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There was further cause for alarm concerning the overpopulation within the city itself “where there are such great multitudes of people brought to inhabit in small rooms, whereof a great part are seen very poor, yea, such as must live begging, or by worse means, and they are heaped up together, and in a sort smothered with many families of children and servants in one house or small tenement”.

London: The Biography

Peter Ackroyd


“This is the place.” Ralph pointed across the field to the darkened bulk of the mansion looming down by the river. Poley stood next to him, Moody on his other side, and the three men contemplated the task in front of them. “Do we go straight in?”

“What if I were to go in first, con the lay, report back to you?” Moody barely glanced at Poley as he spoke, busy making sure that his clothes straightened and his weapons ready at hand after the mad dash through London’s winding streets.

Poley didn’t take his eyes off the mansion. He could see, here and there, spots of candle or rush light through gaps in walls or shutters. “There are too few of us to waste our strength with scouting forays. And I’m sure as shit not letting you out of my sight, Michael.” He cared not what Moody’s reaction might be. “And there’s the possibility that I’m wrong. We need to get in there as quickly as we can to make sure whether Nick and Meg are being held there. If not, we’ll need all the time we can get to check other possible boltholes Denby could be using.”

“Is there any that you might want alive, Bob?” Ralph had removed his dagger from his belt and inspected its edge. Continue reading “(Broken Instrument) CHAPTER 34: POLEY: SNEAKING IN”