Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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218               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
to turn round the horse and gig to prevent an alarm at Dale Gate!
From first to last, then—from the receipt of the anonymous and warning letter to the finding of the lost watch—the death of Mr. Griffith is involved in a strange mystery. That an act so foreseen and so guarded against should have been success­ful, is not the least extraordinary part of it. The chances were a hundred to one against the success of the attack: against the journey being made at all, after the warning given; against its being made alone, or on that day or at that time of night—without which the crime could not have been committed—also against the party attacked being unarmed, or rather against the weapon he used being unloaded, and against the one shot fired at him being fatal; and with more than one shot the chances of an alarm being given would have been more than doubled. Even that one report was heard by several persons. Then, when the crime had been successfully perpetrated, that the escape from detection, or even suspicion, should have been so complete, is most remarkable. That there should have been a person of some education and intelligence cognizant of a criminal intention, ready to give a warning, and yet, when a great crime had been committed, deaf to all the appeals and rewards of justice, does excite our wonder, and lead us to question the truth of the old adage that " Murder will out," or, " though it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ."
Sussex has not furnished many contributions to the romance of county history. Its county families have, for the most part, led a quiet, secluded, respectable life, pursuing their bucolic pleasures, and discharging their Magisterial duties, with a homely kind of ambition that has preserved them from those temptations and dangers, not to say crimes, that attend on a more brilliant mode of life. There have, of course, been exceptions to this rule. The tragical fate of Lord Dacre, M of the South," in the reign of Henry the Eighth, was one of these, and has already been recorded in these pages. The
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