Moll Flanders HTML version
I left the officer overjoyed with his prize, and fully satisfied with what he had got, and
appointed to meet him at a house of his own directing, where I came after I had
disposed of the cargo I had about me, of which he had not the least suspicion. When I
came to him he began to capitulate with me, believing I did not understand the right I
had to a share in the prize, and would fain have put me off with #20, but I let him know
that I was not so ignorant as he supposed I was; and yet I was glad, too, that he offered
to bring me to a certainty.
I asked #100, and he rose up to #30; I fell to #80, and he rose again to #40; in a word,
he offered #50, and I consented, only demanding a piece of lace, which I though came
to about #8 or #9, as if it had been for my own wear, and he agreed to it. So I got #50 in
money paid me that same night, and made an end of the bargain; nor did he ever know
who I was, or where to inquire for me, so that if it had been discovered that part of the
goods were embezzled, he could have made no challenge upon me for it.
I very punctually divided this spoil with my governess, and I passed with her from this
time for a very dexterous manager in the nicest cases. I found that this last was the best
and easiest sort of work that was in my way, and I made it my business to inquire out
prohibited goods, and after buying some, usually betrayed them, but none of these
discoveries amounted to anything considerable, not like that I related just now; but I was
willing to act safe, and was still cautious of running the great risks which I found others
did, and in which they miscarried every day.
The next thing of moment was an attempt at a gentlewoman's good watch. It happened
in a crowd, at a meeting-house, where I was in very great danger of being taken. I had
full hold of her watch, but giving a great jostle, as if somebody had thrust me against
her, and in the juncture giving the watch a fair pull, I found it would not come, so I let it
go that moment, and cried out as if I had been killed, that somebody had trod upon my
foot, and that there were certainly pickpockets there, for somebody or other had given a
pull at my watch; for you are to observe that on these adventures we always went very
well dressed, and I had very good clothes on, and a gold watch by my side, as like a
lady as other fold.
I had no sooner said so, but the other gentlewoman cried out 'A pickpocket' too, for
somebody, she said, had tried to pull her watch away.
When I touched her watch I was close to her, but when I cried out I stopped as it were
short, and the crowd bearing her forward a little, she made a noise too, but it was at
some distance from me, so that she did not in the least suspect me; but when she cried
out 'A pickpocket,' somebody cried, 'Ay, and here has been another! this gentlewoman
has been attempted too.'