The Industriousness of a Cutpurse

Feastday of Saint Dagan of Somerset, the Eighth Year in the Reign of King Richard

It is fascinating to watch. Like a hawk who stoops at its prey, so, too, does my little cutpurse swoop in for the kill. Not that I approve of his doings. Countless times I have punished him for that very habit. But Jack Tucker, though forced into the life of a thief to support himself when orphaned at eight, seems to revel in his illegal accomplishments. And who can blame him? He is rarely caught…except by me. Naturally, I am watching for it.

But it is a thing to behold. If I had the merest talent…but no. I have found myself in enough trouble, I fear.

Jack is contrite when found out and vows, with the glistening tears of the truly repentant in his eyes, to never fall prey to his sins again. But when he sees an opportunity, alas. He is stealth itself, his knife cuts sharp and clean, and he holds his trophy dear and secrets it in our lodgings God knows where.

So I find food in the larder when there should be none and wine in the jug on the sill when there were no pence with which to buy it. For shame. Shame on me for ignoring that fact when I indulge in the wine until I am senseless with it, forgetting, for a brief respite, where I am. Yes, I am as guilty as he. And just as repentant.