“Mr. Ireton,” cried Jack, in accents of the most urgent entreaty, “before you take me hence, I implore you—if you would further the ends of justice—search this house. One of the most barbarous murders ever committed has just been perpetrated by the monster Wild. You will find proofs of the bloody deed in his room. But go thither at once, I beseech you, before he has time to remove them.”
“Mr. Ireton is welcome to search every room in my house if he pleases,” said Jonathan, in a tone of bravado. “As soon as we’ve conveyed you to Newgate, I’ll accompany him.”
“Mr. Ireton will do no such thing,” replied the head-turnkey. “Bless your soul! d’ye think I’m to be gammoned by such nonsense. Not I. I’m not quite such a greenhorn as Shotbolt, Jack, whatever you may think.”
“For mercy’s sake go up stairs,” implored Sheppard. “I have not told you half. There’s a man dying—Captain Darrell. Take me with you. Place a pistol at my ear, and shoot me, if I’ve told you false.”
“And, what good would that do?” replied Ireton, sarcastically. “To shoot you would be to lose the reward. You act your part capitally, but it won’t do.”
“Won’t you go?” cried Jack passionately. “Mr. Langley, I appeal to you. Murder, I say, has been done! Another murder will be committed if you don’t prevent it. The blood will rest on your head. Do you hear me, Sir? Won’t you stir!”
“Not a step,” replied Langley, gruffly.
“Off with him to Newgate!” cried Jonathan. “Ireton, as you captured him, the reward is yours. But I request that a third may be given to Langley.”
“It shall be, Sir,” replied Ireton, bowing. “Now come along, Jack.”
“Miscreants!” cried Sheppard, almost driven frantic by the violence of his emotions; “you’re all in league with him.”
“Away with him!” cried Jonathan. “I’ll see him fettered myself. Remain at the door, Nab,” he added, loitering for a moment behind the others, “and let no one in, or out.”
Jack, meanwhile, was carried to Newgate. Austin could scarcely credit his senses when he beheld him. Shotbolt, who had in some degree recovered from the effects of his previous mortification, was thrown into an ecstacy of delight, and could not sufficiently exult over the prisoner. Mrs. Spurling had retired for the night. Jack appealed to the new auditors, and again detailed his story, but with no better success than heretofore. His statement was treated with derision. Having seen him heavily ironed, and placed in the Condemned Hold, Jonathan recrossed the street.
He found Abraham on guard as he had left him.
“Has any one been here?” he asked.
“No von,” replied the Jew.
“That’s well,” replied Wild, entering the house, and fastening the door. “And now to dispose of our dead. Why, Nab, you shake as if you’d got an ague?” he added, turning to the Jew, whose teeth chattered audibly.