‘I am almost a stranger to Mr. Moore,’ murmured Sweeting.

‘If you never touched a pistol, try the feel of it now, great satrap of Egypt. As to the little minstrel, he probably prefers encountering the Philistines with no other weapon than his flute. Get their hats, Peter; they’ll both of’em go.’

‘No, sir; no, Mr. Helstone: my mother wouldn’t like it,’ pleaded Sweeting.

And I make it a rule never to get mixed up in affairs of the kind,’ observed Donne.

Helstone smiled sardonically; Malone laughed a horse-laugh. He then replaced his arms, took his hat and cudgel, and saying that ‘he never felt more in tune for a shindy in his life, and that he wished a score of greasy cloth-dressers might beat up Moore’s quarters that night,’ he made his exit, clearing the stairs at a stride or two, and making the house shake with the bang of the front-door behind him.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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