Tell us a tale, King Nick. Of pockets you would pick. Of walls and trellis you would climb.

Up a short time to take what was mine; through the window, in and out, escape never in doubt. But act as a gent and leave the folks a dreamin’ bent. No-one likes a fuss, not us; the cat burglar’s worst nightmare.

Once I fell right through clean air, on a flamboyant dare; right into the arms of a waiting copper. Not wanting to come a-cropper, I got up fast and legged it down the street. On these old feet it was a mighty impressive feat. And the sight of Old Nick running made ’em gasp and bleat. Oh it was sweet, back in the days, I says. Now, who’s round is it anyway?

Another one you want; a different kind of stunt? One from my days on Market Lane?

Oh the pain and shame! The lashing I would get, if caught red hand in pocket. Back then I’d carry a sharp dagger and walk with a ridiculous swagger; ’till that time I picked the wrong man and he came back with a gang. And beat ten shades out that arrogant braggart!

Go on then, one more for the road men. Fetch me ale and I’ll tell a tale all night…

©DJA 2016


From The Rogues’ Gallery


Cover: The Calling of St Matthew (Part) by Caravaggio