A Robbery by Night
I was walking upon the cobblestones of London one night. The light shone in the path like phantoms in a black mirror. Suddenly I felt a hand upon my shoulder. I saw a man. He had ragged clothes, unkempt hair and his shoes were worn.
“Is this Mr Wimple’s Bank?” asked he.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Can I help?” I asked.
“No, thank you, miss,”
The next morning I got out of my bed, totally forgetting about yesterday’s incident. I sat upon the table and tucked my chair in but in the newspaper a surprising headline on the front page caught my eyes: “Mr Wimple’s Bank Robbed!”
I could not believe it.
When the clock stroke nine I knew I must be off.
A crowd started to form around something. I asked a young woman what was happening as she left the crowds from being at the front. “A man is being arrested for the robbery,” she said.
Suddenly from the crowd darted the same young ragged man from that night. He knelt at my feet and begged me to prove that he was innocent. Such tears in his eyes. But the constable came and grabbed him by the arm.
“Sorry, miss,” he said to me while nudging the prisoner.
It seems he was caught with diamonds that were formerly kept in the bank. But all the while the prisoner was trying to explain otherwise.
The next day I walked along the road I walked past the bank. I asked one of the people there where John Diggins was but the said he had left on foot a few minutes ago. He was the brother to my best friend and it seemed strange that he had left.
I ran to catch him up. Finally I caught sight of him.
“Mr Diggins!” I called.
He seemed startled but when he saw it was me he calmed down.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“Why?” Only now did I notice his new expensive hat.
I asked if he had heard of the theft after he did not reply. He simply mumbled something then went on.
I started to have suspicions. A startling thought came into my mind; ‘could he be the thief?”
“You know, John, you can tell me the truth.”
He turned with tears in his eyes. His conscience seemed to have won. “I did it!” he cried.
And he told me that a while ago he had fallen into debt from gambling. He asked a poor man to wait out outside the bank so that he could help him. The man stood outside for three nights but nothing came. On the fourth night he gave him diamonds from the bank to blame him. Now how he regrets!
I helped him to secretively go to another country to hide for his sister’s sake and told the truth about the ragged man to the public. He was released but the real guilty man was never a prisoner by law, but always a prisoner of his conscience.