The Adventures of Roderick Random HTML version

Chapter 9
We proceed on our Journey--are overtaken by a Highwayman who fires at Strap--is
prevented from shooting me by a Company of Horsemen, who ride in pursuit of him--
Strap is put to Bed at an Inn--Adventures at that Inn
After having paid our score and taken leave of our hostess, who embraced me tenderly
at parting, we proceeded on our journey, blessing ourselves that we had come off so
well. We bad not walked above five miles, when we observed a man on horseback
galloping after us, whom we in a short time recognised to be no other than this
formidable hero who had already given us so much vexation. He stopped hard by me,
and asked if I knew who he was? My astonishment had disconcerted me so much that I
did not hear his question, which he repeated with a volley of oaths and threats; but I
remained as mute as before.
Strap, seeing my discomposure, fell upon his knees in the mud, uttering, with a
lamentable voice, these words: "For Christ's sake, have mercy upon us, Mr. Rifle! we
know you very well." "Oho!" cried the thief, "you do! But you never shall be evidence
against me in this world, you dog!" So saying, he drew a pistol, and fired it at the
unfortunate shaver, who fell flat upon the ground without speaking one word.
My comrade's fate and my own situation riveted me to the place where I stood, deprived
of all sense and reflection; so that I did not make the least attempt either to run away or
deprecate the wrath of this barbarian, who snapped a second pistol at me; but, before
he had time to prime again, perceiving a company of horsemen coming up, he rode off,
and left me standing motionless as a statue, in which posture I was found by those
whose appearance had saved my life. This company consisted of three men in livery,
well armed, with an officer, who (as I afterwards learned,) was the person from whom
Rifle had taken the pocket pistols the day before; and who, making known his
misfortune to a nobleman he met on the road, and assuring him his non-resistance was
altogether owing to his consideration for the ladies in the coach, procured the
assistance of his lordship's servants to go in quest of the plunderer. This holiday captain
scampered up to me with great address, and asked who fired the pistol which he had
As I had not yet recovered my reason, he, before I could answer, observed a body lying
on the ground, at which sight his colour changed, and he pronounced, with a faltering
tongue, "Gentlemen, here's murder committed! Let us alight." "No, no," said one of his
followers, "let us rather pursue the murderer. Which way went he, young man?"
By this time I had recollected myself so far as to tell them that he could not be a quarter
of a mile before; and to beg one of them to assist me in conveying the corpse of my
friend to the next house, in order to it being interred. The captain, foreseeing that, in
case he should pursue, he must soon come to action, began to curb his horse, and