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much as he could do to keep the neck of the bottle
between his teeth, without biting it off.

"I think you have got the ague," said I.

"I'm much of your opinion, boy," said he.

"It's bad about here," I told him. " You've
been lying out on the meshes, and they're dreadful
aguish. Rheumatic, too."

"I'll eat my breakfast afore they're the death
of me," said he. "I'd do that, if I was going to
be strung up to that there gallows as there is
over there, directly arterwards. I'll beat the
shivers so far, I'll bet you."

He was gobbling mincemeat, meat-bone,
bread, cheese, and pork pie, all at once: staring
distrustfully while he did so at the mist all
round us, and often stoppingeven stopping his
jawsto listen. Some real or fancied sound,
some clink upon the river or breathing of beast
upon the marsh, now gave him a start, and he
said, suddenly:

"You're not a deceiving imp? You brought
no one with you?"

"No, sir! No!"

"Nor giv' no one the office to follow you?"


"Well," said he, "I believe you. You'd be
but a fierce young hound indeed, if at your time
of life you could help to hunt a wretched warmint,
hunted as near death and dunghill as this poor
wretched warmint is!"

Something clicked in his throat, as if he had
works in him like a clock, and was going to
strike. And he smeared his ragged rough sleeve
over his eyes.

Pitying his desolation, and watching him as
he gradually settled down upon the pie, I made
bold to say, "I am glad you enjoy it."

"Did you speak?"

"I said I was glad you enjoved it."

"Thankee, my boy. I do."

I had often watched a large dog of ours eating
his food; and I now noticed a decided similarity
between the dog's way of eating, and the man's.
The man took strong sharp sudden bites, just
like the dog. He swallowed, or rather snapped
up, every mouthful, too soon and too fast; and
he looked sideways here and there while he ate,
as if he thought there was danger in every direction,
of somebody's coming to take the pie away.
He was altogether too unsettled in his mind
over it, to appreciate it comfortably, I thought,
or to have anybody to dine with him, without
making a chop with his jaws at the visitor.
In all of which particulars he was very like the

"I am afraid you won't leave any of it for
him," said I, timidly; after a silence during
which I had hesitated as to the politeness of
making the remark. "There's no more to be
got where that came from." It was the certainty
of this fact that impelled me to offer the

"Leave any for him? Who's him?" said my
friend, stopping in his crunching of pie-crust.

"The young man. That you spoke of. That
was hid with you."

"Oh ah!" he returned, with something like
a gruff laugh. "Him? Yes, yes! He don't
want no wittles."

"I thought he looked as if he did," said I.

The man stopped eating, and regarded me
with the keenest scrutiny and the greatest surprise.

"Looked? When?"

"Just now."


"Yonder," said I, pointing; "over there,
where I found him nodding asleep, and thought
it was you."

He held me by the collar and stared at me so,
that I began to think his first idea about cutting
my throat had revived.

"Dressed like you, you know, only with a
hat," I explained, trembling; "andand"—I
was very anxious to put this delicately—"and
withthe same reason for wanting to borrow a
file. Didn't you hear the cannon last night?"

"Then, there was firing!" he said to himself.

"I wonder you shouldn't have been sure of
that," I returned," for we heard it up at home,
and that's further away, and we were shut in

"Why, see now!" said he. " When a man's
alone on these flats, with a light head and a
light stomach, perishing of cold and want, he
hears nothin' all night, but guns firing, and voices
calling. Hears? He sees the soldiers, with
their red coats lighted up by the torches carried
afore, closing in round him. Hears his number
called, hears himself challenged, hears the rattle
of the muskets, hears the orders 'Make ready!
Present! Cover him steady, men!' and is laid
hands onand there's nothin'! Why, if I see
one pursuing party last nightcoming up in
order, Damn 'em, with their tramp, trampI
see a hundred. And as to firing! Why, I see
the mist shake with the cannon, arter it was
broad day.—But this man;" he had said all the
rest, as if he had forgotten my being there;
"did you notice anything in him?"

"He had a badly bruised face," said I, recalling
what I hardly knew I knew.

"Not here?" exclaimed the man, striking
his left cheek mercilessly, with the flat of his

"Yes! There!"

"Where is he?" He crammed what little
food was left, into the breast of his grey jacket.
"Show me the way he went. I'll pull him
down, like a bloodhound. Curse this iron on
my sore leg! Give us hold of the file, boy."

I indicated in what direction the mist had
shrouded the other man, and he looked up at it
for an instant. But he was down on the rank
wet grass, filing at his iron like a madman, and
not minding me or minding his own leg, which
had an old chafe upon it and was bloody, but
which he handled as roughly as if it had no more
feeling in it than the file. I was very much
afraid of him again, now that he had worked
himself into this fierce hurry, and I was likewise
very much afraid of keeping away from
home any longer. I told him I must go, but he
took no notice, so I thought the best thing I