Jog did his best to dissuade him, observing that the birds were (puff) scarce and (wheeze) wild, and the (gasp) hares much troubled with poachers; but Mr Sponge wanted a walk, and moreover had a fancy for seeing Jog handle his gun.

Having cut himself some extremely substantial sandwiches, and filled his ‘monkey’ full of sherry, our friend Jog slipped out the back way to loosen old Ponto, who acted the triple part of pointer, house- dog, and horse to Gustavus James. He was a great fat, black-and-white brute, with a head like a hat- box, a tail like a clothes-peg, and a back as broad as a well-fed sheep’s. The old brute was so frantic at the sight of his master in his green coat, and wide-awake to match, that he jumped and bounced, and barked, and rattled his chain, and set up such yells, that his noise sounded all over the house, and soon brought Mr Sponge to the scene of action, where stood our friend, loading his gun and looking as consequential as possible.

‘I shall only just take a (puff) stroll over moy (wheeze) ter-rito-ry,’ observed Jog, as Mr Sponge emerged at the back door.

Jog’s pace was about two miles and a half an hour, stoppages included, and he thought it advisable to prepare Mr Sponge for the trial. He then shouldered his gun and waddled away, first over the stile into Farmer Stiffland’s stubble, round which Ponto ranged in the most riotous, independent way, regardless of Jog’s whistles and rates, and the crack of his little knotty whip. Jog then crossed the old pasture into Mr Lowland’s turnips, into which Ponto dashed in the same energetic way, but these impediments to travelling soon told on his great buttermilk carcass, and brought him to a more subdued pace; still, the dog had a good deal more energy than his master. Round he went, sniffing and hunting, then dashing right through the middle of the field, as if he was out on his own account alone, and had nothing whatever to do with a master.

‘Why, your dog’ll spring all the birds out of shot,’ observed Mr Sponge; and, just as he spoke, whirr! rose a covey of partridges, eleven in number, quite at an impossible distance, but Jog blazed away all the same.

‘ ’Ord rot it, man! if you’d only held your (something) tongue,’ growled Jog, as he shaded the sun from his eyes to mark them down, ‘I’d have (wheezed) half of them over.’

‘Nonsense, man!’ replied Mr Sponge. ‘They were a mile out of shot.’

‘I think I should know my (puff) gun better than (wheeze) you,’ replied Jog, bringing it down to load.

‘They’re down!’ exclaimed Mr Sponge, who, having watched them till they began to skim in their flight, saw them stop, flap their wings, and drop among some straggling gorse on the hill before them. ‘Let’s break the covey; we shall bag them better singly.’

‘Take time (puff),’ replied Jog, snorting into his frill, and measuring out his powder most leisurely. ‘Take time (wheeze),’ repeated he, ‘they’re just on the bounds of moy ter-ri-to-ry.’

Jog had had many a game at romps with these birds, and knew their haunts and habits to a nicety. The covey consisted of thirteen at first, but by repeated blazings into the ‘brown of ’em,’ he had succeeded in knocking down two. Jog was not one of your conceited shots, who never fired but when he was sure of killing; on the contrary, he always let drive far or near, and even if he shot a hare, which he sometimes did, with the first barrel, he always popped the second into her, to make sure. The chairman’s shooting afforded amusement to the neighbourhood. On one occasion a party of reapers, having watched him miss twelve shots in succession, gave him three cheers on coming to the thirteenth. -- But to our day. Jog had now got his gun reloaded with mischief, the cap put on, and all ready for a fresh start. Ponto, meanwhile, had been ranging, Jog thinking it better to let him take the edge off his ardour than conform to the strict rules of lying down or coming to heel.

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