Mask of the Highwaywoman - Short

Evelyn, the bored daughter of a rich aristocrat, is on her way home when her stagecoach is attacked by a gang of vicious outlaws. Terrified at first, she is soon fascinated by the captivating Highwaywoman

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2. Chapter Two: Robbed

Evelyn rubbed her arms to keep off the worst of the chill, she shifted uncomfortably on the hard ground, and listened to the whimpering of the babe, as the mother continued to rock, whispering softly to it. The gang had tied the coachmen together, and were systematically ransacking the luggage as the passengers silently looked on. She allowed her gaze to drift towards the highwaywoman, stood firm and resolute in her post watching the passengers, pistol raised.

“How much longer?” Evelyn asked, she heard the gentleman quietly shushing her, and so she rose from her place and moved towards the woman. “How much longer?” she repeated. The woman stared firmly back at her.

“Just sit down.”

“I would simply like to know how much longer you intend to take. We are all cold, and tired, the child especially, the journey took twice as long as it should have done, I am meant to be in Bristol by this time tomorrow, and I have simply no way of getting there—”

“Then it doesn’t matter how long we take, does it? Now sit down, or I’ll make damn sure you never stand up again.”

“That baby is freezing.” She hissed. “It won’t cope with much more of this.” The woman’s dark eyes left Evelyn’s for a second as she glanced over at the mother. She then lowered her pistol, and, with a flourish, removed her coat and placed it over the child, then raised her pistol once more.

“Now sit.” She said.

“Thank you.” Evelyn barely had time to touch the ground before the gang had cleared the last of the luggage, and the musket wielder stepped over to the passengers.

“One at a time,” he said, scanning their faces “you first.” He pointed his musket towards an elderly man, who rose clumsily, and was immediately pulled to the middle of the lane, where the light from the lantern spilled on the ground. He was searched, a purse pulled from his coat, and a watch taken; he was then forced back into the carriage.

“You next.” One by one the passengers were relived of their valuables, and pushed back inside.

“How can you do this?” Evelyn asked the woman.

 “Well, the pay is good.” She replied, and smirked as she pushed Evelyn forward to be searched.

“Give up what you have pretty one, or Johnny here will search you himself.” The musket-wielder pointed to another man, he was taller than the others, and a heavy beard covered all the face that his mask did not. Evelyn reluctantly fished her purse from her skirts, giving up all hope of finding her way to Bristol.

“And that” said Johnny, pointing to her necklace. Evelyn instinctively clasped her hand over it.

“No.” She said, appalled at the idea of losing her locket.

“Hand it over.” He said, stepping forward.

“No.” She repeated. “It’s of very little value, my shoes cost more.”

“Well I’ll ‘ave your shoes an’ all, if you don’t hand it over.” He reached forward to grab it from her neck, and Evelyn stepped back, into the arms of the woman, who grabbed her round the waist.

“Let her keep it.” She said. The two men looked at one another, the musket-wielder lowered his gun, and looked back at the woman.

“No.” He said, and struck Evelyn swiftly across the face, with the back of his hand, and wrenched the locket from her neck. “Nothing is left.” He then shoved her unceremoniously back into the carriage, shocked and upset, and slammed the door behind her.

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