Mr Waffles -- ‘What’ll you drink?’

Tom -- ‘Port, if you please, sir.’

‘There it is for you, then,’ said Mr Waffles, brimming the Fox’s head, which held about the third of a bottle (an inn bottle at least) and handing it to him.

‘Gentlemen all,’ said Tom, passing his sleeve across his mouth, and casting a side-long glance at the company as he raised the cup to drink their healths.

He quaffed it off at a draught.

‘Well, Tom, and what shall we do tomorrow?’ asked Mr Waffles, as Tom replaced the Fox’s head, nose uppermost, on the table.

‘Why, we must draw Ribston Wood fust, I’spose,’ replied Tom, ‘and then on to Bradwell Grove, unless you thought well of tryin’ Chesterton Common on the road, or --’

‘Aye, aye,’ interrupted Waffles, ‘I know all that; but what I want to know is, whether we can make sure of a run. We want to give this great metropolitan swell a benefit. You know who I mean?’

‘The gen’leman as is com’d to the Brunswick, I’spose,’ replied Tom; ‘at least, as is comin’, for I’ve not heard that he’s com’d yet.’

‘Oh, but he has,’ replied Mr Waffles, ‘and I make no doubt will be out tomorrow.’

S--o--o,’ observed Tom, in a long drawled note.

‘Well, now! do you think you can engage to give us a run?’ asked Mr Waffles, seeing his huntsman did not seem inclined to help him to his point.

‘I’ll do my best,’ replied Tom, cautiously running the many contingencies through his mind.

‘Take another drop of something,’ said Mr Waffles, again raising the Fox’s head. ‘What’ll you have?’

‘Port, if you please,’ replied Tom.

‘There,’ said Mr Waffles, handing him another bumper; ‘drink, Fox-hunting.’

‘Fox-huntin’,’ said old Tom, quaffing off the measure, as before. A flush of life came into his weather- beaten face, just as a glow of heat enlivens a blacksmith’s hearth, after a touch of the bellows.

‘You must never let this bumptious cock beat us,’ observed Mr Waffles.

‘No--o--o,’ replied Tom, adding, ‘there’s no fear of that.’

‘But he swears he will!’ exclaimed Mr Caingey Thornton. ‘He swears there isn’t a man shall come within a field of him.’

‘Indeed,’ observed Tom, with a twinkle of his little bright eyes.

‘I tell you what, Tom,’ observed Mr Waffles, ‘we must sarve him out, somehow.’

‘Oh! he’ll sarve hissel’ out, in all probability,’ replied Tom; carelessly adding, ‘these boastin’ chaps always do.’

‘Couldn’t we contrive something,’ asked Mr Waffles, ‘to draw him out?’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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