“Confusion!” thundered Wild. “Close the doors below! Loose the dogs! Curses! they don’t hear me! I’ll ring the alarm-bell.” And he raised his arm with the intention of executing his purpose, when a ball from Jack’s pistol passed through the back of his hand, shattering the limb. “Aha! my lad!” he cried without appearing to regard the pain of the wound; “now I’ll show you no quarter.” And, with the uninjured hand he drew a pistol, which he fired, but without effect, at Jack.
“Fly, Captain, fly!” vociferated Blueskin; “I shan’t be able to keep these devils down. Fly! they shall knock me on the head—curse ’em!—before they shall touch you.”
“Come along!” cried Jack, darting through the door. “The key’s on the outside—quick! quick!”
Instantly alive to this chance, Blueskin broke away. Two shots were fired at him by Jonathan; one of which passed through his hat, and the other through the fleshy part of his arm; but he made good his retreat. The door was closed—locked,—and the pair were heard descending the stairs.
“Hell’s curses!” roared Jonathan. “They’ll escape. Not a moment is to be lost.”
So saying, he took hold of a ring in the floor, and disclosed a flight of steps, down which he hurried, followed by the janizaries. This means of communication instantly brought them to the lobby. But Jack and his companion were already gone.
Jonathan threw open the street-door. Upon the pavement near the court lay the porter, who had been prostrated by a blow from the butt-end of a pistol. The man, who was just able to move, pointed towards Giltspur-street. Jonathan looked in that direction, and beheld the fugitives riding off in triumph.
“To-night it is their turn,” said Jonathan, binding up his wounded fingers with a handkerchief. “To-morrow it will be mine.”
Winifred receives two Proposals.
The tragical affair at Dollis Hill, it need scarcely be said, was a dreadful blow to the family. Mr. Wood bore up with great fortitude against the shock, attended the inquest, delivered his evidence with composure, and gave directions afterwards for the funeral, which took place on the day but one following—Sunday. As soon, however, as the last solemn rites were over, and the remains of the unfortunate woman committed to their final resting-place in Willesden churchyard, his firmness completely deserted him, and he sank beneath the weight of his affliction. It was fortunate that by this time Winifred had so far recovered, as to be able to afford her father the best and only solace that, under the circumstances, he could have received,—her personal attentions.