Imatges de pÓgina

consented to such work. But up with you, Jerry, and I'll tell you as we go along all about these doings."

Tom Pigeon, though he had for some time reached the hardy years of maturity, still retained the fresh bloom and diminutive stature of a boy; all the frolic of wild youth sported in his gamesome eye, the innocent smile of childhood played about his mouth, and on his chin the down of manhood was yet scarcely perceptible. The indolence, so natural to youth when not roused by energy, or urged by necessity to exertion, gave softness and effeminacy to his frame, to which the abundance of a great man's hall-table added a plumpness that strikingly contrasted the hardy, gaunt, tall figure, that now stood before him, towering to a height which greatly overtopped little Tom mounted on his pony. In this person the ample chest and mien erect expressed command; the brawny shoulders, muscular arm, and sinewy wrist, strength and vigour. Trained

Trained to the rude chase, and to overleap every boundary of hedge and wall, his limbs possessed lightness and agility; he preferred therefore making use of them to mounting the little pony, and with giant strides imperceptibly measured his rapid way; while Tom, in fairy pace pushing on the palfrey, thus continued the conversation." I am better pleased, Mr. Gauntlet, than my share of to-night's punch, to have met you so lucky. You shall have brave sport; and Mrs. Kitty will be so happy to see you."

"I am in no humour, Tom, to share your sport, or enjoy Mrs. Kitty's favour; for I was up all night, and feel harassed and weary after a long day's march, and much unprofitable labour."

As Jerry Gauntlet spoke, the paleness of night-watching and fatigue spread over his sallow cheek, which appeared hollow, from too great and incessant exertion. "Come, at any rate," rejoined the other,

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"and you may hear some news of your favourite, the captain."

"Do you think so?" demanded Jerry, with vivacity, and his piercing black eyes, which possessed all the keenness of penetration and the fire of genius, kindled with a sudden glow of animation. " I would go, by God! to Jericho, to hear news of captain Plunket, who is as brave and noble a gentleman as ever drew a sword. Unfortunate fellow that I was, not to have enlisted in the same regiment, when he went into the army! I have never had a day's good luck since he left the country; and what is still worse, I don't deserve it."

Jerry sighed profoundly, at some unpleasant retrospects no doubt which crossed his mind at the moment.

"I am sure I wonder," says little Tom, "what has attached you so much to captain Plunket. For my own part, I was always more inclined to fear than love

him; there was a something so proud and commanding about that young gentleman."



"It was that something commanding and spirited," replied Jerry Gauntlet, noble daring, with his intrepid disregard of danger and death, that made me love as well as fear the captain. I was the humble companion, or rather attendant, of all his field sports, and his generosity won my affection. When a boy, he saved my life at the hazard of his own; and his heroic boldness in that dangerous moment secured my lasting gratitude."

"How was that?" inquired Tom; “it is not every one, like yourself, Mr. Gauntlet, that is willing to venture his neck for another."

This was spoken with a smile something bordering on a sneer.

A gloomy frown lowered on the dark impending brow of Gauntlet, who, in a stern voice, exclaimed-" On your life, youngster, I charge you to forbear these B 6


jests. I will not be sported with; and as for the captain, I'll never hear his name mentioned but with the respect it merits."

Tom Pigeon apologized, promised to be more circumspect in future, and requested to be informed of those particulars relative to his friend's escape from death, to which he had alluded; on which Gauntlet, resuming in a gentler strain the conversation, thus continued:


"Returning one day, when we were boys, from some pleasurable excursion, we had to cross a millstream, over which a plank was placed for the convenience of passing and repassing. Master Charles had in his bosom a young bullfinch, which he was bringing home to make a pet of for Miss Geraldine. Crossing the plank, it took wing, and sheltered itself in a bush that projected over the stream. But just fledged, though it had regained its liberty, it was unable to fly further; and master Charles, not willing to lose his present for Miss Geraldine, sprung instantly on the

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