Aroused to a sense of the possibility of escape, Jack, who had viewed the deadly assault with savage satisfaction, burst from his captors and made for the door. Blueskin fought his way towards it, and exerting all his strength, cutting right and left as he proceeded, reached it at the same time. Jack in all probability, would have escaped, if Langley, who was left in the Lodge, had not been alarmed at the noise and rushed thither. Seeing Jack at liberty, he instantly seized him, and a struggle commenced.
At this moment, Blueskin came up, and kept off the officers with his knife. He used his utmost efforts to liberate Jack from Langley, but closely pressed on all sides, he was not able to render any effectual assistance.
“Fly!” cried Jack; “escape if you can; don’t mind me.”
Casting one look of anguish at his leader, Blueskin then darted down the passage.
The only persons in the Lodge were Mrs. Spurling and Marvel. Hearing the noise of the scuffle, the tapstress, fancying it was Jack making an effort to escape, in spite of the remonstrances of the executioner, threw open the wicket. Blueskin therefore had nothing to stop him. Dashing through the open door, he crossed the Old Bailey, plunged into a narrow court on the opposite side of the way, and was out of sight in a minute, baffling all pursuit.
On their return, the jailers raised up Jonathan, who was weltering in his blood, and who appeared to be dying. Efforts were made to staunch his wounds and surgical assistance sent for.
“Has he escaped?” asked the thief-taker, faintly.
“Blueskin,” said Ireton.
“No—Sheppard?” rejoined Wild.
“No, no, Sir,” replied Ireton. “He’s here.”
“That’s right,” replied Wild, with
a ghastly smile. “Remove him to the
Middle Stone Hold,—watch over him night and day, do you mind?”
“I do, Sir.”
“Irons—heavy irons—night and day.”
“Depend upon it, Sir.”
“Go with him to Tyburn,—never lose sight of him till the noose is tied. Where’s Marvel?”
“Here, Sir,” replied the executioner.
“A hundred guineas if you hang Jack Sheppard. I have it about me. Take it, if I die.”
“Never fear, Sir,” replied Marvel.
“Oh! that I could live to see it,” gasped Jonathan. And with a hideous expression of pain, he fainted.
“He’s dead,” exclaimed Austin.
“I am content,” said Jack. “My mother is avenged. Take me to the Stone Room. Blueskin, you are a true friend.”
The body of Jonathan was then conveyed to his own habitation, while Jack was taken to the Middle Stone Room, and ironed in the manner Wild had directed.
What happened at Dollis Hill.
“At length this tragedy is at an end,” said Mr. Wood, as, having seen the earth thrown over the remains of the unfortunate Mrs. Sheppard, he turned to quit the churchyard. “Let us hope that, like her who ’loved much,’ her sins are forgiven her.”