“That gammon won’t do,” replied one of them, who was a constable; “you’ll come along with us, and we may as well put on the darbies,” continued he, producing a pair of handcuffs.
Indignant at the insult, I suddenly broke from him who held me, and darting at the constable, knocked him down, and then took to my heels across the ploughed field. The whole four pursued, but I rather gained upon them, and was in hopes to make my escape. I ran for a gap I perceived in the hedge, and sprang over it, without minding the old adage, of “look before you leap;” for, when on the other side, I found myself in a deep and stagnant pit of water and mud. I sank over head, and with difficulty extricated myself from the mud at the bottom, and when at the surface I was equally embarrassed with the weeds at the top, among which I floundered. In the meantime my pursuers, warned by the loud splash, had paused when they came to the hedge, and perceiving my situation, were at the brink of the pit watching for my coming out. All resistance was useless. I was numbed with cold and exhausted by my struggles, and when I gained the bank I surrendered at discretion.
Worse and worse—If
out of gaol, it will be to go out of the
world—I am resolved to take my secret with me.
The handcuffs were now put on without resistance on my part, and I was led away to Hounslow by the two constables, while the others returned to secure the wounded man. On my arrival I was thrust into the clink, or lock-up house, as the magistrates would not meet that evening, and there I was left to my reflections. Previously, however, to this, I was searched, and my money, amounting, as I before stated, to upwards of twenty pounds, taken from me by the constables, and what I had quite forgotten, a diamond solitaire ring, which I had intended to have left with my other bijouterie for Timothy, but in my hurry, when I left London, I had allowed to remain upon my finger. The gaol was a square building, with two unglazed windows secured with thick iron bars, and the rain having beat in, it was more like a pound for cattle, for it was not even paved, and the ground was three or four inches deep in mud. There was no seat in it, and there I was the whole of the night walking up and down shivering in my wet clothes, in a state of mind almost bordering upon insanity. Reflect upon what was likely to happen, I could not. I only ran over the past. I remembered what I had been, and felt cruelly the situation I then was in. Had I deserved it? I thought not. “Oh! father—father!” exclaimed I, bitterly, “see to what your son is brought—handcuffed as a felon! God have mercy on my brain, for I feel that it is wandering. Father, father—alas, I have none!—had you left me at the asylum, without any clue, or hopes of a clue, to my hereafter being reclaimed, it would have been a kindness; I should