Jack Sheppard eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 444 pages of information about Jack Sheppard.

And while her son was reconveyed to prison the body of the unfortunate Mrs. Sheppard was committed to the earth.

CHAPTER XXVII.

How Jack Sheppard was brought back to Newgate.

Jack Sheppard’s escape from Newgate on the night of the 15th of October was not discovered till the following morning; for although the intelligence was brought by several parties to the Lodge in the course of the night, Austin, who was the officer in attendance, paid no attention to them.

After pursuing the fugitive as before related, Jonathan Wild returned to his own habitation, where he was occupied during the remainder of the night with Quilt Arnold and Obadiah Lemon in removing everything which, in case of a search, might tend to criminate him.  Satisfied in this respect, he flung himself into a chair, for his iron frame seldom required the indulgence of a bed, and sought an hour’s repose before he began the villanies of another day.

He was aroused from his slumber, about six o’clock, by the return of Abraham Mendez, who not choosing to confess that Jack had eluded his vigilance, contended himself with stating that he had kept watch till daybreak, when he had carefully searched the field, and, finding no trace of him, had thought it better to return.

This information was received by Jonathan with a lowering brow.  He comforted himself, however, with the certainty which he felt of capturing his prey on the Sunday.  His breakfast despatched, which he ate with a wolfish appetite, he walked over to Newgate, chuckling as he went at the consternation which his appearance would create amongst the turnkeys.

Entering the Lodge, the first person he beheld was Austin, who was only just up, and whose toilette appeared scarcely completed.  A glance satisfied Jonathan that the turnkey was not aware of the prisoner’s escape; and he resolved not to destroy what he considered a good jest, by a premature disclosure of it.

“You are out betimes this morning, Mr. Wild,” observed Austin, as he put on his coat, and adjusted his minor bob.  “Something fresh on hand, I suppose?”

“I’m come to inquire after Jack Sheppard,” returned Jonathan.

“Don’t alarm yourself about him, Sir,” replied Austin.  “He’s safe enough, I assure you.”

“I should like to satisfy myself on that score,” rejoined Wild, drily.

“So you shall, Sir,” replied Austin, who at this moment recollected, with some uneasiness, the applications at the lodge-door during the night.  “I hope you don’t imagine anything has gone wrong, Sir.”

“It matters not what I think,” replied Wild.  “Come with me to the Castle.”

“Instantly, Sir,” replied Austin; “instantly.  Here, Caliban, attend to the door, and keep the wicket locked till I return.  D’ye hear.  Now, Sir.”

Taking the keys, he led the way, followed by Jonathan, who chuckled internally at the shock that awaited the poor fellow.

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Jack Sheppard from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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