At the trial things looked black against Richard. He was poor and he was in love with Hyacinth; the chain of evidence was complete. In spite of his impassioned protest from the dock, in spite of Hyacinth’s dramatic swoon in front of the solicitor’s table, the judge with great solemnity passed sentence of twenty years’ penal servitude. A loud “Hear, hear” from the gallery rang through the court, and, looking up, Mr. Bellingham caught the sardonic eye of the mysterious Jasper.
Richard had been in prison a month before the opportunity for his escape occurred. For a month he had been hewing stone in Portland, black despair at his heart. Then, like lightning, he saw his chance and took it. The warders were off guard for a moment. Hastily lifting his pickaxe—
[MANAGER. Sorry, but it’s a spade in the only prison film we’ve got.]
Hastily borrowing a spade from a comrade who was digging potatoes, he struck several of his gaolers down, and, dodging the shots of others who hurried to the scene, he climbed the prison wall and dashed for freedom.
Reaching Weymouth at nightfall, he made his way to the house which Hyacinth had taken in order to be near him, and, suitably disguised, travelled up to London with her in the powerful motor which she had kept ready. “At last, my love, we are together,” he murmured as they neared Wimbledon. But he had spoken a moment too soon. An aeroplane swooped down upon them, and Hyacinth was snatched from his arms and disappeared with her captors into the clouds.
Richard’s first act on arriving in London was to go to Mr. Bellingham’s house. Andrew was out, but a note lying on his study carpet, “Meet me at the Old Windmill to-night," gave him a clue. On receipt of this note Andrew had gone to the rendezvous, and it was no surprise to him when Jasper stepped out and offered to sell him a packet containing a marriage certificate, a photograph of an old gentleman dipping a sheep, a peppermint lozenge with “Jess” on it, and various other documents for a thousand pounds.
“You villain,” cried Andrew, “even at the trial I suspected you,” and he rushed at him fiercely.
A desperate struggle ensued. Breaking free for a moment from the vice-like grip of the other, Jasper leapt with the spring of a panther at one of the sails of the windmill as it came round, and was whirled upwards; with the spring of another panther, Andrew leapt on to the next sail and was whirled after him. At that moment the wind dropped, and the combatants were suspended in mid-air.
It was upon this terrible scene that Richard arrived. Already a crowd was collecting; and, though at present it did not seem greatly alarmed, feeling convinced that it was only assisting at another cinematograph rehearsal, its suspicions might at any moment be aroused. With a shout he dashed into the mill. Seeing him coming Jasper dropped his revolver and slid down the sail into the window. In a moment he reappeared at the door of the mill with Hyacinth under his arm. “Stop him!” cried Richard from underneath a sack of flour. It was no good. Jasper had leapt with his fair burden upon the back of his mustang and was gone....