placed his Indian plantations in the hands of one Alfred Morgan, a clerk, in whom he had always placed implicit confidence.
This man, by the way, had been the sole witness to his marriage with Jack's mother.
A month later, and Sir Sidney and Lady Dacre, with their son, set sail in the good ship Hydaspes on their way to England.
Nothing of any importance occurred on the voyage, and the Hydaspes was within sight of the white cliffs of old Albion when a storm came on, and almost within gunshot of home the brave old ship which had weathered many a storm went to pieces.
All that were saved out of passengers and crew were two souls.
One, our hero Jack Dacre, afterwards to become the notorious Spring- Heeled Jack; the other, a common sailor, Ned Chump, a man who is destined to play a not unimportant part in this history, even if the part he had already played did not entitle him to mention in our columns.
And when we tell our readers that had it not been for the friendly off
Published in 1886, Spring Heeled Jack: The Terror of London is a rare example of what is historically known as the "penny dreadful," a cheaply, mass produced pamphlet aimed at the lower classes for their reading pleasure.
Ironically, though there were many penny dreadfuls published, few have survived because of the cheapness of the paper.
Historically, Spring Heeled Jack was either an apparition or an urban legend (depending on your personal viewpoint) who terrorized London and its environs from 1837 to 1904, a British version of the Jersey Devil.
This story reveals Spring Heeled Jack as a young man wronged out of his inheritance and, in an attempt to get it back, dons an odd costume and a technologically advanced boot that gives him the ability to jump great distances.
Like any penny dreadful, it is full of drama and melodrama and is worth the short read for a tale that sounds reminiscent of America's Batman.
C. Alan Loewen
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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