Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

An Account of a notorious Smuggling gang in the early 18th Century

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SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.                                   23
time, retaliate the cruelties exercised on the innocent, on the heads of their inexorable tormentors.
All this while the unhappy Chater remained in the most deplorable situation that ever miserable wretch was confined to; his mind full of horror, and his body all over pain and anguish with the blows and scourges they bad given him, and every moment in expectation of worse treatment than he had yet met with, without any sustenance to support his wrretched life, than now and then a little bread and water, and once some pease porridge. Besides all this, he was continually visited by one or other of them, not to comfort or relieve him with words of kindness, or promises of better usage; not to refresh him with cordials or agreeable nourish­ment, but to renew their cruel exercise of beating and abusing him, and to swear and upbraid him in the vilest terms and the most scurrilous language that their tongues could utter.
Having at length concluded what to do with their poor unhappy prisoner, they all went down to Old Mills's, where they immediately opened a fresh scene of barbarity. For as soon as they came in, Tapner, Cobby* and some others of them, went directly into the turf-house, where they found Chater in the most piteous condition, enough to melt a heart not made of stone into compassion; but was so far from moving the pity of these merciless bloodhounds, that it only served them as a fresh motive to renew their cruelties, and aggravate his afflictions. Tapner, in particular, immediately pulled out a large clasp knife, and expressed himself
in this horrible manner: "G...dd......n your b......d,
down on your knees and go to prayers, for with this knife I will be your butcher." The poor man being terrified at this dreadful menace, and expecting that
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