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alarm over, he threw a piece of wash-leather over a bureau, so as to deaden the sound, and instantly broke it open with a small crow.bar. While he was filling his pockets with golden coin from this store, Blueskin had pulled the plate-chest from under the bed ; and having forced it open, began filling a canvas bag with its contents,-silver coffee-pots, chocolate-dishes, waiters, trays, tankards, goblets, and candlesticks. It might be supposed that these articles, when thrust together into the bag, would have jingled; but these skilful practitioners managed matters so well that no noise was made. After rifling the room of everything portable, including some of Mrs. Wood's ornaments and wearing apparel, they prepared to depart. Jack then inti. mated his intention of visiting Winifred's chamber, in which several articles of value were known to be kept; but as, notwithstanding his reckless character, he still retained a feeling of respect for the object of his boyish affections, he would not suffer Blueskin 10 accompany him, so he commanded him to keep watch over the sleepers-strictly en. joining him, however, to do them no injury. Again having recourse to the centre-bit, -for Winifred's door was locked, Jack had nearly cut out a panel, when a sudden outcry was raised in the carpenter's chamber. The next moment, a struggle was heard, and Blueskin appeared at the door, followed by Mrs. Wood.

Jack instantly extinguished the light, and called to his comrade to come after him.

But Blueskin found it impossible to make off,—at least with the spoil, -Mrs. Wood having laid hold of the canvas-bag.

"Give back the things!” cried the lady. " Help!-help, Mr. Wood !"

" Leave go!" thundered Blueskin," leave go-you'd better!"-and he held the sack as firmly as he could with one hand, while with the other he searched for his knife.

“ No, I won't leave go!" screamed Mrs. Wood. “ Fire !-murder ! -thieves !-I've got one of 'em !”

“Come along," cried Jack.

* I can't," answered Blueskin. “ This she.devil has got hold of the sack. Leave go, I tell you !"and he forced open the knife with his teeth.

" Help!-murder !-thieves !" screamed Mrs, Wood ;—" OwenOwen !--Thames, help !"

Coming !" cried Mr. Wood, leaping from the bed. “Where are

you ?"

“Here," replied Mrs. Wood. "Help-I'll hold him !”

“ Leave her," cried Jack, darting down stairs, amid a furious ring. ing of bells," the house is alarmed, follow me !"

“ Curses light on you !" cried Blueskin, savagely; "since you won't be advised, take your fate." And seizing her by the hair, he pulled back her head, and drew the

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VOL. IV.

knife with all his force across her throat. There was a dreadful stifled groan, and she fell heavily upon the landing.

The screams of the unfortunate woman had aroused Thames from his slumbers. Snatching up his pistols, he rushed to the door, but to his horror found it fastened. He heard the struggle on the landing, the fall of the heavy body, the groan,—and excited almost to frenzy by his fears, he succeeded in forcing open the door. By this time, several of the terrified domestics appeared with lights. A terrible spectacle was presented to the young man's gaze the floor deluged with blood, the mangled and lifeless body of Mrs. Wood,-Winifred fainted in the arms of a female attendant,—and Wood standing beside them almost in a state of distraction. Thus, in a few minutes, had this happy family been plunged into the depths of misery. At this juncture, a cry was raised by a servant from below, that the robbers were flying through the garden. Darting to a window looking in that direction, Thames threw it up, and discharged both his pistols, but without effect. In another minute, the tramp of horses' feet told that the perpetrators of the out. rage had effected their escape.

CHAPTER III.

JACK SHEPPARD'S QUARREL WITH JONATHAN WILD.

SC ARCELY an hour after the horrible occurrence just related, as Jonathan Wild was seated in the audience-chamber of his residence at the Old Bailey, occupied, like Peachum, (for whose portrait he sat,) with his account books and registers, he was interrupted by the sudden entrance of Quilt Arnold, who announced Jack Sheppard and Blueskin.

Ah !" cried Wild, laying down his pen, and looking up with a smile of satisfaction. “ I was just thinking of you, Jack. What news? Have you done the trick at Dollis Hill ?-brought off the swag-eh ?" "No;"answered Jack, flinging himself sullenly into a chair, “I've not."

Why, how's this ?” exclaimed Jonathan. “ Jack Sheppard failed! I'd not believe it, if any one but himself told me so."

I've not failed,” returned Jack, angrily;" but we've done too much.” “ I'm no reader of riddles," said Jonathan. "Speak plainly."

“ Let this speak for me,” said Sheppard, tossing a heavy bag of money towards him. “ You can generally understand that language. There's more than I undertook to bring. It has been purchased by blood !"

“ What! have you cut old Wood's throat ?" asked Wild, with great unconcern, as he took

up “ If I had, you'd not have seen me here," replied Jack, sullenly. “ The blood that has been spilt is that of his wife.”

" It was her own fault,'' observed Blueskin, moodily. She wouldn't let me go. I did it in self-defence.”

the bag.

"I care not why you did it,” said Jack, sternly. 6. We work to. gether no more.” “Come, come, captain,” remonstrated Blueskin.

“ I thought you'd have got rid of your ill-humour by this time. You know as well as I do that it was accident."

" Accident or not,” rejoined Sheppard ; “ you're no longer pal of mine.”

" And so this is my reward for having made you the tip-top cracks. man you are," muttered Blueskin ;-" to be turned off at a moment's notice, because I silenced a noisy woman. It's too hard. Think bet. ter of it.”

" My mind's made up," rejoined Jack, coldly,“ we part to-night."

“I'll not go,” answered the other. “ I love you like a son, and will follow you like a dog. You'd not know what to do without me, and shan't drive me off.”

“ Well !” remarked Jonathan, who had paid little attention to the latter part of the conversation ; “ this is an awkward business certainly; but we must do the best we can in it. You must keep out of the way till it's blown over. I can accommodate

you

below.” "I don't require it," returned Sheppard. “I'm tired of the life I'm leading. I shall quit it and go abroad.” “I'll go

with you,” said Blueskin. “Before either of you go, you will ask my permission,” said Jonathan, coolly.

“ How !” exclaimed Sheppard. “Do you mean to say you will interfere_"

“I mean to say this,” interrupted Wild, with contemptuous calmness, “that I'll neither allow you to leave England nor the profession you've engaged in. I wouldn't allow you to be honest even if you could be so, -which I doubt. You are my slave—and such you shall continue.”

“ Slave?'' echoed Jack.

“ Dare to disobey," continued Jonathan : “ neglect my orders, and I will hang you."

Sheppard started to his feet.

"Hear me," he cried, restraining himself with difficulty. "It is time you should know whom you have to deal with. Henceforth, I utterly throw off the yoke you have laid upon me. I will neither stir hand nor foot for you more. Attempt to molest me, and I split. You are more in my power than I am in yours. Jack Sheppard is a match for Jonathan Wild, any day.”

“ That he is,” added Blueskin, approvingly. Jonathan smiled contemptuously. "One motive alone shall induce me to go on with you,” said Jack. * What's that ?" asked Wild.

"The youth whom you delivered to Van-Galgebrok,—Thames Dar. rell, is returned.”

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"Impossible !" cried Jonathan. “ He was thrown overboard, and perished at sea.

“ He is alive,” replied Jack, “I have seen him, and might have conversed with him if I had chosen. Now, I know you can restore him to his rights, if you choose. Do so; and I am yours as heretofore."

Humph !” exclaimed Jonathan. “ Your answer !” cried Sheppard. “ Yes, or no ?”

"I will make no terms with you," rejoined Wild, sternly. "You have defied me, and shall feel my power. You have been useful to me, or I would not have spared you thus long. I swore to hang you two years ago, but I deferred my purpose.”

• Deferred !" echoed Sheppard.

“ Hear me out," said Jonathan. “ You came hither under my pro. tection, and you shall depart freely,—nay, more, you shall have an hour's grace. After that time, I shall place my setters on your heels.”

“ You cannot prevent my departure," replied Jack, dauntlessly," and therefore your offer is no favour. But I tell you in return, I shall take no pains to hide myself. If you want me, you know where to find me.

An hour,” said Jonathan, looking at his waich,—"remember!"

" If you send for me to the Cross Shovels, in the Mint, where I'm going with Blueskin, I will surrender myself without resistance," re. turned Jack.

“ You will spare the officers a labour then," rejoined Jonathan.

"Can't I settle this business, captain,” muttered Blueskin, drawing a pistol.

" Don't harm him,” said Jack, carelessly: "he dares not do it.” So saying, he left the room.

Blueskin,” said Jonathan, as that worthy was about to follow, “ I advise you to remain with me."

“ No," answered the ruffian, moodily. “ If you arrest him, you must arrest me also."

"As you will,” said Jonathan, seating himself.

Jack and his comrade went to the Mint, where he was joined by Edgeworth Bess, with whom he sat down most unconcernedly to supper. His revelry, however, was put an end to at the expiration of the time mentioned by Jonathan, by the entrance of a posse of constables with Quilt Arnold and Abraham Mendez at their head. Jack, to the surprise of all his companions, at once surrendered himself; but Blueskin would have made a fierce resistance, and attempted a rescue, if he had not been ordered by his leader to desist. He then made off. Edgeworth Bess, who passed for Sheppard's wife, was secured. They were hurried before a magistrate, and charged by Jonathan Wild with various robberies; but as Jack Sheppard stated that he had most important disclosures to make, as well as charges to bring forward against his accuser, he was

committed with his female companion to the New Prison in Clerkenwell for further examination.

CHAPTER IV.

JACK SHEPPARD'S ESCAPE FROM THE NEW PRISON.

In consequence of Jack Sheppard's desperate character, it was judged expedient by the keeper of the New Prison to load him with fetters of unusual weight, and to place him in a cell which, from its strength and security, was called the Newgate Ward. The ward in which he was confined, was about six yards in length, and three in width, and in height might be about twelve feet. The windows which were about nine feet from the floor, had no glass; but were secured by thick iron bars, and an oaken beam. Along the floor ran an iron bar to which Jack's chain was attached, so that he could move along it from one end of the chamber to the other. No prisoner except Edgeworth Bess was placed in the same cell with him. Jack was in excellent spirits; and by his wit, drollery, and agreeable demeanour, speedily became a great favourite with the turnkey, who allowed him every indulgence consistent with his situation. The report of his de. tention caused an immense sensation. Numberless charges were preferred against him, amongst others, information was lodged of the robbery at Dollis Hill, and murder of Mrs. Wood, and a large reward offered for the apprehension of Blueskin; and as, in addition to this, Jack had threatened to impeach Wild, his next examination was look. ed forward to with the greatest interest.

The day before this examination was appointed to take place—the third of the prisoner's detention-an old man, respectably dressed, re. quested permission to see him. Jack's friends were allowed to visit him ; but, as he had openly avowed his intention of attempting an escape, their proceedings were narrowly watched.

The old man was conducted to Jack's cell by the turnkey, who remained near him dur. ing the interview. He appeared to be a stranger to the prisoner, and the sole motive of his visit, curiosity. After a brief conversation, which Sheppard sustained with his accustomed liveliness, the old man turned to Bess and addressed a few words of common place gallantry to her. While this was going on, Jack suddenly made a movement which attracted the turnkey's attention; and during that interval the man slipped some articles wrapped in a handkerchief into Bess's hands, who instantly secreted them in her bosom. The turnkey looked round next moment, but the maneuvre escaped his observation. After a lit. tle further discourse the old man took his departure.

Left alone with Edgeworth Bess, Jack burst into a loud laugh of exultation,

“ Blueskin's a friend in need," he said. “ His disguise was capi

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