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when people were tipsy, but I made a rule always to walk away. As for Bartley, his was always night work, and many's the coil of rope I have brought on shore, what, although he might have paid for, he didn't buy of the lawful owner, but I never seed or heard, that was my maxim; and I fared well till I served my time, and then they gave me their old wherry, and built a new one for themselves.' So I set up on my own account, and then I seed, and heard, and had all my senses, just as they were before—more's the pity, for no good came of it. (Puff, puff, puff, puff.] The Bartleys wanted me to join them, but that wouldn't do; for though I never meddled with other people's concerns, yet I didn't choose to go wrong myself. I've seed all the world cheating each other for fifty years or more, but that's no concern of minę; I can't make the world better, so all I thinks about it is, to keep honest my-, self; and if every one was to look after his own soul, and not trouble themselves about their neighbours, why then it would be all the better for human natur. I plied at the Swan Stairs, gained my livelihood, and spent it as I got it; for I was then too young to look out a'ter a rainy day.
“ One night a young woman in a cloak comes down to the stairs with a bundle in her arms, and seems in a very great taking, and asks me for a boat. I hauls out of the row alongside of the hard, and hands her in. She trips as she steps in, and I catches to save her from falling, and in catching her I puts my hand upon the bundle in her arms, and feels the warm face of a baby. • Where am I to go,
I. 0! pull across and land me on the other side,' says she; and then I hears her sobbing to herself, as if her heart would break.
When we were in the middle o' the stream, she lifts up her head, and then first she looks at the bundle and kisses it, and then she looks up at the stars which were glittering above in the sky. She kisses the child once more, jumps up, and afore I could be aware of what she was about, she tosses me her purse, throws the child into the water, and leaps in herself. I pulls sharp round immediately, and seeing her again, I made one or two good strokes, comes alongside of her, and gets hold of her clothes. A’ter much ado I gets her into the wherry, and as soon as I seed she was come to again, I pulls her back to the stairs where she had taken me from. As soon as I lands I hears a noise and talking, and several people standing about; it seems it were her relatives, who had missed her, and were axing whether she had taken a boat; and while they were describing her, and the other watermen were telling them how I had taken a fare of that description, I brings her back. Well, they takes charge of her and leads her home, and then for the first time I thinks of the purse at the bottom of the boat, which I picks up, and sure enough there were four golden guineas in it, besides some silver. Well, the men who plied at the stairs axed me all about it, but I keeps my counsel, and only tells them how the poor girl threw herself into the water, and how I pulled her out again ; and in a week I had almost forgot all about it, when up comes an officer, and says to me, 'You be Stapleton the waterman ?' and I says, “Yes, I be.' "Then you must come along with me;' and he takes me to the police office, where I finds the poor young woman in custody for being accused of having murdered her infant. So they begins to tax me upon my Bible oath, and I was forced to tell the whole story; for though you may lose all your senses when convenient, yet somehow or another, an oath on the Bible brings them all back again. “Did you see the child ?' said the magistrate. “I seed a bundle,' said I. • Did you hear the child cry?" said he. No,' says I, I didn't ;' and then I thought I had got the young woman off; but the magistrate was an old fox, and had all the senses at his fingers’ ends. So says he, “When the young woman stepped into the boat, did she give you the bundle?' No,' says I again. Then you never touched it?' Yes, I did, . when her foot slipped.', 'And what did it feel like?' It felt like a piece of human natur,' says I, “and quite warm like.'
How do you mean?' says he. • Why, I took it by the feel for a baby. And it was quite warm, was it?" "Yes,' replied I, it was.' Well, then, what else took place ?" : Why, when we were in the middle of the stream, she and her child went overboard; I pulled her in again, but couldn't see the child.' Fortunately for the poor girl, they didn't ask