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Beschreibung des Verlags
I ever had the name of one that kept to himself, nor was bedfellow to none upon the high toby. 'Tis true enough that I have mixed in one or two affairs with others of my kidney, but these were mainly in my heady youth and when I was raw upon the pad, and the issues for the more part were against me. For one, there was that business with Creech about the King's treasure chests, the which came near to hanging of us all through that toad, Timothy Grubbe. Indeed, I have never cared to participate in any act that was not of my own devising, and there was none on the road that I would ha' pinned my faith on—no, not even old Jeremy Starbottle, that was hanged afore my time. For this reason it was that I was used to avoid the Portsmouth Road, which, being so greatly traversed, and so set with wastes and wilds, was pretty much in favour with our gentry. I was often in the West, where my chief quarry lay, or the North Road was that on which I beat; but, Lord! there was no point nor parcel of these shires that knew me not at one time or another, and I warrant I kept the officers all over the country a-jigging. Yet I was once took for an affair near Petersfield, and swore not to touch that road again, but to leave it to the scurvy tiddlers that hold it. I came back, however, once after, and that was upon a late December night, and when the moon was shining and the sky alight and glistening.
I had rode across from Alton with two bottles of good wine under my jacket, and a pocket of gold guineas, and I was trotting across Witley Common whistling of an air, very merry, and with no thought but to come by town the easier, lying maybe by Guildford that night in a cosy private tavern that I knew. Some imp of mischief shook me up and cozened me that night, for I had no intent in the world but to walk like a plain citizen or any talking parson. Yet what happens but this—that I, like a sorry fool, spying of a coach that was running down from the hills with a great clatter, and two postilions before, set up a cry and a hulloa, and ere they or Dick Ryder himself was aware of what he would do, why Calypso was alongside, I had gotten the reins in my hands, and the nose of my pistol was through the window.