“Humph!” exclaimed Jonathan.
“Your answer!” cried Sheppard. “Yes, or no?”
“I will make no terms with you,” rejoined Wild, sternly. “You have defied me, and shall feel my power. You have been useful to me, or I would not have spared you thus long. I swore to hang you two years ago, but I deferred my purpose.”
“Deferred!” echoed Sheppard.
“Hear me out,” said Jonathan. “You came hither under my protection, and you shall depart freely,—nay, more, you shall have an hour’s grace. After that time, I shall place my setters on your heels.”
“You cannot prevent my departure,” replied Jack, dauntlessly, “and therefore your offer is no favour. But I tell you in return, I shall take no pains to hide myself. If you want me, you know where to find me.”
“An hour,” said Jonathan, looking at his watch,—“remember!”
“If you send for me to the Cross Shovels in the Mint, where I’m going with Blueskin, I will surrender myself without resistance,” returned Jack.
“You will spare the officers a labour then,” rejoined Jonathan.
“Can’t I settle this business, Captain,” muttered Blueskin, drawing a pistol.
“Don’t harm him,” said Jack, carelessly: “he dares not do it.”
So saying, he left the room.
“Blueskin,” said Jonathan, as that worthy was about to follow, “I advise you to remain with me.”
“No,” answered the ruffian, moodily. “If you arrest him, you must arrest me also.”
“As you will,” said Jonathan, seating himself.
Jack and his comrade went to the Mint, where he was joined by Edgeworth Bess, with whom he sat down most unconcernedly to supper. His revelry, however, was put an end at the expiration of the time mentioned by Jonathan, by the entrance of a posse of constables with Quilt Arnold and Abraham Mendez at their head. Jack, to the surprise of all his companions, at once surrendered himself: but Blueskin would have made a fierce resistance, and attempted a rescue if he had not been ordered by his leader to desist. He then made off. Edgeworth Bess, who passed for Sheppard’s wife, was secured. They were hurried before a magistrate, and charged by Jonathan Wild with various robberies; but, as Jack Sheppard stated that he had most important disclosures to make, as well as charges to bring forward against his accuser, he was committed with his female companion to the New Prison in Clerkenwell for further examination.
Jack Sheppard’s Escape from the New Prison.