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reported the affair to the Ruffler, who listened, pondered, and then decided that
the king should not be again detailed to beg, since it was plain he was worthy of
something higher and better-wherefore, on the spot he promoted him from the
mendicant rank and appointed him to steal!

Hugo was overjoyed. He had already tried to make the king steal, and failed;
but there would be no more trouble of that sort now, for, of course, the king
would not dream of defying a distinct command delivered directly from
headquarters. So he planned a raid for that very afternoon, purposing to get the
king in the law’s grip in the course of it; and to do it, too, with such ingenious
strategy, that it should seem to be accidental and unintentional; for the King of
the Game-Cocks was popular now, and the gang might not deal over-gently
with an unpopular member who played so serious a treachery upon him as the
delivering him over to the common enemy, the law.

Very well. All in good time Hugo strolled off to a neighboring village with his
prey; and the two drifted slowly up and down one street after another, the one
watching sharply for a sure chance to achieve his evil purpose, and the other
watching as sharply for a chance to dart away and get free of his infamous
captivity forever.

Both threw away some tolerably fair-looking opportunities; for both, in their
secret hearts, were resolved to make absolutely sure work this time, and neither
meant to allow his fevered desires to seduce him into any venture that had much
uncertainty about it.

Hugo’s chance came first. For at last a woman approached who carried a fat
package of some sort in a basket. Hugo’s eyes sparkled with sinful pleasure as
he said to himself, ‘Breath o’ my life, an I can but put that upon him, ‘tis good-
den and God keep thee, King of the Game-Cocks!’ He waited and watched-
outwardly patient, but inwardly consuming with excitement-till the woman had
passed by, and the time was ripe; then said, in a low voice; ‘Tarry here till I come
again,’ and darted stealthily after the prey.

The king’s heart was filled with joy-he could make his escape now, if Hugo’s
quest only carried him far enough away.

But he was to have no such luck. Hugo crept behind the woman, snatched the
package, and came running back, wrapping it in an old piece of blanket which
he carried on his arm. The hue and cry was raised in a moment by the woman,
who knew her loss by the lightening of her burden, although she had not seen
the pilfering done. Hugo thrust the bundle into the king’s hands without halting,
saying: ‘Now speed ye after me with the rest, and cry “Stop thief!” but mind ye
lead them astray.’ The next moment Hugo turned a corner and darted down a
crooked alley-and in another moment or two he lounged into view again,
looking innocent and indifferent, and took up a position behind a post to watch

The insulted king threw the bundle on the ground; and the blanket fell away
from it just as the woman arrived, with an augmenting crowd at her heels; she
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