Jack Sheppard eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 444 pages of information about Jack Sheppard.
and salubriously-situated mansions; indeed, as it was now not far from ten o’clock, and quite dark, they could scarcely discern them.  But, in spite of his general insensibility to such matters, Quilt could not help commenting upon the delicious perfume wafted from the numerous flower-beds past which they were driving.  The coachman answered by a surly grunt, and, plying his whip with redoubled zeal, shaped his course down Dyot Street; traversed that part of Holborn, which is now called Broad Street, and where two ancient alms-houses were, then, standing in the middle of that great thoroughfare, exactly opposite the opening of Compston Street; and, diving under a wide gateway on the left, soon reached a more open space, surrounded by mean habitations, coach-houses and stables, called Kendrick Yard, at the further end of which Saint Giles’s round-house was situated.

No sooner did the vehicle turn the corner of this yard, than Quilt became aware, from the tumultuous sounds that reached his ears, as well as from the flashing of various lanterns at the door of the round-house, that some disturbance was going on; and, apprehensive of a rescue, if he drew up in the midst of the mob, he thought it prudent to come to a halt.  Accordingly, he stopped the coach, dismounted, and hastened towards the assemblage, which, he was glad to find, consisted chiefly of a posse of watchmen and other guardians of the night.  Quilt, who was an ardent lover of mischief, could not help laughing most heartily at the rueful appearance of these personages.  Not one of them but bore the marks of having been engaged in a recent and severe conflict.  Quarter-staves, bludgeons, brown-bills, lanterns, swords, and sconces were alike shivered; and, to judge from the sullied state of their habiliments, the claret must have been tapped pretty freely.  Never was heard such a bawling as these unfortunate wights kept up.  Oaths exploded like shells from a battery in full fire, accompanied by threats of direst vengeance against the individuals who had maltreated them.  Here, might be seen a poor fellow whose teeth were knocked down his throat, spluttering out the most tremendous menaces, and gesticulating like a madman:  there, another, whose nose was partially slit, vented imprecations and lamentations in the same breath.  On the right, stood a bulky figure, with a broken rattle hanging out of his great-coat pocket, who held up a lantern to his battered countenance to prove to the spectators that both his orbs of vision were darkened:  on the left, a meagre constable had divested himself of his shirt, to bind up with greater convenience a gaping cut in the arm.

“So, the Mohocks have been at work, I perceive,” remarked Quilt, as he drew near the group.

“‘Faith, an’ you may say that,” returned a watchman, who was wiping a ruddy stream from his brow; “they’ve broken the paice, and our pates into the bargain.  But shurely I’d know that vice,” he added, turning his lantern towards the janizary.  “Ah!  Quilt Arnold, my man, is it you?  By the powers!  I’m glad to see you.  The sight o’ your ’andsome phiz allys does me good.”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Jack Sheppard from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook