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In another corner, not far from the dogs, lay a ragged little tarry-looking boy, fast asleep on some straw, covered by an old piece of sail-cloth.
Such were the inmates of this frail and whimsical cabin, against the sides of which the storm beat, as if it would have blown it away. : The entrance of the stranger exeited almost as much astonishment in them, as filled him at finding himself so suddenly brought there. The atmosphere of tobacco smoke was gradually allowed to clear away, from what might well have been called the head of the table. One enormous goggle eye, for there was but one, glared at Amherst, from the full moon of the face, with a look that seemed to demand some explanation of this intrusion upon their joviality.
“ Sam,” said he, rather sternly to one of the men, and the sound was like that of the deepest notes of a double bass, “ Sam ! what gemman is this here
you have brought to spend the evening with us?" and then, in an under voice, as the man moved nearer to him for the purpose of explanation—" He is none of the kites of the coast here I'm sure-never see'd un before in my life!"
Mayhap not, Master Bellybags," replied Sam; “ mayhap he be not. none of un, and it may be an he had, I should hardly have ventured un here, and might ha' bundled un into the sea, to save further trouble. But though no kite, as I knows on, he had a woundy suspicious look, and we catched un watching behind a rock, just an' 'twere a very cat. And considering the job we have on hand, 'twas no time to stand shilly-shally, and allow him to take leg bail, and blow the speaking-trumpet on us.
So we e'en brought un up here, that you might judge on un yourself.”
The head again turned towards Amherst, and the enormous eye fixed itself upon him for a few moments, and then with an inconceivable degree of adroitness, the monstrous trunk began to wriggle itself forward, and the right stump catching up a long can of grog, by pressing it against the breast, he poised it with wonderful precision within his arm-pit, and turning his head and it towards each other, he brought his mouth and the beaker into awkward, but very satisfactory contact ; the other stump being employed beneath, as a lever to raise it gradually, as the li
quor ebbed away.' In this position the can remained for some time, not altogether for the purpose of prolonging the draught, but rather to afford time, for more effectually scanning the countenance of the young man, who was the subject of his inquiry
“ Pshaw !" said he, at length, in a sort of half whisper, as he withdrew his mouth from the exhausted vessel, and turned it towards the ear of the man whom he questioned" | wish ye mayn't ha' done us some ugly turn here, Sam, wi' your cursed haste. I see nought about the lad as is suspicious as you call it. You should not ha' been so risky, without some werry strong cause. Now, ye ha' brought un here, what a fiend shall we do wi' un ? An we were to let un go now, our game would be up, for an he should blow on us, we should all be rooted out, neck and crop. Then as for any other way of disposing on un, 'twere as well not to do such a thing, unless when we cannot do without it. But, stay, I mun question un a bit, and, d'ye hear, look sharply to the door, for happen what may, he must not budge hence till the Sans-pareille is off. But, mark me,” added he with a wink,
" mark me, how I shall sand his eyes, and gammon him.”
Then raising his voice so as to address Amherst, and throwing a sort of horrid smile into his broad ogre-looking face
“ Young man,” said he,“ or mayhap I should call you young gemman,-but I am not much
up to manners, there must be some mistake hereyour name bea’n’t John Larkins, be it?"
“ No!" said Amherst, with cool dignity. “I am no such person ; but I should be glad to be informed why I have been thus seized, and brought hither in so rude a manner ?"
The monster affected to burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, that shook the whole of the crazy tenement, and which he seemed with difficulty to subdue. Then appearing, at length. to gather the command of words
“ A most whimsical blunder, ha! ha! ha! : most ridiculous accident ! truly absurd ! me, young gemman, 'twas nought else than a joke on a neighbour of mine, and Sam has bit on the wrong person, that's all. But, come, let us make some amends, Sam; come, bear a hand. for I can't, ye know,-bear a hand, I tell ye, and trundle in that 'ere box, and let the gemman have a seat, and summat to drink, in this our castle of the cliffs, you understand.-You must know, Sir, that though I am nought now but poor Bellybags the mumper, without legs or arms, as jogs as far as the edge of the great road every morning, in this here chair drawn by them ’ere bull-dogs, with young Tarry-breeches yonder as my coachman, to beg a few pence, and to take the air, I have seed some service in my day, when I were all right and tight as to fins and pins, and could hop about the decks like a dancing-master. I were then a gay one, d'ye
But thoff I be now a hulk, I ha' still gotten a shot in the locker.
A can, ye rogue, Tarry,” cried he, to the boy, who jumped up at his loud summons ; à can for the gemman on the box, d'ye hear.
You'll take a drop of grog to wet your whistle, Sir, since chance has brought you here? and a pipe, Sir, won't ye? The 'bacco is real good weed. We can sing ye some rare chaunts, and tell ye some merry tales; and let me tell ye, our music will be more pleasanter than that 'ere howling wind, and battering rain, and this cabin better than the beach, just at this