It seems she slipped the lock back.


Senior Member
Hi everyone, this is from Colonel Jack by Defoe. (1722)
Context: Colonel Jack wants to give his ex wife’s clothes to his new, future wife. What I did not understand is if he locked her in the room, if so, how did she (new wife) come out “It seems she slipped the lock back”

"There is a clean smock for you, Moggy," says I, "and to-morrow you shall have all the rest." When I had done this, "Now, Moggy," says I, "go and dress you;" so I locked her in, and went downstairs. "Knock," says I, "when you are dressed."

After some time Moggy did not knock, but down she came into my room, completely dressed, for there were several other things that I bade her take, and the clothes fitted her as if they had been made for her. It seems she slipped the lock back.
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    She obviously was able to unlock the door - exactly what "slipped the lock back" means will depend on the type/mechanism of the lock - perhaps it was a deadbolt of some sort.


    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Locks at this time were generally less sophisticated than nowadays and the bolt was often not protected - she was able to manipulate the bolt in a way which wasn’t supposed to be possible but in fact was possible with a bit of skill and perseverance
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