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The Story of the Lunar Rogue

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Within 24 hours, Henry More Smith had twice removed his shackles and nearly escaped. It was midnight when his second attempt was foiled but Sheriff Bates was in no mood to return to his bed. Henry’s cell was thoroughly searched and his bunk was knocked apart and every split and joint examined. For all the effort, no tools were discovered. Henry’s chains and padlocks were replaced and a pair of screw handcuffs designed to keep the prisoners hands close together were applied. Only then, at 4 in the morning, was Sheriff Bates sufficiently reassured to leave the Lunar Rogue and retire. We can assume the Sheriff slept fitfully at best.

When the Sheriff returned he found Henry lying on the floor of his cell where he had been left some hours before. Taking nothing for granted, the sheriff took a closer look and found the new screw handcuffs were separated in such a way that Henry could put them on and off easily.

Henry was searched again and a fine steel saw was found tied around his upper thigh with a piece of muslin cord. With the saw removed, Henry was again secured with chains, padlocks and handcuffs. Sheriff Bates, whose caution was by now bordering on paranoia, also left four men to watch him through the night. In the morning the window was bricked up leaving only a 5-inch square opening in the 3-foot thick walls. Henry’s cell had effectively turned into a dungeon. It was November 13, 1814 and, not trusting even his own elaborate precautions, an anxious Sheriff Bates urged that the Lunar Rogue’s trial begin as soon as possible.