The shouts of indignation—the frightful yells now raised baffle description. A furious attack was made on Jonathan, who, though he defended himself like a lion, was desperately wounded, and would inevitably have perished if he had not been protected by the guards, who were obliged to use both swords and fire-arms upon the mob in his defence. He was at length rescued from his assailants,—rescued to perish, seven months afterwards, with every ignominy, at the very gibbet to which he had brought his victim.
The body of Jack Sheppard, meanwhile, was borne along by that tremendous host, which rose and fell like the waves of the ocean, until it approached the termination of the Edgeware Road.
At this point a carriage with servants in sumptuous liveries was stationed. At the open door stood a young man in a rich garb with a mask on his face, who was encouraging the mob by words and gestures. At length, the body was brought towards him. Instantly seizing it, the young man placed it in the carriage, shut the door, and commanded his servants to drive off. The order was promptly obeyed, and the horses proceeded at a furious pace along the Edgeware Road.
Half an hour afterwards the body of Jack was carefully examined. It had been cut down before life was extinct, but a ball from one of the soldiers had pierced his heart.
Thus died Jack Sheppard.
That night a grave was dug in Willesden churchyard, next to that in which Mrs. Sheppard had been interred. Two persons, besides the clergyman and sexton, alone attended the ceremony. They were a young man and an old one, and both appeared deeply affected. The coffin was lowered into the grave, and the mourners departed. A simple wooden monument was placed over the grave, but without any name or date. In after years, some pitying hand supplied the inscription, which ran thus—
[Illustration: JACK SHEPPARD]