banquet might not be despatched in the dark. Mr Dennis, having by this time succeeded in extricating from his hat a great mass of pasty, which had been wedged in so tightly that it was not easily got out, put it before him; and Hugh, having borrowed a notched and jagged knife from one of the company, fell to work upon it vigorously.

‘I should recommend you to swallow a little fire every day, about an hour afore dinner, brother,’ said Dennis, after a pause. ‘It seems to agree with you, and to stimulate your appetite.’

Hugh looked at him, and at the blackened faces by which he was surrounded, and, stopping for a moment to flourish his knife above his head, answered with a roar of laughter.

‘Keep order, there, will you?’ said Simon Tappertit.

‘Why, isn’t a man allowed to regale himself, noble captain,’ retorted his lieutenant, parting the men who stood between them, with his knife, that he might see him,—’to regale himself a little bit after such work as mine? What a hard captain! What a strict captain! What a tyrannical captain! Ha ha ha!’

‘I wish one of you fellers would hold a bottle to his mouth to keep him quiet,’ said Simon, ‘unless you want the military to be down upon us.’

‘And what if they are down upon us!’ retorted Hugh. ‘Who cares? Who’s afraid? Let ’em come, I say, let ’em come. The more, the merrier. Give me bold Barnaby at my side, and we two will settle the military, without troubling any of you. Barnaby’s the man for the military. Barnaby’s health!’

But as the majority of those present were by no means anxious for a second engagement that night, being already weary and exhausted, they sided with Mr Tappertit, and pressed him to make haste with his supper, for they had already delayed too long. Knowing, even in the height of his frenzy, that they incurred great danger by lingering so near the scene of the late outrages, Hugh made an end of his meal without more remonstrance, and rising, stepped up to Mr Tappertit, and smote him on the back.

‘Now then,’ he cried, ‘I’m ready. There are brave birds inside this cage, eh? Delicate birds,—tender, loving, little doves. I caged ’em—I caged ’em—one more peep!’

He thrust the little man aside as he spoke, and mounting on the steps, which were half let down, pulled down the blind by force, and stared into the chaise like an ogre into his larder.

‘Ha ha ha! and did you scratch, and pinch, and struggle, pretty mistress?’ he cried, as he grasped a little hand that sought in vain to

free itself from his grip: ‘you, so bright-eyed, and cherry-lipped, and daintily made? But I love you better for it, mistress. Aye, I do. You should stab me and welcome, so that it pleased you, and you had to cure me afterwards. I love to see you proud and scornful. It makes you handsomer than ever; and who so handsome as you at any time, my pretty one!’

‘Come!’ said Mr Tappertit, who had waited during this speech with considerable impatience. ‘There’s enough of that. Come down.’

The little hand seconded this admonition by thrusting Hugh’s great head away with all its force, and drawing up the blind, amidst his noisy laughter, and vows that he must have another look, for the last glimpse of that sweet face had provoked him past all bearing. However, as the suppressed impatience of the party now broke out into open murmurs, he abandoned this design, and taking his seat upon the bar, contented himself with tapping at the front windows of the carriage, and trying to steal a glance inside; Mr Tappertit, mounting the steps and hanging on by the door, issued his directions to the driver with a commanding voice and attitude; the rest got up behind, or ran by the side of the carriage, as they could; some, in imitation of Hugh, endeavoured to see the face he had praised so highly, and were reminded

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