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And he imitated the voice and gestures of a “Where are you goin', then ?" asked Mouldy, Fery savage policeman, flourishing his fist as in surprise. though he held á staff in it.

“With you,” I boldly replied. My first feeling on turning round, despite the “But we're a-goin' to the 'Delphi, don't I tell pain the hair-pulling had occasioned me, was one you !" said Mouldy. of thankfulness. The two boys were not Jerry “ So am I.” Pape and his companion. They were of about Mouldy whistled, and looked in astonishment the same size, or perhaps a little bigger, but per- at Ripston. fectly strange boys to me.

"What? ain't your lodgin's no nigher than the “Do you hear me, sir ?" continued the sham arches ?" asked the latter. policeman, fiercely, feeling in his pockets for a “The 'Delphi, you said ; you didn't say anypair of handcuffs. "Are you a-goin' to move on, thing about arches,” said I. or am I to put yer where I'll be able to find yer "Well, the 'Delphi is th arches, and the archin the mornin' ? You'd better go home quiet. es is the 'Delphi-ain't they ?” observed Ripston, I won't take no bails for you, don't you know, if "Are they? Well, I didn't know. How should I once gets you to the station.”

I, when I never was there ?" “Go home yourself," I retorted, wriggling out “Never was there? Why, you just said that of his grasp and jumping down from my perch. you lodged there." “Why don't you go home and leave a feller “Well," said I,“ if you must know the full alone "

particulars, I haven't got no lodgin's to go to." “We're a-goin' home," observed the other boy, “No reglar lodgin's, you mean.” who had been laughing at the sham policeman “No lodgin's at all,” I replied, “only here,”– until he was compelled to hold on by the bars. and I glanced round the pens. “We've been to the gaff, up in Shoreditch, and “Oh, that's all gammon, you know !" spoke this is our way home.” And then, addressing Mouldy. “Every cove's got a lodgin'! What his companion, said hem

have you done with your old lodgin'?”. “Come along, Mouldy ! We shan't get to What had I done with it? That was a quesWestminister to-night."

tion blunt as it was unexpected ; and by the Now, I had been to Covent Garden with my fa- manner in which the two boys eyed me and each ther several times, and I knew that it was in or other, it was plain that they saw the confusion it near Westminster; but I had always ridden on occasioned me. Mouldy pursued his inquiries. the barrow, starting direct from home. From “If you hain't got no lodgin',” said he,“ how my present position I was much perplexed as to do you get your wittles ?” which was the best way to the market; and hear "And where do you go of Sundays ?” put in ing the boy mention Westminster as a place with Ripston. which he was familiar, I thought it was a good I had made up mind to conceal my affairs enopportunity to obtain a little information on the tirely from my new friends for the present, at subject.

least ; and here, all of a sudden, I found myself "What part of Westminster do you live in ?” cornered, without any chance of escape. "But, I asked of the boy who had last spoken, and who after all, where was the danger ? To all appearhad hair of the same colour as Mrs. Burke's, as ance, they were boys who got their own living, was plainly to be seen through the holes in his and took care of themselves, without anybody's cap.

control. Perhaps it might be to my advantage "What part? Why, the 'spectable part. Don't to tell them how I was situated, or pretty nearly; we, Ripston?" replied the youth who had been they might be able to advise me how to set about addressed as Mouldy.

getting work. “1 should ha' thought that he might have “If I tell you all about it, will you promise knowed that by our 'pearance, without arstin',” that you won't split ?" I asked. observed Ripston.

Both the lads solemnly assured me that they “But is it near Covent Garden ?" I asked. would suffer death rather than be guilty of such “What, Common Garden Theayter ?" answer- baseness. ed Mouldy, cocking his cap and giving his side “Then,” said I, “I used to lodge at home. I locks a twist in imitation of the habits of the lodged there last night." aristocracy. “Oh, yes! It's just a short ride in " What, along with your father and mother, our broom from our house to the theayter; and and that ?" asked Ripston. Ripston and me goes whacks in a private box, “ Yes." Don't we, Ripston ?”

"And you've run away, and don't mean to go “ What's the use of tellin' such jolly lies ?” back any more?". laughed Ripston. “Where we live is nigh Com “I'll never go back again,” I answered, with mon Garden--both the market and the theayter. great sincerity. “I daren't go back.” We lodges in the 'Delphi-that's where we lodges. "I see,” said · Mouldy, sagaciously nodding his Where do you lodge, young un?”

head. “What was it that you nailed ?” It didn't much matter where I lodged. No “Nailed ?" doubt I should be able to find a place near the “Ay! prigged, don't you know? Did they market-perhaps in the market itself—where I ketch it on you, or did you get clean off with it ?” might pass the night quite as comfortably as in “ What do you mean? Did they ketch what Smithfield, to say nothing of the advantages of op me?" being shown my way and being on the spot in “Well, that's good !” laughed Mouldy. “How good time in the morning. Without hesitation, should I know what it was you stole? I wasn't I jumped out of the pen and into the pathway there, was I ?” where they were.

“But I didn't steal anything. It was because “Come on," said I; “it's getting late.” I was whacked so, that I ran away.”

The boys looked incredulous; and Mouldy laid

CHAPTER XIII. his forefinger along the side of his nose, and winked impressively.

THE DARK ARCHES AND THE INHABITANTS THERE, “So you ran away on'y because you was I WITNESS A LARK, AS PERFORMED BY THEM, whacked, eh ?” observed Ripston.

MY FIRST NIGHT'S LODGING IN A VAN. “Only! If you ever had any such weltings as I've been used to, you wouldn't say 'only.

LATE as it was nearly eleven o'clock—there "But did you get reg’lar wittles, and all that ?" was plenty of noise and bustle, and so many peo“Pretty fair."

ple about, that it was as much as we could do to "And à reg'lar bed-reg'lar don't you know, keep up the trot without danger of being knocked with sheets and blankets, and a bolster ?" over, or at least of having our toes trod on. “Why, of course," I replied.

“Come on,” said Ripston, looking over his “Oh! of course, is it ?” sneered Ripston; shoulder, “we're nearly there." "and you wants us to believe that you gets all This remark cheered me considerably. Since this—your wittles, and your bed with sheets to we had turned into the Strand, I had been thinkit-and just because you was whacked you run ing what a beautiful part of the town Mouldy and away and are afeard to go home again ? You're the other boy lived in, or at least near, and how a jolly liar, that's what you are."

much I should like to live there too; but then ""Else à jolly fool, which is wuss," spoke followed the alarming thought that my companMouldy, decidedly.

ions were going “home”_home to their lodg“You ain't obliged to believe me; but what ings. They had told me so. I had not been inI've told you is all true," was all I could say. vited to come with them; I had accompanied

“Well, strange things does happen and so them voluntarily, and could expect nothing betp'r'aps it is,” said Ripston ; " but what I ses ter than that they would presently turn into the is this—a chap wot runs away from good wittles house where they lodged, leaving me to get on as and comfor'ble lodgin's just because he gets best I could. But Ripston had said, “Come on; whacked, oughter to be kept out of 'em till he we are nearly there." Nearly at his lodgings learns the walue of 'em."

that meant, of course; and I was invited to come “I wish somebody would grub me, and give on. me a comfor'ble lodgin on them terms," inter I had lagged behind a good bit, partly because posed Mouldy.

I was so very tired, and partly because a minute “They wouldn't get much profit on yer, Moul- or so before somebody had trod on my left heel ; dy,” grinned his companion; “ but don't you be but I responded to Ripston's invitation as cheerily afeard; he's done something more’n he peaches as possible, and put my best leg foremost. to, only he won't say, because he thinks we'll All of a sudden, however, I missed both of split; and werry natural.”

them; they had vanished as completely as though Ripston was younger than Mouldy—two years they had melted. younger, at least; but it was evident from his Where were they? Perhaps I had run past manner and speech that his worldly experience them. It seemed hardly likely, careful as I had was very wide.

been to keep my eyes on them ; but there was no All the time this conversation had been going other solution to the mystery. on, we had been scudding along at as brisk a I turned back a few paces, calling out their pace as Mouldy's slipslop boots would permit, up names, but nobody answered. I hurried on the Old Bailey and by Newgate, (where my com- twenty yards or so, and called out “Ripston” as panions having inquired whether I knew at which loud as I was able. Still no reply, and not a door they brought people out to hang 'em, and trace of them to be seen. received from me an intimation tha

I did not,

depression that had fallen on kindly paused for a moment to enlighten me,) out heavily while we were making our way through into Ludgate Street, and across the road into the courts and alleys, and which the glare and turnings and twistings dingier than any I had yet liveliness of the highway had nearly dispelled, met with. Had it been daylight, the effect of now returned with greater force than before. My perambulating such narrow, gloomy courts and dismal conviction was, that the boys had designalleys would have had anything but an enliven- edly given me the slip. They didn't like my ing effect on one's spirits; but, instead of day company, and finding themselves so near home, light, it was pitchy dark; and when I reflected they had not scrupled to cut me in this uncere that every step I took carried me farther away monious manner. Perhaps even they had altofrom home from that home which, miserable gether misled me in telling me that they were goand cruel as it had been to me, my companions, ing near to Covent Garden Market ; for all I knew who might be regarded as competent judges into the contrary, Covent Garden might be altogesuch matters, had declared that I was a jolly fool ther another road—I might be miles farther away for leaving, --I began to be filled with remorse, from it than when I started ! and tears forced themselves into my eyes. Had This last reflection was of so overwhelming a I been compelled to talk, I should undoubtedly character, that I could no longer control my grief. have betrayed my emotion; but, as luck-good I stepped off the path, and looked disconsolately or bad—would have it, my companions had set- this way and that down the long endless-looking tled down to silence; indeed, the shuffling trot road, and then I brought up against a lamp-post had begun to tell on them, leaving them no spare and began to give vent to my sorrow to a tune breath for conversation. So we sped along, I which, no doubt, had it been long persisted in, keeping a little in the rear, till at last we sud- would speedily have brought a mob round me. denly emerged from the dingy alleys and turned Suddenly, however, to my great joy, a wellinto the wide, gas-lit Strand.

recollected voice saluted my ears."

me

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« Smiffield! where are you?"

coming, and to prognosticate that every cart and Smithfield was not my name, but that was the van would be full. place where my two friends had encountered me, The pavement under our feet grew colder and and no doubt they gave me that name from know- muddier, and the wind more and more foul. ing no other. Besides, it was Mouldy's voice, un Well, I d'n know," spoke Ripston, in the mistakably.

dark, “but it smells to me werry much like spring “Here I am," I replied. “Where are you ?” tides." “Here ; don't you see ?"

“Get out, you fool!" replied Mouldy; "spring I did not see. The voice seemed to come out tides is all over for this year. Don't you know of one of the private doorways by the side of the the smell of a low tide from a high ’un? You shops just opposite to which I was standing, but oughter by this time.” which I could not for my life make out. Be “Ah! well, I s'pose it's the mud I smells,” sides, that was the last place I should have said Ripston. thought of looking, not dreaming that my friends “Where are we going ?" I asked. were respectable enough to occupy such splendid does this lead to ?” lodgings.

“ Into the river, if we keep straight on,” replied Presently, however, a boy darted out of one of Ripston laughing. the said doorways, for so it seemed, and seized Into the river!” me by the arm.

“What do you want to funk him for ?" inter“ Is that you, Mouldy?” I asked.

posed Mouldy, kindly. “Yes, Smiffield, it do “ 'Course it's me," replied he, impatiently, and lead into the river if we keep straight on; but giving me a jerk forward. “Come on, if you're we hain't a-goin' to keep straight on; we're goin? a-comin'."

to turn off presently.” I speedily discovered that it was not a private I was full of fright, and now only allowed myhouse into which Mouldy had pulled me, but a self to be led on, because had I turned to go back low and narrow passage, with a paving of cobble- I would never have found my way. Besides, it stones, just such as Fryingpan Alley was paved was so dreadfully dark, and if I went back it with. The air of the place blew against my face, would be alone. Mouldy still held my hand, and / damp and deadly cold, and it was so pitchy dark Ripston came on behind, singing a bit of a comic that to see even a foot before you was impossible. song he had heard that night in Shoreditch probaAfter permitting myself to be led into the fright- bly, and as unconcerned as though he was treadful passage for a few yards, my terror brought me ing the most clean and cheerful of paths. By and to a stand-still.

by we turned out of the passage, and down a flight “Is this—this where you live, Mouldy ?" I of steps; and when we had reached the bottom, asked.

Mouldy said “Down here," answered he; “down here a “Here we are. Now, you take his t'other hand, good step yet. Come on; what are you fright- Rip, or else he'll be runnin' agin something, and ened of ?"

breakin' his legs." “It's so dark, Mouldy."

“Lift your feet up, Smiffield,” said Ripston; “I dessay—to coves wot always gets reg'lar" if you kicks agin anything werry soft and warm, wittles, and burn wax candles in their private don't you stoop to pick it up, thinkin' it's a lady's bed-rooms; but we ain't so pertikler in these muff or somethink; 'cos if you do, it 'll bite yer.” parts. Come on, or leave go my hand, and let “What will bite me?” I asked, most earnestly, me go.”

wishing in my heart that I had remained all night I had him by the hand as tight as I could hold in the pig market. him. I didn't know what to do. Mouldy must “Why, a rat,” replied Ripston, maliciously have felt my arm tremble, I think.

enjoying my terror. “Bless you, they runs about "Lor', there's nothink to funk about, young here big as good-sized cats—don't they, Mouldy ??' 'un," said he, in almost a kind voice. "If we "Don't you b’lieve him, Smiffield,” said his make haste we shall find a wan or a cart, with a friend; “'course there is rats, but they're jolly good bit of dry straw to lay on. That hain't to glad to get out of the way if they've got the be sneezed at, don't you know, on a cold chance, when they see you comin'." night."

“Oh, yes! they're good at gettin' out of the way, Thus encouraged, I allowed myself to be led ain't they ? Quite perlite ; and stands up and farther into the dark, damp passage, which was makes bows and curtseys to you when you come so very steep and slippery with wet, that if I had their road, I shouldn't wonder !" sneered Riphad shoes on, I should have slipped forward a ston. “How about the old woman as they part dozen times. What Mouldy meant by his allu- eat the other night; eh, Mouldy? They wasn't sion to carts and vans, and dry straw, I could not werry perlite to her.” at all understand. If such things were to be “You hold your jaw and come on, that's quite found at the bottom of the dismal alley we were enough for you to do; or p'raps you might be descending, they were not to be despised by a made," replied Mouldy, threateningly; and Master poor boy in want of a lodging; and, without Ripston, taking the hint, said no more. doubt, I did want a lodging. Besides, it was very It was a horrible place. How large, it was imgood on Mouldy's part to offer me, quite unso- possible to guess; but that it had reeking brick licited, a share of his bed, humble though it was, walls could be plainly made out by the light of and it would seem very unkind to refuse him. the few glimmering 'tallow candles stuck here So screwing up my courage as I went, I kept up and there. These scarce scraps of candle were with Mouldy. Down and down, each moment the only means of light, and each of them evithe wind blowing in our faces colder and fouler. dently was private property, and set up for the Presently we overtook Ripston, who began to convenience of the individuals to whom it begrowl at a fine rate at the long time we were in longed, and who were.lazily grouped about it.

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About twenty yards from the spot at which we “Right tol tiddy-iddy” chorus, the boys joined in entered, there was one of these bits of candle it, and just when the old man least expected it, stuck against the wall, supported by an old “cork- a dab of mud was thrown, completely plastering screw” knife, the screw being wedged in between over the solitary spectacle glass, and then anthe green wet bricks, and the broken blade serv- other, extinguishing the candle against the wall ing as a candle-holder. The light was about three with a hiss, and bringing it to the ground, while feet from the ground, and squatted in the reflec- the mirth in the cart grew more uproarious than tion of it was a ragged and dirty old man, mend before. ing a boot. He had the lid of a fish-basket for å Come on," exclaimed Mouldy; “it's no use seat, and his tools were an old dinner fork and a stopping here any longer; our wan's up at the bit of twine. The fork was for boring holes in furder end.” the leather; and when he had made a hole, the Catching tight hold on the tails of Mouldy's old man would straighten the end of the twine be- coat, I followed in his footsteps in the direction tween his lips, and hold up the dilapidated boot indicated. to the candlelight, the better to see where to make Evidently he as well as his friend Ripston was the hitch, He had spectacles on-at least a pair used to the place; for while they stepped along of rims, with one glass in—and certainly it did without hesitation, I could scarcely put one foot make a queer picture to see the old fellow puck- before the other without slipping along the oozy ering up his mouth, and with his head on one side, floor, or running foul of cart-shafts and tracemaking the most of the solitary glass; his hand chains, which the little light shed by the few shaking so all the while, that even when he had candles failed to render distinguishable from the spied the hole in which the twine was to go, he thick darkness. Besides, nobody's candle but was quite half a minute before he could make the one by which the old " miser” (he was a poor good the stitch. Besides revealing him, the old old used-up Punch-and-Judy man, as I afterwards man's candle shone on the wheel and side of a cart ascertained) was mending his boots, had a chance a few yards distant. The body of the cart was of showing much light about the place, each one hidden in the darkness, but, as might be known being surrounded by a mob of boys and young by their laughing and scrambling, there were sev- men, squatting, some on the wet ground, and eral boys in it, and they were amusing themselves some on wisps of straw, playing cards or gamby pelting the old man's candle with mud. bling with halfpence. As could be seen, some

“It's old Daddy Riddle, isn't it?” observed of the players had a bottle amongst them, and Ripston, as the boys stopped for a moment to see all were smoking short pipes, and swearing and the fun,

laughing at a fine rate. “Yes, the old beggar," replied Mouldy. "Serve Presently we came to a standstill. him right. Ha! ha! See that, Smiffield ?” (it “Hold hard, Smiffield ; this is our wan,” said was because a dab of mud struck the old man on Mouldy; and the next instant I could hear him, the forehead that Mouldy laughed.) “Hain't it a although I could not see him, climbing the spokes lark?"

of the waggon-wheel. “Why does it serve him right? What has he “How is it?" asked Ripston. done to them?" I asked.

"All right,” replied Mouldy, from the van. “What's he done? Why, he's a miser,” re “Up you goes, then," observed Ripston to me. plied Mouldy, with much disgust. “They do say “Here, put your foot on the spokes, and I'll give that all his money–hundreds and thousands, and you a bunch up." all in gold—is hid under a stone somewheres un He did so. He “bunched” me so hard, that der these arches. Lor send we might 'fall acrost I was bundled hands and knees on to the floor that stone-eh, Rip?"

of the vehicle. But Ripston was otherwise engaged, and couldn't As Ripston was climbing in, he was heard to

A well-aimed lump of mud had knocked sniff loudly. “I thought as how you said it was the boot out of the miser's hand just as he was all right ?” said he, addressing Mouldy, in a dissucceeding in pushing his twine through a hole he appointed voice. “ You hain't got no straw in had bored, and now he was on his hands and knees there, I'll lay a farden." groping in the dark to find his old boot again. “Not a mite," replied Mouldy. Such a roar of laughter arose from the cart where “I know'd it,” returned Ripston. “I know'd the boys were, as made the vaulted roof ring it as soon as my nose came acrost the wheel. again, and Ripston laughed as loud as anybody. * Hallo !' thinks I, it's been coals to-day.' Jigger

"Do let me finish the job, there's good lads,” coals, I say;" and the young fellow floundered exclaimed the old man, when he had found his sulkily into the van. property. "If you 'll only leave off pelting just “I should give warnin', if I was you Rip," obas long as I can put half-a-dozen more stitches, served Mouldy, playfully. "I should write to you shall have the candle to toss or play cards by, the cove as the wan belongs to, and tell him that just as you like.”

if he can't keep off coals, and do nothink else “All right, daddy; sing us another song, and 'cept move goods, so that there may alwis be a we'll be mum as hysters,” called some one from good whack of straw left in the wan, you cert'ny the cart.

must change your lodgin's.". “Well, well, what shall I sing you ?”

“It ain't on’y there bein' no straw," replied “ Jolly Nose,” “ Hot Codlings,” “ Tippity Ripston, savagely, “it's the jolly coal dust that Witchit."

gets up your nose when the wind blows underHot codlings, however, were in a majority; and neath and up the cracks.

What do you say, in his high, cracked, shaky voice the old man be- Smiffield ?" gan the song, at the same time making the most “ Is this where we are goin' to sleep?" of the truce time to finish his cobbling. When “This is the crib, and you are welcome to a he had got through the first verse, and began the I share on it,” replied Mouldy, hospitably.

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“But whereabouts is the bed ?" I asked.

" It's all accordin' to what sort of a taste “The what ?" asked Mouldy,

you've got,” said Ripston; fellows don't “The bed. There is a bed, isn't there?” care how cold they lay, so long as they lay soft.

“Oh, yes; a stunner; all stuffed choke full of Other fellows are all t'other way, and 'ud sooner goose's feathers, and a lot of pillars and blankets, sleep in a brick-kil than anywheres. How do you and that. They're about here somewheres !" like it, Smiffield ?” And Mouldy went round the van scraping with “I like to sleep warm, and soft as well,” was his foot. “Where is that bed, Rip ?" continued my tearful answer. he; “jiggered if I can find it."

What! and both at once, I s'pose," sneered Ripston, whose appreciation of his friend's fun Mouldy. “I wish you might get it. If you're was of the keenest, only laughed, without answer- goin' to be piller, down with you; if you ain't, ing.

say so, and let somebody else. We don't want “Oh! ah! I recollect now, Smiffield !" said no snivellin' in our wan neither, so I can tell yer, Mouldy, seriously; "it was seized with the rest jolly young watery head! I'm sorry as we was of our furniture when we had the brokers in the fools enough to take up with yer !" other day. Get out with you! comin' and cockin' I hastened as well as I was able to explain to it over us with your talk about beds. Hark here ! Mouldy that I was crying because I couldn't help this is our bed"-and he rapped with his boot- it, and not to give him offence. I assured him heel on the boards" if it ain't soft enough for that I was quite willing to do anything to make you, get underneath ; which it's mud up to your things comfortable; and that if he would show ankles.”

me how to be pillow, I would go at it at once. “Don't you mind him," observed the softer “It don't want no showing," replied Mouldy, hearted Ripston, when he had had his laugh out; somewhat mollified. “Piller's the one that lays “it ain't so comfor'ble as in general, Smiffield, down for the others to lay their heads on. There 'cos of the want of straw. Why, sometimes we can't be anything plainer than that, can there? finds as much straw in this wan as would fill-He's soft for their heads; and they keeps him well, a sack I was goin' to say, but werry nigh. warm. That squares it comfor'ble, don't yer see?" That's fine, don't you know! Just you fancy “Here, out of the way,” exclaimed Ripston, at comin' in on a cold night, thinkin' what a precious the same time huddling down into a corner of the miserable cove you are, and how you are a-goin' van; “don't let us have any more talk about it; to get them aches agin in all the knobby parts of I'm piller; come on." your bones wot presses agin the planks! You “Now, you do as I do, Smiffield,” exclaimed think this, and reg'ler in the blues you climbs up Mouldy, at the same time laying down. But to into your wan, and there you finds a whole lot of do as he did was impossible. In the greediest. straw-dry straw mind you—and you've only got manner he monopolised the whole of Ripston's to rake it together, and bury your head and shoul- body, leaving no “piller” for my head to repose ders in it! Oh!"

on but such as was afforded by Ripston's legs. And the bare recollection of the luxury made But there was no use in grumbling, so down I Ripston draw in his breath, with a noise as lay. though he was sipping hot and delicious soup. "Do you feel like going to sleep right off, Rip?"

“But isn't it cold when you undress yourself?" asked Mouldy, after a silence of a few minutes. I asked.

“'Course I does; I was half off then, afore “Dunno," replied Ripston, shortly; "never you spoke ; don't you feel like goin' to sleep, tried it."

Mouldy?” “Never tried undressing yourself to go to bed ?”. “I never do somehow arter them combats. My

“ The last time I was undressed, -altogether, eyes ! fancy three coves a-breakin? into your ship don't you know," said Ripston, “was--ah, last like that, and you only with your shirt and trowAugust, if I recollects right. It was when the sis, and a pair of cutlashes to defend yourself!" plums was ripe, anyhow. You recollects the time, “Yes, they puts things on the stage werry Mouldy; the werry last time we went into the neat at that Shoreditch gaff,” replied Ripston, Serpentine. Lor' bless your silly young eyes, sleepily; "good night." Smiffield ; if we was to go undressin' and coddlin

“Good night.” of ourselves up, what time do you think we There was another lull of about a minute's should get up in the mornin'? We've got our duration, and then Mouldy spoke again. livin' to get, don't you know ?”

Sleep, Rip ?" “We sha'n't be up very early to-morrow morn No answer. in' if we don't mind,” yawned Mouldy; "it must “D'ye hear? Sleep, old Rip ?” be close upon twelve now. Come on; let's turn “Gallus me if I'll be piller at all if you don't in if we're a-goin to."

keep quiet,” replied Ripston, savagely; "now, “I'm ready,” replied Ripston. “Stop a bit, what's the matter ?” though—who's a-goin' to be piller ?”

“I never see such a chap as you; you never I didn't know in the least what Ripston meant, likes to lay awake and talk about what you've so I took no notice of his question.

seen,” said Mouldy, in a conciliatory tone. “There's alwis a shyness about bein' pillar “Do you mean to say as you've woke a fellow when there ain't no straw," laughed Ripston. up to tell him that !” said Ripston, with increased

“Will you be piller, Smiffield ?" asked Mouldy. ferocity.

I felt so perfectly wretched that I didn't care "I was on'y goin' to ask you a question, Rip. what I was; I told them so.

Do you think it was a real body which the rob“Well, we don't want to be hard on you," ob-bers chucked down the well ?” served Mouldy; " but now that there's three on “I'm certain on it; I see'd a hand of it us, we may as well enjoy ourselves. You haven't through a hole in the sack,” replied Ripston, mano call to be piller without you like, you know.” | liciously.

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