appointed that direful day to happen. They closed together. As he strove to free the hand in which he held a club, and strike the blow he had so often thought of, he started to the knowledge of his waking purpose and the rising of the sun.
The sun was welcome to him. There were life and motion, and a world astir, to divide the attention of Day. It was the eye of Night: of wakeful, watchful, silent, and attentive Night, with so much leisure for the observation of his wicked thoughts: that he dreaded most. There is no glare in the night. Even Glory shows to small advantage in the night, upon a crowded battle-field. How then shows Glory's blood- relation, bastard Murder!
Aye! He made no compromise, and held no secret with himself now. Murder. He had come to do it.
`Let me get down here' he said
`Short of the town, eh!' observed the coachman.
`I may get down where I please, I suppose?'
`You got up to please yourself, and may get down to please yourself. It won't break our hearts to lose you, and it wouldn't have broken 'em if we'd never found you. Be a little quicker. That's all.'
The guard had alighted, and was waiting in the road to take his money. In the jealousy and distrust of what he contemplated, he thought this man looked at him with more than common curiosity
`What are you staring at?' said Jonas.
`Not at a handsome man,' returned the guard. `If you want your fortune told, I'll tell you a bit of it. You won't be drowned. That's a consolation for you.'
Before he could retort or turn away, the coachman put an end to the dialogue by giving him a cut with his whip, and bid him get out for a surly dog. The guard jumped up to his seat at the same moment, and they drove off, laughing; leaving him to stand in the road and shake his fist at them. He was not displeased though, on second thoughts, to have been taken for an ill-conditioned common country fellow; but rather congratulated himself upon it as a proof that he was well disguised.
Wandering into a copse by the road-side--but not in that place: two or three miles off--he tore out from a fence a thick, hard, knotted stake; and, sitting down beneath a hayrick, spent some time in shaping it, in peeling off the bark, and fashioning its lagged head with his knife.
The day passed on. Noon, afternoon, evening. Sunset.
At that serene and peaceful time two men, riding in a gig, came out of the city by a road not much frequented. It was the day on which Mr. Pecksniff had agreed to dine with Montague. He had kept his appointment, and was now going home. His host was riding with him for a short distance; meaning to return by a pleasant track, which Mr. Pecksniff had engaged to show him, through some fields. Jonas knew their plans. He had hung about the inn-yard while they were at dinner and had heard their orders given.
They were loud and merry in their conversation, and might have been heard at some distance: far above the sound of their carnage wheels or horses' hoofs. They came on noisily, to where a stile and footpath indicated their point of separation. Here they stopped.
`It's too soon. Much too soon,' said Mr. Pecksniff. `But this is the place, my dear sir. Keep the path, and go straight through the little wood you'll come to. The path is narrower there, but you can't miss it. When shall I see you again? Soon I hope?'
`I hope so,' replied Montague.
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