|THE FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES OF MOLL FLANDERS||145|
I bought at a linendraper's shop, not in the fair, but in the town of Cambridge, as much fine Holland, and other things, as came to about £7; when I had done I bade them be sent to such an inn, where I had taken up my being the same morning, as if I was to lodge there that night.
I ordered the draper to send them home to me, about such an hour, to the inn where I lay, and I would pay him his money. At the time appointed the draper sends the goods, and I placed one of our gang at the chamber door, and when the innkeeper's maid brought the messenger to the door, who was a young fellow, an apprentice, almost a man, she tells him her mistress was asleep, but if he would leave the things, and call in about an hour, I should be awake, and he might have the money. He left the parcel very readily, and goes his way, and in about half-an-hour my maid and I walked off, and that very evening I hired a horse, and a man to ride before me, and went to Newmarket, and from thence got my passage in a coach that was not quite full to Bury St Edmunds, where, as I told you, I could make but little of my trade, only at a little country operahouse I got a gold watch from a lady's side, who was not only intolerably merry, but a little fuddled, which made my work much easier.
I made off with this little booty to Ipswich, and from thence to Harwich, where I went into an inn, as if I had newly arrived from Holland, not doubting but I should make some purchase among the foreigners that came on shore there; but I found them generally empty of things of value, except what was in their portmanteaus and Dutch hampers, which were always guarded by footmen; however, I fairly got one of their portmanteaus one evening out of the chamber where the gentleman lay, the footman being fast asleep on the bed, and I suppose very drunk.
The room in which I lodged lay next to the Dutchman's, and having dragged the heavy thing with much ado out of the chamber into mine, I went out into the street to see if I could find any possibility of carrying it off. I walked about a great while, but could see no probability either of getting out the thing, or of conveying away the goods that were in it, the town being so small, and I a perfect stranger in it; so I was returning with a resolution to carry it back again, and leave it where I found it. Just at that very moment I heard a man make a noise to some people to make haste, for the boat was going to put off, and the tide would be spent. I called the fellow: 'What boat is it, friend', said I, 'that you belong to?' 'The Ipswich wherry, madam', says he. 'When do you go off?' says I. 'This moment, madam', says he; 'do you want to go thither?' 'Yes', said I, 'if you can stay till I fetch my things.' 'Where are your things, madam?' says he. 'At such an inn', said I. 'Well, I'll go with you, madam', says he, very civilly, 'and bring them for you.' 'Come away then', says I, and takes him with me.
The people of the inn were in a great hurry, the packet-boat from Holland being just come in, and two coaches just come also with passengers from London for another packet-boat that was going off for Holland, which coaches were to go back next day with the passengers that were just landed. In this hurry it was that I came to the bar, and paid my reckoning, telling my landlady I had gotten my passage by sea in a wherry.
These wherries are large vessels, with good accommodation for carrying passengers from Harwich to London; and though they are called wherries, which is a word used in the Thames for a small boat, rowed with one or two men, yet these are vessels able to carry twenty passengers, and