Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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212               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
Mr. Griffith took out of his pocket a red bag containing fire-arms. Never having seen such a weapon before, she asked him if it was a pistol ? He replied " Yes," and proceeded to unscrew it, putting in first a round ball, and then, at the trigger part, some powder. As he was replacing the loaded weapon in the bag the string broke, and he put the pistol in the right-hand pocket of his great coat. He then took out another bag, also containing a pistol, on which a neighbour of Mrs. Ansell who was present asked if that too was loaded ? Mr. Griffith replied, " No. I'll warrant the other will be enough for one man. I shall not give up my money easily." He did not take the second pistol out of the bag; but Mrs. Ansell saw the end of the weapon in it.
Mr. Griffith was now on his return journey to Brighton, and night had set in. But it was not dark; for the moon, though obscured by a hazy atmosphere, cast a bright light, almost as strong as day, upon the surrounding country. When he reached Henfield it was half-past eight. He took tea with the landlady of the White Hart, who afterwards spoke of him as being in high spirits and as playing with her children in his usual kind way. She paid him a 5 Brighton Union Bank note, the number of which, with the business habits peculiar to him, he entered in his memorandum-book. He left Henfield at ten minutes to nine and at five minutes past nine he passed through Terry's Cro?s Gate, a mile and a half further on the road to Brighton. He was then driving steadily at about six miles an hour. The gatekeeper was expecting him and exchanged salutations with him as he passed through without stopping. The next turnpike was Dale Gate, about three miles further on, and here, too, the gatekeeper was expecting him between nine and ten o'clock. But he never came. The road between Terry's Cross Gate and Dale Gate is very lonely, but open. To the right, coming towards Brighton, the country slopes up to the Southdowns in wide open fields, with " occupation roads," lined by low hedges, running down from the hills to the highway. Mr.
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