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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 2 59 found shut, and on opening it a man in black (Brodie) hurriedly passed him, a circumstance to which, not having the slightest suspicion, he paid no attention. He went to his room up stairs, where he remained only a few minutes, and then returned, shutting the outer door hastily behind him. Perceiving this, Ainslie became alarmed, gave the signal, and retreated. Smith and Brown did not observe the call, but thinking themselves in danger when they heard Mr. Bonnar coming down stairs, they cocked their pistols, determined not to be taken. After remaining about half-an-hour, they got off with their booty, which, much to their disappointment, amounted only to &16 odds, while they expected to have found as many hundreds.’ On coming out, they were surprised not to find either Brodie or Amslie ; but, after returning to their former rendezvous, the latter soon joined them. In order to prevent suspicion, Brown and Ainslie immediately went to one Fraser’s, who kept a Tavern in the New Town, where, in company with some others, they supped and spent the night. Brodie, it appears, had hurried home, where he changed his dress, and then proceeded to the house of Jean Watt (who had several children to him) in Libberton’s Wynd, where he remained all night. The parties met on the Friday evening following, and divided the booty in equal portions. The robbery having been discovered about ten o’clock the same night it was committed, the town was in consternation, and the police on the alert in all directions. Brown (alias Humphry Moore), who appears to have been the greatest villain of the whole, was at the time under sentence of transportation for a crime committed in England ; and having seen an advertisement from the Secretary of State’s Office, offering a reward and a pardon to any person who should discover the robbery of Inglis and Horner’s shop, he resolved on turning King’s evidence, foreseeing that the public prosecutor would be under the necessity of obtaining pardon for his previous offence before he could be admitted as a witness. Accordingly, on Friday evening, immediately after securing his dividend at Smith‘s, he proceeded to the Procurator-Fiscal’s, and gave information, but without at the time mentioning Brodie’s name as connected with the transaction.* He likewise conducted the officers of justice to Salisbury Crags, where they found a number of keys concealed under a large stone, which he said were intended for future operations. In consequence of this, Ainslie, Smith, and his wife and servant-maid, were all apprehended ; and, after a precognition, lodged in prison. Brodie, suspecting he stood on ticklish ground, fled on Sunday morning ; and from the masterly manner in which he accomplished his escape, baffled all pursuit for a time. On the Wednesday following, Mr. Williamson, King’s messenger for Scotland, was despatched in search of him. He traced Brodie to Dunbar and Newcastle, and afterwards to London ; from thence Williamson went to In their search they had overlooked a concealed drawer in one of the desks, where, at the veri The reason of this appears to have been an intention to procure money from Bmdie for secrecy, time, there was €600 deposited. as, on ascertaining that he had fled, he no longer kept silence.
Volume 8 Page 363
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