en-fr  Smith - Chapter 4
Il était cinq heures du soir. Smith descendit les escaliers de la cave.

— La bourse ou la vie !

La voix ressemblait à une détonation de pistolet. Saisis de frayeur, Smith tomba presque dans les escaliers. En bas, un long pistolet pointait droit sur sa tête. Mais c'était le pistolet de Lord Tom. Le bandit de grand chemin rendait visite à ses amis.

As-tu vu M. Jones, le bourreau ? demanda Mlle Bridget à son frère.

— Je suis heureux de vous voir, Lord Tom, dit Smith. — Comment vont les affaires ? Il donna à Mlle Bridget les trois shillings.

— J'étais à Finchley Common, Smut. Le bandit de grand chemin rejeta sa tête en arrière et sembla très courageux. — C'est un endroit merveilleux, Smut — il rit — un endroit idéal pour l'entreprise La-bourse-ou-la-vie.

— Ne dites pas 'affaires' ! Cria Mlle Bridget. Tu voles des gens honnêtes là-bas, et c'est cela que tu devrais dire !

Lord Tom était surpris. Il était silencieux pendant un moment. Alors le regard courageux revint à ses yeux. Il rit de Mlle Bridget, et Smith rit aussi. Le regard de Mlle Fanny n'était qu'amour pour le bandit de grand chemin.

— C'est le travail d'un homme, déclara Lord Tom.

— Combien de voitures as-tu volées?​ demanda Smith.

— ​Six, Smut. Six belles voitures. Et les bijoux des dames étaient comme des étoiles. Oh, "La bourse ou la vie" est une activité magnifique ! Je suis toujours gentil avec les dames, bien sûr. Je dis, Madame, s'il vous plaît, donnez moi vos bijoux. Mais, Monsieur, donnez moi votre argent ou je vous explose la tête !

Et avez-vous explosé des têtes, Lord Tom ? demanda Smith. Il souhaitait être, un jour, un bandit de grand chemin, et aller à Finchley Common.

— Seulement deux fois, Smut. Je ne voulais pas tirer, mais les hommes ont essayé d'atteindre leurs pistolets.

— Et toi l'assassin, où sont les bijoux et l'argent à présent ? demanda Bridget.

— Les bijoux ? l'argent ? Ha, ha ! dépensé, bien sûr. J'ai dépensé l'argent. C'est toujours ce qui se passe, n'est-ce pas ? Les bijoux ont servi à payer mes boissons dans une taverne. Après la bourse ou la vie, je peux manger, boire et être heureux ! Demain je serai peut-être pendu à la prison de Newgate.

— Je regrette que vous n'ayez pas été pendu hier, dit Mlle Bridget. Un air de colère passa sur le visage du bandit. Il ne répondit pas à la fille mais se retourna vers Smith. — Mlle Fanny dit que tu as un document, Smut. Elle pense que tu peux le vendre.

— J'ai tout raconté à Lord Tom, dit Fanny — Nous pensons ....qu'il ne s'agit que d'un rapport, dit Bridget. Qui va acheter un rapport ?

— Je dis qu'il s'agit d'un rapport criminel, ajouta Fanny.

— Montre le moi, Smut, dit Lord Tom. Je vous le lirai. Smith fut soudain effrayé. Il ne voulait pas montrer le document à Lord Tom. Il était encore dans sa veste mais il ne savait que penser. Il s'éloigna de ses sœurs.

Où est-il, Smut ? demanda Lord Tom.

— Euh... je ne l'ai pas, Lord Tom... je... je l'ai donné à un ami.

Tu ne l'as pas donné à M. Palmer, n'est-ce pas ? demanda Bridget. — Je n'aime pas les gens avec les fers aux pieds !

— Non, je l'ai donné. . . à un commerçant.

— Ce n'est pas vrai, dit Bridget.

— C'est vrai. C'est un petit homme, avec un costume noir.

— Et où l'as-tu rencontré ?

— Dans son commerce, bien sûr. Je le connais, et il va me lire le document. — C'est faux ! cria Bridget.

Soudain, ils entendirent la voix du propriétaire. Il hurlait du haut de l'escalier. — Smith ! Smith !

— Oui ? Que voulez-vous ? dit Smith.

— Vous avez eu des visiteurs cet après-midi. Deux.

— Des visiteurs ? Pour moi ?

— Oui. Oh, ils te connaissaient bien, Smith. Un sale petit pickpocket, disaient-ils, avec deux yeux comme des poignards. Une mauvaise odeur l'entourait. Dix ou douze ans. Et j'ai dit : — Oui, c'est Smith. — Où est-il en ce moment ? ont-ils demandé. J'ai repondu : — Peut-être qu'il est pendu à la prison de Newgate ! Ils ont rigolé et ont dit : —Nous reviendrons plus tard.

Nous voulons voir le corps ! Puis ils sont partis.

— À ...à quoi ressemblaient-ils ? Répondit Smith.

— Comme les meurtriers, dit le propriétaire. Un grand et un petit. Ils portaient des costumes marron.

Smith était pâle, et on voyait une grande frayeur dans ses yeux.

— Comment m'ont-ils trouvé ? pensait-il. Peut-être sont ils allés à la librairie et le libraire le leur a dit. Smith n'arrivait pas à avoir les idées claires. Les... les voilà ! s'écria-t-il, et ils viennent pour me tuer !

Ses sœurs étaient désolées pour lui. — Lord Tom t'aidera, Smut, dit Fanny.

— Bien sûr, je le ferai, dit Lord Tom. S'ils viennent encore ici, je leur tirerai dans la tête !

— Tu ne les connais pas, dit Smith. Ils ne sont pas comme vous, Lord Tom.

— Lord Tom te sauvera, Smut ! dit Mlle Fanny. Mais s'il te plaît donne-lui le document.

— Tu ne les connais pas ! cria encore Smith. Ils me tueront !

— Qu'est-ce que tu veux faire, mon enfant ? demanda Bridget.

— Je ne sais pas... Erreur de publication ! . Mais je ne peux pas rester ici. Je ne peux pas rester ici la nuit. Je devrai y aller... . .

— Chez ce libraire ? demanda Lord Tom.

— Peut être. Smith regarda autour de la cave. C'était sa maison. — Je dois y aller, dit-il malheureusement. Et il pensa : vais-je la revoir ?

— Donne le document à Lord Tom, dit Mlle Fanny, il s'en occupera pour toi.

— Non ! cria Smith. Jamais ! Je te l'ai dit, je ne l'ai pas.

Smith allait garder son document. Il ne connaissait pas sa valeur, mais il ne voulait pas le donner.

— Ce n'est pas vrai, dit Fanny. Je le vois, mon cher, dans ton manteau.

Smith courut à l'escalier. Un moment plus tard, il était dans la rue.
unit 1
It was five o'clock in the evening.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 2
Smith went down the stairs of the cellar.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 3
"Stand and deliver!"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 4
The voice was like the sound of pistols.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 5
In great fear, Smith almost fell down the stairs.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 6
At the bottom, a long pistol was pointing straight at his head.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 7
But it was Lord Tom's pistol.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 8
The highwayman was visiting his friends.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 9
"Did you see Mr Jones, the hangman?"
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 10
Miss Bridget asked her brother.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 11
"I'm glad to see you, Lord Tom," Smith said.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 12
"How is business?"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 13
He gave Miss Bridget the three shillings.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 14
"I've been on Finchley Common, Smut."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 15
The highwayman threw his head back and looked very brave.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 17
"Don't say 'business'!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 18
Miss Bridget cried.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 19
"You rob honest people there, and you ought to say that!"
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 20
Lord Tom was surprised.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 21
He was quiet for a moment.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 22
Then the brave look came back to his eyes.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 23
He laughed at Miss Bridget, and Smith laughed too.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 24
Miss Fanny's eyes held only love for the big highwayman.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 25
"It's a man's work," Lord Tom said.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 26
"How many carriages did you rob?"
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 27
Smith asked.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 28
"Six, Smut.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 29
Six beautiful carriages.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 30
And the ladies' jewels were just like stars.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 31
Oh, the Stand-and-deliver is a wonderful life!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 32
I'm always kind to the ladies, of course.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 33
'Madam,' I say, 'give me your jewels, please.'
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 34
But 'Sir, give me your money, or I'll shoot your head off!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 35
"And did you shoot any heads off, Lord Tom?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 36
Smith asked.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 37
He hoped to be a highwayman one day and ride on Finchley Common.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 38
"Just two, Smut.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 39
I didn't want to shoot, but the men tried to reach their pistols."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 40
"And where, you killer, are the jewels and the money now?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 41
Miss Bridget asked.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 42
"The jewels?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 43
The money?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 44
Ha, ha!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 45
Spent, of course.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 46
I've spent the money.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 47
That always happens, doesn't it?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 48
The jewels paid for my drinks at a tavern.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 49
After the Stand-and-deliver, I must eat, drink and be happy!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 50
Tomorrow, perhaps, I'll hang in Newgate Gaol."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 51
"I'm sorry that you didn't hang yesterday," Miss Bridget said.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 52
An angry look came to the highwayman's face.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 53
He didn't answer the girl but turned to Smith.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 54
"Miss Fanny says that you have a document, Smut.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 55
She thinks that you can sell it."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 56
"I told Lord Tom," Miss Fanny said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 57
"We think that—" "It's only a report," Miss Bridget said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 58
"Who is going to buy a report?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 59
"I say that it's a criminal report," Miss Fanny added.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 60
"Show it to me, Smut," Lord Tom said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 61
"I'll read it to you."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 62
Smith was suddenly afraid.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 63
He didn't want to show the document to Lord Tom.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 64
It was still inside his coat, but his thoughts were uncertain.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 65
He moved away from his sisters.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 66
"Where is it, Smut?"
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 67
Lord Tom said.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 68
"I—I haven't got it, Lord Tom... I—I gave it to a friend!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 69
"You didn't give it to Mr Palmer, did you?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 70
Miss Bridget asked.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 71
"I don't like men with chains on their legs!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 72
"No, I gave it to .
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 73
.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 74
.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 75
to a shopkeeper."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 76
"That isn't true," Miss Bridget said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 77
"It is true.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 78
He's a little man, with a black suit."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 79
"And where did you meet him?"
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 80
"In his shop, of course.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 81
I know him, and he's going to read the document for me," "That just isn't true!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 82
Miss Bridget cried.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 83
Suddenly they heard the landlord's voice.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 84
He was shouting from the top of the stairs.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 85
"Smith!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 86
Smith!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 87
"Yes?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 88
What do you want?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 89
Smith said.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 90
"You had visitors this afternoon.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 91
Two."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 92
"Visitors?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 93
For me?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 94
"Yes.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 95
Oh, they knew you well, Smith.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 96
'A dirty little pickpocket,' they said, 'with two eyes like cuts in his head.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 97
A bad smell round him.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 98
Ten or twelve years old.'
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 99
And I said, 'Yes, that's Smith.'
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 100
'Where is he now?'
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 101
they asked.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 102
I said, 'Perhaps he's hanging in Newgate Gaol!'
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 103
They laughed and said, 'We'll come back later.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 104
We want to see the body!'
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 105
Then they left."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 106
"W-what were they like?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 107
Smith asked.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 108
"Like killers," the landlord said.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 109
"One tall and one short.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 110
They were wearing brown suits."
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 111
Smith's face was white, and there was great fear in his eyes.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 112
"How did they find me?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 113
he thought.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 114
"Perhaps they went to the bookshop, and the shopkeeper told them."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 115
Smith could not think clearly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 116
"It—it's them!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 117
he cried, "and they're going to kill me!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 118
His sisters were very sorry for him.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 119
"Lord Tom will help you, Smut," Miss Fanny said.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 120
"Of course, I will," Lord Tom said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 121
"If they come here again, I'll shoot their heads off!"
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 122
"You don't know them," Smith said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 123
"They're not your kind, Lord Tom."
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 124
"Lord Tom will save you, Smut!"
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 125
Miss Fanny said.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 126
"But please give him the document."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 127
"You don't know them!"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 128
Smith cried again.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 129
"They'll kill me!"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 130
"What do you want to do, child?"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 131
Miss Bridget asked.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 132
"I don't know .
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 133
.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 134
.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 135
But I can't stay here.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 136
I can't stay here at night.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 137
I'll have to go to .
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 138
.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 139
."
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 140
"—To that shopkeeper?"
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 141
Lord Tom asked.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 142
"Perhaps."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 143
Smith looked round the cellar.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 144
It was his home.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 145
"I must go," he said unhappily.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 146
And he thought, "Will I see it again?"
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 147
"Give the document to Lord Tom," Miss Fanny said, "He'll look after it for you."
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 148
"No!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 149
Smith cried.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 150
"Never!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 151
I told you—I haven't got it."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 152
Smith was going to keep his document.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 153
He didn't know its value, but he didn't want to give it away.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 154
"That's not true," Miss Fanny said.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 155
"I can see it, dear—inside your coat."
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 156
Smith ran to the stairs.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago
unit 157
A moment later, he was in the street.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months ago

It was five o'clock in the evening. Smith went down the stairs of the cellar.

"Stand and deliver!"

The voice was like the sound of pistols. In great fear, Smith almost fell down the stairs. At the bottom, a long pistol was pointing straight at his head. But it was Lord Tom's pistol. The highwayman was visiting his friends.

"Did you see Mr Jones, the hangman?" Miss Bridget asked her brother.

"I'm glad to see you, Lord Tom," Smith said. "How is business?" He gave Miss Bridget the three shillings.

"I've been on Finchley Common, Smut." The highwayman threw his head back and looked very brave. "It's a wonderful place, Smut—" he laughed— "a great place for the Stand-and-deliver business."

"Don't say 'business'!" Miss Bridget cried. "You rob honest people there, and you ought to say that!"

Lord Tom was surprised. He was quiet for a moment. Then the brave look came back to his eyes. He laughed at Miss Bridget, and Smith laughed too. Miss Fanny's eyes held only love for the big highwayman.

"It's a man's work," Lord Tom said.

"How many carriages did you rob?" Smith asked.

"Six, Smut. Six beautiful carriages. And the ladies' jewels were just like stars. Oh, the Stand-and-deliver is a wonderful life! I'm always kind to the ladies, of course. 'Madam,' I say, 'give me your jewels, please.' But 'Sir, give me your money, or I'll shoot your head off!"

"And did you shoot any heads off, Lord Tom?" Smith asked. He hoped to be a highwayman one day and ride on Finchley Common.

"Just two, Smut. I didn't want to shoot, but the men tried to reach their pistols."

"And where, you killer, are the jewels and the money now?" Miss Bridget asked.

"The jewels? The money? Ha, ha! Spent, of course. I've spent the money. That always happens, doesn't it? The jewels paid for my drinks at a tavern. After the Stand-and-deliver, I must eat, drink and be happy! Tomorrow, perhaps, I'll hang in Newgate Gaol."

"I'm sorry that you didn't hang yesterday," Miss Bridget said. An angry look came to the highwayman's face. He didn't answer the girl but turned to Smith. "Miss Fanny says that you have a document, Smut. She thinks that you can sell it."

"I told Lord Tom," Miss Fanny said. "We think that—"

"It's only a report," Miss Bridget said. "Who is going to buy a report?"

"I say that it's a criminal report," Miss Fanny added.

"Show it to me, Smut," Lord Tom said. "I'll read it to you." Smith was suddenly afraid. He didn't want to show the document to Lord Tom. It was still inside his coat, but his thoughts were uncertain. He moved away from his sisters.

"Where is it, Smut?" Lord Tom said.

"I—I haven't got it, Lord Tom... I—I gave it to a friend!"

"You didn't give it to Mr Palmer, did you?" Miss Bridget asked. "I don't like men with chains on their legs!"

"No, I gave it to . . . to a shopkeeper."

"That isn't true," Miss Bridget said.

"It is true. He's a little man, with a black suit."

"And where did you meet him?"

"In his shop, of course. I know him, and he's going to read the document for me,"

"That just isn't true!" Miss Bridget cried.

Suddenly they heard the landlord's voice. He was shouting from the top of the stairs. "Smith! Smith!"

"Yes? What do you want?" Smith said.

"You had visitors this afternoon. Two."

"Visitors? For me?"

"Yes. Oh, they knew you well, Smith. 'A dirty little pickpocket,' they said, 'with two eyes like cuts in his head. A bad smell round him. Ten or twelve years old.' And I said, 'Yes, that's Smith.' 'Where is he now?' they asked. I said, 'Perhaps he's hanging in Newgate Gaol!' They laughed and said, 'We'll come back later.

We want to see the body!' Then they left."

"W-what were they like?" Smith asked.

"Like killers," the landlord said. "One tall and one short. They were wearing brown suits."

Smith's face was white, and there was great fear in his eyes.

"How did they find me?" he thought. "Perhaps they went to the bookshop, and the shopkeeper told them." Smith could not think clearly. "It—it's them!" he cried, "and they're going to kill me!"

His sisters were very sorry for him. "Lord Tom will help you, Smut," Miss Fanny said.

"Of course, I will," Lord Tom said. "If they come here again, I'll shoot their heads off!"

"You don't know them," Smith said. "They're not your kind, Lord Tom."

"Lord Tom will save you, Smut!" Miss Fanny said. "But please give him the document."

"You don't know them!" Smith cried again. "They'll kill me!"

"What do you want to do, child?" Miss Bridget asked.

"I don't know . . . But I can't stay here. I can't stay here at night. I'll have to go to . . ."

"—To that shopkeeper?" Lord Tom asked.

"Perhaps." Smith looked round the cellar. It was his home. "I must go," he said unhappily. And he thought, "Will I see it again?"

"Give the document to Lord Tom," Miss Fanny said, "He'll look after it for you."

"No!" Smith cried. "Never! I told you—I haven't got it."

Smith was going to keep his document. He didn't know its value, but he didn't want to give it away.

"That's not true," Miss Fanny said. "I can see it, dear—inside your coat."

Smith ran to the stairs. A moment later, he was in the street.