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and my mate have been out seeking lodgings and we were both struck with the number we saw idling about the streets.”
“Yes," said the unsuspecting Milnes, "we are not short of them whatever we are short of besides. I suppose they are looking after the Luddites, but they cannot find them. Since Cartwright's mill was attacked and Horsfall shot they look as sharp as weasels, but it is no use."
“We have heard something about those affairs at Manchester, but we are told the Ludds lead them scme wild goose chases. Fun of that sort would just suit me and my mate here."
Milnes chuckled merrily. He liked to pass himself as a cute fellow and he could not resist the temptation of telling M'Donald how cleverly he had once outwitted the soldiers by stealing some cartridges from them. The two spies were vastly tickled with Milnes's story and loudly applauded his cleverness.
But didn't they try to catch you?" enquired Gossling. “Why, yes," said Milnes, puffing his pipe tranquilly, “they tried and they got on the scent too, but finding it was getting rather warm I just disguised myself a little, levanted to Dean Common and acted as assistant shepherd to a friend of mine three or four weeks. When I returned the affair had blown nicely over."
The spies laughed once more at Milnes's tale, and M'Donald said he was glad he was not taken.
As for the machines that were broken,” said Gossling, “I don't pity the masters a bit. The people are starving and the country seems going to the dogs. But were not the Ludds licked at Cartwright's ?"
* Well, they couldn't get in,” said Milnes, “but the worst of that affair was that many were hurt, and you may have heard that two were shot and died."
The two spies thought they had heard something of the sort.
“ Yes," resumed Milnes, shaking his head, “I knew them both very well. Poor fellows, it was a sad affair."
* You knew them did you ?" enquired M'Donald, “Were they Halifax men ?"
One was,” replied Milnes, “and a fine fellow he was too."
Then you know this General Ludd, perhaps," queried M'Donald, speaking in a careless tone.
General Ludd? exclaimed Milnes, laughing heartily, “nay I know no generals."
“But didn't he command at Cartwright's affair?" enquired Gossling, “we were told at Manchester that they had a commander who was called General Ludd."
Well they might call him so,” said foolish Milnes, “but that was not the real name. I happen to know that much."
The conversation continued, and Milnes, as he imbibed glass after glass of the potent compounds, grew more and more communicative, and at last M'Donald hinted that he and his mate should like to enter the fraternity, and they would be as active as any one if they were “twisted in."
“Well, now, look here,” said Milnes, in low tones, "if you really mean that, I think I know an old man not very far from here who will perhaps do it if I introduce you."
“Well, I am willing," said M'Donald, “what say you, mate?” “Well," replied the person addressed, in a hesitating voice, I don't know as much about them as you seem to do, but I will join if you do."
“We must wait till dark," said Milnes. The magistrates are on the look out, and it would not do to be seen entering Baines's house, as he told us at our last meeting that he is certain it is carefully watched.”
“If that's the case,” said Gossling, with well feigned alarm, “I think I'll not join to-night. There's no hurry, let us consider about it a bit.”
“ I shall consider no more,” said M'Donald, “ I will go with you, friend," and leaving Gossling as if in disgust he seated himself beside Milnes, who shook him heartily by the hand.
All right, brother,” cried Milnes, “I think its dark enough ; we'll go now
“Well, I'll just take a turn round, perhaps call at the lodgings, and will come back here,” said Gossling, rising and walking out of the inn.
Milnes paid for another glass for his new friend, they then left the St. Crispin arm in arm and proceeded to the house of John Baines.
We have no information respecting what transpired at Baines's house except what was afterwards given in evidence by M'Donald. He states that it was nearly ten o'clock when they got there, and that he found seated round the fire the old man, two of his sons, one-Zachariah-being a lad of fifteen, also William Blakeborough and George Duckworth, shoemakers, both members of the St. Crispin club. Charles Milnes introduced M'Donald, stating that although he was a stranger, he was a good fellow and was wishful to be a brother. The old man, who seemed a little flurried, said they must be very handy, for the watch and ward might call at any moment. He then got a paper and a book about the size of a New Testament and which probably was one. Handing the book to M'Donald, he said, “Now, what is your name?"
“My name is John Smith,” replied M'Donald.
Baines looked at the paper which he had in his hand, and appeared to be reading from it, telling M'Donald to repeat after him the oath which he then administered. The ceremony being concluded, Baines bade him kiss the book and he did so. pany, he states, were all sitting when he went in, but during the time the oath was being administered they all stood up, and that the lad, Zachariah Baines, stood with his back against the door to prevent any one from entering suddenly. M'Donald himself was afraid the watch and ward would come in and he was glad when the ceremony was over. Before leaving, he offered to pay for some.
thing to drink, but the old man at once declined the offer, and they then all left the house except the elder Baines and the lad who held the door. John Baines, the younger, Charles Milnes, Blakeborough, and Duckworth walked with M'Donald to the door of the St. Crispin, where he stated Duckworth left them. Gossling, the other spy, soon after joined them, and they sat drinking for sometime. Calling Gossling by his assumed name, which does not appear to have been handed down, M'Donald told him he had got "twisted in," and the remainder confirmed it, Charles Milnes adding that he had introduced him. They continued drinking till between twelve and one, when they all accompanied M'Donald and Gossling to the door of their lodgings.
M'Donald and his brother spy were naturally well pleased with their speedy success but they did not think it advisable to rouse suspicion by leaving Halifax suddenly, besides they were hopeful that others might be drawn into their net. With this view M'Donald called several times at Baines's workshop and engaged him in conversation, observing carefully who came and went. He does not appear to have had any further success. The old man tried to discuss political questions with him, but as M'Donald was so ignorant that he did not know the difference in the meaning of the two words “ aristocrat” and “ democrat," he would doubtless find that he had not got a very promising pupil. Observing that M'Donald often referred to his being “twisted in," Baines warned him against talking about it, and said it was rumoured that there were two Bow Street spies in the town.
Two Bow Street officers in the town !" exclaimed M’Donald. · Have they been seen by any of the brethren ?"
“Not yet, but they are on the look out for the rascals," replied Baines.
M'Donald looked hard at the speaker, and Baines afterwards remembered the look. It puzzled him then, but he soon after began to understand it.
The spies had heard a great deal about the sure vengeance that followed traitors in the Luddite ranks. It was evident, M’Donald thought, that they suspected that spies were in the town. Perhaps they suspected them ! That night the two rascals disappeared.
A few days after, the shop of old Baines was surrounded by soldiers and he was committed to prison to await his trial. His two sons, Charles Milnes, William Blakeborough, and George Duckworth shared his fate.
THE ARREST OF HARTLEY AND OF THE MURDERERS
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow;
Which weighs upon the heart ?"--SHAKESPEARE.
Resource against the tyranny of pain."-BYRON. We must now introduce our readers once more into the poor, poverty-stricken home of William Hartley, the tailor, who, as we stated in a former chapter, had joined the Luddites in a fit of desperation, hoping it might lead to some good. That his condition could not be made worse he was well assured, for his wife and young family were, at the time he made the rash venture which he afterwards bitterly regretted, actually starving in the miserable house they called home. After the Luddites in this district had adopted the Nottingham system of levying subscriptions for the support of their poorest members, Hartley was relieved by an occasional donation, but the doles were but small and were given out at long intervals. The fact was that Hartley was not in favour with the dispensers of these gratuities. He exhibited very little enthusiasm in the cause in which he had so rashly embarked; he did not attend the meetings with any degree of regularity, and was therefore naturally regarded with suspicion by the reckless leaders of the band who would fain have made an example of him had they not been deterred by some of the more feeling members who
knew and pitied the offending brother. The excuse set up for Hartley had always been his poor health, and the plea was a true
Naturally he was not hardy, and hunger and privation had reduced his strength and rendered him incapable of almost any exertion. Work he had little or none, and as he seldom went abroad he was accustomed to sit brooding all day long over his melancholy lot. His wife, too, naturally delicate, had been weak and ailing for some time, and was now confined altogether to bed. Hartley knew well that what she chiefly required was plenty of nourishing food, but he could hardly procure for her a dry crust, and he was daily tortured by witnessing her and her little ones slowly pining away before his eyes. During the early summer months he had secured occasionally a few days' field work of the farmers around, and now that golden August had come and the grain was ripe for the sickle he hoped again to be able to add a little to the scanty earnings of the family.
The day had been close and sultry and a heavy thunderstorm had passed over the hills. As darkness came on the rain had gradually abated, but the thunder still rolled in grand and majestic peals, and ever and anon the rugged scenery around the poor little homestead of the Hartley's was vividly lighted up. The clock of the distant church had boomed out the midnight hour in slow and solemn strokes, but a light proceeding from an oil lamp still glimmered faintly through the holes of a print quilt which had been stretched across the window of Hartley's house. Hours before the watch and ward had passed and a soldier had struck the door with the flat side of his sword, and cried Why burns the light within ?” Hartley had explained the reason and extinguished the lamp, but he was obliged to relight it to procure something for his suffering wife, and it still remained burning. The interior of the cottage presented much the same picture of wretchedness as when we described it before. The plaster had dropped from the walls in perhaps still larger patches, and notwithstanding it was summer the floor seemed black and wet with damp. The poor tattered shutup bed in the corner was let down and in it was Hartley's wife. She had had a bad day and looked emaciated and sickly. On the other side of the fireplace sat Hartley, gazing steadfastly into the grate, speaking but seldom and then very briefly in reply to some question or observation of his wife, who seemed to make efforts from time to time tu rouse him from his stupor. She had urged him a few minutes before to put out the light and retire to bed, but he had made no attempt to comply with the request. There had been a meeting of Ludds on the moors a mile or so away and he had not been there. He had not named the gathering to his poor,
wife for fear of agitating her, and he had been hoping all the evening that she might drop asleep and then he could steal out un. observed and be spared the sight of her agonised looks and of the big tears rolling down her wasted cheeks. His frequent absence from the drills had been strongly commented upon by the com. mander, and when his name was called out and there was as usual