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argument, I got led away from it in the
most unaccountable way—"

Here, Uncle Joseph, whose stock of patience
and politeness was getting exhausted,
put his head into the room again.

"I shall have one last word to address to
you, sir, in a moment," said Mr.Munder, before
the old man could speak. "Don't you suppose
that your blustering and your bullying has had
any effect on me. It may do with foreigners,
sir; but it won't do with Englishmen, I can
tell you."

Uncle Joseph shrugged his shoulders,
smiled, and rejoined his niece in the passage
outside. While the housekeeper and the
steward had been conferring together, Sarah
had been trying hard to persuade her uncle
to profit by her knowledge of the passage
that led to the south door, and to slip
away unperceived. But the old man steadily
refused to be guided by her advice. "I will
not go out of a place guiltily," he said,
"when I have done no harm. Nothing shall
persuade me to put myself, or to put you, in
the wrong. I am not a man of much wits;
but let my conscience guide me, and so long
I shall go right. They let us in here, Sarah,
of their own accord; and they shall let us
out of their own accord, also."

"Mr. Munder! Mr. Munder!" whispered
the housekeeper, interfering to stop a fresh
explosion of the steward's indignation, which
threatened to break out at the contempt
implied by the shrugging of Uncle Joseph's
shoulders, "while you are speaking to that
audacious man, shall I slip into the garden
and give Jacob his instructions?"

Mr. Munder paused before answering
tried hard to see a more dignified way out of
the dilemma in which he had placed himself
than the way suggested by the housekeeper
failed entirely to discern anything of the
sortswallowed his indignation at one heroic
gulpand replied emphatically in two
words: "Go ma'am?"

"What does that mean? what has she
gone that way for?" said Sarah to her uncle
in a quick, suspicious whisper, as the
housekeeper brushed hastily by them, on her way
to the west garden.

Before there was time to answer the question,
it was followed by another, put by Mr.

"Now, sir! " said the steward, standing in
the doorway, with his hands under his coat-
tails and his head very high in the air.
"Now, sir, and now ma'am, for my last word!
Am I to have a proper explanation of the
abstracting and purloining of those keys, or
am I not?"

"Certainly, sir, you are to have the
explanation," replied Uncle Joseph. "It is,
if you please, the same explanation that I
had the honour of giving to you a little
while ago. Do you wish to hear it again?
It is all the explanation we have got
about us."

"Oh! it is, is it?" said Mr. Munder.
"Then all I have to say to both of you is
leave the house directly! Directly!" he
added, in his most coarsely offensive tones,
taking refuge in the insolence of authority,
from the dim consciousness of the absurdity
of his own position, which would force itself
on him, even while he spoke. "Yes, sir!"
he continued, growing more and more
angry at the composure with which
Uncle Joseph listened to him. "Yes, sir!
you may bow and scrape, and jabber your
broken English somewhere else. I won't put
up with you here. I have reflected with
myself, and reasoned with myself, and thought
with myself, and asked myself, calmlyas
Englishmen always doif it was any use
making you of any importance, and I have
come to a conclusion, and that conclusion is
no, it isn't! Don't you go away with a
notion that your blusterings and your bullyings
have had any effect on me. (Show them
out, Betsey!) I consider you beneathaye,
sir, and below!—my notice. (Show them
out!) I wash my hands of you, and I dismiss
you (show them out!) and I survey you, and
I look upon you, and I behold you, with

"And I, sir," returned the object of all
this withering derision, with the most
exasperating politeness, "I shall say, for having
your contempt, what I could by no means
have said for having your respect, which is,
briefly,—thank you. I, the small foreigner,
take the contempt of you, the big Englishman,
as the greatest compliment that can be
paid from a man of your composition to a
man of mine." With that, Uncle Joseph
made a last fantastic bow, took his niece's
arm, and followed Betsey along the passages
that led to the south door, leaving
Mr. Munder to compose a fit retort at his

Ten minutes later, the housekeeper
returned breathless to her room, and found the
steward walking backwards and forwards in
a high state of irritation.

"Pray make your mind easy, Mr. Munder,"
she said. "They are both clear of the house at
last, and Jacob has got them well in view on
the path over the moor."


I HAVE long entertained an indulgent feeling
a feeling which is, I trust, on the whole,
well foundedtowards several classes of men
who are dealt hardly with by common report:
such as cabmen, gipsies, and the conductors
of omnibuses. Admitting, what I fear cannot
be denied, that these fraternities contain
their proportion of black sheep, I am not
aware of any peculiar contagion attaching to
their dinginess; and I totally disbelieve that
the extra coat of soot so freely laid on by that
admirable but extravagant colouristpublic
opinioncan be justified by appeal to any