The Trigger

Jog slept badly again, and arose next morning full of projects for getting rid of his impudent, unceremonious, free-and-easy guest.

Having tried both an up and a downstairs shout, he now went out and planted himself immediately under Mr Sponge’s bedroom window, and, clearing his voice, commenced his usual vociferations

‘Bartholo--m-e-w!’ whined he. ‘Bartholo--m-e-w!’ repeated he, somewhat louder. ‘Bar--tholo--m-e-w!’ roared he, in a voice of thunder.

Bartholomew did not answer.

‘Murry Ann!’ exclaimed Jog, after a pause. ‘Murry Ann!’ repeated he, still louder. ‘Murry Ann!’ roared he, at the top of his voice.

‘Comin’, sir! comin’!’ exclaimed Mary Ann, peeping down upon him from the garret-window.

‘Oh, Murry Ann,’ cried Mr Jog, looking up, and catching the ends of her blue ribbons streaming past the window-frame, as she changed her nightcap for a day one -- ‘Oh, Murry Ann, you’d better be (puff)in’ forrard with the (gasp) breakfast; Mr Sponge’ll most likely be (wheeze)in’ away today.’

‘Yes, sir,’ replied Mary Ann, adjusting the cap becomingly.

‘Confounded, puffing, wheezing, gasping, broken-winded old block-head it is!’ growled Mr Sponge, wishing he could get to his former earth at Puffington’s, or anywhere else. When he got down he found Jog in a very roomy, bright, green-plush shooting-jacket, with pockets innumerable, and a whistle suspended to a button-hole. His nether man was encased in a pair of most dilapidated white moleskins, that had been degraded from hunting into shooting ones, and whose cracks and darns showed the perils to which their wearer had been exposed. Below these were drab, horn-buttoned gaiters, and hob-nailed shoes.

‘Going a-gunning, are you?’ asked Mr Sponge, after the morning salutation, which Jog returned most gruffly.

‘I’ll go with you,’ said Mr Sponge, at once dispelling the delusion of his wheezing away.

‘Only going to frighten the (puff) rooks off the (gasp) wheat,’ replied Jog, carelessly, not wishing to let Sponge see what a numb hand he was with a gun.

‘I thought you told me you were going to get me a hare,’ observed Mrs Jog; adding, ‘I’m sure shooting is a much more rational amusement than tearing your clothes going after the hounds,’ eyeing the much- dilapidated moleskins as she spoke.

Mrs Jog found shooting more useful than hunting.

‘Oh, if a (puff) hare comes in my (gasp) way, I’ll turn her over,’ replied Jog, carelessly, as if turning them over was quite a matter of course with him; adding, ‘but I’m not (wheezing) out for the express purpose of shooting one.’

‘Ah, well,’ observed Sponge, ‘I’ll go with you, all the same.’

‘But I’ve only got one gun,’ gasped Jog, thinking it would be worse to have Sponge laughing at his shooting than even leaving him at home.

‘Then, we’ll shoot turn and turn about,’ replied the pertinacious guest.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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