I believe they were fat, though I was at that time undersized for my years, and not strong.

`Darn Me if I couldn't eat em,' said the man, with a threatening shake of his head, `and if I han't half a mind to't!'

I earnestly expressed my hope that he wouldn't, and held tighter to the tombstone on which he had put me; partly, to keep myself upon it; partly, to keep myself from crying.

`Now lookee here!' said the man. `Where's your mother?'

`There, sir!' said I.

He started, made a short run, and stopped and looked over his shoulder.

`There, sir!' I timidly explained. `Also Georgiana. That's my mother.'

`Oh!' said he, coming back. `And is that your father alonger your mother?'

`Yes, sir,' said I; `him too; late of this parish.'

`Ha!' he muttered then, considering. `Who d'ye live with - supposin' you're kindly let to live, which I han't made up my mind about?'

`My sister, sir - Mrs Joe Gargery - wife of Joe Gargery, the blacksmith, sir.'

`Blacksmith, eh?' said he. And looked down at his leg.

After darkly looking at his leg and me several times, he came closer to my tombstone, took me by both arms, and tilted me back as far as he could hold me; so that his eyes looked most powerfully down into mine, and mine looked most helplessly up into his.

`Now lookee here,' he said, `the question being whether you're to be let to live. You know what a file is?'

`Yes, sir.'

`And you know what wittles is?'

`Yes, sir.'

After each question he titled me over a little more, so as to give me a greater sense of helplessness and danger.

`You get me a file.' He tilted me again. `And you get me wittles.' He tilted me again. `You bring 'em both to me.' He tilted me again. `Or I'll have your heart and liver out.' He tilted me again.

I was dreadfully frightened, and so giddy that I clung to him with both hands, and said, `If you would kindly please to let me keep upright, sir, perhaps I shouldn't be sick, and perhaps I could attend more.'

He gave me a most tremendous dip and roll, so that the church jumped over its own weather-cock. Then, he held me by the arms, in an upright position on the top of the stone, and went on in these fearful terms:

`You bring me, to-morrow morning early, that file and them wittles. You bring the lot to me, at that old Battery over yonder. You do it, and you never dare to say a word or dare to make a sign concerning your having seen such a person as me, or any person sumever, and you shall be let to live. You fail, or you go from my words in any partickler, no matter how small it is, and your heart and your liver shall be tore out, roasted and ate. Now, I ain't alone, as you may think I am. There's a young man hid with

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.