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waiter flew with a glorified bottle, and
allowed the ambrosial liquor to flow into
my open-mouthed goblet. It was nectar,
indeed. It was the first time, too, I had
tasted it. Tom Butler and the major were
looking at each other steadily. In a
moment Tom whispered to me:

"I had him there, my friend; I think
that shot holed him, went through him,
shivered him like a bottle of Harvey's
sauce. Well, I hope you are enjoying your
dinner. I am getting into spirits again.
Come, have a glass of champagne with me.
These mess waiters, you know, are all
soldiers; you see they have got moustaches,
and that makes 'em so smart. That's my
fellow, Bob, that filled your glass. Bob's
worth his weight in gold, and would die
for me. Old Baker, there, any one of the
regiment would just shoot for sixpence."

This terrible state of things quite scared
me, not merely the general tone of mind as
to the projected assassination, but the small
sum for which it was proposed to be
executed. He told me many other details
about this new world, which both amazed
and delighted me. This narrative he
punctuated, as it were, with many a glass, and
rose every moment in spirits. He,
however, owing to a promise he had made
elsewhere, checked me after my second glass.

"My dear boy," he said, "just at first,
you know. When you have made your
head, then it will be all right."

After dinner we adjourned to the ante-
room, where smoking and card-playing set
in. Some of the stout men were really
most good-natured to me, and seemed so
anxious to know all about me, and listened
so attentively, that I felt I could do no
less than be as communicative as I could.
So I told them all about myself, and who
my tutor was, and what I was learning;
and also the history of my first acquaintance
abroad with Tom, and of his licking
the Frenchman, of which glorious day I
found the brave and modest fellow had
never told them a word. I began at the
beginning, and went on to the end. They
were delighted and laughed, and the fat
man hit his thigh, and said:

"It was Tom all over."

Alas! it was more like to be all over
with Tom! For at that moment, as the
words were spoken, up started from the
end of the room two figures, and two loud
and angry voices broke out. And there was
one flaming face defying a very pale one.

"Go to your room, sir! I have you now,
and will see what a court-martial will say
to this."

"I don't care," said Tom, furiously. "I
tell it to your face again. You are a tyrant,
and the worst tyrant the men ever had."

"Hush, hush, Butler! you don't know
what you are talking about," interposed
good-natured voices.

"Yes, I do," said the undaunted Tom,
making a frantic speech; "and I am glad
it has come to this at last. Let us have a
court-martial by all means, and see what
that will bring out. Others can be tried
by it too. Officers and gentlemen, indeed!
What a mockery! Unless you are a
gentleman you can't understand the acts
of gentlemen."

"Go to your room at once," said the
majorhe seemed awful to me—"or shall
I send for the guard?"

As Tom went down with me to the cab
he was tremendously excited. "I am glad
of it," he repeated very often, "that it has
come to this. It must have come to it. I
insulted him as hard as I could, and I am
glad of it. It has been coming to it for a
long, long time. But the ruffian has such
influence, and I am so unlucky. You tell
them at home I'll come and see them and
tell 'em about it, if I can get out at all; on
bail, or any way. God bless you, old fellow.
You behaved like a trump, and Griffin
says you were more amusing than many a
grown-up man."

Within a fortnight Tom Butler was tried
by court-martial, and within three weeks
was sentenced to be dismissed the army,
but, through "desperate interest," was
allowed to sell his commission. He paid us
a dismal visit. He was going to Australia,
"a disgraced man," where, too, he never
"did," and ended a stormy life very soon,
and in a stormy way. But before he died
he learned by an English paper that what
he had prophesied for the oil and pickle
Major Baker had actually come true, for
that cold-blooded officer was one morning
shot, when standing at his window at
Colchester, by a brooding private soldier whom
he had treated unjustly.

Now Ready, price 5s. 6d., bound in green cloth,
To be had of all Booksellers.