Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?
If he tries to run away, he’s going to be picked up. If the police pick him up and he’s running away, e is headed for the gallows. He’ll stretch hemp in spite of anything I can do. (E. S. Gardner, “The Case of the Caretaker’s Cat”)
stretch hemp = (figurative) swing, hang