Page:Moll Flanders (1906 edition).djvu/164

This page has been validated.

castle to his dear cousin, Jemmy Cole, in London, with an account that he had sent by such a vessel (for I remembered all the particulars to a tittle) so many pieces of huckaback linen, and so many ells of Dutch holland, and the like, in a box, and a hamper of flint glasses from Mr Henzill's glass-house; and that the box was marked I. C. No. I, and the hamper was directed by a label on the cording.

About an hour after, I came to the warehouse, found the warehouse-keeper, and had the goods delivered me without any scruple; the value of the linen being about £22.

I could fill up this whole discourse with the variety of such adventures, which daily invention directed to, and which I managed with the utmost dexterity, and always with success.

At length—as when does the pitcher come safe home that goes so often to the well?—I fell into some broils, which though they could not affect me fatally, yet made me known, which was the worst thing next to being found guilty that could befall me.

I had taken up the disguise of a widow's dress; it was without any real design in view, but only waiting for anything that might offer, as I often did. It happened that while I was going along a street in Covent Garden, there was a great cry of 'Stop thief! stop thief!' Some artists had, it seems, put a trick upon a shopkeeper, and being pursued, some of them fled one way and some another; and one of them was, they said, dressed up in widow's weeds, upon which the mob gathered about me, and some said I was the person, others said no. Immediately came the mercer's journeyman, and he swore aloud I was the person, and so seized on me. However, when I was brought back by the mob to the mercer's shop, the master of the house said freely that I was not the woman, and would have let me go immediately, but another fellow said gravely, 'Pray stay till Mr ——', meaning the journeyman, 'comes back, for he knows her'; so they kept me near half-an-hour.

They had called a constable, and he stood in the shop as my jailer. In talking with the constable I inquired where he lived, and what trade he was; the man not apprehending in the least what happened afterwards, readily told me his name, and where he lived; and told me, as a jest, that I might be sure to hear of his name when I came to the Old Bailey. The servants likewise used me saucily, and had much ado to keep their hands off me; the master indeed was civiller to me than they; but he would not let me go, though he owned I was not in his shop before.

I began to be a little surly with him, and told him I hoped he would not take it ill if I made myself amends upon him another time; and desired I might send for friends to see me have right done. No, he said, he could give no such liberty; I might ask it when I came before the justice of the peace; and seeing I threatened him, he would take care of me in the meantime, and would lodge me safe in Newgate. I told him it was his time now, but it would be mine by-and-by, and governed my passion as well as I was able. However, I spoke to the constable to call me a porter, which he did, and then I called for pen, ink, and paper, but they would let me have none. I asked the porter his name, and where he lived, and the poor man told it me very willingly. I bade him observe and remember how I was treated there; that he saw I was detained there by force. I told him I should want him in another place, and it should not be the worse for him to speak. The porter said he would serve me with all his