, won- 
dering what had happened an alarming character. 

" Look — look !" said the driver, standing upon bis seat, 
and pointing across the meadows with one band. " May 
I never hold the r«ios again if the rascal is not taking 
his way quite cocfly over the fields yonder t" 

" What — what ?" exclaimed the officers. 

"Jump ur— jump up, all of you, and you will see! 
Look — looi. | Yonder he goes, just by that tell poplar 
tree!" 

Thf officers scrambled «p into the oert, ta1 gazed 
eag rly in the direction to wbiob the drivel's tiug-et 
pointed. 

We have already described the nature of the Tig t as 
being one when the : "oon broke iortb at Uitol hi le- 
vels. 

A large rift of blue could now be seen between tlio 
clouds, and in this the moon was shining with a iuati* 
ii unsurpassable. 



1608 



BLACK BESS; OK, 



Far and wide all objects could be distinctly seen, and 
the pohoe, as they gazed over the fair, silvery-looking 
country, uttered ejaculations of surprise and astauisJb- 
mekk 

At first they could not credit t&eh* vision, bat a second 
glance assured them that they saw arigbt. 

Dick Turpin, in his well-known scarlet coat, aSe larg» 
white cravat, ana His three-cornered hat, was making his 
way at a sharp tro* ncross the level expanse of msBtl ow- 
land. 

" Onrse it all !" said the chief officer, as he poncO off 
his hat and in his rage smacked it down into the roadway. 
" (Something told me that we were wasting our tim* on 
a wrong scent 1 Bat never mind ! He is not far off my 
lads ! Come on — we shall have him yet !" 

The pohoe left the mail-cart even more precipitately 
than they had climbed into it, and then ran with might 
and main to their horses. 

" Jenkins," roared the chief, * run to that gate yoa«w, 
and open it, then we can make haste through." 

One of the men hastened off to obey this command, 
while the others scrambled with the best speed they could 
into their saddles. 

It was wonderful to see in what an incredibly short 
space of time they were all in the saddle and in motion. 

The gate was held open, and they dashed through it in 
a dense throng, quite heedless of the injuries they re- 
ceived by coming in contact with each other and with the 
gate-posts. 

Once in the meadow, they separated, and away they 
went at the utmost speed of which their horses were cap- 
able. 

No person had been more surprised or astounded at 
this sudden turn of affairs than Dick Turpin him- 
self. 

He sat up in the tree with a dim, vague consciousness 
about him that he had escaped by a hair's breadth from 
a dreadful death. 

He peered as well as he could through the branches 
of the trees, and presently made out the form of the 
horseman that the officers had mistaken for him. 

Dick did not wonder at the error. 

The figure did in many respects resemble himsefc 

Nor was he at any loss to recognise the rider. 

It was Tom King. 

After the officew had entered the meadow, Dick re- 
mained in the same position, watching vigilantly and full 
of anxiety to learn the result of the chase. 

To his great disappointment, however, Tom King be- 
came suddenly lost to view behind a large clump of 
trees. 

He watched to see him reappear from them. 

But in vain. 

Then did his concern for his old comrade redoumo. 

He felt pretty certain that Tom King had no idea the 
officers were so close behind him. 

On the soft sward their horses' feet would not make 
noise enough to reach his ears. 

" He has been well hunted about the country, that's cer- 
tain," Dick muttered to himself, "and now ne believes 
himself in safety. Tern to one he will stop among those 
trees for rest and shelter : and if he does his position 
will be an awkward one, tor the officers will absolutely 
be upon him before he is aware that they are at hand." 

Dick watched the officers until they, too, could be seen 
no longer. 

Then he turned to a consideration of his own posi- 
tion. 

The guard and driver of the n*ai-cart had also stood 
watching intently until the*e was nothing more to be 



Then Dick heard me latter exclaim: 

" Well, eome, old fellow, I think we have loitered on 
our journey kmg enough. The horses .nust make up for 
It though — it will not do Aw us to arrive 1st* " 

u No, certainly not." 

" Well then, w 11 be aS." . . . 

« In one moment," saM fee guard, as, with the c arbme 
in his hand, he jumped out of the cart— "one moment! 
ni just have this one bang for the say-eo of the tning, 
mxd after that I shall be ready to go with you." 

These last words fairly took away Dick's breath when 
be beard them, they came upon him so unexpectedly 

i !e had congratulated himself upon being out of danger. 



wher- now he suddenly found himself in the 
mineit peril as before. 

TLe only question that now arose in his mind wee 
whe< her he should at once reveal his presence in the 
tree 

It would be a very different thing to deal with these 
two men, only he fancied indeed he she uld be able sue- 
eessfnlly te cope with them. 

H » gave one keen, rapid gilauce ia t he direction the 
officers had taken. 

To his great joy, he ftraad they were still out ef 
eight. 

" Jim,* said the driver of the mail-ear t, as soon as the 
guard had ceased speaking, " don't make a fool of yew- 
self '" 

" What do you mean ?" 

" Well, not exactly what I said. But dont try to b J » 
bigger fool than you are, for that's quite needless." 

" Yon be blowed !" 

" Very well ; but I just tell you this much : I am going, 
and if you like to come with me, well and good ; if not, 
stay where you are, and you can fire up those trees till 
doomsday, if you like !" 

With these words the driver gave his horses a smart 
cut with the whip, and the animals, who had been chafing 
under their restraint all the while, now started off at a 
capital speed. 

" Hi — hi !" roared the guard — " stop — stop I" 

The driver slackened his speed. 

" Are you coming ?" 

"Just this one 6hot!" 

44 v , I'm off." 

But the gaard was determined not to be baulked in his 
whim, so, hastily raising his piece, he pulled the trig- 
ger. 

He did not wait to see the result of the explosion, but 
ran off down the road as fast as his legs could carry him, 
bawling lustily to his comrade to pull up. 

He was out of sight in a few moments, and then then 
was a slight rustling in the tree. 

It was ^*used by Dick Turpin taking off his hat. 

He looked at it, and through the broad brim he saw a 
large jagged hole, which would admit his finger easily. 

44 A close shave," he muttered. " But a miss is as good 
as a mile, I've heard say. Confound the fellow, he's been 
the cause of half my troubles !" 

Dick felt himself carefully all over to ascertain that he 
had received no other hurt, and, having satisfied himself 
on this particular point, he paused to look around him on 
all sides before he ventured to make his descent. 

No human being was in sight, nor did any sound break 
the silence, save that which the wind produced. 

The moon was again hidden by clouds, and Dick felt 
rejoiced at it, because he knew how much it would favour 
his escape. 

Rapidly, then, he descended from bough to bough until 
ho once more stood on the firm earth. 

Then he shook himself thoroughly, as though by that 
means he could rid himself of all the disagreeable cir- 
cumstances through which he had just passed. 

44 1 have had some close touches," was his muttered 
remark. " But no matter I There's much before me that 
I must attend to— besides, the hour is much later than I 
could wish. As all is so quiet I will set forward at 
ouce." *••'• 

He carried out this intention without delay. 

He knew perfectly well that he could be at no very 
great distance from his destination, but yet he had tc 
consider for some moments before he was able to say 
positively in which direction Somefield lay. 

Having at last decided upon the point, he took his 
course in a straight hue, disregarding the obstacles thai 
continually placed themselves in his path. 

In this way he had not proceeded long, before lis per- 
ceived before him a bright, ruddy gleam of light. 

It increased in brilliancy with a rapidiiy truly mar- 
vellous, and soon the whole horizon was lighted up. 

The dense clouds lost their former sombre look, and 
glowed with crimson. 

44 A fire," said Dick, after he had gazed in silence for 
some moments at this spectacle — "yea, sorely a fire I 
And how fiercely and rapidly it rages !" 

In a few more minutes he was so close to the scene orf 
conflagration as to behold the huge columns of smoke aa» 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



I50t 



©ending, and the thousands of brilliant sparks that rushed 
upwards. 

As he continued to gaze, a strange feeling of uneasi- 
ness sprang up in his breast — a feeling that was indefi- 
nable, but yet which increased in power every moment. 

A vague consciousness that something was wrong — that 
something was about to happen which would be to him a 
greater misfortune than anything that had yet happened 
to him — took full possession of his heart. 

For a brief space of time it unnerved him, but, obtain- 
ing command over himself, he redoubled his speed, 
changing his course slightly and making his way direct 
to the scene of conflagration. 



CHAPTER CMXTVL 

D» WHICH BLACK BESS MARKS HEK APPEARANCE BEFORE 
THB PUBLIC IN A FRESH CHARACTER. 

BLavlno brought the narrative up to this point, we will 
take our leave of Dick Turpin for awhile, and revert to 
the proceedings of two others, in whom it is presumed 
scarcely a secondary interest is felt. 

The others we allude to are Maud and Black Bess, who, 
the readers will recollect, had been left in the charge of 
the friendly proprietor of the circus. 

It was shortly after Dick's departure that a man, 
travel-stained, dusty, and weary, came walking slowly 
over the common on which Che strollers may be said to 
have encamped. 

His eyes were fixed upon the bright, ruddy fire they 
had lighted, and which looked like a beacon of hope in 
the gloom. 

As he drew nearer the sound of footsteps was heard, 
and Smithini himself, starting up, strained his eyes in 
the endeavour to make out the form and features of the 
intruder. 

It was not long before he succeeded, for this new-comer 
advanced boldly until the ruddy light from the fire fell 
full upon his haggard countenance. 

" Why, Jos, " said Smithini, extending his hand, " can 
it bepossible— is it you ?" 

" Yes, there is no doubt about it," replied the other, 
sadly. " I have managed to get thus far." 

"But I thought you were laid up, unable to mt.e, 
after that terrible fall of yours." 

" Well, I was, and I am not right now, but better ; I 
am starving, though," he added, " and so am not likely to 
improve. I recollected you, and from the past felt cer- 
tain that you would do all you could to help me." 

" So I will," said Smithini. " We'll talk about that more 
at length to-morrow. Here, sit down and have some- 
thing to eat" 

The man gladly complied, and, sitting down, he removed 
his hat and the wrapper from the lower portion of his 
face. 

The firelight then disclosed the countenance of a 
middle-aged man, with many deep lines furrowed upon 
it, and the whiteness of which was brought into strong 
relief by the black moustache he wore upon his upper 
tip. 

To many he was known, and as soon as their greeting 
was over, Smithini, turning to him, said : 

u Have you any news, Joe ? Is there anything fresh ?" 

"No," he returned, " nothing at all, except a rather o^* 1 
thing that happened to me on my way here." 

u What was that ?" 

" Why, 1 was suddenly encountered and Burroun&ed\>y 
a troop of police officers. I was much frightened — I 
could not help it I was rigidly examined and closely 
questioned, and it would seam that I had been mistaken 
tor another." 

"Indeed?" 

" Yes. These officers are in pursuit of a high wayrv^a 
and a female he has with him. They have been tracked 
to eomewhere near this place, but the due has been lost. 
However, they are resolved to find it." 

These words gave Smithini mors uneasiness than he 
thought proper to express. 

Maud, too, overheard the woras, and it oost hsr • great 
effort to preserve anything resembling calmness. 

Her anxiety to hear more, however, overcame every 
other consideration. 

w They are on their way to this place even sow." con- 



tinued the man. " No doubt you will see them shortly, and 
t&ey will make the same inquiries of you." 

"What makes you think that ?" 

" Simply because I left them coming in this direction, 
ana i^cause I heard them say that they were resolved to 
question everyone they met." 

Smithini lapsed into silence. &' 

At length, however, he spoke. 

"I don't like the grabs," he said ; " I never did ; I had 
half made up my mind to stay here till to-morrow, but 
now my determination is changed — well 6tart at once " 

" And to vfhat place are you bound ?" 

" Somefield." 

Un 0h, not far from here — I know the place." 

" Yes, we shall reach it in a shest time easily,'" 

He rose from his seat as he spoke these last words, and 
issued rapid injunctions to the others to get all ready for 
a start 

The injunctions did not require much time to carry out 
— indeed, sooner than could have been expected they were 
all in motion. 

"Fear nothing," said Smithini, whispering in Maud's 
ear, " I will protect you ; while with me you are saia. I 
am doing this merely in the way of precaution." 

" And Dick," she said — " will he find us ?" 

" Oh yes, I arranged all about that. Do not be appre- 
hensive on that score. All I wish is to avoid a meeting 
with the officers." 

The journey to Somefield was performed in safety and 
in secrecy. 

Day was just beginning to dawn when they halted on 
a piece of waste ground just outside the little town. 

A short time was allowed for repose, then the men be- 
gan busily to work at erecting their large canvas tent. 

It was not long before their arrival became known to 
the inhabitants, and there was soon a crowd of idle spec- 
tators, who stood and watched all their preparations. 

It was announced that one grand performance in the 
circus would be given at mid-day, and by that time every- 
thing was in readiness. 

To the deep disappointment of all, and Smithini in 
particular, for he had met with much ill-luck of late, they 
met with very little encouragement. 

So few people, indeed, sat down upon the seats that 
none of the performers *elt the heart to go through their 
performance properly. 

When the audience had been dismissed, Maud found 
her new but kind-hearted and trusty friend seated in an 
attitude of deep dejection. 

Anxiously she inquired into the cause. 

" My usual luck," he said ; " I don't know what it is to 
do well now. There was a time, however, when all was 
different, but it is no good thinking about that. You see, 
the people will riot come, and my stock of money is now 
exhausted !" 

Maud was not in a position to suggest any means by 
which Smithini could be helped out of his difficulty, ye : 
she longed for the power to do so. 

She valued his friendship, for there were few indeed 
who would hold out to herself and Dick a protecting 
hand. 

" I don't know what to bring forward to attract the 
public," Smithini continued. " I am completely at fault P 

" And I," said Maud, " cannot help you. If I could I 
would with all my heart. There is nothing I would not 
do to assist you. " 

Smithini raised his eyes and fixed them keenly upon 
her countenance. 

"Are you sure of what you say r " he asked. 

"Quite sure," she answered, earnestly. "Now tell 
me why ?" 

" I was thinking—. But no — no," he broke off, " 1 will 
not give utterance to that thought ; it is wrong — mad- 
ness'" 

" Let me know it," said Maud — " let me toxm my 
judgment of it." 

Smithini resisted, bat she was so pi i rmriiig tbat be at 
last complied. 

" Weu, then," he said, ♦« the wfld Idea teat for a moment 
crossed my mind that Black Bess night be toe raeans ot 
saving roe,* 

" Of saving yon f How so K 

" Why," he continued, " I have been told tbat her 
master hue te&a&ed her with uncommon oare, an£*iMtsah* 



1510 



BLACK BESS ; OB, 



is possessed of rare intelligence. It would take too 
long to repeat one half of the stories I have heard, but 
doubtless there is only a slight foundation for them." 

" Not so slight as you imagine," said Maud, with a 
glow of joy, for she was delighted at seeing this 
prospect opened out before her of testifying her grati- 
tude to her new friend—" not so slight as you ima- 
gine," she repeated. "At various times I have seen 
strange things done. She would obey his every word, 
but I fancy will attend to no one else." 

" It is very likely." 

"Still," she continued, with fresh animation, " if 
you will allow me to try I shall gladly do so. You 
must not forget she is so disguised that even J should 
not recognise her, and it might be that this would 
prove sufficient to attract the people." 

Smithini evidently thought so- 

The proposal was one that recommended itself to 
him in every w.y, but yet he hesitated. 

Maud, however, insisted upon carrying out the 
course she had suggested. 

Black Bess was brought, and she endeavoured by 
imitating Dick's manner to induce her to perform 
several tricks which she had seen. 

The experiment met with a success that exceeded 
their most sanguine expectations. 

But having succeeded so far, an obstacle now ob- 
truded itself which threatened to be insurmountable. 

To perform these tricks it would be necessary that 
Maud herself should appear before the audience, a 
thing from which under any circumst ances she would 
have shrunk. 

But now it would have been dangerous in the 
highest degree for her to do so. 

Among the many eyes that might be upon her, there 
would be a strong probability of her recognition. 

" I have it," said Smithini, in a voice of exultation— 
"I have it; our fortunes are made. 'The Masked Lady,' 
that sounds well, does it not ? It will make a good line, 
too : ' The Masked Lady and her Matchless Steed,\Vhite 
Diamond, will give their unrivalled performance.' " 

"Yes," said Maud, " I could wear a mask, and then 
there would be almost an end to danger. At any rate, 
I will run the risk." 

Even then Smithini hesitated. 

He thought of Dick, and wondered in what light 
the highwayman would look up an the affair. 

He was no stranger to the fact that Turpi n placed 
a priceless value on his mare, and should any accident 
befall her— should she be recognised, what could he 
say then ? 

But for Maud's determination, he would at the last 
moment have abandoned the idea ; but she was firm, 
and resolved that it should be carried out. 

The next step was to make the inhabitants of the 
town aware of what was going to be performed, and 
this task was executed as well as the shortness of the 
time at their disposal would admit. 

'I don't care," said Smithini. "Let only half a 
dozen come the first time, and I shall be satisfied. 
When they have seen this performance they will pour 
a glowing account of it into the ears of everyone." 

Bather late in the afternoon a second performance 
was given. 

It was rather better attended than the first ; but it 
was evident they had been induced to come by the 
representations that had been put forth respectingthe 
Masked Lady and White Diamond. 

The moment for Maud's appearance at length came, 
and, dizzy and confused, she rode into the ring. 

She was received with a loud burst of applause, and 
all looked on with the greatest excitement and eager- 
ness at the strange spectacle of a masked performer. 

Trembling for the result, Maud then uttered the 
words of command that Dick Turpin himself had used. 

It would really seem that Black Bess understood the 
nature of her position, for never before had she ap- 
peared so docile— so intelligent. 

Every^ command that Maud gave was obeyed with a 
promptitude that produced unbounded applause. 

The experiment was a complete success. 

When all was over,Black Bess was led round the ring, 
and all admired her matchless shape and prop; rtions. 
Never had their eyes rested on such a steed, 



But little did they dream what steed it was. 

Smithini. in the character of manager, anuounced 
that a repetition of the performance would be given 
that evening, and then the audience departed. 

The words he had made use of were prophetic. 

Those who had witnessed the performance of White 
Diamond gave so glowing an account of it that all 
who heard determined to attend, especially when 
those who had paid the visit on the first occasion de- 
clared their intention of going a second time. 

To the joy of Smithini and his troop, long before 
the announced hour of opening, a great crowd be- 
sieged the entrance to the tent. 

In they rushed, in one continuous stream, packing 
themselves into the closest possible compass. 

The canvas erection was crammed to its fullest 
extent — it would not have been possible for another 
person to have found standing-room. 

Thus the time passed on until the hour for Maud's 
second appearance. 

Her success was even greater than on the previous 
occasion. 

Still, there remained outside a crowd of persons suffi- 
ciently large to fill the tent again, and, by the gener- 
ally-expressed wish of all, a third performance was 
announced, although the hour was then so late a one. 

Fortune was at last smiling upon Smithini. 

The money rolled in so fast that he could scarcely 
find places in which to stow it. 

It happened thus, that the hour was long past mid- 
night when Maud again appeared. 

Again was the performance a complete success. 

But before it was half over, a loud, appalling shriek 
was heard. 

It was followed by another, and then from the 
throats of all issued the one word " Fire !" 

There was an instantaneous rush, and then, as 
though to make the calamity complete, the seats, 
which had never been designed for the accommodation 
of so many people, suddenly gave way on one side. 

There was a hideous crash, and the next moment 
the people were lying on the ground in a confused and 
bleeding mass. 

As the seats all depended upon each other for sup- 
port, those on the other side fell also before those 
seated on them could succeed in making an escape. 

Then followed a scene of such appalling horror that 
no tongue could describe it, and the fearful nature of 
the scene was enhanced by the rapid progress of the 
flames. 

They spread with a rapidity truly alarming. 

Something might have been done to check them, 
it is true, but there was no one who could take that 
direction of affairs upon themselves at the right mo- 
ment, and so the fire raged on. 

By twos and threes, the bruised and burned people 
rolled out on to the open ground. 

Selfishness reigned paramount. 

No thought was given by anyone to the sufferings 
of another. 

In the midst of the confusion a man appeared, whose 
arrival was unnoticed in the general excitement. 

It was Dick Turpin, who had seen from afar the 
conflagration, and who, on coming close enough, had 
found that it proceeded from Smithini's circus. 

He did not know at that moment that Maud was in 
the very centre of the building, hemmed in by mad- 
dened, furious people. 

But he dashed on at a venture, looking everywhere 
for her. 

He saw her not — he saw no one of whom he could 
ask a single question. 

He felt certain, however, that if he raised his voice 
she would recognise it. and give vent to an answering 
cry, which would enable him to proceed to her 
rescue. 

There was danger about this course ; but at such a 
moment as that such danger was not to be thought 
of. 

" Maud," he cried— " Maud— Maud ! Where are 
you ? Speak, that I may hear your voice 1" 

He fancied that the roaring of the flames and the 
shrieks and cries of the populace beat down and 
drowned his words. 



THB KNIGHT Of THE BOAU. 



loll 



iie thought just the* too, of Black Bess, and wonderea 
« iihe was in the midr of the scene of riot. 

Just then his eyes tell upon a man, begrimed with 
smoke, and with his cl thing badly torn. 

Nevertheless, he *ec gnised him. 

It was Smithini. . 

" Maud — Maud !" Di- k exclaimed, as he seized hold of 
aim. " Where is she — where is she ?" 

Smithini answered only by a groan. 

Alarmed beyond expression, Dick repeated his inquiry, 
and so furiously that Smithini was terrified into a 
reply. 

" She's there," he said, pointing to the remains ol the 
♦•ircus — " she's there, in the very midst of the wreck, and 
Ulack Bess is with her I" 



Dick, however, in this mois»out of it esh danger »*« 
cftim and steady enough. 

Keeping his eyes fixed upon the officers so as not tew 
a moment to lose sight of their actions, he placed Lis 
hand upon the saddle and swuug himself easily inie 
his seat. 

It was Just then that a voice cried out in loud, 
shrill tontrf: 

"Here he is — here be is; I Vave him now, and no 
mistake." 

While these words were uttered, Dick felt his leg 
suddenly seized by some one, and the jerk given was 
such that it almost unhorsed him. 

Luckily, he kept his seat. 

The officers answered the cry with a loud shout, and 
came hastening towards them. 

With a sudden shake Dick managed to get his foot 
partially free, and before the man who had seized it 
could save himself be received a tremendous blow in 
the mouth from the tip of Dick's heavy riding boot 

He relaxed his hold and fell back with a strangw 
cry. 

" On, Bess," Dick cried — " on, my lass — your best spetxl 
is wanted now !" 

While he spoke the words a dropping, irregular volley 
came from the pistols of the officers. 

Bui the bullets sped past him harmlessly, for the short 
stumpy pistols that were at that time carried by the police 
officers were more for show than use, and if they struck 
an object aimed at it was by accident merely. 

But Maud uttered a loud cry, and at first Dick thought 
she had been injured. 

She quickly assured him, however, that all was well, 
the cry had been wrung from her lips by terror. 

There was something truly alarming in the furious 
rate at which Black Bess took her way across the rough, 
uneven piece of waste ground on which ihe circus had 
been erected. 

It was of considerable extent, and some time elapsed 
before its further boundary was reached. 

At length they reached this point in perfect safety. 

But Dick had left all to the sagacity of his mare ; ho 
had made not the slightest attempt to guide her, for he 
knew well enough she would be better able by this 
means to avoid any obstacles that might be in her path. 

The officers, however, were not so fortunate. 

The horses of the two foremost stepped suddenly into 
a hole only a few inches deep, but yet such was the 
jar produced that they stumbled and fell, oarrying their 
riders with them. 

The others were so close behind that they could not 
stop themselves immediately, and thus a scene of the 
utmost confusion took place, a confusion which lasted 
for several moments. 

This was an opportunity that Dick improved to the 
utmost. 

" All is well, Maud," he cried, in a reassuring voice— 
" all is well ! Fear nothing 1 If the officers are in the 
humour for a good gallop to-night they ohall have it; 
but I promise them they will get nothing for their 
pains." 

Black Bess seemed in excellent condition, and, so far 
as could be judged, quite overjoyed at thus again 
meeting with her master. 

A broad, tolerably-straight and well-kept cross-road 
was before them, and along this Dick allowed her to 
proceed at full gallop. 

Coming, then, to a spot where the road was intersected 
by another, he paused. 

He had not listened more than a few seconds before 
he heard distinctly behind him the sharp clatter pro- 
duced by the hoofs of the officers' horses striking the 
I hard road. 
" They're after us at full speed, Maud," said Dick ; 



CHATTER CMXXVf Z 

DICK TURFIN IS MUCH HARASSED BT THE VOUCH 
OFFICERS. 

Upow receipt tfT this Intelligence Dick Turpin clasped 
both his hands over his face, and uttered a deep groan. 

But he banished the emotion quickly, for he felt that k 
was the moment for deeds, not for grief. 

How he was to make his way through the fighting, 
struggling throng, and gain the centre of the circus he 
had no idea, and it was fortunate indeed even at that 
dire moment that he should maintain sufficient presence 
of mind to be aware that any attempt to mix himself up 
with the throng would prove fatal. 

His mind at the same instant grasped another idea. 

Smithini had said that Black Bess was with Maud, and 
tb*t reminded him that he had the power of calling Black 
Bess to his side. 

There was a possibility — just a remote possibility — that 
Maud might come with Black Bess if he gave utterance 
to the signal. 

The experiment was worth trying, and almost without 
reflection he whistled shnjly. 

There was an answering neigh, and then the confusion 
on the spot where the circus had stood was redoubled. 

With a furious rush and frantic, terrified bounds, Black 
Bess came galloping over those people who chanced to be 
in her way. 

Dick could scarcely summon up his cocr»ar& to look 
and see whether Maud was with her. 

Tremblingly and in great fear he raised his eyas, and 
then, with a cry of joy, sprang forward. 

Maud was there, seated upon Black Bess, and to all ap- 
pearance quite unhurt. 

In another second she was in his arms, and pressed 
tightly to his breast. 

" Safe," she said — " I am quite safe and unhurt ! And 
you, too, have escaped ?" 

" Yes — yes !" said Dick, whose heart was now light- 
ened of a terrible load — " yes, all is well. And Bess — 
what about her ?" 

" She, too, I think, is quite unharmed, or if she is hurt 
it is only in a very trifling degree." 

At this moment Smithini came hurrying towards them, 
and by the expression of his face it could be seen that 
some fresh calamity had befallen him. 

" All is lost !" he said, when he came nearer. '' My 
bad luck clings to me ! I thought I had got the better of 
it for once, but no, I have not. I am now a ruined scan 
In the fullest sense of the word !" 

Dick thought he referred to the fire, but in this do 
was quickly undeceived. 

" The receipts have been stolen," continued Smithini — 
" all the money taken at the doors has been carried 
off by the mob. I had no means of placing it in 
safety, and it is gone. I have not now a shilling iD 
the world 1" 



misc. I will be as good as my word." 

" Hush — hush !" said Smithini, suddenly 
Dick — look there V 

He pointed to a spot Close to the scene of cou&a- 
gration — a spot that was only a few yards dlietant. 

"Officers," ejaculated Dick— " officers^ as I live! I 
must retreat at once ; perhaps I shall be lucky enough 
•p escape unseen. Come, Maud, up quickly — quickly !" 

Jtaud was trembling violently, and weeping, for she 
•iftd not yet overcome her last excitement. 



" but you have no cause to fear. We have the advantage 
' *oo!l there, | of them now. When they r »ch this place they will 
have great difficulty in detormiiing whicn way _ Iavo 
gone." 

" And which way *hall you taw?" 

Dick paused a moment baore he replied, Liea 
said: 

" This one to the left." 

He turned Black Bees'* head down It while h* a^ok* 
and again urged her to put lutuk JM»r stmoai twwatu * 



ISiir 



BUCK 



apwl, for he wished to get sc far before the officers 
reached the cross roads that they would mot be able by 
listening to detect the-sowid of his horse's hoofs 

Suddenly, however, while going at full gallop. b» 
perceived something unusual la Bess's manner. 

Her neck was outstretched, and bar aars wars pro- 
jected J.urww*!. 

At the bunui iwsJ&.jt, Aland s#ki : 

•• Hark — hark ! Dick, I can hear ihe office!* how ! 
.Sow is it they have come upon as so quickly ?" 

Quite puaaled by this circumstance, and soaroaly able 
to credit it, Dick brought Black Bess to a halt, and *h,en 
listened. ^ 

Horsemen were approaching — there oould be no <loabt 
about tlfirf- 

But toe qnickly found they were proceeding froaa a 
direction opposite to that which he had first expected. 

"It is, ten to one, another troop," he said, in answer 
to Maud's query, " and it's lucky we heard them when 
we did, otherwise we should have dashed at full speed 
into their midst. They are frightfully close at hand, 
and I fear they must have heard us." 

Maud clung to Dick in alarm. 

"We are in danger," said the highwayman; "but we 
are not lost, for all that. Cheer up! This will be my 
best course now. Cling tightly." 

Ha turned Black Bess so that she faced a low hedge- 
row growing on one side of the road. 

She comprehended his wish, and with one bound 
oleared the obstruction easily. 

Soft green turf was now beneath the hoofs of Black 
Bess, and it made a wonderful difference to her. 

She flew onward as if she had suddenly received a 
fresh accession of strength. 

The night was still cloudy, with the moon breaking 
forth at intervals, and now, at this moment, to Dick's 
vexation, a cloud parted, and the moon peeped forth. 

The silvery light stole in an instant over the whole 
landscape. 

" I fear we shall be seen," said Dick. " But the same 
light which enables them to see me will enable me to see 
them. Ah ! loob — there they are !" 

The piece of ground on which they now were was of 
greater elevation than the road itself, and as Dick looked 
back he perceived the second troop of police offioets, 
whose approach he had so opportunely heard, standing 
in a dense throng close to the spot where he had over- 
leaped the hedge. 

Then, looking a little way to the left, he saw the 
«>ther troop coming on at full speed. 

Ic less than a moment the two forces would unite 

" They see me," he exclaimed. " But no matter i 
fear them not! Forward, Bess," he added — "forward, 
my lass! All depends upon your speed! Let us see 
what you can do !" 

It really seemed as though the gallant creature com- 
prehended the purport of the words that had just been 
uttered, for, without any further incentive for exertion, 
she all at once broke out into that long, stretching gallop 
which seemed to require no particular amount of exertion 
on her part, but yet which got over the ground in a style 
truly marvellous. 

A succession of broad, undulating meadows was quickly 
passed over, and when Dick drew rein again it was not 
until he had placed many miles between himself and the 
spot, where he had last stopped. 

He was now nearly at the brow oi a steep hill, and he 
looked back from this advantageous position, in order to 
ascertain whether the officers were still upon his track. 

But the moon was once fjgain covered by clouds, and it 
was impossible for hkn to see to any great distance. 

He listened; but no sound resembling the clatter of 
horses' hoofs reached his ears 

The silence was alone broken by the whistling or *««e 
vind among the tree tops. 

" Do you really thii»k that you have distanced them ? "' 
asked Maud, beginning: %c r«seover herself from the state 
ot tright in which she nad been for so long a time. 

" I trust so," answered Dick ; "but at present ft Is im- 
possible to say. I will let Bess go gently to the summit 
of this hill, and then we will 'pause again." 

" A nd, " pursued Maud, "supnosiug that yon should 
*»d yourwl? quite clear of the officers, what will be your 



Dick paused a moment before he ropEed. 

M I can hardly answer you," h© said, " «xoept by f^ing 
Chat I should push on at a gentle rate a&d look ajjoand 
me u.-r some plaee of shelter wfrero we oould remain can' 
coaled until the time comes for nv? to usee* my #on»- 
panions." 

Hand sighed 

** Wi*ere, u phe sa-d — " wheiie is this pine© of •oa^eal- 
ment and safety to be found ?" 

" We must wait and see," returned Dick, lightly and 
wwfilesely. "We have found places ere now, and doubt- 
less we shall find'them again ; we shall have to place our- 
selves entirely at the mercy of circumstances." 

During this brief conversation Black Bess had beea 
making her way at a slow walk up the steep declivity 
of the hilh 

Now tha brow was reached, and Dick brought her to 
a standstill. 

At the same moment the darkness was dispersed, for 
the moon broke out once more into her full lustre. 

The thick obscurity seemed to roll away like mists 
before the rising sun. 

And so Dick looked back in the direction he had just 
come. 

Distant and more distant objects wore by degrees 
brought into view. 

An ejaculation broke suddenly from his lips, which 
was echoed by one from Maud. 

Dick looked again, for he could scarcely believe in 
the reality ef what he saw. 

"Confusion!" he muttered. "They have managed 
somehow to steal a march upon us ; but how — how ?" 
Surely by some means or other t^ey must have pos- 
sessed themselves of fresh horses." 

Coming swiftly along, and at no great distance be- 
neath him, Dick saw the full troop of police officers. 

They were making good speed, he could tell that, but 
whether they had really obtained a change of horses was 
more than he could determine. 

As the moon was shining full upon Dick on the top 
of the hill, he could doubtless be seen very plainly by 
the officers below, fox the forms of himself, Maud, and 
Black Bess would be thrown into full relief by the sky 
behind them. 

I.-deed, something like a shout, sounding faint and 
far off, came upon Dick's ears, as though the officers had 
really recognised him. 

It was only for a moment that Dick allowed this to 
give him any concern. 

He saw that Maud was alarmed, and endeavoured to 
act in such a manner as would lead her to believe the 
danger was not so great as it actually was. 

Accordingly, with the resumption of that reckless, 
daring spirit that would peep forth at times, he dropped 
the reins on the neck of Black Bess, and pulling off 
his hat, made a kind of mocking bow with it. 

It was rather a gesture, to be understood by the officers 
as a challenge to follow him. 

" Dear Maud," he said, " fear nothing. If they are in 
the humour for a good ride to-night, I will not disap- 
point them. Cling tightly to me, ani* then all will be 
well." 

This injunction was scarcely necessary ,"" for Maud held 
to Dick as though she felt that here only safety she could 
know. 

At the same moment, Dick gathered up the reins, and 
gave Black Bess the impulse forward. 

She willingly responded to it, for the brief halt they 
had had was sufficient to enable her to recover to 
some extent her spent breath. 

Away, then, at a terrific pace she sped. 

Their way lay all down hill, so that comparatively little 
exertion was required to carry her over the ground. 

Away — away they went, with a speed that was 
absolutely terrific and alarming — a speed that no one 
would have thought of making in the darkness exceot 
from the conviction that by that means was their only 
chance of escape from death. 

And it was In darkless, for the ciouas, driven befot*. 
the strong breese, had again completely hidden the moon'e 
disc. 

How long that fearful gallop lasted, Maud a**c? 
knew. 

To h«? it seemed a long and endless time 



THE KNIGHT OF THE ROAD. 



1513 




[dick turpin's descent into THE OLD QUARRY.] 



She did not speak, neither did Dick, for the air 
rushed pa9t them with such swiftness as to make 
breathing a matter of difficulty. 

CHAPTER CMXXVIII. 

D.'CK TDRPIN ESCAPES A FRIGHTFUL PERIL, BUT 
FINDS A STRANGE PLACE OF REFUGE. 

It must be understood that the course taken by Dick 
Turpin in his headlong flight was not along any road or 
beaten path, but simply across the extensive meadows 
with which the sides of this hill were clothed. 

At times some other kind of land would intervene, 
but so quickly were these places passed over that they 
were scarcely noticed. 

Great as was the distance that had been passed over 
since Dick saw the officers from the summit of the hill, 
. No. 190.— Black Bess. 

No. 190. 



yet he did not attempt in any way to restrain his 
mare's progress. 

On the contrary, indeed, ho from time to time urged 
her to keep up the tremendous speed at which they had 
been going. ) 

Nothing but flight could save them, and he knew 
full well that it was better to place as great a distance 
between himself and the officers as he could in the 
shortest space of time. 

Yet that headlong progress through the darkness, 
with trees suddenly starting into view, and rushing past 
them like swiftly-flitting shadows, was something fear- 
ful to contemplate. 

But, as before, Dick trusted to the sagaciousness of 
his mare, whose perceptive faculties, ho knew from 
experience, were much keener than his own. 

Suddenly, while in the midst of this furious gallop, 
Black Bess came to a stop with so muoh abruptness that 



PT»T/-n» Onre Hat •etottvtjV. 



JfiJi 



BLA3K BESS; OS, 



it is a thousand wonders her riders were not flung vio- 
lently from the saddle. 

Dick was taken completely at unawares, and ha par- 
tially lost his seat, and a less accomplished horseman than 
himself could never have regained it. 

Dick was puzzled beyond measure by #.tva sudden stop- 
pttge. 

What could have been the cause ? 

He strained his eyes, but the obscurity appeared to 
thicken. 

Ho could distinguish nothing beyond his mare's head. 

Black Bess had her neck stretched, out and her ears 
projected forward, while she trembled from head tr foo 
as though enduring the utmost fright. 

"What is it, Dick?" asked Maud, fearfully— " ^' 'at is 
it?" 

"It must be something in the way," Dick answered — 
u some obstruction or other, though I can see nothing." 

He palled Black Bess on the neck while he spokn. then 
strove to reassure her. 

" Gently, old lass," ho said — " all is well ! Forward — 
forward— slowly ! There — that's it!" 

With very great difficulty, tho highwayman succeeded 
in. persuading his maro to tako a few hesitating stops in 
advance. 

She did not take more than a dozen before she again 
stopped, and this time she planted both her fore feet to- 
gether firmly on the ground, as though expressive of a 
determination not to allow anything to urge her beyond 
lhat point. 

" Oh for a gleam of light !" said Dick. " If tho moon 
would only shine now as it did a short time ago, we 
should be able to comprehend tho meaning of this mys- 
terious circumstance." 

"But there seems no hope of it," said Maud, as she 
glanced upwards and saw that tho whole sky was covered 
by one huge, dense cloud. 

" It will not do to pause here," were Dick's nest words ; 
"it is impossible to say where the officers maybe, and 
on this soft turf-land the hoof-strokes of thoir horses 
would be inaudible." 

" What is to be done ?" 

"Don't be alarmed, Maud — there is as yet no cause for 
fear. I will descend and grope carefully forward, when 
doubtless I shall discover what this obstruction is." 

But this course seemed to Maud to be fraught with a 
thousand terrors, and so she clung so tightly to Dick that 
he was unable to alight. 

" Turn her aside a little," she said — " then perhaps she 
will go on as before." 

Dick thought it worth tho trial, and pulled the rein. 

To no purpose, however. 

Black Bess would move neither to the right nor the 
left; in fact, she seemed to bo growing more restive 
every moment. 

" There is no danger," said Dick, "and if I attempt to 
force her she might turn round and gallop in the way we 
have just come, and that would be death." 

Maud felt this, and reluctantly removed her arms. 

Without another word, Dick slipped from the saddle to 
the ground. 

Retaining his hold upon tho reins, no stooped down, 
and, with one hand outstretched before him, groped for- 
ward. 

Ho was startled by a slight exclamation from Maud, 
and paused. 

Just then, a faint, misty light began to creep over all 
things. 

He knew then what had produced Maud's exclama- 
tion 

Glancing up, he found that the moon oad reacr^d r -ue 
portion of the dense cloud less opaque titan tho est, and 
through this partially-transparent medium she shone 
with a dim and sickly lustre, yet her light increase* as 
the clouds drifted onwara. 

Dick looked down again, and then he staggereS back, 
tottering a loud cry of alarm, which almost, had the 
effect of causing Black Bess to break from his hold. 

Tho shout was echoed by a shriek from Maud, for 
both had looked down on tho ground at the same 
moment. 

What words can express tho horror cy fell upon 
fs»kiug the discovery that they had paused upon the 
Twy verge of a huge exca ation, so wide and so deep 



that the misty, uncertain light was insufficient to reveal 
the other side or its lowest depths. 

Black Bess, when she placed her feet so determinedly 
upon the earth, was littjfl nure than a foot from tiis 
brink ol the abjss. 

Dick himself, when groping forward, had been so close 
to it, and so near falling down, that the bare recollection 
of it made his brain spin round and round. 

It w.ts only fo- a moment that they were allowed the 
opportunity of taking a glance at tho excavation. 

The moonlight again faded away, and all was obscurity 
as before. 

Maud trembled so excessively with fright that she 
could scarcely retain her seat. 

By an effort, Dick recovered himself from his conster- 
nation. 

"A. fortunate escape," he said — "a most fortunate 
escape. Black Bess," ho added, patting his mare upon 
the neck while he spoke, "once again I owe you my 
life, for without you I should surely have perished." 

"I am terrified to death !" said Maud. " Back — back ! 
Come further back — I cannot remain so close to the 
verge !" 

" You are safe," said Dick — "quite safe. Tho danger 
is over, now that we know it. Wo have had a fright- 
fully narrow escape from an awful death, and it will be 
long indeed before I can forget it." 

In spite of his efforts to speak calmly, it was easy to 
ace thst Dick was much overcome. 

Prvoa&ly he would have given way still more to the 
feeliDgs tilt would naturally be called forth by such an 
event, but for the recollection that he still stood in great 
danger. 

The officers were still behind him— how close he could 
not say. 

It was rather difficult now for Dick to determine what 
course to take. 

The transient view he had obtained of his surround- 
ings sufficed to show him that the excavation was of vast 
extent and very irregular in shape ; thus to attempt to 
skirt it in the darkness would be attended by no little 
difficulty. 

Yet he felt that this was what must be done. 

He could not advance, and to retreat would be only to 
diminish the distance he had been at such pains to place 
between himself and tho police officers. 

"I will not mount at present," he said at length. "Re- 
main where you are, Maud, and I will lead Bess by the 
bridle, then you may be sure that all will be well. I will 
not put my foot down until I know that thero is firm 
earth to place it on." 

Maud remained silent, and Dick took her silence for 
consent; but it was more because she felt her emotions 
so great as to obstruct her utterance. 

Stepping lightly and carefully, as he had promised. 
Dick advanced, taking care to keep as far away from the 
brink of the abyss as he was able. 

Prom time to time he looked up anxiously towards the 
sky above. 

The wind was increasing in force and steadiness each 
moment, and drove the cloud3 along at a tremendous 
rate, so that he indulged in the hope that ere long the 
moon might break forth again and light him on his way. 

As well as the rushing of the wind would let him, he 
listened, but he could hear nothing of his foes. 

Yet they might be close behind him, though, when ho 
took into consideration tho length of time Black Bess had 
been going at full gallop, he scarcely thought it pos- 
sible. • 

Thero was a consoKtion to be found even in the dark- 
ness. 

If it concealed his pursuers from him, it also concealed 
him fropa them, and it also multiplied tho chances ol 
missing him. 

In eo an oDscurity «-s that it would be hard in- 

deed to keep upon his track. 

Once moro tho sky began gradually to grow lighter, and 
far away on tho horizon could be seen a long bright 
streak, which appeared rapidly to widen as the clouds 
came driving on. 

He soon found that this was a rift of considerable 
extent, and w ••■ the moon entered it again, every object 
around him was brought into full view, as though by th« 
magic stroke of some enchanter's ?rond. 



THE KNIGHT 0? THE E02D. 



1518 



On this occasion he was able to see the general con- 
Egu ration, but not the depth, of the place into whic *£ 
had so uarrowly escaped falling. 

Hitherto pe could only guess at the .character ci the 
excavation... ' 

Nov.- ho saw that it was a huge stone quarry. 

From various sigus that ho saw around he cascaded 
that it had remained for many years disused. 

The strata of soft earth that lay above the sto* nad 
given birth to vegetation of all kinds, in most places 
growing in luxuriance, so as to give the quarry an aspect 
01 rare picturesque beauty. 

The sides were rugged, irregular, and steep. 

The quantity of stone removed must have been im- 
mense, for although he drew close to the verge and 
strained his eyes to the utmost, Dick was unable to per- 
ceive the hottom. *■ 

At various places on tho sides, however, trees -were 
growing out id oblique, fantastic fashions, while the 
splashing and rushing of water came distinctly to his 
ears. 

The thought that entered Dick's mind while gazing at 
this place was a very natural one, considering his posi- 
tion. 

Turning round first, so as to avail himself of the light 
of the moon while it lasted, ho looked keenly in the way 
he had just come. 

But to his great satisfaction no signs of the police 
officers could be perceived. 

"See here, Maud," ho sxel limed, when he had satisfied 
himself upon this point; "havo we not been fortunate in 
reaching this strange place ?" 

" Fortunate ?" she repeated, in accents of surprise. 

" Yes, surely so ; we have outrun the officers, of that I 
am certain. You were asking me whero I should find a 
place of refuge. Behold, it is there. Chance has thrown 
it in our way." 

But Maud shrank back in 3ome dismay at the prospect 
of taking shelter in so wild and desolate a place. 

" Yes," continued Dick ; " it is only in some such place 
as this that we can hope to remain in safety •, wo shall b9 
dependent upon no one save ourselves, and therefore 
shall have nothing to fear in the shape of treachery in 
tho depths of this huge excavation. No one would think 
of looking for us; or if tho place was visited, we should, 
ten to one, escape observation. Believe mo, we cannei 
hope to find a better place than this." 

'•But how shall wo descend ?" s-.iid Maud, becoming 
more reconciled to tho idea of remaining in so gleomy i 
place, by the considerations of its safety. " The side3 
seem to me like wails." 

"In all probability," returned Dick, "there is a path 
somewhere leading down into its lowest depths. That 
path we must find, and carefully pursue." 

•' I see no signs of it." 

" Nor I at present. You can guide Black Bess, and 
while you are doing so I will creep close to the sdgo of 
the abyss and make good use of tho moonlight while it 
lasts." 

Dick did not wait for Maud to make any reply, but 
going as close to the edge of the quarry as was consist- 
ent with safety, ho walked rabidly along, looking keenly 
all the time, in the hope of discovering the path of which 
ho had spoken. 

For a long thn ho iaSv nothing bearing any rosem- 
blance to it. 

In one place he saw wT.at looked like steps roughly 
hewn in the stone, but these were impracticable. 

It was necessary to find some sloping path, down whi«h 
be could lead Black Bess. 

After much searching, he was at length rewarded. 

A narrow path was found, but it was 60 much over- 
turn" - 6/ the stone tha it required a very quick eye ia- 
decd to detect it. 

The descent was very rapid, and must at all times have 
been attended with a great arm#int of daagor, but now 
that danger was much increased by tho presence of a 
quantity of green moss, which seemod to rest upon ibe 
Burfaco of the stone, nd which changed to a Watery 
moisture beneath the feet 

In all probability, however, mere was no other mode of 
descent into the quarry save this, and accordingly Dick 
hastened to Maud's side. 

•' You w'U have to summon up irll your courage," he 



said, " for th«> task before you is a difficult one ; but yon 
must endeavour to gathor confidence by thinking w hat 
safety we shall gain by adopting this course. Once fairly 
at the bottom of that quarry, we can bid defiance to all the 
officers iu the kingdom. I am convinced i.hey would 
never dream of looking for us there." 

Certainly nothing would have inspired Matte with 
more courage that tho thought that she was about in 
some way to contribute to Dick's safety. 

Sb<J had always been in a state of perpetual alarm on 
his account, and thought how grateful would be the 
change could she bat feel certain that for a time he was 
in no danger. 

Nevertheless, although she steeled ner heart well, her 
courage for a moment failed her when she saw the narrow, 
precipitous path down which she would have to make her 
way. 

But, lecovering herself with great difficult}', she 
said : 

" Lead tho way, Dick — lead the way, and I will follow. 
It is necessary that you should take Black Bess by tho 
bridle, and when I see you both before me I shall have 
confidence to follow in your footsteps." 

"As you will," said Dick. ''It will, I expect, be no 
easy task to lead Black Bess ; but yet, with care, it may 
be accomplished." 

Accordingly, ho took hold of Black Bess by the bridle, 
and led her towards the brink of the precipice. 

She shrank back in natural terror, yet lid not hesitate 
to follow where her master led. 

Taking each step slowly and carefully, Dick began l ,o 
descend. 

Black Bess slipped more than once, and eveiytime % 
pang of alarm shot through his breast. 

He knew how easy it would be for her to fall 
over the side of the narrow pathway into tho depths 
below. 

Maud, too, occasioned him much anxiety, and at every 
moment he would look back, in Drder to make sure that 
she was safe. 

But Maud, wisely making the resolution not to turn her 
eye3 in the direction of the quarry itself, steadily stepped 
onwards, for tho most part keeping her hands 3lose 
against the side of the precipice, acquiring additional 
confidence by this intangible handhold. 

After going down some distance, they found them- 
selves upon a small flat piece of rock, or what the French 
would caH a plateau, and hero Dick paused a Littlo while. 
in order to take a glance at that portion of :ho pathway 
which led down from this place. 

Ho endeavoured also to make out how much further he 
would have to lescend, and as the moon just then wis 
shining brightly, ho perceived, or fancied he perceived, 
among the many shadows down below, the tops of a few 
stunted trees, and the sparkle of running water. 

T!\o pathway presented much the ;amo appearance as 
before, and it was entered upon with additional confi- 
dence. 

It conducted to a second plateau, from which they 
similarly descended to a third, md from the third to tho 
rough and rugged bottom of tho quarry. 

Huge stones were lying about here and there promis- 
cuously, and io some places grass 3nd trees were grow- 
ing. 

Save and except tho rushing of the water, a profound 
silence prevailed in this place. 

A cold cL'll was in the air, and the darkness was such 
as to havii a most depressing influence upon the spirits, for 
although tho moon shone down into the quarry, yet she 
was net nuar enough to the zenith to illumine this its 
lowest depth. 

Oppressed and half terrified, Maud crept closer to Dick's 
side, who, however, was impressed very differently by 
his surroundingc. 

" Safe now, Maud," he said, and his voice sounded un- 
earthly and strange as it reverberated among the recesses 
in the stonework — "quite safe now. The officers will 
not find us here." 

" But," said Maud, with a shiver and a sigh, "should 
they by any chance learn of your whereabouts, would you 
not then bo completely at their mercy ?— would they x±*A 
bold yon as if in a trap t" 



1516 



BLACK BESS ; OR, 



CHAPTER OMXXIX. 

RETURNS TO TOM KING, AND SHOWS HOW HE ADOTISD & 
CLEVER STRATAGEM TO GET RID OF TIIK FOUCS 
OFFICERS, AND WHAT WAS ITS RESULT. 

When Tom King parted from Dick Turpin in Usa iittle 
plantation at the back of the Three Spiders Inn, he nieds 
his way with as much speed a3 ho ccnld towards the open 
country, which he trusted to reach uuperceived. 

But this expectation was doomed to disappointment. 

Despite all the elaborate precautions that he took, an 
officer stationed near the spot whence he emerged uttered 
aloud shout, and immediately followed it up by discharg- 
ing his pistol. 

These two acts served at once to raise an alarm, rtich 
was just what the officer intended, and in a few ndnutes 
he found himself surroU^Jed by four or five of his com- 
panions. 

He answered the questions they pouied in upon him by 
pointing across the fields, where, at some distance, the 
flying forms of Tom King and his steed could be dis- 
tinguished. 

" Make all speed !" he said, addressing the others. " A 
sharp touch is most likely to do it ; but a stern chase, I 
have heard say, is a long one, and, if you are all of my 
mind, we will keep on his track, and never quit it until 
we have slain or captured him. If this goes on much 
longer we shall get so much disgrace that we shall bo dis- 
missed in a whole body." 

" We are with you !" said the others, and while they 
uttered the words, thoy lashed and spurred their horses 
6avagely. 

The animals were tolerably fresh, and as the officers by 
this time had learned from experience that they could 
have no chance of success whatever unless mounted upon 
cattle of superior quality, they had not on this occasion 
neglected to provide themselves with the best steeds they 
could procure. 

With scarcely any delay, then, the chase was com- 
menced, and Tom King had the mortification of knowing 
that the officers were close behind h\m — so close that he 
could scarcely be said to have had x start worth speaii- 
ing of. 

But Tom knew to what extent he could rely upon Ms 
horse ; it had served him well on many previous occa- 
sions, and, moreover, it had lately had good rest and food, 
and therefore would bo capable of putting forth its best 
exertions. 

Away, then, at full speed he went, until the turnpike- 
road was gained, and along this ho resolved to make his 
way, chiefly because on the opposite side of it he saw 
nothing but ploughed fields, over which ho knew it 
would be madness to attempt to ride. 

With a prodigious clatter, then, he sped along the 
highway in the direction of the country. 

People and vehicles were passed so quickly that only a 
transient glimpse was obtained of the dying horseman. 

Perceiving presently before him the white, gleaming 
bars of a toll-gate, and knowing full well that at that 
hour of the night the gate would be closed Tom again 
took to the fields. 

His horse leaped over a low hedge easily, and then he 
found himself once more with turf beneath his feet. 

Another ploughed field forced Tom King upon the 
high-road again. * 

In passing the toll-gate he had made a considei nolo 
detour, and this had told greatly against him, for the 
officers, having kept direct along the road without relax- 
ing their speed, were now clustered together m a dense 
throng around the toll-gate, which a man was iff <ke act 
of unlocking. 

But Tom still had the start, and as the road csd a 
gradual downward tendency, his horse was afcia to keep 
up the headlong gallop without much distross. 

Further and further into the country Tom west 

He was incited to urge his horse on to the attoimost, 
for slowly but surely lie saw that the space between him- 
Belf and the oliiceis was gradually getting wider ard 
wider. 

But his horse now began to cause him much a^ic- 
hension. 

More than once it had staggered and limped as though 
joftrfully exhausted, but yet as if so full of niettk thai it 



would gallop on until it fell down dead racher than relax 
its speed. 

Such being the case, and as the officers were now quite 
out of sight, and almost out of hearing, Tom began to 
look about him for soma means of throwing his pursuers 
off his track. 

Glancing to his right, he saw nothing before him but a 
smooth expanse of country, which offered him not the 
remotest chance of concealment. 

On the left the highway was bounded by a very high 
atone wall, so high that, though on horseback, he could 
not see fairly over it. 

This wall was of immense length. 
It stretched as far as he could 6ee behind and before 
him. 

By the trees which he perceived growing in great 
luxuriance over this wall, tnd indeed by the general ap- 
pearance of the place, ho readily enough concluded that 
this was the boundary wall of some large estate, such as 
can be met with in many parts of England. 
This, then, offered him no chance at all. 

ft was quite in vain to look for shelter in this direc- 
tion. 

Nothing remained for him to do but to goad the already 
bleeding flanks of his horse, and so force him to keep up 
his gallop. 

Fainter and fainter, however, grew the sounds of the 
horses in his rear, until at length they became so indis- 
tinct that it was only at intervals they floated to his 
ears. 

Suddenly, while flying onward at this rate, he perceived 
that this long stone wall, that seemed as though it had 
no termination, was broken in upon by a gateway. 

The sight of it caused a sudden thought to dart into his 
mind, a thought which was instantly matured. 

He felt that he should be able to put into execution a 
stratagem that promised well to baffle the acuteness of his 
foes. 

Accordingly he brought his horse gradually to a stand- 
still, then turned his head round and took him gently to- 
wards the gateway he had passed. 

Beaching it, he saw that it was an ordinary five-barred 
gate, and that it opened upon a broad, welUkcpt road 
that appeared to lead in a direct line across the park. 

Hurriedly descending, he examined the fastenings of 
this gate, and saw that thoy consisted only of a kind of 
spring latch which allowed him to make ingress easily. 

Passing quickly through the gate, he closed it after him, 
then, placing his ear upon the ground, listened. 

Faintly — very faintly, but yet so audibly as not to be 
mistaken, he could hear the dull thud; thud produced by 
the beating of the hoofs of the six horses ou the road. 

" They may have heard me stop," Tom muttered, " but 
I doubt it. If they have, they will be in some doubt as to 
which way I have taken. It's a good thought — a lucky 
thought ; I will imitate the hare by doubling directly on 
my course." 

He sprang into the saddle in a moment, and with an 
amount of audacity truly wonderful, and yet which pro- 
mised well for the success of his scheme, he turned his 
horse's head in the direction from whichtthe officers were 
coming, and so rode On as it were to meet them, only the 
high stone wall of which we have spoken lay between. 

On this side of the wall, too, the ground was soft, and 
as Tom allowed his horse to go at a moderate speed, his 
footfalls scarcely made a sound. 

It was only occasionally that thera was a slight crack- 
liug cf *wigs to betray his progress. 

As ne thus went ou, the sounds of the officers approach- 
ing grew more distinct with marvellous rapidity, and at 
length Tom deemed it prudent to pause. 

The stone wall was quite sufficient to screen him from 
their view, and it would bo a pity ii any accidental sound 
he might make in forcing his way onwards should attract 
their notice, and so lead them to suspect his where- 
abouts. 

GetiiH"?; as close as he possibly could to the wall, ho 
remained^ quite still, busying himself, however, by strok- 
ing and caressing his horse's neck, by which means he 
trusted to keep the creature quiet. 

There was little fear, however, that it would eithe* 
move or make any sound. 

It was so fatigued as to be only too rejoiced at &a &$>• 
portanity of recovering its lost breath. 



THE KNIGHT OF THE EOAD. 



151? 



The officers were now close at hand, and Tom eould 
not hear thorn approaching so closely without a sensation 
of uneasiness creeping over him, though he had the 
greatest confidence in the stratagem he had adopted. 

He was pleased to find that there were no signs of the 
officers abating their speed in the least degree. 

He could hear them urge their horses onward both by 
roice and by the smacking of their riding-whips. 

With a sudden rush the whole troop swept past mm, 
«.ud no sooner had they done so thau he was irresistibly 
impelled to r" ; =A his head above the wall a little, and peep 
at them. 

They did not remain long in view, being hidden irom 
his sight by the thick, interposing branches of hundreds 
of trees. 

Nevertheless, ho could near them, and this sufficed to 
let him know they were still galloping along the high- 
way. 

" Now," said Tom, to himself, " forward once more — 
forward ! And every step I take will indeed increase the 
distance between the officers and myself! If I am care- 
ful, in a little while I shall be rid of them, for no one has 
seen me enter this place, and there will bo nothing to 
serve thom as a clue to the way 1 havo taken." 

Imagining, however, that little advantage was to be 
gained by keeping close under the shadow of the wall, 
Tom gradually increased his distance from it, being in- 
duced to do so by the fact that the vegetation was more 
scanty further from it, and consequently he was thus 
enabled to make better speed. 

And now he came to a portion of the park — for park it 
was— consisting only of turf, and being entirely destitute 
of trees. 

Ovor this he went at full gallop, then stopped, for be- 
fore him was a dense preserve. 

He hesitated a moment as to whether he should endea- 
vour to force his way among tho thickly-growing 
trees. 

But he resolved not to turn aside ; he was going now 
in tho right direction, and the chances were that this 
plantation would not be of any great extent. 

Just as he was about to enter it, he perceived a board 
nailed up to one of the largest trees. 

Some words were painted on it in white letters, but this 
was all he could make out — there was not light enough 
to read by. 

"A caution against trespassing, I suppose," muttered 
Tom, with a light laugh. "Well, I need not trouble 
about that. If anyone attempts to interrupt my progress, 
they will find they have an ugly customer to deal 
with !" 

With this reflection he pushed his way through the 
trees, hoping in a little time that they would become less 
dense. 

For the most part, they were saplings, with thin, supple 
boughs, which were easily displaced. 

Eveiy now and then the faint cry of some night bird 
would reach his ears, and then there would be a whirring 
and fluttering of wings as some large bird or other would 
be disturbed from his perch. 

Tom's mind was now comparatively easy, for he fully 
indulged in the belief that he had got rid of the police 
officers entirely. 

All around him was so very still and quiet, and so un- 
auggestive of the presence of his fellow-creatures, that it 
is no wonder such a feeling should occupy his breast. 
That confidence, nevertheless, was suddenly shaken. 
His horse stopped abruptly, and uttered a loud cry, 
unmistakably of pain. 
It struggled and kicked furiously ; but one foot was 

fftot. 

It plunged agaiu, and then Tom was conscious •, fest one 
of the horse's hoofs had struck against son* other 
obstacle. 

The action was instantaneously followed by a 
flash and a loud report. 

At the same time the horse plunged again, sna^ii, aad 
then fell down all at once as if struck by lightning. 

Tom with difficulty disengaged his feet from te6 stii- 
rups in time ecough to prevent himself from reoeiTwtg 
any injury by this fall, but he did so. 

These last events had occurred so suddenly and au un- 
expectedly that for a few minutes he was stunned and 
completely bewildered ; not being able to conipreb nd 



what had happened, ho was surprised that the report of 
the gun should not havo been followed up by any attack 
upon him. 

Ho stooped down to look mora closely about him. 
Examination served to banish his bewilderment. It 
was plain enough to see what had happened. 

The owner of the preserve, in order t3 prevent others 
from poaching on his domain, had placed man-traps and 
spring-guns in various places. 

In one of the former Tom's horse Lid placed his fore 
foot. 

It was this waich had brought nira so suddenly to a 
stop, and which elicited the cry of fright and pain. 

The horse was now lying quite still, either dead or 
dying, and so artfully had the deadly weapon been con- 
trived that its contents had proved mortal. 

Tom congratulated himself upon his own narrow escape 
from sudden death, tho recollection of which served to 
make the calamity of the loss of his horse sink into com- 
parative unimportance. 

Any attempt to recover his horse he saw was fruitless, 
and how to repair his loss he knew not. 

Yet a moment's thought told him that probably in the 
grounds some other horse would be found which he might 
be able to capture. 

The trappings would be necessary, and these he has- 
tened to divest his horse of. 

The saddle had been removed. He was in the act of 
pulling off tho bridle, when there came suddenly upon him 
the flash of many lights, the sound of voices, the tramp- 
ling of footsteps, and the crackling of the underwood. 

" Stand still I" roared a loud voice — " stand still ! If 
you move one step we will all fire, and your death will be 
certain! Surrender — you are our prisoner !" 

Confused by this sudden and unexpected turn of affairs, 
and dazzled by the lights which proceeded from the lan- 
terns carried by the men, Tom stood still, as he had been 
commanded. 

He gazed anxiously around, and saw that he waa 
surrounded by several men — one-half bearing lanterns, the 
light of which was turned full upon him ; the other half 
with guns pressed against their shoulders, and with the 
muzzles pointed at his breast. 



CHAPTER CMXXX. 

IX WHICH THE GAMK.KEEPERS MAKE TOM KING A »A 9T 
PRISONER. 

In that brief, rapid, but comprehensive glance, Tom King 
saw something more, which served, to some extent, to 
allay the alarm that was rising in his breast. The men 
by whom ho was confronted and called upon to surrender 
were not attired either in the costume of police officers or 
of dragoons. 

They were, indeed, as their dress plainly showed, 
neither more nor less than gamekeepers, who, hearing the 
explosion of the spring-gun, had hastened to that part 
of the preserve. 

" I surrender," said Tom King. " I have no intention 
of attempting to make nsy escape. You 6ee I have met 
with an accident." 

The word was repeated by the gamekeepers in tones 
of surprise and derision. 

But three oj them stepping nimbly forward, placed 
themselves o r " on each side and the other behind him. 

"What aro you about to do?" ho asked. "Why do 
you make me your prisoner ?" 

" For poaching." 

Tom Isughed loudSy. 

" Poaching ?" he said. " The idea of such a joke! 1 
should like to know who ever heard of a man going 
poaching on horseback." 

" Well, if not poaching, it's trespassing," said one ol 
the gamekeepers, in a gruff voice, " and that's all the 
same to us — Sir Thomas does nut allow either tho one or 
the other ; so come aloi"* !" 

" Pooh, pooh !" said Tom — " there's no necessity what- 
ever to ir.-uble Sir Thomas in the matter — I am sure it 
can be settled easily between us. Look here — you can 
see what kkid of an accident I have met with. In my 
ignorance of where I was, having lost my way, I blun- 
dered into this preserve. My horse put his foot into th« 
trap, touches the wire connected with the spring-gun, 
and \'P bas met with his death." 



1515 



BLACK BE8S OS, 



" That may be all right enough," said tho gamekeeper 
who had last spoken, " but it is trespass, and we hare 
strict orders to take all trespassers into custody." 

" Yes, I know all about that," said Tom, ,: but thers 
are exceptions to every case, and I suppose a little con« 
sideration from me will put matters quite straight.". 

There was a silence, and Tom said : 

" Let mo see. Why, there- aro six of you. rTcw 1 
suppose a couple of guineas each, or something liko that, 
would bo very auocDtabloto all of you, and no one would 
be the wiser." 

" Well," Baid the gamekeeper, "of courso, if yoa Hre 
proparod to treat us liberally, that's another thing, and 
your business might bo urgent enough to make it worth 
while to pay something to be lot off." 

"Decidedly," said Tom — "decidedly." 

Ho plunged his hand first into ono pocket and then 
into another, but, to his consternation, discovered he 
had not about him anything more than some loose silver. 

Tho gamekeepers began once more to look distrust- 
fully and suspiciously upon him. 

Tom was greatly mortified, for lie sav that if he had 
only happened to possess a few guineas ha would easily 
have got out of his present situation. 

Not that it was particularly an alarming one, but, then 
if he did not extricate himself from it at onee, there was 
no knowing what complications it might lead to. 

" My good friends," ho said, " I have not about me the 
amount I promised, but I give you my word of honour 
you shall have it at any time that you think proper to 
appoint — say to-morrow night. I will meet one of you, 
or all of you, anywhere you choose, and will give you 
tho amount." 

" Oh, gammon !" said the one who, by the common 
oonsei t of his fellows, took tho lead in tho affair — 
" gam uon I I thoiiiht how much yon were going to 
givo u, in money. You will take notice, ' ho added, ad- 
dressing the others, "that wo aro ail witnesses to his 
having offered to brib9 us with money to got off." 

" Yes— yes." 

" Now, take care !" said Tom. " I givo you my word, 
and you may depend that I shall not go back from it j 
but if you refuse, why, then you will lind that I shall 
turn out a rough customer to deal with." 

" Oil, all right," said tho gamekeepors — " we will lake 
the risk of all that. Now, then, just march along, will 
you, or it will be the worse for you !" 

While these words were spoken, those three game- 
keepers who had already taken hold of Tom King 
tightened their grasp upon him, whilo the threo others 
immediately p.aced themselves in the rear, and pressed 
the muzzles of their guns against his back." 

In this position ho was commanded to proceed, and 
threatened, in case of his refusaL that tho guns should 
be discharged, tho men alleging that Sir Thomas would 
tako care to hold them blameless. 

There was an amount of rough, savage earnestness 
*bout tho manner in which these men spoko that could 
not by any possibility bo mistaken. 

Tom King instinctively felt that thoy would not hosi- 
tate to carry their threat into execution. 

Ho most bitterly regretted now that ho had allowed 
himself to bo taken captive at ail, since by so doing ho 
had shut himself out from all chauco of regaining his 
liberty. 

Disagreeable and repugnant as iv vvas to him, ho had 
no other resource than to comply with the demands o* 
theso men, and to march i-nominiously forward. 

They pushed him on, indeed, at a much greater speed, 
»cd with much more violence, than was at all rtoces- 
Bary. 

Tom King disdained to say another word to (hose 
fellows, but ho kept himself pai^icularly on the alert, so 
as to be able to take advantage of any trifling circum- 
stance that might arise that was capable of being turned 
to his beneSt. 

Tho men knew every inch of tho ground, and conse- 
quently took the shortest way out of tho preserve. 

Tom then found himself in a largo meadow, beyond 
which over tho tree t,op3 ho could dimly distinguish tho 
ehimneys of a habitation. 

This ho expected was the residence of the Sir Thomas 
tfho had been mentioned by tho gamekeepers. 

In the same manner as before Tom was hurried across 



this meadow, and oo by a rather cirouitous route to the 
back part.of a large, old-fashioned building — ono of those 
comfortable residences of dull red brick which the great 
landed proprietors were so fond of building two or three 
canturiea ago. 

As the hour was late, this mansion— for such it might 
be termed — was plunged in darkness, save and except 
that from ono solitary window came forth a beam of light. 

Manifestly their destination was this building, and 
Tern began to wonder whether it would not be better to 
run the risk of raouvin!* a wound from the gun rather 
than suffer himse-lf la be carried beneath any roof. 

But before he had timo to make up his mind on this 
point a door was opened, through which ho was cy'ekly 
hustled. 

Then ho found himself in a small chain Dor on the 
ground floor, wherein a hugo fire was burning. 

This chamber, he imagined, was chiefly for the use of 
the gamekeepers whilo ongaged on night duty. 

An old man, with a stern-looking face, to whom the 
gamekeepers showed some degree of deference, was the 
only inmate of this apartment, and he rose slowly to 
his feet when the throng entered. 

" A prisoner, Ambrose," said one of the gamekeepers. 
" Wo caught him trespassing in the north plantation. 
Just open the door, will you, and we will make him right 
till morning." 

Tho man addressed as Ambrose took a hugo key from 
his pocket, which he fitted into a small, strong-looking 
door, which Tom did not notice until he thus went 
towards it. 

The gamekeepers pushed him on, so that he was com- 
pelled to follow in the footsteps of this man. 

Passing through this door, however, he found himself 
at tho foot of a winding flight of stairs, and then he was 
made to ascend them, very much against his will. 

The ascent was long aud trying, and Tom felt oertain 
that he must be at the very top of tho building. 

Suddenly Ambrose stopped, and pushed open another 
door that grated harshly upon its hinges. 

Across the threshold of tho room into which it led 
Tom was thrust, and then, as quick as lightning, the 
door was closed, locked, and bolted. 

Tho man descended the stairs again, after which all 
was still. 

As Tom had comprehended, the room in which he now 
stood was at the very top of tho mansion. 

It was always used for the reception of those prisoners 
who might be made by the gamekeepers during the 
night, and it was rarely indeed that it was without an 
occupant, for Sir Thomas was one of those strict 
preservers of gamo who looked upon the unlawful 
slaughtering of a bird or hare as a crime almost worthy 
of being punished by death. 

As often happens, however, the very severity of the 
punishment did not deter tho people from continually 
poaching upon his domains, and it was supposed that he 
lost more game in this manner than any other resident 
in the county. 

Tho chamber was very dark, but Tom King managed 
after awhile to see dimly about him. 

Articles of furniture there were none— not even a 
bench on which to sit. 

Thero was only ono window, and that was scarcely de- 
serving of tho name, being merely a square opening in 
the wall, placed so high up as to bo considered out of 
reach of everyone. 

Upon that window Tom's eyes at onee &k?& them- 
selves. 

From what the reader knows already of his character, 
it may be guo.sed that ho did not for one moment intend 
to submit quietly to any fa to Sir Thomas or his myr- 
midons might design for him. 

His immediate object was to escape, and that objcot 
he determined to effect somehow or other. 

Walking close up to tho wall beneath tho window, ho 
reached up with his hands a3 high as he could, and found 
that tho tips of his fingers were a few inches from the 
sill of the window. 

A slight spring from tho ground, howevC?, enabled 
him to hook his fingers over it, and the grasp thus 
obtained was sufficient to enable him to draw himself 
np until his breast was level with h>3 hands. 

Then ho saw, somewhat to his surprise, that tho wip» 



THE KNIGHI OS THE ROAD. 



dow was defended only by one perpendicular iron bar, 
which looked to be far enough away from the wall oi 
either side to allow his body to pass through. 

Clinging tightly with his left hand, Tom readied out 
with his right, and took hold of this iron bar just men- 
tioned. 

By the aid of this he was ablo to draw hvr'v \l up evjtl 
higher and higher. 

As he expected, there was just room to a'^ow M head 
and shoulders to pass between the wall on one side and 
the bar on tho other. 

He looked down, and for a moment felt rathe* giddy. 

He saw, at a great height from the ground beneath him, 
at all manner of angles and at varying depths, the loot 
of the building, and from his position he made out that 
he was in a kind of circular turret that rose up from the 
centre. 

For what purpose this tower was designed ha knew 
not, but just then he was startled by hearing a clock etrike 
the hour. 

The sounds were sonorous to a degree, and Tom then 
found that abovo him was a large turret clock. 

He looked down, aud wondered how ha should es- 
cape. 

He was no longer surprised that the window should 
have been left comparatively so unguarded. 

Few, indeed, would be able to cKmb up to it at all — 
those who did would naturally hesitate and shrink before 
they attempted to lower themselves from such a height. 

Indeed had not Tom King had a price upon his head, 
and kr.ew that so many were thirsty for his blood, he 
w uld have banished all further contemplation of making 
his escape. 

The remembrance of these facts, however, nerved him 
to such deeds as would make others not similarly situated 
shrink back appalled. 

The distance to the roof immediately beneath the win- 
dow was considerable, and, moreover, this roof slanted at 
a very sharp angle, so that in dropping upon it it would 
not be possible to retain any hold. 

Seeing, however, that rolling down the tiles ho should 
only fall into a gutter formed by another portion of the 
roof sloping from an opposite direction, Tom King re- 
solved to run the risk. 

It was a matter of some difficulty to turn round in 
such a confined space as he was now in, but this feat 
was accomplished, and he began slowly to lower himself 
through the window feet foremost. 

He continued to do so until he held only by his hands, 
with his body remaining stretched at the fuil length of 
his arms. 

He did not dare to look below, to hesitate, or to think 
upon the consequences of his fall. 

He shut his eyes and released his grasp. 

He came with a sharp shock upon the tiles, several of 
which were loosened by the violence of his fall. 

Half sliding, half rolling, he continued to descend 
until brought up by the gutter of which we have made 
mention. 

Here he remained for somo minutes, only partially in 
possession of his consciousness. 

But what sense that remained to him was fully occu- 
pied in listening, in order to ascertain whether any alarm 
had been given by the noise he had made. 

So far as he could tell, however, all was well and at 
length he scrambled to his feet 

He found that he was badly bruised, but as yet did not 
suffer much pain — that would come in time, no doub( 

Judging by what he had already accomplished, Tom 
King had little more to do, and yet it was no easy task 
to look forward to having to reach the ground from tho 
top of that loity habitation. 

But Tom scrambled over the roof tops until he reached 
the outer parapet. 

Along the inside of this he crept until he had almost 
made a circuit of the building. 

Then he came to a spot where there was another roof 
below him, apparently belonging to some outbuilding. 

Straining his eyes, he could make out beneath him 
something that looked like a large yard, with etablcs on 
one side of it, and coach-houses on the other. 

" Ah !" he said, " this is the placo to descend. Con- 
feund Sir Thomas and his gamekeepers ! thev have given 
me some trouble, but they shall pay for it ! I've lost one 



horse, but I r l take good care not to quit those premises 
until I have supplied his place with the very best animal 
to be found in his stables. And here goes, for tho sooner 
I am off the better." 

Tom then, with great daring aud apparent recklessness, 
climbed ever the parapet, and by the aid of an iron pipe 
fixed against the wall, slid rapidly doTFC until his feet 
rested on tho roof beneath. 



CHAPTEB CMXXXI 

TOM ItSoJ ESCAPES FROM HIS TEMPORARY PR1SOH, ANB 
1'KOYlDES HlllSKLE WITH ANOTHER HORSE. 

The further progress of Tom King was, comparatively 
speaking, easy enough. 

From this roof he descended to another not far beneath 
it. 

From that to another outbuilding, aid then to the 
ground. 

Scarcely, however, had his feet touched the "round 
than, with a suppressed, savage growl, a dog sprang at 
him. 

It was one of those sly, treacherous animals which givo 
no warning of their presence until within reach of their 
victim. 

Tom King, however, partly in surprise, and partly in 
dread of receiving a bite from this savage creature, g*xve 
such a bound that he escaped his fangs. 

At the same moment his hands came in contact with a 
pitchfork that was resting against the wall. 

To seize hold el this, and use it as a weapon of defence, 
was the work of a second. 

The dog came rushing on, and then received such a 
blow as sent him Lack howling. 

With desperate courage he renewed the attack, and 
Tom King, being more self-possessed than before, raised 
his weapon, and waited patiently. 

When the moment came, he dealt the animal a blow 
that stretched it senseless, if not lifeless, upon cne ground. 

But all this had no.t been done without creating a great 
deal of noise. 

Indeed, there seemed every probability that the alarm 
would in a moment be raised. 

Had he been so minded, however, it would have been 
perfectly easy for Tom King to have made his escape 
from the yard at that moment, but he determined to 
carry out the intention he had originally expressed, and 
accordingly darted at full speed towards the door leading 
to the stables. 

The door was not locked, but merely latched, that 
being considered quite sufficient protection, for the grooms 
and stable-helpers all slept close at hand. 

Fully impressed with the necessity of making the 
utmost speed, Tom King seized hold of one of the horses 
— the first one he came to — and led it out. 

On the end of the stall had been hung a saddle and 
bridle, and these Tom flung on rather than properly 
placed them. 

One bound placed him in the saddle ; then, bending his 
head low down upon the horse's neck, he urged him 
forward, and darted through the door into the yard. 

This was a proceeding that took greatly by surprise, 
and much disconcerted, a man who, having been aroused 
by the barking of the dog, and yet not knowing what had 
caudc^ it, had descended to ascertain what was the 
matter. 

Seeir.g the stable door open, h* had hastened towards 
it, and he had just reached the iTrreshold when Tom 
darted forth in tho manner we have described. 

The man was thrown down at once, and with a pro 
digious clatter the highwayman reached the yard. 

By this time, however, the alarm had been given 
generally. 

The gate leading into this yard had been left open by 
the g-unekeepera, and Tom eaw a man hurrying to cloa* 
it. 

Buv spurring his horse savagely, he caused the aniniai 
to start off at full gallop. 

The gate was passed before anyone had time to closn 
it, and the next moment Tom King was making his way 
at a tremendous rate across a large piece of smooth, level 
turf. 

He felt now that he had nothing to fear, yet wu never* 



1520 



BLACE S£St; aKi 



theless desirous of getting off Sir Thomas's estate as 
quickly as he could. 

Takings things altogether, he had much to congratu- 
late himself upon, though now, as he bogan to grow 
somewhat cooler, the effect of the different bruises ha 
had received made themselves painfully apparent. 

At length, to his disappointment, he found . cseit 
again opposite that high wall that had been cwtea upon 
the boundaries of Sir Thomas's property — a wall of 
such a height that it was quite out of the question to 
think of getting a horse over it. *> 

The only thing that remained in Tom's power was to 
follow its course until he met with a gateway similar to 
the one through which he had previously passed. 

This, however, might cvjsc him some little additional 
difficulty, for probably thjjfe would be time to a'flow of 
men being posted at the various exits from the estate. 

Time was clearly of importance, aud so he again spurred 
his horse. 

He was pleased to find that the animal 01 which he h?' 1 
bo recently possessed himself was of tolerable quality. 

His stamp was good, though it would seem by his mau- 
ner that he had lately performed a long journey, and had 
not yet recovered from the fatigue occasioned by it 

After going about a quarter of a mile further to the left, 
Tom found another gate, and just as he reached it he 
happened to look back towards the mansion. 

Then he saw in the darkness lights flashing about, from 
which it was evident close search and pursuit were being 
made after him. 

However, he was now quite clear and free from danger. 

He opened the gate and rode through on to the broad, 
well-beaten highway. 

At first he fancied he had emerged upon the very same 
road he had so lately quitted, but upon looking more 
carefully around he soon became convinced that this was 
an error. 

The road he was now upon ran almost parallel to the 
ether, but it was at a considerable distance from it. 

Turning the horse's head in the direction of the coun- 
try, he allowed the animal to proceed at an easy rate, as 
there was now no immediate hurry, and he wished to re- 
serve its strength as much as possible. 

After going for some distance without accident, he 
reached a point where the road divided, forming what is 
called a fork. 

The triangular piece of ground formed by the junction 
of the roads consisted of a field well defended by high, 
thick hedges. 

Tom King as he approached gradually slackened his 
speed, for he was somewhat in doubt as to which of these 
two roads he should take. 

While in this stato of uncertainty, a man suddenly 
started up from behind the hedge just at the sharp angle 
of the road. 

Tom uttered an exclamation as soon as he saw him. 

The man raised his hand, though for what purpose 
Tom did not guess. 

The next moment there was a flash and a report, and, 
with a whistling sound, something sped past the high- 
wayman, which he knew at once to be a bullet. 

The occurrence was so strange a one that he could 
scarcely make it out. 

This man had evidently been lying in wait for him to 
make his appearance, and yet how should he know that 
he was about to reach that point ? 

Again, it seemed as though the man had purpose?? 
missed him — it was either that or else he was » terribly 
bad marksman, for Tom was only a few yards distant. 
The most probable thing was, that this man had been 
placed there to watch for the appearauce of some one 
e's^, for whom Tom King had been mistaken. 

The highwayman's first impulse was to start in pur- 
suit of this man, who appeared to be at an iwanediate 
retreat upon discovering his mistafte. 

But a seco"*l thought icduced Tom to alter nis 
mind. 

" It seems to me," he said, " that I know the rankm of 
rendering some one or othor a valuable service. That 
rascal beyond doubt has been posted here by some oae to 
assassinate some gentleman who is expected to be rSdir.g 
this way about this time. I will save him — or. fcfc *ny 
rate, 1 will put him on his guard." 

£.ucordingly, although he was running no smati per- 



sonal risk by so doing, Tom King turned his horse again, 
aud rode slowly in the direction he had just been com- 
ing. 

But ha did not go much more than a auart-r i a 
milo. 

iHe pulksl up then, for he by no means relisned getting 
too near to Sir Thomas's estate. 

Scarce)} nad ho come to a halt than the clear, unmis- 
takable sound of a horse's hoofs upon the road reached his 
ears. 

" Tl«e intended victim comes," -fie muttered. " But, 
whoever he may be, he shall be saved from the fate that 
awaits him ! That rascal shall be disappointed !" 

Upon a second thought, Tom King thought it would 
be better to ride forward slowly to meet this approaching 
horseman than to remain in waiting, and he accordingly 
restrained his horse, allowing it to go simply at a walk. 

In a few moments he perceived before him in the dis- 
tance the dusky figure of a man on horseback. 

To protect himself from the cold night air he had 
wrapped around him a thick travelling cloak. 

As soon as ever he was near enough, Tom King raised 
his voice, and said : 

"Hold, sir! let me entreat you to stay — let me warn 
you that your life is in danger." 

The horseman checked his speed irresolutely, and 
seemed half inclined to gallop past our friend. 

It was by no means strange that he should have his 
doubts as to the advisability of allowing a stranger to 
come close to him at a time when the roads were so unsafe 
for all travellers as they were then. 

Tom guessed what was passing in his mind, and en- 
deavoured to reassure him. 

" You need be under no apprehension," he said ; " you 
will receive no harm from me — in fact, I have turned al- 
together out of my way in order that I might be able to 
give you this necessary warning. Bethink yourself, sir ; 
have you an enemy ?'* 

The stranger hesitated for some moments before he re- 
plied. 

Then, in a constrained voice, he said : 

" I think not." 

" I differ with you," said Tom. " Chance entirely has 
brought me upon this road to-night, and while riding a 
little distance further on a man suddenly started up from 
behind the hedge at the junction of the high-road, and 
fired a pistol at me. The shot could not have been in- 
tended for myself, but he was evidently placed there to 
assassinate some one who was expected to bo passing by 
about this time." 

The stranger received this intelligence with consider- 
able coolness — in fact, his misgivings as to the charactw 
of the man who had accosted him had increased. 

Perceiving that ho paused, Tom continued : 

" If it was known to anyone that it was your intention 
to be upon this road at about this time to-night, let me 
outreat you to turn aside aud travel by some other way ; 
if not 1 fear your life may be the forfeit." 

The stranger walked his horse slowly forwards, and as 
he [did so he addressed Tom King in. a sneering, 
sarcastic tone of voice. 

"My good sir," ho said, "I am obliged to you — 
infinitely obliged to you ! But no doubt I shall stand as 
good a chance of escaping from the bullet as you did 
yourself." 

" Stay !" said Tom, perceiving that he continued to 
ride on — " stay — stay ! for I am convinced the man saw 
that I was not the person he was on the look-out for, 
though ho did not discover his niistalwa in time to check 
himself in discharging the pistol." 

" I again repeat that I am obliged to you," answered 
the stranger, as snseringly as before. " My way lies in 
this direction, and I shall take it. You will excuse me, 
but I never like to form acquaintances on the road, go 
oblige me by keeping your distance." 

As he spoke he spurred his horse, and the animal started 
onward at a kind of cantering gallop. 

" Well," said Tom, to himself " this is a specimen of 
ingratitude surely, and yet, after all, the man is not to bo 
blamed. At any rate, I will try to save him evoo 
now-'' 

Accordingly, Tom rode after the stranger, who h&ij 
nevertheless in this short space of time obtained a Vol«r- 
ably good start. 



THB KNtGHT OP THE ROAD 



1521 




[TOM KINO TAKES A DESPERATE LEAP POR LIFE.] 



ZShJS e .°y wiftl y- keeping his horse not upon the 
highway but upon the strip of turf that lay upon one 
Bide of it, so that his approach was almost noiseless. 
«,« ill was . afmd . } ' e 8, »°nW not be in time to render 
fn^„i / 6 u the a f" 8tance lle ^pected he would need, 
Jo l d ft s r co a nv y er g e ed OUld "* Mm ° Lia the Spot where th ° 
JSaOZ ^s just a question whether the man, after 

JSr«i? ade * hl8 / ailure ' ^»'d remain at his post and 
make a second attempt. 

Tom's mind was occupied upon this point, when sud- 
denly he saw a bright flash of light ' 

renorfc U S e f r ^fl nejaCalat ? 1 0D 1 tl,at was browned by the 
report of the firearm, and then, with a loud crv the 

Btranger fell headlong from his horse. 7 ' 

aext dlr«™ a i° h *- the a88a8siD > at »» risks !" was Tom's 

Boeed fn ^ at . 10D ' aDd h . e Urged his hor80 *<> his utmost 
speed in order to carry it out. 

No. 191.— Black Bess. 
No. iOL 



He could not fail to give some indications of his ar. 
proach, and these must have been overheard by the 
assassin, for ho beatau immediate retreat. 

Tom was not to be baffled, however, but kept up his 
pursuit. 

On reaching tho triangular meadow, however, and 
looking around him, not a trace of a human being could 
be seen. 

For a long time he searched rigidly in every direction, 
but in vain— no trace of the assassin could be found. 

He had evidently secreted himself iu some well-con- 
trived hiding-place. 

The failure in his purpose filled Tom King with no 
small degree of chagrin. 

But finding his efforts here were useless, he turned 
them to another quarter, where he hoped hia aid would 
be welcome. 
Accordingly, he hastened to place himself by the sid« rf 



I82S 



SMC& BBbS; OB, 



toe stranger, who now lay immovable in the centre of 
the high-road. 

Fortunately, his feet had become disengaged from the 
etirrups as he fell. 

The horse had vanished. But had the stranger's feet 
remained entangled, he must have been dragged, a 
braised and bleeding mass, at the heels of the terrified 
animal. 

Alighting, and stooping over him, Tom raised Tiiui- 
gently from the ground. 

" Speak, sir," he said — " spoak if you can, and toll me 
what I can do in your behalf." 

After a deep sigh, or rather grca I, the prostrate tra- 
veller spoke. 

" Ah ! it's you, is it ? Tou have coma now to exult, 1 
suppose, and to reproach me for having despised your 
warning. Go — go ! I desire nothing but to be left to 
myself.'' 

" I am sorry to find you in this mood," said Tom 
King. " I am prompted by motives of humanity only, 
and I assure you if there is anything I can do, any ser- 
vice I can render, you have but to speak, and it shall 
cheerfully be performed." 

CHAPTER CMXXXII. 

TOM KING REACHES, AS J IE BELIEVES, VERT COMFORT- 
ABLE QUARTERS. 

The stranger groaned again, and pressed his hand tightly 
upon his left breast, on the spot where the bullet had 
6truck him. 

" If you live near this place," continued Tom, " tell 
me so, and direct me to it. I will lead you thither; or, 
if you are too much hurt to allow of that, I will hasten 
oft and summon assistance." 

That deep-seated feeling of mistrust or suspicion which 
was so prominent in the stranger now somewhat broke 
down, and when he spoke again it was in u tone of voice 
totally different to that which ho had previously em- 
ployed. 

" Forgive me," he said, " for my rough, suspicious 
manner ! If you knew all, you would not wonder at my 
behaviour. I do not live far from here. My house is 
almost within sight, but whether I shall ever reach it 
again alive, I know not." 

"Let us hope so!" said Tom. "Do you think, if I 
bound up your hurt to the best of my ability, and raised 
you to your feet, that you could manage to seat yourself 
upon my horse ? If so, I would lead him gently to your 
home." 

" You are very kind and considerate," said the stranger, 
in accents of amazement. " I cannot unde. stand why 
you should take all this trouble with one who is a perfect 
stranger to you." 

Tom King thought fit to disregard this speech — at any 
rate, he did not make any reply to it, but busied himself 
in rudely bandaging up the ugly-looking wound the 
stranger had received. 

Then, as suggested, ho raised him to his feet, and after 
that, with much difficulty, the stranger was assisted into 
the saddle. 

By his directions, Tom led the animal forward 

On the way but few words were exchanged. 

Tom endeavoured to keep up a conversation, tut tie 
Btr nger remained silent, and therefore Tom desisted. 

1 he truth was, the stranger was much more severely 
hurt than either himself or the highwayman imagined, 
no) it was as much as ever he could do to retain hin -scat 
in the s-addle. 

His brain swam, and at every step he felt as thougn ho 
must fall .sideways to the ground. 

A deaiily feeling of faintness also came stealing over 
him, but the house was now within sight. 

It stood quite alone, surrounded by its own spacious. 
grounds, and was situated almost at the summi'. ot a 
gently-risiug piece of ground. 

On reading the lodge gates, which were closed, Tom 
seized the b 11 uandle, and gave it a hearty puli. 

But scare ly had lie done so than, with a sudden rush, 
the stranger ell heavily to the ground. 

Tom darte forward as he saw him tailing, but was not 
In time to save him. 

Borne little delay took place before the lodgekeeper 
appeared, an - * when the door was opened, Tom cried : 



" A light— a light ! Be quick— fetch a light !" 
An old man came forth, carrying in his hauds a ortndJa, 
which he had quickly placed inside a battered lantern. 

He uttered an exclamClon of grief and surprise at wh*l 
ho saw. 

"Quick!" Bald Tom. >.*Give me the light! Let mi 
L»k at bimi" 

"My poor master!" said the lodgekeeper. "Oh, help 
— help ! Who will ride off for the doctor?" 

" I sadly fear no human aid would be availing," replied 
Tom King, who by tb'« time had inspected the stranger's 
countenance. " There can be no mistaking its expres- 
sion," he added. "Your master, if such he be, is 
dead." 

"Dead?" said the old man. "Oh, what shall I do— 
what shall I do ?" 

" Help me to carry him inside the lodge," said Tom, 
" and as soon as you have done that, send some one for a 
doctor — I will remain here." 
Tom's suggestion was promptly carried out. 
The lifeless body of the stranger was placed gently on 
a rude kind of bench, near the fire, on the ground floor ot 
the lodge. 

The old man then took his departure, hastening off at 
a speed that one would scarcely have expected from a 
man of his years. 

Tom King looked again into the stranger's counte- 
nance. 

There could be no doubt that life had fled for 
ever. 

The interior of the lodge was most oppressive to Tom, 
and he sallied forth to keep watch outside. 

He had secured his horse to the gate, and now he went 
up to it, and patted it gently. 

While so engaged, he fancied he heard a well-known 
sound. 

He listened again, and was convinced that his ears had 
not deceived him. 

Persons on horseback were approaching the spot, and, 
from the direction they were coming, most probably 
would be the party of police officers he had been at so 
much pains to elude. 

He hesitated a moment as to what course he should 
adopt. 

If he wont inside the lodge the officers might ride past 
without suspecting his presence. 

But then, on the other hand, their aid might be called 
for by some of the servants, in which case Tom would be 
recognised, and in all probability the death of the unfor- 
tunate gentleman laid to his charge. 

This consideration, and also the reflection that he could 
not possibly do any good by remaining, made Tom resolve 
to seek safety in flight. 

Accordingly, untying his horse, he sprang into the 
saddle, and, again taking to the open country, galloped off 
across the fields at the best speed of which his horse was 
capable. 

From time to time he glanced back, but he saw nothing 
of the police officers. 

This was not so very surprising, considering trees were 
growing in clusters here and there, which prevented a 
ciear or uninterrupted view being taken. 

Arriving at the summit of a hill, Tom King drew rein 
to look about him. 

Already in the east, he could perceive unmistakable in- 
dications of the approach of the coming day. 

" It is time I found some place of shelter," he thought ; 
"and yet where shall I find it ? As yet to-night I have 
not had the opportunity of remaining more than a few- 
moments in any place without being molested. Where, 
then, can I hope to conceal myself for a long period?" 

While these thoughts were passing through Tom's 
mind, his eyes rested successively upon the various ob- 
jects of which the landscape was composed. 

But although he saw many things, ho shook his nead at 
every one of them, for none promised him any chance of 
the shelter he sought. 

' \ must ride on," he said, "and trust to the chapter of 
events. I cannot do wrong by getting away from 
London, so this is clearly the course I ought to take." 

Turning his back to tho faint grey flush of light in the 
east, Tom King took his course steadily forward into the 
open country. 
He looked about him incessantly with great warlneei. 



OF THE EOAD. 



1523 



bci ho saw nothing whatever of a character to excite his^ faction of seoing that his horse was properly *t*«.a<J«l 
apprehensions. / to. 

A. feelinp 



of great fatigue, however, began to creep 

over him, afeeling which at first he tried hard to banish, 

bat failed. It would assort itself in spite of all his efforts. 

This made him all the more desirous of finding soiae 

place whereat to rest. 

He was also forcibly rominded that a long time bad 
elapsed since he had partaken of any food. 

The district he was in, however, seemed very thinly 
populated, for net so much as a rudely-built, thatched 
cottage met his gaze. 

Still ho rode on, until the darkness cf night roiled 
away and daylight fairly came. 

The sun rose and climbing high up in the sity found 
him still pursuing his lonely course, growing at each step 
uioro and more exhausted. 

The sight of a thin wreath of blue smoke curling up 
ironi among somo trees a little distance in advance roused 
him into fresh life and animation. 

Quickening his horse's steps, he shortly found himself 
in front of one of those old-fashioned places, half farm- 
house and half inn, which a hundred years ago were com- 
monly found all over the country. 

As was usually tho case, there was an air of peaceful 
Bcreuity dwelling around this place, and Tom immediately 
became susceptible to its influence. 

" If I only dared to run tho risk of staying hero," ho 
muttered, " how comfortable I could make myself for a 
short time, but I fear it is not to be thought of. No, no ; 
it would bo unsafe in the highest degree. I had better 
cot be seen even." 

Tom was about to ride ou, when just at that moment 
the front door of the inn was thrown open and an elderly 
man with round, stooping shoulders made his appear- 
ance. 

" Good morning, sir," he said, in a civil, offhanded 
tone of voice. " Do you wish to stay here ? I hav« the 
best of entertainment for man and beast." 

Tom hesitated. 

"Think twice before you decide to go on," said the 
landlord ; " for, judging from your appearance, you have 
made a very loug journey, and must be fatigued. Don't 
ride on with the expectation of finding some other place, 
for you will havo to go twelve miles at the least before 
you meet with a chance of halting again ; and then the 
accommodation you get thero is not for a moment to be 
compared to what you will havo hero." 

" You are not troubled with many visitors, I suppose ?" 
said Tom, thoughtfully. 

"No, not many, I am sorry to say. The sight of a 
traveller is quite a treat. If I depended ouly upon what 
the inn produced I should have been in tho workhouse 
long ago." 

Tom was pleased to find that the house was of so 
lonely a character, and ho imagined as well that at tho 
present moment thero was no other traveller resting be- 
neath its roof, or the landlord would have mentioned the 
fact. 

Then Tom began to consider that it was unlikely in- 
deed that his foes would find him out at this place. 

"I will stay," ho said, suddenly, unable to resist the 
temptation — " I will stay, landlord, and I shall look to 
you to make me comfortable." 

With quite a radiant smile upon his face, the landlord 
eame forward, and was profuse in his expressions of wel- 
come. 

" You keep no groom or ostler, I suppose ?" was Tom's 
next remark. 

No, I should have nothing for him to do. I will 
attend to y^ur horse, sir, if you please ; don't be afraid to 
entrust him to my care." 

"Not by any means," 6aid Tom ; " but a3 he is a par- 
ticular favourite of mine 1 will walk with you to the 
stable, if you have no objection." 

" None whatever," said the landlord — '■♦ none whatever ; 
you are welcome to go wherever you ploaso about the 
place." 

* That's the way, thea, I suppose ?" said Tom, noiuin^ 
his horse by the bridle a^O pointing to a wooden 
shed. 

"Yea, that's the stable, and when you are inside it you 
»riU find that it is more comfortable than it appears." 

1 oui advanced, and in a few moments he had the satis- 



This being done, he returned with the landlord to in* 
inn. 

" There's no one up at present," he said to Tom, " ex- 
cepting myself, but tho missis and my daughter will 
be down directly. What would you liko wr break- 
fast ?" 

M Anything that you have in the house that you can 
get readily," was Tom's response. " Can you let me 
have a private room ?" 
The landlord smiled. 

"They're all private enoiign for that matter," he said ; 
" for while you are staying here I very much question 
whether I shall be so fortunate as to see anothor strange 
face. Two travellers stopping here in one day would 
indeed be an extraordinary occurrence." 
Tom laughed as he said : 

"But I should like a private room for all that; I 
should then be able to guard against any intrusion." 

"Your wishes shall be attended to, sir. Step this 
way." 
Then throwing open a door, tho landlord added : 
"This is our best parlour, sir, and you are heartily 
welcome to make use of it while you stay." 
"And what about the breakfast ?" 
" Would ham and eggs suit you ?" 
" Excellently," said Tom ; " and make haste !" 
Ho seated himself in what the landlord called the 
best parlour. 

It was indeed a very decent apartment, and Tom 
was by no means inclined to quarrel with it in any par- 
ticular. 

A feeling of great drowsiness came over him while he 
sat waiting for his breakfast, and to overcome it he 
was obliged to get up and walk round and round the 
room. 

He paused several times to look through tho window, 
which commanded a view of an extensive piece of 
country. 
But all as far as he could see was perfectly quiet. 
"I believe I shall be safe here," he muttered to him- 
self for about the hundredth time. " I think I might 
venture to go to sleep." 

The meal was brought in and done ample justice to, 

and when the landlord came to remove the cloth he said : 

" I don't know how long you may be wishing to stay, 

sir, but don't hurry off on any account, only " 

He paused. 

" What ?" asked Tom. 

" Only I have some particular business to do in the 
next town, and I shall be obliged to go to-day. It only 
happens once in a year, and I have to make the journey, 
and it is especially aggravating that it should come now." 
" Not at all," said Tom — " not at all ! I am inclined to 
rest more on my horse's account than my own, and per- 
haps I may remain here the greater part of tho day ; most 
likely you will find me here upon your return." 

Upon hearing this, the countenance of the landlord 
brightened. 

" You will be well attended to," he said. " I will give 
particular instructions about that." 

" Thanks," returned Tom ; " but I don't think I shall 
give much trouble." 

,; Very good, sir, just as you like, but if you want any- 
thing just touch the bell, and it will be answered at 
once." 

" I shall take a nap if I can," replied Tom, " for I have 
a long ride befi <re me as yet. However, you leave me to 
make myself comfortable " 

The landlord withdiew, and loin, still fighting against 
the irresistible inclination he felt to fall asleep, walked 
about until he had seen tho landlord take hi3 departure. 

After that the silence of the inn grew more and mow 
oppressivo, and Tom, unable any longer to keep his eye« 
open, laid himself down at full length upon the com- 
fortable sofa placed against the wall on one side of the 
parlour, and had no sooner assumed a recumbent position 
ihan he fell fast asleep— so fast that he was altogether dead 
to all external noises— so fas* that not even the approach 
of a body of horsemen in tue front of the iun would 
arouse him, as was proved by the fact of such an arrival 
taking place several hours after he had first closed hie 
eyes in slumbar. 



1524 



BLACK BES8; OR, 



CHAPTER GMWXIIL 



IN WHICH TOM RING MEETS WITH A VERY GREAS SURPRISE. 

It seemed to Tom that lie had only closed hiseys lor tho 
space of a moment when he opened them again. 

To his surprise and confusion, however, he S5W V"w><j 
Lim nothing but darkness. 

He sat up on the sofa and rubbed his ej c? donoMul 
Whether he was really awake 

A second glance around him assured him that tbers 
was no mistake upon this point. 

His eyes rested upon the window, through which he 
jould obtain a glimpse of the night sky. 

" Can it really be," he muttered, " that I have slept away 
the whole of this day. I can hardly believe it, and 
yet " 

He stopped suddenly, for he heard voices somewhere 
very close to him ; indeed, at first, he could not make out 
fro* whence the sounds proceeded. 

But he soon discovered that one side of the best par- 
lour was composed only of a wooden partition, which 
divided it from another apartment, and it was in this last- 
named place that several persons were seated engaged in 
conversation. 

Something had just been said, and causod a general 
laugh. 

" We'll have more to drink," said a rough voice. " It's 
not worth while to go yot, our horses are so much ex- 
hausted ; besides, I don't like leaving such a snug place 
as this." 

" No — no !" came from several lips, and then another 
voice cried : 

" Eing the bell." 

The command was immediately followed by a sharp 
tinkling sound. 

There could be no doubt whatever that during Tom 
King's long and deep sleep some visitors had actually 
arrived at the roadside publie-houssL and what was more, 
that they had arrived in tolerably strong numbers. 

An immediate curiosity respecting them sprang up in 
Tom's breast. 

He considered it was highly imperative that he should 
make himself acquainted with everything that was going 
on around him. 

The next sound which reached his ears was the Alien- 
ing of a door, then a feminine voice asked what was 
wanted. 

Hum punch was unanimously ordered, and the girl 
withdrew to prepare the steaming beverage. 

By this time Tom's eyes had grown tolerably familiar 
to the semi-obscurity which filled the best parlour of the 
inn. 

He was now able to see with a certain amount of dis- 
tinctness even in the darkest and remotest corners. 

His principal attention, however, was directed to the 
wooden partition. 

lie was wondering whether he could find any small 
chink or opening through which he could take a peep at 
the inmates of the next room. 

Something that looked like a shutter or movable panel 
at the top of the partition at length rewarded his <">arch, 
but it was far up out of his reach. 

Before lying down, Tom had taken the precaution to 
lock the door ; and now, on tiptoe, he crossed tho room, 
picked up a table, and carried it with him, and r laced it 
against that part of the partition. 

By standing on this, however, Tom was scares) _, tall 
enough, for the panel was placed just where the paitition 
joined the ceiling. 

By placing a chair on the table, however, all difficd£as 
were overcome. 

Tom took care to mount as quietly as possible. 

Ho found he had made no mistake — there reaiiy wr»s 
a small door about a foot square in one of the upper 
panels. 

Why it should have been placed in such a position he 
could not conceive, nor did he much trouble hiaiaell 
about the circum&tance — he was content to find that it 
was there, and so convenient. 

Care would have to be taken in opening it, so that while 
doing so the attention of those in the next room should 
not be attracted. 

But thJs i'oir accomplished by opening the door a 



vory little way, and then pausing until, by degrees, it was 
opened sufficiently for him to look through. 

Before this was the case, however, the girl had re- 
turned with the bowl of punch. » 

As she placed it on the table, one of the guests said : 

" I think you told us, my dear, that you had no ons 
staying in the house at the prescut time ?" 

"I don't remember that I said any thiug of the sort!" 
was the reply, given in a pert tone of voice. 

" Oh ye3, you did ; or if you did not it don't matter. 
There is no one, I suppose ?" 

•' Well no one that Pvs e?en," replied the girl ; " but 
*a - .aer said a gentleman arrived early this moruing, and 
took the best parlour, but I have not seeTi or heard any- 
thing of him." 

" Oh !'" said the voice. " And pray where may your 
father be ?" 

" Why, he went over to Mapleton this morning, and 
has not come back, though I expect him every miuute." 

" Oh, very well !" was the reply. " Then, when he 
comes in, just tell him we want to speak to him." 

" Very well, sir !" 

" And also, should that gentleman you have not scon 
make any movement just let us know, will you? I have 
a curiosity to peep at him." 

It was just at this moment that Tom King, who also 
had a curiosity to take a peep, looked through tho panel 
he had so carefully opened. 

What, then, was his amazement, not to say alarm, to 
perceive that quite a large party of police officers were 
seated most comfortably in the adjoining room, and sepa- 
rated from him by nothing more than a thin wooden 
partition. 

He looked into their countenances one by one, but 
1 without recognising any. 

In doing this he also counted them, and found the 
number to bo fourteen, 

How on earth they could have arrived there, and 6at 
down to make merry, without his being aware of it, Tom 
could not imagine. 

It seemed to him incredible that he could have slept so 
soundly. 

By keeping his face at a little distance from the opening 
there was not much fear that any of the officers would 
st a him, so Tom did not quit his exalted position, but re- 
mained with tho determination of watching the course 
of events. 

'.'here was just a bare possibility that the officers 
might depart without seeing him at all; for, from the 
manner in which they were enjoying themselves it w