Although I am writing this in a prison cell (by very special permission), with a long period of penal servitude over-shadowing my future like a black cloud, still I feel a glow of pride when I think how very near my fellow-conspirators and I were to bringing off what would have been the most brilliant and daring coup in the annals of bank robberies. . Aye, and but for two whey-faced clerks nothing could have prevented our success. So will a speck of grit throw out of gear the most delicate machinery.
There were seven of us in it--Burton, Foley, Regan, Soames, Challoner, Dick Selwyn, and myself, Paul Marker--seven as reckless dare-devils as were ever born of the union of a fast and godless life with impecuniosity. I was the leader, for to me belongs the credit of first conceiving the daring scheme, and Dick Selwyn was second in command, because he had once been a bank clerk, and was by way of being an expert in the matter of the manners and customs of a banking house; the others were merely parts of the machine, and well they worked together, and did their duty unflinchingly like men.
No need to tell how various circumstances worked together to unite us seven in