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LONDON [Vol. II]
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THE RESURRECTION MAN AGAIN.
ANTHONY TIDKINS was dressed in a most miserable manner;
and his whole appearance denoted poverty and privation. He was thin and
emaciated; his eyes were sunken; his cheeks hollow; and his entire countenance
more cadaverous and ghastly than ever.
"My dear fellow," cried the Buffer, springing
forward to meet him; "how glad I am to see you again. I really thought as
how you was completely done for."
"And no thanks to you that I wasn't," returned
the Resurrection Man gruffly. "Didn't you leave me to die like a dog in the
"I've been as sorry about that there business,
Tony, ever since it happened, as one can well be," said the Buffer:
"but if you remember the hurry and bustle of the sudden panic that came
over us, I 'in sure you won't harbour no ill-feeling."
"Well, well the least said, the
soonest's mended," growled the Resurrection Man, taking his friend's hand.
"Holloa, Lafleur! What are you doing here?"
"Business business, Mr. Tidkins,"
answered the valet; "and you're the very man we are in want of."
"The very man," echoed the Buffer. "I
give up the command of the expedition to him: he's my old captain."
"In the first place, order me up some grub and a
pint of brandy," said the Resurrection Man; "for I've been precious
short of every thing at all decent in the eating or drinking way of late; and
while I refresh myself with some supper, you can tell me what new scheme there
is in the wind. Of course I'm your man, if there's any good to be done."
The waiter was summoned: Lafleur ordered him to bring up
the entire contents of the larder, together with a bottle of brandy; and when
these commands were obeyed, the Resurrection Man fell to work with extraordinary
voracity, while the French valet briefly explained to him the nature of the
business already propounded to the Buffer.
The hopes of obtaining a considerable sum of money
animated the eyes of Tidkins with fire and his cadaverous countenance with a
glow of fiendish satisfaction. He highly approved of the idea of engaging the
Lully Prig and Long Bob in the enterprise; for he entertained a good opinion of
their courage, in spite of the affair of the plague-ship. Indeed, he could well
understand the invincible nature of the panic-terror which had seized upon them
on that occasion; and, as he foresaw that their co-operation would be valuable
in other matters, he was disposed to forget the past.
In fine, all the preliminary arrangements were made with
Lafleur, who presented the two villains each with a ten pound-note as an earnest
of his sincerity, and then took his departure.
When the Resurrection Man and the Buffer were alone
together, they brewed themselves strong glasses of brandy and water, lighted
their pipes, and naturally began to discourse on what had passed since they last
saw each other.
The Buffer related all that had occurred to him after
his return to Mossop's wharf, how he had been pursued by the three
men belonging to the Blossom, how one turned out to be
Richard Markham, another a policeman in disguise, and the third Morcar, how
they had vainly searched the Fairy to discover Anthony Tidkins, and
how he himself eventually sold the lighter.
"Since then," added the Buffer, "I have
not been doing much, and was deuced glad when Greenwood's valet came to me last
evening and made an appointment with me for to-night to talk upon some business
of importance. You know what that business is; and I hope it will turn up a
trump that's all."
"Then the whole affair of the Blossom was a
damnation plant?" cried the Resurrection Man, gnashing his teeth with rage.
"And that hated Markham was at the bottom of it all! By the thunders of
heaven, I'll have the most deadly vengeance! But how came you to learn that
Morcar was one of the three?"
"Because I heard Markham call him by that name when
they all boarded the Fairy; and I instantly remembered the gipsy that you
had often spoken about. But what do you think? He was the Black the
counterfeit Brummagem scoundrel that could neither speak nor hear. The Captain
was the blue-bottle; and Markham, I s'pose, had kept down below during the time
the Blossom was at Mossop's. It was a deuced good scheme of theirs; and
if you hadn't been left in the plague-ship, it might have gone precious hard
"Well said, Jack," observed the Resurrection
Man. "Out of evil sometimes comes good, as the parsons say. But that shan't
prevent me from doing Master Richard Markham a turn yet."
"You must go to Italy then," said the Buffer
"What gammon's that!" demanded Tidkins.
"Why, I happened yesterday morning to look at a
newspaper in the parlour down stairs, and there I read of a battle which took
plate in some country with a cursed hard name in Italy, about three weeks ago;
and what should I see but a long rigmarole about the bravery of 'our gallant
fellow-countryman, Mr. Richard Markham,' and 'the great delight it would
be to all the true friends of freedom to learn that he was not retained amongst
"But perhaps he was killed in the battle, the
scoundrel?" said the Resurrection Man.
"No, he wasn't," answered the Buffer;
"for the moment I saw that all this nonsense was about him, I read the
whole article through; and I found that he had been taken prisoner, but
had either been let go or had made his escape. No one, however, seems to know
what's become of him; so p'r'aps he's on his way back to this
"I'd much sooner he'd get hanged or shot in
Italy," said the Resurrection Man. "But if he ever does come home
again, I'll be square with him and no mistake."
"Now you know all that has happened to me, [-143-]
Tony," exclaimed the Buffer. "have the kindness to tell us how you got
out of that cursed scrape in the Lady-Anne."
"I will," said the Resurrection Man, refilling
his glass. "After you all ran away in that cowardly fashion, I tried to
climb after you; but I fell back insensible. When I awoke, the broad daylight
was shining overhead; and a boy was looking down at me from the deck. He asked
me what I was doing there. I rose with great difficulty; but I was much
refreshed with the long sleep I had enjoyed. The boy disappeared; and in a few
minutes the surgeon came and hailed me down the hatchway. I begged him to help
me up out of the hold, and I would tell him every thing. He ordered me to throw
aside my pistols and cutlass, and he would assist me to gain the deck. I did as
he commanded me. He and the boy then lowered a rope, with a noose; I put my foot
in the noose, grasped the rope tight, and was hauled up. The surgeon instantly
presented a pistol, and said, 'If you attempt any violence, I'll shoot you
through the head.' I declared that nothing was farther from my intention,
and begged him to give me some refreshment. This request was complied with; and
I then felt so much better, that I was able to walk with comparative ease. It,
however, seemed as if I had just recovered from a long illness: for I was weak,
and my head was giddy. I told the surgeon that I was an honest hardworking man;
that I had come down to Gravesend the day before to see a friend; and had fallen
in with some persons who offered me a job for which I should be well paid; that
I assented, and accompanied them to their boat; that when I understood the
nature of their business, I declared I would have nothing more to do with it;
that they swore they would blow my brains out if I made any noise; that I was
compelled to board the ship with them; that when some sudden sound alarmed them
as they were examining the goods in the hold, they knocked me down with the
butt-end of a pistol; and that I remembered nothing more until the boy awoke me
by calling out to me from the deck. The surgeon believed my story, and said, 'A
serious offence has been perpetrated, and you must declare all you know of the
matter before a magistrate.' I of course signified my willingness to do so,
because I saw that the only chance of obtaining my liberty was by gaining the
good opinion of the surgeon for he had a loaded pistol in his
hand I was unarmed and the police-boat was within
hail. 'But, according to the quarantine laws,' continued the surgeon, 'you
cannot be permitted to leave the vessel for the present; and what guarantee have
I for your good behaviour while you are on board?'"
"That was a poser," observed the Buffer.
"No such thing," said the Resurrection Man.
"I spoke with so much apparent sincerity, and with such humility, that I
quite gained the surgeon's good opinion. I said, 'You can lock me in your
cabin during the day, sir; or you can bind my hand, with cords; and, at night, I
can sleep in the hold from which you released me, with the hatches battened
down.' 'I really do believe you to be an honest man,'
exclaimed the surgeon 'but I must adopt some precaution. You shall be at
large during the day; and I think it right to give you due notice that I shall
carry loaded pistols constantly with me. At night you shall sleep in the hold,
with the hatches battened down, as you say.' I affected to thank him very
sincerely, for his kindness in leaving me at liberty during the day; and he then
repaired to the fore-cabin to attend to his patients."
"Hadn't he got the plague himself?" inquired
"No: but the ftid atmosphere of the fore-cabin,
to which he was compelled so frequently to expose himself, had made him as
emaciated and as pale as if he had only just recovered from the malady. I got
into conversation with the boy, and found that he had contrived, shortly after
you and the others decamped, to free his arms from the cords with which we had
bound him; and that his first care was to release the surgeon. They neither of
them entertained the remotest suspicion that any of the pirates were left in the
ship, until the boy discovered me in the hold shortly after day-break."
"Well and how did you escape after
"I remained three or four days on board, before I
put any scheme into force, although I planned a great many. At night I could do
nothing, because I was a prisoner in the hold; and during the day the
police-boat was constantly about, besides the sentinels on land. The surgeon
always made me go down into the hold while it was still day-light; and never let
me out again until after sun-rise; so that I was always in confinement during
the very time that I might contrive something to effect my escape from that
infernal pest-ship. But the surgeon seemed afraid to trust me when it was dark.
I never passed such a miserable time in my life. The slight touch that I had
experienced of the plague for it could have been nothing
else kept me in a constant fear lest it should return with
increased force. How often did I mutter the most bitter curses against you and
the other pals for abandoning me; but now, in consequence of what
you told me of the plant that Markham had set a-going against me, I am not sorry
to think that I was left behind in the plague-ship. One evening I
think it was the fifth after my first entrance into the vessel I
observed that it was growing darker and darker; and yet the surgeon did not
appear on deck with his loaded pistol to send me below. The boy was walking
about eyeing me suspiciously; and at length he went down into the after-cabin.
It struck me that the surgeon was probably indulging in a nap, and that the lad
would awake him. It was not quite dark; but still I fancied that it was dusk
enough to leap from the bow of the ship, which part of the vessel was high and
dry, without alarming the sentinels on shore. At all events the chance was worth
the trial. Seizing a handspike, I hurried forward, and sprang from the ship.
Then, without losing a moment, I ran along the bank towards Gravesend, as
rapidly as I could. In a short time I knew that I was safe. I hurled the
handspike into the Thames, and walked on to the Lobster Tavern. There I obtained
a bed for I had plenty of ready money in my pocket. My only regret
was that I had not been able to bring away any of the gold-dust with me."
"Why didn't you knock the surgeon and the boy on
the head, and help yourself?" demanded the Buffer.
"So I should if I had seen a chance," replied
the Resurrection Man; "but I was so weak and feeble all the time I was on
board, that I was no match even for the young lad; and the surgeon always kept
at such a distance, with a loaded pistol ready cocked in his hand, when I was
ordered into the hold [-144-] of an evening, or
called up of a morning, that there wasn't a shadow of a chance. Well, I slept at
the Lobster Tavern, and departed very early in the morning long
before it was day-light. I thought that London would be too hot for me, after
every thing that had lately occurred; and I resolved to pay a visit to Walmer my
own native place. I was still too weak to walk many miles without resting; and
so I took nearly four days to reach Walmer. Besides, I kept to the fields, and
avoided the high road as much as possible. I took up my quarters at a small inn
on the top of Walmer hill, and then made inquiries concerning all the people I
had once known in or about the village. I have often related the former
incidents of my life to you; and you will therefore recollect the baronet who
was exchequered for smuggling, and was welcomed with open arms by his friends,
when he paid the fine. You also remember all that occurred between him and me. I
found that he had married his cook-maid, who ruled him with a rod of iron; and
that the 'very select society' of Walmer and Deal had all cut him on account of
that connexion, which was much worse in their eyes than all the smuggling in
which he had been engaged. In fact, he was a hero when prosecuted for smuggling;
but now no decent persons could associate with him, since he had married his
scullion. In a word, I learnt that he was as miserable as I could have wished
him to be."
"And didn't you inquire after your friend the
parson?" demanded the Buffer.
"You may be sure I did," returned the
Resurrection Man. "He had made himself very conspicuous for refusing the
sacrament to a young woman who was seduced by her lover, and had an illegitimate
child; and the 'select society' of Walmer greatly applauded him for his conduct.
At length, about a year ago, it appears, this most particular of all clergymen
was discovered by a neighbouring farmer in too close a conversation with the
said farmer's wife; and his reverence was compelled to decamp, no one knows
where. He, however, left his wife and children to the public charity. That
charity was so great, that the poor woman and family are now inmates of the very
workhouse where his reverence's slightest wish was once a law. I stayed at
Walmer for nearly a week; and then departed suddenly for Ramsgate, with the
contents of the landlord's till in my pocket. At Ramsgate I put up at a small
public-house where I was taken dreadfully ill. For four months I was confined to
my bed; and both landlord and landlady were very kind to me. At length I slowly
began to recover; and, when I was well enough to walk abroad, I used to go upon
the beach to inhale the sea-air. It was then summer time; and bathing was all
the rage. I never was more amused in my life than to see the ladies, old as well
as young, sitting on the beach, to all appearance deeply buried in the novels
which they held in their hands, but in reality watching, with greedy eyes, the
men bathing scarcely fifty yards off'."
"You don't mean to say that?" cried the
"I do indeed, though," returned Tidkins.
"It was the commonest thing in the world for elderly dames and young misses
to go out walking along the beach, or to sit down on it, close by the very spot
where the men bathed, although there were plenty of other places to choose
either for rambling or reading. Well, I stayed two more months at Ramsgate; and
as the landlord and landlady of the public-house had behaved so kind to me, I
took nothing from them when I went away. I merely left my little account
unsettled. I walked over to Margate, with the intention of taking the steamer to
London Bridge; but just as I was stepping on the jetty, some one tapped me on
the shoulder, and, turning round, I beheld my landlord of the little inn on the
top of Walmer hill. All my excuses, promises, and entreaties were of no avail:
the man collared me a crowd collected a constable
was sent for, and I was taken before a magistrate. Of course I was committed for
trial, and sent across in a cart to Canterbury gaol. There I lay till the day
before yesterday, when the sessions came on. By some extraordinary circumstance
or another, no prosecutor appeared before the Grand Jury; and I was discharged.
I resolved to come back to London for, after all, London is the place for
business in our way. With all its police, it's the best scene for our labours.
So here I am; and the moment I set foot in this ken, I find employment waiting
"Well, I'm sorry to hear you've been lumbered old
feller," cried the respectable Mr. John Wicks; "but it's a blessin'
the prosecutor never come for'ard. Let's, however, think of the present; and
botheration to the past. I'm heartily glad you've turned up again. I was
precious nigh going into mourning for you, Tony. Joking apart, though this
business of the Frenchman's looks well; and we must be about early to look after
the Lully Prig and Long Bob. I know their haunts down by Execution Dock, just
opposite to Mossop's."
"Where are you hanging out now, Jack?"
inquired the Resurrection Man.
"Me and Moll has got a room in Greenhill's
Rents at the bottom of Saint John's Street, you know," was
"Well, I shall sleep here to-night," said the
Resurrection Man; "and by six o'clock to-morrow morning I shall expect
chapter < | THE MYSTERIES OF
LONDON [Vol. II]
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