“Stick ’em up!”

I would shout, waving my finger pistol menacingly at my sister.

“Your money — or your life!”

That’s what all the famous highway robbers said.

The most famous of the British highwaymen was Dick Turpin, the butcher-turned-bandit.

Dick was a young entrepreneur. He had just opened a butcher shop when the Essex Gang approached him, looking to shift their pilfered deer meat.

Dick joined the gang. It was a no-brainer.

For the next few years, Dick rode his horse — Black Bess — at the helm of that brutal band as they terrorized the craftsmen and farmers of the Home counties.

Within five years, they all swung from the end of a rope.

Except for Turpin.

Turpin evaded the authorities for several more years, becoming more violent and careless, until he was arrested for shooting another man’s chicken.

After a short trial, Dick was convicted.

He was sentenced to death for stealing horses.

When the terminal day arrived, he wore a new suit, thanked the audience, shared a joke with the executioner, climbed the gallows unaided, and threw himself off.

He expired in five minutes.

He had lived for thirty-four years.

His story will live on for a few more.