70 SUSSEX SMUGGLERS.
sustenance, and disappoint their wicked designs, he was to be fed and just kept alive, until the time and manner of his death was determined. During the whole time of this imprisonment, Old Mills was at home and in his business as usual. He betrayed not the trust reposed in him. He acquainted nobody with what had happened, nor with whom he was entrusted; but like a gaoler, took care to produce his prisoner for execution.
" On Wednesday, the 17th of February, there was a general summons of all the smugglers then in the neighbourhood, at Scardefield's house, who had been concerned in breaking open the custom house at Poole, to meet that day at Scardefield's. Upon which notice, all the prisoners (except Old Mills) came that day to Scardefield's. And there were also present John Mills, another son of Old Mills, Edmund Richards, Thomas Willis, Thomas Stringer, Daniel Perryer, William Steel and John Race ; Howard and Sheerman still continuing at Old Mills's, and there guarding Chater. It was at this consultation at Scardefield's unanimously agreed by all present that Chater should be murdered.
" This was a deliberate, serious, and determined act of minds wickedly and cruelly disposed, and executed with all the imaginable circumstances of barbarity.
" At this meeting Tapner, Cobby and Hammond were first concerned in, and became privy and consenting to, this murder. And there also Richard Mills the younger first became an accessary to this murder; but he was so eager in pursuit of it, that he particularly advised and recommended it; and said he would go with them to the execution, but he had no horse. And when he was told that the old man (meaning Chater) was carried by a steep place in the road to Rake, he