Peterson had rushed forward to protect the stranger from his assailants; but the man, shocked at having broken the window, and seeing an official-looking person in uniform rushing towards him, dropped his goose, took to his heels, and vanished amid the labyrinth of small streets which lie at the back of Tottenham Court Road.
There are no more uses of "assailant" in the book.
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fought off my assailant
The wise man always throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point.