Emails to Newgate Gaol (3)

From: Tom Chivers
Sent: 12 August 2008 19:31
To: Babs_Spencer@yahoo.co.uk
Subject: *SPAM* RE: Other Side

Babs, is it true? They tied you to a hurdle, hauled you screaming from Newgate to Tyburn? If a woman kills her husband, right, that’s treason. Regal submission writ small, Babs. But you coined a few shillings – fakir, faker, mantua-maker. What did you see in your future, whilst they pelted you with stones and shit. Ox-cart’s a pretty way to go. Clipping, shipping, scaling and lightening. I’m glad you were throttled before you were burnt. The burger vans hum as I wait for the nightbus, onions caramelising on the grill. Faggots and all. I’m slipping, Babs, into the night. At the very slake: a curious typo. What fires will quench the thirst of the hangman?

T x

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Emails to Newgate Gaol (2)

From: Tom Chivers
Sent: 10 August 2008 14:08
To: Price, John
Subject: Duct/duckedJ,

Something reminded me of you. I was in The Viaduct (Newgate overspill) sipping small beer with three wistful maidens. You know the place – carved hardwood; large, curved frontage; beaten copper; Neolithic slab of public house, gin palace. When you were Jack (LOL) you must have passed it on your way, Fleet-footed, geddit? One could say you got a taste of your own medicine! Where is the local buzz, Jack? Bunhill? Holloway? And this bit had me in pieces: gingerbread, she flogged gingerbread, Jack! Who’s the man now? Nameless wretch. Fistfuls of blood. Double-dubbed. Snarling at the crowds with Old Geneva in your sack, axe ready. Exhibited, gibbeted. Sorry to be so graphic. It’s just, Ketch this, they said the language of decency cannot describe it.

Emails to Newgate Gaol (1)

From: Tom Chivers
Sent: 09 August 2008 01:59
To: John Smith
Subject: FW: Questions on Tyburn

John,

Your triple escape from the triple tree has been bound in a Folio Society Edition. Hardback. Slight soiling. Slip-case. The smell of cut tobacco, of course. I thought you would like to know. That fatal tree looks well on sufferers as you (malefactor, son of a farmer) and you (packer’s apprentice, journeyman, merchant, sailor) and you (guardsman, house-breaker). Providence, John, is not as remarkable as it sounds. When you described your spirits violently pressing upwards, oh! how we gasped. Whiff of snuff, John. Scuffle towards Newgate, John. Cut-price apples spill from the tumbrel. Did you bribe the hangman? The Chinese say a person with a bad name is already half-hanged. I want to ask you how it felt; I mean, bled to life on the dissectionist’s workbench, John, how did it feel to be back? Did you think of Vigo or the Golden Age of Body Snatching?

Tom