xxxix THE HAWKHURST GANG 389
ready, and let us not disappoint the ladies.' After much laughable altercation, it was at length decided that Sir John had won his wager, the Peer declining to exhibit in puris naturalibus."
Ticehurst and Wadhurst, which may be reached either by road or rail from Robertsbridge or Etchingham, both stand high, very near the Kentish border. To the east of Hurst Green on the road thither (a hamlet disproportionate and imposing, possessing, in the George Inn, a relic of the days when the coaches came this way), is Seacox Heath, now the residence of Lord Goschen, but once the home of George Gray, a member of the terrible Hawkhurst gang of smugglers. Ticehurst has a noble church, very ingeniously restored, with a square tower, some fine windows, old glass, a vestry curiously situated over the porch, and an interesting brass.
The Bell Inn, in the village, is said to date from the fifteenth century.
At Wadhurst are many iron grave slabs and a graceful slender spire. The massive door bears the date 1682. A high village, in good accessible country, discovery seems to be upon it. London is not so near as at Crowborough; but one may almost hear the jingling of the cabs.