“Not sho fasht—not sho fasht!” cried Abraham, struggling with Thames, and detaining him; “if you go, you musht take me along vid you.”
“Save yourself, Jack!” shouted Thames, sinking beneath the superior weight and strength of his opponent; “leave me to my fate!”
“Never,” replied Jack, hurrying towards him. And, snatching the spike from Thames, he struck the janizary a severe blow on the head. “I’ll make sure work this time,” he added, about to repeat the blow.
“Hold!” interposed Thames, “he can do no more mischief. Let us be gone.”
“As you please,” returned Jack, leaping up; “but I feel devilishly inclined to finish him. However, it would only be robbing the hangman of his dues.”
With this, he was preparing to follow his friend, when their egress was prevented by the sudden appearance of Jonathan Wild and Blueskin.
The household of the worthy carpenter, it may be conceived, was thrown into the utmost confusion and distress by the unaccountable disappearance of the two boys. As time wore on, and they did not return, Mr. Wood’s anxiety grew so insupportable, that he seized his hat with the intention of sallying forth in search of them, though he did not know whither to bend his steps, when his departure was arrested by a gentle knock at the door.
“There he is!” cried Winifred, starting up, joyfully, and proving by the exclamation that her thoughts were dwelling upon one subject only. “There he is!”
“I fear not,” said her father, with a doubtful shake of the head. “Thames would let himself in; and Jack generally finds an entrance through the backdoor or the shop-window, when he has been out at untimely hours. But, go and see who it is, love. Stay! I’ll go myself.”
His daughter, however, anticipated him. She flew to the door, but returned the next minute, looking deeply disappointed, and bringing the intelligence that it was “only Mrs. Sheppard.”
“Who?” almost screamed Mrs. Wood.
“Jack Sheppard’s mother,” answered the little girl, dejectedly; “she has brought a basket of eggs from Willesden, and some flowers for you.”
“For me!” vociferated Mrs. Wood, in indignant surprise. “Eggs for me! You mistake, child. They must be for your father.”
“No; I’m quite sure she said they’re for you,” replied Winifred; “but she does want to see father.”
“I thought as much,” sneered Mrs. Wood.
“I’ll go to her directly,” said Wood, bustling towards the door. “I dare say she has called to inquire about Jack.”
“I dare say no such thing,” interposed his better half, authoritatively; “remain where you are, Sir.”
“At all events, let me send her away, my dear,” supplicated the carpenter, anxious to avert the impending storm.
“Do you hear me?” cried the lady, with increasing vehemence. “Stir a foot, at your peril.”