Imagens das páginas

something more than idle curiosity, (as indeed I bony pail-grasping shrews fall back, away from was,) and hinted that I should consider the the water-spout; or, if the boldest of them vensmallest scrap of information cheap at half-a- tures on another potful, she leans over for it crown; when it suddenly flashed to Mr. Slaney's smirking cringingly at the approaching beast mind that he knew Mrs. Winkship and what had with the oyster-bag. How can they do otherbecome of her. Thirteen years ago that very wise? The approaching beast is " Flash Jack." month, my informant assured me—and old Wag- He has the strength of a horse, and the ferocity staff, the basket-maker on the opposite side of of a bull-dog. Nothing less than three police the way, could have corroborated his statement men ever took Jack to the station-house; there if he hadn't died last August-Mrs. W. was ar- is not a man in the alley that Flash Jack cannot rested for shop-lifting, and the case being very lift by the hips, and throw him over his shoulder clear against her, she was convicted and trans- as easy as he can break a tobacco pipe. If you ported beyond the seas for the term of fifteen don't like his "goings on," you are free to take years. I paid the unscrupulous story-teller the it out of hím-any two of you! He has been half-crown; but neither at the time, nor since, known to send four moderately able men flying, could I bring myself to believe a word that he but then he used his feet, and bit a great deal. told me. The bare notion of that great, fat, ten- Now, who will dispute Flash Jack's right to der-hearted creature “lifting” or carrying away monopolise the water-spout just so long as it anything from a shop (unless by sheer weight she pleases him? Who will peril his pan or pail by had carried away the flooring) was too ridiculous leaving it in Jack's way? No one. They are to be seriously thought of for a single moment. mum as mice. Stay a little while, my friend. If

In other respects, however, and as before you live long enough you will be growing older stated, the alley was in pretty much the same by and by, and there are growing up in the alley condition as when I had left it. From beside other Flash Jacks, who one day will then fall on this window hung the rope of onions ; from the you and give you just such a horrible beating as next, the slabs of dried cod; and from the next, I suppose you gave the Flash Jack that I used to several spits of fresh herrings undergoing the know, and ever afterwards you will shuffle in and process of conversion to “Yarmouth bloaters." out of the alley, afraid almost to assert that your As in the old times, too, it was “washing day" life is your own. You will be glad to stand aside with several of the inhabitants; and likewise, as with your few whelks or winkles in your little of old, there were the tattered counterpanes, and basket, and wait until every one is served, even scraps of orange-coloured blanketing, and the down to the hulking Irish boy. And serve you patched shirts, and the flannel jackets, drying on right, Jack. I'd give sixpence to be there and lines stretched out from the upper window-sills see it. by means of regular clothes-props, or make-shift Just as it used to be, all this, and among my broomsticks.

earliest recollections. Are they the very earliest ? As of old, too, there at the upper end of the Up the alley, and down the alley, I search for alley was the great leaky water-butt, and it being something that may suggest earlier, but am unnine o'clock in the morning, the water was “on," successful, until I begin to scan the houses and the old-fashioned pushing, and driving, and from top to bottom-until my eyes light on the skirmishing for water, was also “on” at full third-floor windows of Number Nineteen, and it blast. Nineteen years had not improved the is like returning to the port from which I made water supply in Fryingpan Alley. Three-quarters sail for my first voyage. The windows are exactly of an hour was the time during which the pre- the same. There may be a brown paper patch cious fluid was kept flowing from the main, or so the less, or a rag plug or two the more than and in order to make the most of it, the tap at in the old days; but brown paper and old rags the bottom of the butt was wholly withdrawn, are the same all the world over, and as I look up, and the water made to spout out in a tremendous they are so much the self-same windows, that at way.

that moment were the sash to be lifted, and an The rush about the butt was the rush of old, uproarious red head protruded therefrom, and or as like it as peas in one pod. There were the there was to proceed from it a shrill hoarse voice, big, bony, slatternly women slipshod, and with screaming—“Jimmy! Jimmy, ye shpalpeen! I'll their hair uproarious, each grasping the handle have the blood of ye if ye don't git off that shtep of her pail as though she would lief use the wa- this minnut, and walk about wid her and shtop ter vessel as a weapon of war, against anyone her owlin !" I should not be very much astonwho should have the hardihood to insinuate that ished. I have been cajoled, and counselled, and hers was not the next turn. There was the big abused from those. windows many a score of hulking Irish boy, with his saucepan to be filled, times. In the room to which they belong, my pushing and elbowing amongst the little girls with sister Polly was born, when I was little more their pots and kettles, and treading with his cruel than five years old. In that room with the paperhob-nailed boots on their poor naked toes, to patched windows my mother died, shutting her make them get out of the way; and once again, eyes on the world and its troubles within about here comes the great bully costermonger, with fifteen minutes after my sister Polly opened hers. his oily side locks, and his yellow silk necker Let me, however, hasten to disabuse the mind chief big as a bolster, and his short pipe cocked of the reader who imagines that the red-haired insolently at the corner of his mouth, hauling woman with the shrill voice was my mother. She along a great sack full of oysters. He doesn't was my step-mother. Of the kind of woman that hurry himself in the least. He comes along lei- my mother was, I retain but a half-and-half sort surely, making straight for the water-butt; and of remembrance. As I look up at the tattered seeing him coming-hearing the clatter of his windows, another face besides the hateful face clout boots on the stones—the hulking Irish boy, just alluded to, appears there; dim, however, as the little drudges with their naked feet, even the though seen through a curtain of gauze. It is


the face of a woman, with dark hair and eyes before me and say as she do get it hotter than certainly, and a pale face; but whether she is she ought ?” pretty, or ugly as sin, is more than I can say. "Well, 'course she must deserve it, or else you That is what I mean when I say that I don't re-wouldn't call her"collect what sort of woman she was. As to the “What?” interrupted my father, getting up on sort of mother she was to me, the feeling of love his feet. I still cherish toward her, taken in consideration “Well, names. Of course, nobody can tell with the short time I knew her, is sufficient to why you call 'em her, 'cos nobody knows." settle that. One thing, however, I never could “And nobody ain't going to know," replies famake out. If she was the good and worthy wo-ther, in the tones a man uses when he wishes it man I am ready to vouch, how was it that my to be understood that there has been enough said father was so continually rowing with her, and on the subject. “It ain't nobody's business to calling her evil names? Why did he beat her, know, nor yet to inquire. She knows, and that's and make her cry so? One name in particular enough. When she comes a-grumbling to you, he took to calling her some months before Polly and telling you her grievances, you come and tell was born, and that was “Judas.” He would me; then we'll see about it.” shake his great fist in her face and grind his teeth, and call her “Judas ! Judas !” as though she were a rat, and he would like to stamp her

CHAPTER II. to death as one. He would curse her eyes and limbs, and throw his boots, and cups and saucers at her, and spank her about the head till her IN WHICH, BY THE NARRATION OF THE STORY OF

MY UNCLE BENJAMIN'S GREAT MISFORTUNE, SOME long black hair fell all about her face, and roar out

TERY. You infernal blood-selling Judas, if it wasn't for the boy's sake I'd strangle you !”

I by no means promise that the little light I There was a great mystery about this blood-am able to throw on the blood-selling of which selling business. Ready as was my father to my mother was accused will be entirely satisfacthrow it in her teeth, as the saying is, on the tory to the reader. I simply offer it as the best slightest provocation, or on no provocation at all, I can give. How it came to my knowledge, whehe never went into the details of the case, and, ther I was an eye-witness, or heard it from her more extraordinary still, she never seemed to ex- lips, I shouldn't like to say. Most likely I am inpect that he should. She never replied, “It is debted pretty equally to both sources. false," or inquired what he meant by it. That is, It was all about my Uncle Benjamin, who was to my knowledge. It is very possible that she my father's brother. He was a younger man may have denied it until she grew tired of doing than my father by several years, and slimmer, so, findingrthat it was better to bear the reproach and more genteel in build. He was better looksilently.

ing, too, and better off ; though why he should Again, whatever was my mother's crime, father be, considering that my father worked from mornhad his reasons for not making it public. Often ing till night, and Uncle Benjamin never appeared enough while quarrelling with her, he would bel- to work at all, was not quite clear. He was a low it out loud enough for the whole alley to hear; swaggering, joking sort of young man, and smoked but if any one-even his most intimate chum-cigars. He didn't come much to our house, and met him next day, and gave a hint that he would I was very glad of it; for although whenever he like to hear further particulars, my father never came he invariably gave me a sixpence, and sent would gratify him. I know this as a fact; for at for something to drink for my mother and father, that time I had just come into my first suit of sure as ever he was gone there would be a trecorduroys, and father was very proud, and liked mendous row, which was sure to begin out of to take me about. He used to take me to the nothing at all. As, for instance, mother would barber's on Sunday mornings, to get his weekly say, "Don't touch that little drop of gin that's shave, and I used to sit by his side on the form left, Jim; it is for my lunch to-morrow. Ben while he was waiting his turn to be lathered. said so."

“Isn't he a star?” one of my father's com “Oh! when did Ben say so? Not in my hearpanions would observe to another, in reference to ing !" me. “He all'us looks as though he'd just been "He said'so when you was down-stairs, Jim.” fresh 'arthstoned—don't he, Bob?"

“Burn you and Ben too; you're always talk“He do so. I never see such a kid; he's a ing, and whispering, and sniggering together when credit to your old woman, Jim, anyhow ?” I'm down-stairs, or somewhere else out of sight;

“Yes, she's a werry good mother, no doubt on butcher me if you ain't. He's a butchering sight it," my father would answer, shortly.

too fast; and so are you, you .!"And a werry good wife, Jim ?”

In this, or a similar way, the row invariably "Strickly as such, there's no denying on it," began and was continued. This, however, was was Jim's answer.

before Uncle Ben got married. "Pr'aps you puts it a little too strickly, Jim ?” He married a girl named Eliza, who was em" Ah ! who ses so?”.

ployed at gaiter-making somewhere in the city. “No, no; nobody ses so. But you do let her After they got married, Uncle Benjamin came have it awfully hot sometimes, Jim-now don't less frequently than ever to our house. Indeed,

I think my mother was against the match, as she “No hotter than she deserves," my father re- used to speak in a very cross way about it, and plies, growing fierce, and turning round on his in- say, “A pretty doll she is to be any man's wife !" terrogator; can you, or any man here, stand | And at this my father would turn on her with


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

an ugly laugh, and exclaim, “I dessay; very sorry had great gold ear-rings in her ears; but she for poor Ben, ain't you, Poll ?”

looked very pale and unhappy,) she held up her Sorry? of course I am. So ought you to be; finger, and pointed back up the stairs she had he's your brother!" my mother would answer. descended.

“Ba-a-a! you take me for a poor, soft-headed “Ben's out, isn't he ?" asked my mother. fool, don't you ?" would be my father's next re “ Hush! no, he's up-stairs,” replied my aunt. mark. “Don't I know you? Haven't I remark “What! Has he left his place, then ; or is he ed it, over and over again ? Turkey's the place ill ?”. for you, marm !"

“No; he's still in his situation, and he's well There must have been another dreadful mystery enough,” said Aunt Eliza; “but he's been getcouched in this sneer about “Turkey;" for, the ting tipsy again. I'm sure I don't know what is first time my father ventured to mention it, my coming to him; he keeps me sitting up night mother flew at him like a tiger, and shook him after night, and it is breakfast time before he by the collar of his jacket, at the same time comes home. It was ten this morning when he screaming out at him talk of a sort which I did came home in a cab, too tipsy to stand. He's not understand, but he evidently did, and which, lying on the bed asleep, now, just as he came combined with the shaking, seemed to completely home.” astonish and take him all aback, making him look We went up-stairs, and mother went into the quite pale and cowed-so much so, that there bedroom with Aunt Eliza, to take her bonnet off, was an end to the row, and father took up his and I went in after them. There I saw Uncle cap and went off.

Benjamin, lying across the white bed, and under If, however, my poor mother imagined that she the white curtains, with his muddy boots on his had effectually conquered him of his sneering feet, and wearing his coat, which looked as about Turkey, she was grievously mistaken. With- though he had had a tumble in the gutter. out doubt, my father had been turning the subject “ He's been lying like that since he came in," over in his mind, and upbraiding himself for being said Aunt Eliza. such a coward as he had shown himself. The “And hasn't he had anything to eat ?" said my very next evening there was another row, and mother. scarcely was it commenced when father called “He has been asleep all the time, and I don't her something, and told her to "go to Turkey !" like to wake him. It makes him so dreadfully Presuming, as I suppose, on her previous success, cross to wake him.” mother flew at him again; but this time he was “Well, if he was my husband, I should wake cool, and prepared for her. He caught her a hit him, and give him a strong cup of tea.” in the face that sent her staggering to the fender. “But, my dear, I can't do that,” returned my “You won't try that again, my beauty,” said aunt. “The cupboard is empty, Polly. I wish

he would rouse; we can't have any tea until he And she did not. Whenever he spoke of the does, for I have not got any money." eastern country in question as being a proper “Perhaps he is no richer than you are; how place for her to reside in, (which was neither do you know you will be better off for money more nor less than every time he quarrelled with when he wakes than you are now? It's about her,) she would make no reply save a look of ten to one that my Jim has a single penny when contempt, and utter a little laugh that set my he comes home drunk,” observed my mother, father foaming almost.

who, now I come to think of it, seemed rather Uncle Benjamin and Aunt Eliza lived in fur- pleased to have found out that fine gentleman nished apartments, in a street somewhere near Ben was, after all, no better than her Jim in some St. Martin's Lane, Westminster. They ate and respects. drank of the best, and wore such fine clothes as “No fear of that,” replied Aunt Eliza, pridemade everybody in Fryingpan Alley stare when, fully; “Ben has always got plenty of money, by a rare chance, they came to see us. The busi- that's one comfort. I know that he has got some ness in which Ben Ballisat (my name is James loose silver in his waistcoat pocket, for I heard it Ballisat, at the reader's service) was engaged was rattle when he lay down. You can see that he a flourishing one. Each succeeding visit saw him has. Look, Polly, that left-hand pocket is quite richer than the preceding; till, finally, he came bulgy with it." wearing kid gloves and patent-leather boots, while "Well, of course, we all have our own way of Aunt Eliza was attired in a dress of peach-colored managing,” said my mother (we had returned to silk, and a bonnet that excited in our alley a uni- the front room by this time,)" and you have your versal hum of astonishment and admiration. way, Liz; but all I know is, that if I had a hus

Occasionally, my mother went to see Aunt band asleep and tipsy, with a pocketful of money, Eliza. She never seemed to care about seeing and if I had no money and wanted a cup of tea, Uncle Ben, and that was easily avoided if she you wouldn't catch me sitting like a dummy until chose her time; for my uncle invariably went out it happened to please his lordship to wake up." at about three in the afternoon, and remained out This, however, could have been nothing but until late. He told Aunt Eliza that he held a foolish bragging on my mother's part. She touch situation at a fashionable tavern at the west-end a penny of my father's money while he was asleep! of the town, where there were billiard tables She dare not approach him to loosen his necker

chief when he came home helplessly, speechlessly One Monday afternoon, my mother, who had tipsy, and lay sprawling over a chair, with his not seen aunt for nearly a month, made up her head all askew, and snorting and gasping at every mind to go and take a cup of tea with her; and breath. she took me, by way of a treat. It was past I have known my father come home in a state three when we arrived; but when Aunt Eliza of intoxication, bringing with him a bit of fish for opened the door (she wore a green silk gown, and his supper, and when he has thrown it down with

my father.


out & word, and lain down to sleep, my mother “I liked it well enough,” replied Uncle Benjahas sat, fretting and anxious, certain of the thrash- min. ing that was in store for her the instant he woke. "But wasn't it very nice, Ben-extra nice ?" If she boiled the fish, she would catch it for “Get out with you,” said Uncle Ben, laughing; not frying it, and vice versa ; and if she left it un you are fishing for what you won't catch, my cooked, she would not be a bit better off

. “She dear. You want me to praise you up before wouldn't sit there like a dummy,” indeed! Why, Polly. I don't mean to do it.” she would sit so from dark to daylight if he “But wasn't it a lovely lobster, Ben ?" asked willed it.

my mother. “What would you do, then, Polly ?” asked "I don't mind confessing to you that it was a Aunt Eliza.

lovely lobster, Polly," replied Uncle Ben ; “ but I “Do! why, help myself."

mustn't do as much with Liz. You don't know how “ It would serve him right, certainly; and if I artful she is. If I was to say to her that I liked it thought he would not make a fuss about it". very much, she would not only want me to give

" Lor', what nonsense,” interrupted my mother. her back the money she gave for it, but some“Where's the harm? What's his is yours, isn't thing in addition for the trouble of getting it.” it? But please yourself ; don't let me give you Then turning to his wife, he continued advice that may get you into trouble; you know "Thank'ee for your lobster, Mrs. Extravagance. Ben's temper better than I do, of course. He's I'm glad to see you can afford such luxuries; I like all the rest of 'em, I suppose shows a bit of can't.” the devil when he's scratched.”

So saying, he pulled out a handsome cigar-case, “Oh! I'm not afraid, Polly; don't think that. and lit a cigar with the air of a man on perfect If he has any of the devil in him, he never shows good terms with himself. This was capital sport it to me."

for my mother and Aunt Liza, and they laughed “I'll tell you what we will do for a lark, Liz, if very heartily over it. you like,” said my mother, presently. “One of "It is good to see the clever ones taken in once us will creep in and take enough money out of in a while; isn't it?” said my aunt. that waistcoat pocket to buy something very nice “What do you mean, taken in ?” asked Uncle indeed for tea-something that will make him Ben, pausing between the puffs of his cigar. “It think how kind and good-natured you are; and was a lobster, wasn't it?" then, when he has eaten it and we have got him “Yes, and you paid for it, you goose," laughed to say how much he liked it, we will laugh at him my mother. for standing treat without knowing it. What is He laughed too, but it was plain that he did there that he likes very much, Liz?”

not exactly see where the joke was. “Well, there's pickled salmon," replied Aunt “I see," said he; "you mean to say that I shall Eliza, laughing, and readily agreeing to the joke; pay for it in the long run. Not the least doubt "he greatly inclines to that when he wants to of it." sober himself; or there's lobsters, which he likes “No: we don't mean anything of the sort," better still. But lobsters are so dear."

replied my mother, still laughing ; we mean “Never mind,” said my mother, “ we'll have a that it is already paid for with ready money-with lobster; if you are afraid, Liz, I'll take the money your ready money, Ben.” out of his pocket, and you shall go and spend it." My ready money!”

So, creeping quietly on tiptoe into the room “Not half an hour ago," said both women, where Uncle Ben lay still asleep, my mother pre- clapping their hands in great glee, to see how sently returned with a half-crown and a shilling foolish he looked. in her hand.

“Rubbish !" said Uncle Ben; "I haven't paid “ Here is the money, Liz,” said my mother; for a pen'orth of anything since I've been home, “now, you run away and buy a lobster—a big I'll swear, What ready money are you talking one, mind—and what else you want, while I make about ? " the kettle boil.”

“Some of that you've got in your waistcoat The lobster was bought, and when the tea was pocket, Benny, dear," answered his wife. “Polly all ready Uncle Ben was awoke. Aunt went in took it out and I spent it.” to wake him, and, as we could hear, she told the If he did not see the joke now, he never would truth when she said that it made him cross to be see it. Evidently something came home to him awoke out of his sleep. He grumbled and swore with appalling suddenness, but it wasn't anything at a tremendous rate, until aunt made him under- funny. His face went white, as though he were stand that we were in the front room, and then about to faint and fall, and unknown to him, the he moderated his tones, and presently made his cigar dropped from between his lips and lay appearance in his shirt-sleeves and his slippers. smouldering on the new hearth-rug. At first he seemed ashamed that my mother “Out of my pocket--my waistcoat pocketshould have found him in such a disgraceful while I was asleep!” stammered he.

in Out of state, and was snappish in his answers to aunt; which pocket ? which ? which ?” but he grew better-tempered when he sat down “The left-hand pocket-yes, that one, (he clapto the lobster, and laughed and told us some fun- ped his hand on it.) Not much, dear; only threeny stories, at which my mother and aunt seemed and-sixpence, Ben—a shilling and a half crown. greatly amused. On the whole, it was as jolly a I shouldn't have thought of it, only Polly”tea as one could wish to sit down to. When it “Hang Polly and you too!” interrupted my was at an end, and my uncle had withdrawn from uncle, fiercely, bustling about in a tremendous the table, said Aunt Liza, as she was preparing to hurry, and putting on his coat and hat. “I want take away the tea things

to hear none of your infernal excuses; tell me “Well, now you have finished your tea, Ben, where you palm—where you passed the half-crown perhaps you will tell us how you liked it ?” and the shilling?"

“ The fishmonger in Castle Street had the half- ficant glance with which Uncle Benjamin recrown, and the grocer next to the trunk shop had garded my mother as he spoke, nor that his eyes, the shilling," replied my Aunt Eliza, beginning to with a dangerous expression in them, shifted from cry: “Don't be angry, Ben; I'll never do it her to a broad bread-knife lying handily. In a again."

twinkling the handcuffs were produced from the " Then you are a great fool, Liz,” spoke my officer's pocket, and Uncle Ben's wrists locked mother, who was much put out to see the savage securely together. way in which Uncle Ben was going on. “Never It was a perfectly clear case against the passer cry about nothing, girl. Why, what harm have of counterfeit coin, and Uncle Ben was sentenced you done?”

to transportation beyond the seas for the term of “What harm !” repeated Uncle Benjamin, his natural life. There was no help for it but that furiously.

my mother should be a witness in the case, and "Yes, what harm ?” replied my mother, coolly. the least she could make of what she had to say “I'd be ashamed if I were you, Ben ; you, with told strongly against him, and made him grin a pocketful of money, making all this fuss about with hate and grate his teeth as he stood there in a trumpery three-and-sixpence. Anybody, to hear the dock listening to her. He had got it into his you, would think that your money was bad, and obstinate head that she had sold him, and nothing that you were afraid of its being brought back to could shake his opinion. you by the people who had taken it.”

“That is my own brother's wife-that is," spoke Without doubt this was a random shot, but it he, when my mother had given her evidence. hit the mark most cruelly. Uncle Benjamin was "That's my own brother's wife," said he, at the walking the room to and fro in a bewildered man same time showing her to the people in court with ner when she began to speak, but her words his pointed finger. “She comes to my house, and brought him suddenly to a dead standstill. He she eats my bread, and sits, and laughs, and talks faced round at mother paler than ever, and with with us, and all this after she has set the trap. his eyes filled with tears, and laying one hand on She wheedles me and my innocent wife, who, as her shoulder, he shook his fist in her face : true as there is a Lord above us, knew no more

“You cruel wretch,” cried he; "you wicked of my ways of getting money than her unborn wretch! you knew it all along! you knew it, and baby. She comes to us, and eats, and drinks, you came here purposely to sell me."

and laughs, and talks, till presently, them as she And as though really she had been guilty of so had sold me to comes and takes me. Bad luck base a thing, and they who had bought him were to you, Polly! Beware of her, Jim!” (my father in a hurry to complete the transaction, there came was in court to hear the trial,) “she is a bad one." a single rap at the street door even while he was speaking. Hearing the knock, Uncle Benjamin made a few hurried steps towards the passage, but before he could reach it the street door was

CHAPTER III. opened by the landlady; and in walked a fishmonger, and a grocer, and a policeman.

IN WHICH THE READER IS MADE ACQUAINTED WITH “Beg pardon, sir, and ladies both,” said the policeman, entering the room with the other two men, and putting his back against the door;

hope we don't disturb you. We've merely It is my sincere belief that my mother no more called to see if you happen to have any more of deserved to be stigmatised as Judas, through her this sort of article to dispose of. If so, I'll take connexion with that unlucky business of Uncle it off your hands without further trouble." Ben's, than the reader's respected self; at the

As he spoke, he held out a bright new shilling same time, I am bound to admit that my father and a half-crown in the palm of his hand. appears to have thought otherwise, and for my

Uncle Ben was evidently not unprepared for own part I hardly know whether to wish that something of the sort. Oh, yes,” said he, in a such was really his impression. If so, it was some loud devil-may-care voice; " it's all right; you're excuse for his brutal behaviour towards her. come to the right shop, my man, for that sort of Only some, however; not enough, by a very long coin. I can change you a twenty pun' note if you way, to justify him in beating, and taunting, and don't object to take gold as well as silver. Look worrying her to death. And that's what it came here."

to. And so saying, he took from his waistcoat At the same time, I must do my father the juspocket, and from a pocket inside the breast of his tice to state my opinion, that while he was bullywaistcoat, several little packets of money done up ing and beating her he did not have it in his mind in soft white paper, and all as spick and span new that he was killing her. I am willing to give him as the shilling and half-crown the policeman held credit for thinking that she was of the same hardy in his hand. As he recklessly flung down the and enduring kind as the majority of the women little packets, the papers burst, and the coins went living in our alley. I judge so, from many reasons ; rolling and chinking amongst the cups and sau- from the one which I am about to relate more cers in the tea-tray at a tremendous rate.

than any other. “That's the lot, my friend,” said Uncle Benja It was on a Friday afternoon, in the summer min, addressing the officer, and at the same time time, that, coming in from play in the alley, I clasping his hands together. And now, if made my way up-stairs to the front room in which you've got such a thing as a pair of bracelets we lived, and, to my great astonishment, was perabout you, I'll thank you to slip them on me emptorily refused admittance by a person of the quick. If you don't you may have to book a name of Jenkins, who with her husband lodged on worse charge than that of smashing against me." the floor below ours, but who on this occasion

Luckily, the policeman did not miss the signi- I was in our room. As I turned the latch, I could


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »