Saturday, 3 April 2010
Page 247 of the Memoirs of Martin Hardy
...and he was left standing there. Naked as the day god put him on this good earth with his plug tail swaying in the wind. The old Jack Ketch, like the crowd was in a fit of stitches. There was noway in Riley he could on gone on with the Hanging after that.
That was just one of the many wonderful characters from those months I've spent at the Newgate. Whilst I've been called a criminal many a time by a Judge, I would call myself a criminal now, if I was not to mention Madame Nicol in this memoir. For it was her that taught me everything I knew about business. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't even got as far as the Thames Estuary let alone the other side of the bleedin world.
She was a most heavenly creature to look at, but stone me when she opened that mouth of hers. Most Cantish toungue In the East end. Some even said she had the toungue of Lucifer himself, but she was a lovely sort.
She had a Buttocking shop right next to the payroll office of the East India Company. Sailors who would just be back from after six months at sea would go in and collect their wages and walk the twenty steps to her door and be claret broke by morning, ready to sign up for the first ship out of there.
We became great friends and I think what sealed are friendship was a rather amusing incident involving a Merchant by the name of Guy Brooker. He was one of your typical gentlemen at the time. Shares in several boats and owned a couple of warehouse's down Bow way with a nice house on the other side of town. Honest, respectable during the day light hours, but could be found with the rest of the low life and politicians - pardon my french, round the back of Commercial street at night. Which is where in those days, we liked to keep that sort. Away from the salt and earth.
One Tuesday evening he decides to pop in to Madame Nichols. Now, remember Mr.Grover back in chapter 12 ? I had been working for him that day and had just come into a nice bit of kelter and thought I would treat myself. One of Madame Nichols romps was an Exotic Oriental, and let me tell she was a right article with her red hair and towering statue. She emptied my purse quite a few times, let me tell you. I had just finished wetting my whistle and went down to the bar to wet me other when in walks Brooker. Now what you need to understand, is how Madame Nichols ran her girls. When a customer ...
This was done for a Leeds Savage Club task entitled 'Page 247 of a Biography''