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The World's Greatest Books — Volume 04 — Fiction
written by "Hammerton, John Alexander, Sir, 1871-1949"
... days he had levied several bold and resolute fellows, fit for any enterprise, how dangerous or great soever. The count disposed of his jewel for its full value, and by his dexterity raised £1,000. This sum he paid down to Heartfree at the end of the week, and promised him the rest within a month. Heartfree did not in the least scruple giving him credit, but as he had in reality procured those jewels of another, his own little stock not being able to furnish anything so valuable. The count, in addition to the £1,000 in gold, gave him his note for £2,800 more. As soon as Heartfree was departed, Wild came in and received the casket from the count, and an appointment was made to meet the next morning to come to a division of its contents. Two gentlemen of resolution, in the meantime, attacked Heartfree on his way home, according to Wild's orders, and spoiled the enemy of the whole sum he had received from the count. According to agreement, Wild, who had made haste to overtake the conquerors, took nine-tenths of the booty, but was himself robbed of this £900 before nightfall. As for the casket, when he opened it, the stones were but paste. For the sagacious count had conveyed the jewels into his own pocket, and in their stead had placed artificial stones. On Wild's departure the count hastened out of London, and was well on his way to Dover when Wild knocked at his door. Heartfree, wounded and robbed, had only the count's note left, and this was returned to him as worthless, inquiries having proved that the count had run away. So confused was poor Heartfree at this that his creditor for the jewels was frightened, and at once had him arrested for the debt. Heartfree applied in vain for money to numerous customers who were indebted to him; they all replied with various excuses, and the unhappy wretch was soon taken to Newgate. He had been inclined to blame Wild for his misfortunes, but our hero boldly attac...

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