Moll Flanders HTML version

Chapter 13
Once or twice I asked what was the matter, but the people neglected answering me,
and I was not very importunate; but after the crowd was wholly past, I took my
opportunity to turn about and take up what was behind me and walk away. This, indeed,
I did with less disturbance than I had done formerly, for these things I did not steal, but
they were stolen to my hand. I got safe to my lodgings with this cargo, which was a
piece of fine black lustring silk, and a piece of velvet; the latter was but part of a piece of
about eleven yards; the former was a whole piece of near fifty yards. It seems it was a
mercer's shop that they had rifled. I say rifled, because the goods were so considerable
that they had lost; for the goods that they recovered were pretty many, and I believe
came to about six or seven several pieces of silk. How they came to get so many I could
not tell; but as I had only robbed the thief, I made no scruple at taking these goods, and
being very glad of them too.
I had pretty good luck thus far, and I made several adventures more, though with but
small purchase, yet with good success, but I went in daily dread that some mischief
would befall me, and that I should certainly come to be hanged at last. The impression
this made on me was too strong to be slighted, and it kept me from making attempts
that, for ought I knew, might have been very safely performed; but one thing I cannot
omit, which was a bait to me many a day. I walked frequently out into the villages round
the town, to see if nothing would fall in my way there; and going by a house near
Stepney, I saw on the window-board two rings, one a small diamond ring, and the other
a gold ring, to be sure laid there by some thoughtless lady, that had more money then
forecast, perhaps only till she washed her hands.
I walked several times by the window to observe if I could see whether there was
anybody in the room or no, and I could see nobody, but still I was not sure. It came
presently into my thoughts to rap at the glass, as if I wanted to speak with somebody,
and if anybody was there they would be sure to come to the window, and then I would
tell them to remove those rings, for that I had seen two suspicious fellows take notice of
them. This was a ready thought. I rapped once or twice and nobody came, when,
seeing the coast clear, I thrust hard against the square of the glass, and broke it with
very little noise, and took out the two rings, and walked away with them very safe. The
diamond ring was worth about #3, and the other about 9s.
I was now at a loss for a market for my goods, and especially for my two pieces of silk. I
was very loth to dispose of them for a trifle, as the poor unhappy thieves in general do,
who, after they have ventured their lives for perhaps a thing of value, are fain to sell it
for a song when they have done; but I was resolved I would not do thus, whatever shift I
made, unless I was driven to the last extremity. However, I did not well know what
course to take. At last I resolved to go to my old governess, and acquaint myself with
her again. I had punctually supplied the #5 a year to her for my little boy as long as I
was able, but at last was obliged to put a stop to it. However, I had written a letter to