Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

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

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26
SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
towards the well. Tapner, however, more cruel, if possible than the rest, fell to whipping poor Chater again over his face and eyes, and made his wounds, which he had before given him with his murdering knife, bleed afresh; and, what was still more amazing, swore, " That if he blooded his saddle " (for it seems Chater was set upon his horse) " he would destroy him that moment and send his soul to Hell:" which is such an unparalleled instance of barbarity, that one would think it impossible that there should be a creature living, that pretends to reason, and would be ranked among men, could be guilty of. What! to threaten to murder a man for a thing which was not in his power to avoid, and which the villain himself was the sole occasion of! Horrible, shocking wicked­ness ! but let us proceed in our melancholy story.
At last poor Chater, in this disfigured lamentable condition, is brought to the well. By the time they got there, it was the very dead of night, and so near the middle of it, that it was uncertain whether it was Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The well was between twenty and thirty feet deep, without water, and paled round at a small distance to keep the cattle from falling in. Being come up to the pales, they dismounted Chater, and Tapner, taking a cord out of his pocket which he had brought for that purpose, made a noose in it and then fastened it round his neck. This being done, they bade him get over the pales to the well. The poor man observing a small opening, where a pale or two had been broken away, made an attempt to go through ; but that was a favour too great to be allowed to so heinous an offender, as it seems poor Chater was in their opinion ; and therefore one of them swore he should c*et over in the condition he was and
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