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The old Hornsey toll-bar was a high gate, with cheveux de frize in the upper rail - it may be so still. The gate was swung into its lock, and, like a tiger in his lair, the prompt custodian of the turnpike trusts ensconced within his doorway, held himself in readiness to spring upon the runaway. But Dick kept steadily on. He coolly calculated the height of the gate ; he looked to the right and to the left ; nothing better offered ; he spoke a few words of encouragement to Bess ; gently patted her neck ; then struck spurs into her sides, and cleared the spikes by an inch. Out rushed the amazed turnpike man, thus unmercifully bilked, and was nearly trampled to death under the feet of Paterson's horse.
“Open the gate, fellow, and be expeditious," shouted the chief constable.
“Not I,” said the man, sturdily, “ unless I gets my dues. I've been done once already. But strike me stupid if I'm done a second time.”
“ Don't you perceive that's a highwayman? don't you know that I'm chief constable of Westminster ?” said Paterson, showing his staff. “ How dare you oppose me in the discharge of my duty ?
“ That may be, or it may not be,” said the man, doggedly. “ But you don't pass, unless I gets the blunt, and that's the long and short on it.”
Amidst a storm of oaths, Coates flung down a crown piece, and the gate was thrown open.
Turpin took advantage of this delay to breathe his mare; and, striking into a by-lane, at Duckett's Green, cantered easily along in the direction of Tottenham. Little repose was allowed him. Yelling like a pack of hounds in full cry, his pursuers were again at his heels. He had now to run the gauntlet of the long straggling town of Tottenham, and various were the devices of the populace to entrap him. The whole place was up in arms, shouting, screaming, running, dancing, and hurling every possible description of missile at the horse and her rider. Dick merrily responded to their clamour, as he flew past, and laughed at the brick bats that were showered thick as hail, and quite as harmlessly, around him.
A few more miles' hard riding tired the volunteers, and before the chase reached Edmonton, most of them were where.” Here fresh relays were gathered, and a strong field
was again mustered, John Gilpin, himself, could not have excited inore astonishment amongst the good folks of Edmonton, than did our highwayman, as he galloped through their town. Unlike the men of Tottenham, the mob received him with acclamations, thinking, no doubt, that, like “ the citizens of famous London town,” he rode for a wager. Presently, however, borne on the wings of the blast, came the cries of “ Turpin ! Dick Turpin !” and the hurrahs were changed to hootings; but such was the rate at which our highwayman rode, that no serious opposition could be offered to him.
A man in a donkey cart, unable to get out of the way, drew himself up in the middle of the road. Turpin treated him as he had done the dub at the knapping jigger, and cleared the driver and his little wain with ease. This was a capital stroke, and well adapted to please the multitude, who are ever taken with a brilliant action. “ Hark away, Dick !” resounded on all hands; while hisses were as liberally bestowed upon his pursuers.
THE SHORT PIPE.
The Peons are capital horsemen, and several times we saw them, at a gallop, throw the rein on the horse's neck, take from one pocket a bag of loose tobacco, and, with a piece of paper, or a leaf of Indian corn, make a cigar, and then také out a flint and steel and light it.
Head's Rough Notes.
Away they fly past scattered cottages, swiftly and skimmingly, like eagles on the wing, along the Enfield highway. All were well mounted, and the horses, now thoroughly warmed, had got into their paces, and did their work beautifully. None of Coates's party lost ground, but they maintained it at the expense of their steeds, which were streaming like water carts, while Black Bess had scarcely turned a hair.
Turpin, the reader already knows, was a crack rider; he was the crack rider of England of his time, and, perhaps, of any time. The craft and mystery of jockeyship was not then
80 well understood in the eighteenth as it is in the nineteenth century; men treated their horses differently; and few rode then as well as many ride now, when every youngster takes to the field as naturally as if he had been bred a Guacho. Dick Turpin was a glorious exception to the rule, and anticipated a later age. He rode wonderfully lightly, yet sat his saddle to perfection ; distributing the weight so exquisitely, that his horse scarcely felt his pressure ; he yielded to every movement made by the animal, and became, as it were, part and parcel of itself; he took care Bess should be neither strained nor wrung. Freely, and as lightly as a feather, was she borne along; beautiful was it to see her action; to watch her style and temper of covering the ground, and many a first rate Meltonian might have got a wrinkle from Turpin's seat and conduct.
We have before stated that it was not Dick's object to ride away from his pursuers; he could have done that at any moment; he liked the fun of the chase, and would have been sorry to put a period to his own excitement. Confident in his mare, he just kept her at such speed as should put his pursuers completely to it, without, in the slightest degree, inconveniencing himself. Some judgment of the speed at which they went may be formed, when we state that little better than an hour had elapsed, and nearly twenty miles had been ridden
“ Not bad travelling that," methinks we hear the reader exclaim.
“By the mother that bore me,” said Titus, as they went along in this slapping style — Titus, by the by, rode a big, Roman-nosed, powerful horse, well adapted to his weight, but which required a plentiful exercise both of leg and arm, to call forth all his action, and keep his rider alongside his companions -“ by the mother that bore me,” said he, almost thumping the wind out of his flea-bitten Bucephalus with his calves, after the Irish fashion, “if the fellow isn't lighting his pipe ! I saw the sparks fly on each side of him, and there he
goes like a smoky chimney on a frosty morning! see, he turns his impudent phiz, with the pipe in his mouth ! are we to stand that, Mr. Coates ?”
“ Wait awhile, sir, wait awhile,” said Coates, smoke him by and by.'
Pæans have been sung in honour of the Peons of the
Pampas by the Headlong Sir Francis; but what the gallant major extols so loudly in the South American horsemen, viz. the lighting of a cigar, when in mid career, was accomplished with equal ease by our English highwayman, a hundred years ago, nor was it esteemed by him any extravagant feat either. Flint, steel, and tinder, were bestowed within Dick's ample pouch, the short pipe was at hand ; and within a few seconds there was a stream of vapour exhaling from his lips, like the smoke from a steam-boat shooting down the river, and tracking his still rapid course through the air.
“ I'll let 'em see what I think of 'em,” said Dick, coolly, as he turned his head.
It was now grey twilight. The mists of coming night were weaving a thin curtain over the rich surrounding landscape.
All the sounds and hum of that delicious hour were heard, broken only by the regular clatter of the horses' hoofs. Tired of shouting, the chasers now kept on their way in deep silence ; each man held his breath, and plunged his spurs, rowel deep, into his horse ; but the animals were already at the top of their speed, and incapable of greater exertion. Paterson, who was a hard rider, and perhaps a thought better mounted, kept the lead. The rest followed as they might.
Had it been undisturbed by the rush of the cavalcade, the scene would have been still and soothing. Overhead a cloud of rooks were winging their garrulous flight to the ancestral avenue of an ancient mansion to the right; the bat was on the wing ; the distant lowing of a herd of kine saluted the ear at intervals; the blithe whistle of the rustic herdsman, and the merry chime of waggon bells rang pleasantly from afar. But these cheerful sounds, which make the still twilight hour delightful, were lost in the tramp of the horsemen, now three abreast. The hind fled to the hedge for shelter ; and the waggoner pricked up his ears, and fancied he heard the distant rumbling of an earthquake.
On rush the pack, whipping, spurring, tugging for very life. Again they gave voice, in hopes the waggoner might succeed in stopping the fugitive. But Dick was already by his side. “ Harkee, my tulip,” cried he, taking the pipe from his mouth as he passed, " tell my friends, behind, they will hear of me at York,”
- What did he say?" asked Paterson, coming up the next moment.
“ That you'll find him at York,” replied the waggoner. “ At York !” echoed Coates, in amaze.
Turpin was now out of sight, and although our trio flogged with might and main, they could never catch a glimpse of him until, within a short distance of Ware, they beheld him at the door of a little public-house, standing with his bridle in his hand, coolly quaffing a tankard of ale. No sooner were they in sight, than Dick vaulted into the saddle, and rode off.
“ Devil seize you, sir! why didn't you stop him ? ” exclaimed Paterson, as he rode up. “My horse is dead lame. I cannot go any farther. Do you know what a prize you have missed ?
know who that was ?” “ No, sir, I don't,” said the publican. « But I know he gave his mare more ale than he took himself, and he has given me a guinea instead of a shilling. He's a regular good un.”
“ A good un !” said Paterson ; "it was Turpin, the notorious highwayman. We are in pursuit of him. any horses ? our cattle are all blown.'
« You'll find the post-house in the town, gentlemen. I'm sorry I can't accommodate you. But I keeps no stabling. I wish you a very good evening, sir.” Saying which, the publican retreated to his domicile.
“ That's a flash crib, I'll be bound," said Paterson. “I'll chalk you down, my friend, you may rely upon
it. Thus far we're done, Mr. Coates. But curse me if I give it in. I'll follow him to the world's end first.
- Right, sir — right,” said the attorney. “A very proper spirit, Mr. Constable. You would be guilty of neglecting your duty, were you to act otherwise. You must recollect my father, Mr. Paterson, Cristopher, or Kit Coates. A name as well known at the Old Bailey as Jonathan Wild's. You recollect him - eh ? "
Perfectly well, sir," replied the chief constable. “ The greatest thief-taker, though I say it,” continued Coates, on record. I inherit all his zeal - all his ardour, Come along, sir. We shall have a fine moon in an hour bright as day to the post-house ! to the post-house !"
Accordingly to the post-house they went. And with as little delay as circumstances admitted, fresh hacks being pro