As many-a-night , I was up on Hounslow heath, sat astride my old black galloper with a loaded pistol in each hand, ready to shout “Stand and deliver your belongings; your money or your life!” and to ride away with a kiss from some fine young lady and my pockets stuffed full of golden guineas.
But there was something strange about that night, I thought, though I could not think what , yet I felt an uneasy sensation in my bones.
And that is when I heard it; that terrible sound, like the wail of some enormous banshee or the noise of a comet screaming down from the skies.
As all horses do when they get a fright, my horse reared up, ready to bolt, terrified by that unearthly sound and that is what made up my mind that I had better turn and ride off rather than meet with whatever hellish sort of a creature was making that infernal sound and it was as I was riding away across the heath that, I swear, I looked over my shoulder, only for a second, mind, but long enough to see that terrible thing in the air; a giant flying creature with a huge, long body and enormous, outstretched wings. A bloody dragon, it was or maybe the devil himself.
“Sounds to me as if you’d had too much gin, you old soaker ”, said the inn-keepers wife, serving rot gut behind the counter, and her comment was greeted with stentorian laughter from everyone in the alehouse.
But he didn’t care whether they thought him a drunkard or a numbskull or not. He knew what he’d saw.
“It was a man on a black horse. I’m damn sure of it.”, said the pilot of the Airbus A318, excitedly, after getting the routine engine shutdown and cockpit checks out of the way, “On the runway, just as we were landing and he had one of those three cornered hats on but, as he was riding away, he just sort of vanished into darkness”.
“I’m sorry, Clive. I didn’t see anything. ”, said his co-pilot, “But, you know London Airport is built over the old highway where they used to rob coaches. Could be you saw the ghost of one of those old highwaymen ”.