Theº last farewell was affecting in
the extreme. From the belfries far and near the
while all around the gloomy precincts there rolled the ominous warning of a
hundred muffled drums
by the hollow booming of pieces of
ordnance1|. The loud
crashes of thunder and the frequent flashes of lightning which lit up the
ghastly scene testified that the artillery of heaven had lent its supernatural pomp to the already gruesome function.
a Aº torrential rain poured down from the floodgates of |1heaven the angry heavens1| upon the bared heads of the multitude which numbered at least five hundred and fifty thousand. The erudite prelate who administered the last comforts of religion to the hero martyr knelt in a most christian spirit in a pool of muddy water, his cassock above his hoary head, and offered up |1alternate1| prayers of supplication. Hard by the block stood the grim be figure of the executioner, his visage being concealed in a ten gallon pot |1in which with1| two round eyeholes through which his |1gruesome glowering1| eyes glared furiously. As he awaited the final sign he tested the edge of his horrible weapon by honing it upon his brawny arm or decapitated in rapid succession a flock of sheep which had been |1thoughtfully1| provided by the admirers of his fell but necessary office. |1On a handsome mahogany table near him were |aneatlya| arranged the quartering knife the various finely tempered disembowelling |aapparatus and appliances,a| a terra cotta saucepan |ablanka| for the reception of the colon, blind intestine, appendix, etc |awhen successfully extricateda| and two large milkjugs destined to receive the most precious blood of the most noble victim. |aThe house steward of the amalgatedº cats' and dogs' home stood was in attendance to convey these vessels when replenished to that useful institution. Quite an excellent |bbreakfast repastb| consisting of rashers & eggs, fried rumpsteak & onions |bdelicious hot |cbreakfastc| rolls & butterb| and invigorating tea had been |bconsideratelyb| provided by the authorities for the consumption of the central figure of the tragedy but he expressed the dying wish (immediately acceded to) that the meal should be divided |bequallyb| among the members of the sick & indigent roomkeepers |bof the city associationb| as a token of his regard & esteem.a|1| The non plus ultra of emotion was reached when |1blank1| the blushing bride elect burst through the serried ranks of the bystanders and flung herself into upon the muscular bosom of him who was about to die for her sake. She hung about his neck and kissed passionately the different suitable areas which the decencies of prison garb permitted her ardour to reach. |1The hero folded her |alovely willowya| form in a loving embrace, murmuring fondly “Sheila, my own”. Encouraged by the use of her christian name1| She swore to him as they
mingledº the salt streams of their tears that she would cherish his memory, that she would never forget her hero boy however frequently she might marry in the course of her |1future after1| life. She brought back to his |1memory recollection1| the days gone by, the happy days of blissful childhood together |1by the banks of the Anna Liffey1| and when they |1had1| indulged in the innocent pastimes of the young and, forgetful of the dreadful present, they laughed heartily together, all the bystanders, including the venerable |1prelate |acleric pastora|1| joining in the general merriment. But anon they were overcome with grief and clasped their hands for the last last time. A fresh torrent of tears burst from their eyes and the vast concourse of people, touched to the inmost core, burst into heartrending sobs, not the least affected being the aged |1pastor prebendary1| himself. Nay, even, the grim provost marshal |1sir colonel lieutenant-Colonel Tomkin |aFrenchmullen Tomlinsona|1| who presided on the sad occasion, he who had shot countless sepoys from the cannonmouth without flinching, could not now restrain his emotion. With his mailed gauntlet he brushed away a furtive tear and was heard by those privileged burghers
whoº happened to be in his immediate entourage to murmur to himself in |1a1| faltering undertone:
— |1God1| Blame me if |1that there dona beent the she beent a1| clinker, that there dona. It makes me kind of sad, it does, cos I thinks of my old |1Hirish loveydovey1| dona mashtub |1what's waiting for me1| down Limehouse way.