'It's like this, right. Me ma got in wiv the Ring after she dealt wiv this bludger who thought that wot with her man in still in the stretch she wouldn’t mind a couple visits. He learned right quick and headed off sharpish but she took his ribbon as a prize and next thing claymen was breakin’ down the doors and glim was comin’ from knocking heads. Back then I was goin’ to school, learnin’ good speakin’ an’ all so when she went down in the Roses and it was me trying to keep toe in boot and throat safe from one of Jack’s smiles I didn’t know where to run.
Only things I knew was I weren’t planning on heading for the colonies and they were gonna bung me in the Poor House only when there weren’t any where else to run. I fell in with the Crosses ‘cause they ran my patch and t’weren’t bad at first learnin’ to talk right and collectin’ rags from gentlemen’s back pockets and even runnin’ messages for the crazies aint that bad if you where to duck. Then me mate Billy got nabbed in the docks to work on one of those ships and the boss started callin’ me to do the surveying lark cause I could still talk all posh and I weren’t real keen on putting the old skirts on to sneak Naughts’ houses.
Billy, she were real smart and she tol’ me that if you go somewhere you need runnin’ you don’t go wiv your legs all tied up in skirts, however stupid the cops get when they see the proper gloves and all. Plus, I’d seen Marky-boy after he tried to get to Naughts scurf-man and yer ears aint fit for that stuff, gov, true enough for me to be going the other way. I was gettin’ too big and wiv all the good ettin’ I got Flash was startin’ to say I was turnin’ into a right Judy and I got ‘im for that but our boss started sayin’ that there t’weren’t any place for that sort of thing in ‘er gang an’ I was always a bit out wot wiv forgettin’ an’ usin’ grammar or counting on more than my share so I got shoved.
It were getting’ where it wasn't good there anyway cause of all the bodies hanging from the lamps by their little organ things and the Fishers sellin’ any body that’d lie still a mo’ to the Crow’s and wot wiv me bein’ alone and not wantin’ anythin’ to do wiv nobody my hut was right off an’ so I called in wiv the Orientals cause I was the one who’d been carrin’ their messages cause they like a bit class an’ all and the little lady had a bit of a spot for me wot wiv her bein’ in the way of things and havin’ a heart for a some who might be down on her luck but had laid a good collection of glim by ‘cause I aint stupid either.
She got me to Ladybones for a good price and didn’t say nuffin’ either so I figure foreign or what doesn’t mean she aint a good mate so I send a bag now and then to make sure no one’s messin’ wiv her or the kid with ma not bein’ the only one who can throw a punch when someone tries to mess with a mate no matter what weird name they got and she got me a real nice coat for when I’m checkin’ somefing out so I figure that makes her closest of any now that Billy’s a zailor who you can never be up wiv cause if they’re not in the lush their wiv their mates who aint so keen on re’pecting a lady or drownies and I got connections now.
Anyway, I took kip on the Detective’s roof which some might say weren’t the best idea I’ve ever got what wiv the cops getting’ keen on given’ me a bruisin’ now that I’m older like but Shivering Jenny was watching all down and her and me had a bit of a miss-understanding way back wiv a couple of candles that maybe weren’t all they should be and wot with her havin’ very nearly the same miss-understanding wiv the Lady I figured it’d be safer than houses.
The Detective caught me straight on, though. Turns out she goes a lurkin’ on her roof searching for clues or what. I know, guv. I thought she was a real Lady, like, but there she was sittin’ cool as any an’ a skirt short enough I could see that she had the kind o’ boots that could deliver a real kickin’ if she got a mind to. I figured she was going to bang me straight down to the coppers and stay for tea while they had a bit of inquires on me ‘ead about wot gone missin’ lately with me havin’ a rep and all from when I was fresh and then later when things got bit bloody and they could always spot me in a crowd.
There was me plannin’ on a jump straight out even though there aint good paths down there with the clear path to the gallows and all and little houses whose allies I hadn’t gotten all acquainted in yet and she just looks at me clear as class an’ invites me down to tea. Thought ‘stead she might take me for a blower an’ was waitin’ for me to spill on me chums, not somethin’ I do, guv, no matter wot trouble I was in wiv ‘em but she ‘ands me tea and talks weather an’ all like I was some fine lady she was entertainin’ wiv.
She lets me kip up on the roof and calls me in for tea and nosh now and then when she’s ‘ome. Gives me work too and not all that sneakin’ stuff which I weren’t ever any good at wot wiv not havin' the right constitution for peepin' in the windows for the silver but real good stuff protectin' the house for when she goes up to 'see' the dutchess on personal information sharin' or to protect her back 'cause people aint so fond of a Lady who don't give up, though I suppose yer well on that, guv, what wiv you tryin' to stab 'er in the back jus' so she wouldn't be tellin' the Dutchess wot you've been up too wiv her cat.
Tell you wot: even if I hadn't grabbed you that knife would've been bouncin' off 'er pure metal corset an' an' like I said she got good kickin' shoes. Fact is, yer a bit lucky I was there. She don't like people messin' wiv her mates vicious little friends an' the cops would be happy enough to sling wot ever was left back in Newgate. Really, I think she enjoys it a bit but she's headin' off to one of her saloon meetings an' I weren't gonna let you interfer wiv that. Suppose no tongue will give you a bit of a problem next time yer thinkin' of takin' secrets that a cat don't want to give. Enough for now, if someone else’d tried such a d-mn small bribe I'd relieve them of their hand as well, thief hands get a good price some places in the bazaar. But I suppose even enforcers have to be a bit soft wiv their own pa.