Up or Down


Thames Watermen are ten a penny, but one what don’t gossip about particular passengers is not so easy to find. That’s where I come in. Special service, discreet and reliable. Local knowledge. I know where the current’s swift, where it eddies, the best way to keep from being observed by those in high windows. I keep a spare black cloak handy, since a man in a hurry might forget such things. This service comes at a cost, mind you. Not your twopence fare at all––sixpence usually, and if you want speed it will cost you a shilling. Mum’s the word.


10 thoughts on “Up or Down

  1. I like the sense of place and the distinctive voice in this. A couple of suggestions: “one what keeps his mouth shut about a particular passenger might be is to come by” – should there be a “hard” in there? Also the jump between sixpence and a guinea is huge.A shilling would be more likely

  2. Captures the seedy atmosphere of Samuel Pepys’s London, but careful with the pounds shillings and pence. Some of us are old enough to remember when you could go out for the night with tuppence ha’penny in your pocket and still have change for the tram home.

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