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“Don't you know him ?” cried the cobbler, “he's one of the Blues."
“Well, if I didn't think he was one of them thick-skinned lot while I was shaving him," said Rasp ; who then turned to Blast. “He knows something of them guineas, eh, sir, I'm bound for it?”
“ 'Xactly," answered Blast. “They ’re a pretty set-them Blues. I'm a Yellow.”
“I'd know that, sir"-observed the barber as he finished the undone work of Tim—“I'd know that, sir, by the tenderness of your face. Now for that old Blue, a man might as well shave a brass knocker. I can tell a man's principles by his skin, I can."
“Not a doubt on it,” averred Mr. Blast very sonorously; who then rose from his chair, and proceeded into a corner to consult a fragment of glass, nailed to the wall. Whilst thus courageously surveying his face, his back turned to the door, another customer entered the shop, and without a syllable, seating himself, awaited the weapon of Rasp.
“Heard of the robbery, sir ?” asked the barber, “Ha! ha! ha! Rare work, sir. What I call fun.”
“What robbery?” cried the stranger, and immediately Blast turned at the sound, and knew that it was St. Giles who spoke. Silently, the burglar grinned huge satisfaction.
“ Thousands of guineas stole last night, nothing less. I wish you and I had 'em, sir, that's all, for they came here to do Beelzebub's work, sir ; to be laid out in perjury, and all that ; to buy tbe honest souls of honest men like mackerel. Therefore,” concluded the barber, “I say I wish you and I had 'em. Don't you ?”
Hereupon Blast quitted the mirror, and the while serenely tying his neckcloth, stood face to face with St. Giles, chuckling and echoing the barber—“Don't you wish you had 'em ?”
“ If you jump in that way," cried Rasp to St. Giles, “I won't answer for your nose.”
“ And you havn't heard nothin' on it, eh, sir ?” said Blast, in his light, waggish manner. “ Well, I should ha' thought you'd ha' known all about it."
“Why?" stammered St. Giles, for he felt that he must make some answer.
“Oh, I don't know," said Blast; “ some people have sich a knowin' look, that's all. They ’re born with it. An 'praps you wouldn't like to have the guineas stole from the Blues,—if they are stole. But as you say, Mr. Barber, I don't believe it. Bless your heart, it's my 'pinion a Blue would swear anything."
“ You won't have a drop of ale this morning ?" asked the cobbler--that sympathetic Yellow being mightily touched by the largeheartedness of Blast. " Jest a drop ?”
“ 'Tis a little early," said the very temperate Blast, “but I can't refuse a Yellow nothin'.” And to the astonishment and relief of St. Giles, his tormentor followed the inviting cobbler from the shop. Uneasily sat St. Giles whilst Rasp performed his function ; brief and wandering were the replies made by his customer to the barber, very eloquent on the robbery, and especially grateful to Providence for the calamity. “ Whomsomever has taken the guineas—always supposing they are taken-has done a service to the country,” said Rasp. “For my part, and I don't care who knows it, I hope they'll live long and die happy with 'em. Pretty fellows they must be ! Come to sell the Constitution ; to rob us of our rights; and then sing out about thieves! What do you say, sir?” cried the barber, liberating his customer from his uneasy chair.
“ Just so," said St. Giles, “ I shouldn't wonder: to be sure.”
“ Why you look,” said Rasp, marking the absent air of St. Giles, “ you look as if you was looking a hundred miles away. You can't tell us what you see, can you ?”.
Now, St. Giles, had he been in communicative mood, might have interested the barber, making him a partaker of the vision that would reveal itself to his customer. St. Giles plainly beheld Tom Blast with the stolen guineas. Had he watched him staggering beneath the pillage, he had not been better assured of the evil doing. Again, he had marked the thief's face ; it wore the smug, lackered look of a fortunate scoundrel : the light as of the stolen guineas flickered in his eyes, and his lips were puckered with inaudible whistling. St. Giles took little heed of the talkative barber, but laying down the price of his yesterday's beard, quitted the shop. Anxiously, fearfully, he looked about him from the door. He stood, like a lost traveller fearful of the sudden leap of some wild beast. Blast was not in the street: he now avoided St. Giles ; new evidence that the old ruffian was the robber. St. Giles hastily struck into the fields, that with less chance of interruption, he might ponder on the present difficulty. He was only known to young St. James as the vagabond of a prison ; and, therefore, open to the heavier suspicion. If arrested,-how to account for himself ? Should he at once boldly seek the young lord ?--for as yet he had not seen him. Or should he at once turn his steps towards London ?
His heart sank, and the sickness of death fell upon him, as again he saw himself beset by inevitable peril. Was it not folly, sheer, brute-like stupidity, in a doomed wretch like him, to yearn for innocent days, for honest bread? Was it not gross impudence in him to hope it—in him, so formed and cast upon the world to be its wrong, its misery, and disgrace? Why not go back to London, dash into guilt, and when the time came, die gallantly on the tree? Why not clap hands with Blast, and become with him, a human animal of prey ? Such were the confused, the wretched thoughts that possessed St. Giles, as with feet of lead he crossed the fields. Divinely beautiful was the day! The heavens smiled peace and hope upon the earth, brimming with things of tenderness and beauty. The outcast paused at the winding river. Did his eye feed delightedly upon its brightness—was his ear solaced by its sound ? No: he looked with a wild curiosity, as though he would look below—and he heard tongues talking from the stream -tongues calling him to rest.
“Ain't lost nothing?” cried a voice, and St. Giles aroused, to his delight beheld Bright Jem.
“ No ; nothing,” said St. Giles. “I was thinking though that I might lose something, and be all the richer for the loss. But the thought 's gone, now you ’re come.”
Jem looked like a man who catches half a meaning, and cares not to pursue the other half. So he said—“I thought, mayhap, when you left us in the churchyard, you 'd have come over to the Tub. Master Capstick said he knew you wouldn't, but I know he was sorry you didn't.'
“ I tell you what it is,” said St. Giles, “I hadn't the heart.”
“ That's the very reason you ought to ha' come to us. Master Capstick 's got heart enough for half-a-dozen."
* God bless him!” cried St. Giles.
“I'll jine you in that, whenever you say it. But I can see by the look of you—why, your face is full on it-I can see, you 've something to say. I'm afeard the world hasn't been as careful of you as if you'd been an image of gold, eh? Come, lad"and Jem laid his hand gently upon St. Giles's shoulder, and spoke tenderly as a woman—“Come lad, let 's know all about it."
“You shall know all-you shall," and St. Giles seized Jem's hand, and with moistening eyes and choking throat—it was such a happiness to see such looks and hear such words—shook it eagerly, tremblingly.
* There, now, good lad, take your time,” cried Jem. “I'm going to Master Kingcup, the schoolmaster ; not above two mile away. And so we'll gossip as we trudge. Jest over that style, and”—and Jem paused, with his looks directed towards a stunted oak some bow-shot from him. “I say”—he cried, pointing to a boy sleeping in the arms of the tree_“I say, that's a London bird, perched there I'm sure on it."
Instantly St. Giles recognised his half-brother, the precocious Jingo. “You 're going to the good gentleman, you say, the schoolmaster," cried St. Giles, animated as by a sudden flash of thought. “I've a notion—I 'll tell you all about it—we 'll take that boy with us. Hallo ! come down here !” cried St. Giles to the sleeper.
" What for?” said Jingo, stretching himself and yawning. “ You ’re no constable, and I shan't."
“He knows what a constable is, depend on 't,” said Jem, shaking his head.
“Well, I'm a coming," said the philosophic Jingo, observing that St. Giles was about to ascend—“I'm a coming." And in a moment, the urchin dropt like an ape from branch to branch and fell to the earth. As he fell, a guinea rolled from his pocket.
“Where did you get this ?" exclaimed St. Giles, picking up the coin.
Whereupon little Jingo bowed his arms, and in his shrillest treble, answered—“Found it."
CHAPTER XXIV. The candidate for Liquorish has, it may be thought, been too long neglected in our attention to his agents, and their meaner creatures. Seemingly we have been unmindful of his lordship, but in reality not so. We felt more than satisfied that we had placed him, like a treasure in a temple, at Lazarus Hall. For there was Doctor Gilead, the good genius of larder and cellar, big, perspiring with anxiety to assuage, by the most recondite and costly means, the hunger and thirst of his exalted guest. Had it been possible to purchase a live unicorn, its haunch would have smoked before young St. James ; the sole phenix would have been roasted in its spicery, and dished in its plumes ; and Ganymede might have had any price of Doctor Gilead for peculated nectar. In the fulness of the Doctor's hospitality there lurked a grief that no new. animal-no yet unheard-of tipple could be compassed. He must thereforemat last he was resigned to it, make the best of the good things of the earth such as they were ; he, by the way, possessing the very best for the experiment. Mrs. Gilead, too, had her anxiety ; though, it pains us to confess it, her husband-it is too common a fault, crime we should rather say-did not respond with all his heartstrings to the vibrating chords of his partner. But how rare is it to find a wedded man with a proper sympathy for the distresses of his wife! The elements may have suddenly conspired to spoil her bonnet-she may have broken her dearest bit of china—the cat may have run off with her gold-fish-and at that very moment, above all others, her husband will insult her with his philosophy. And so it was with the anxieties of Mrs. Gilead. She felt that, whilst young St. James lay pillowed under her roof, she was answerable for the sweetness, the soundness of his slumbers ; nay, almost for the pleasantness of his dreams. She was wakeful herself in her tenderness for the repose of her guest. “I do hope his lordship will sleep,” she said, twice and thrice to her wedded master.
“Bless the woman!” cried the Doctor, at the time perplexed with the thought of some possible novelty for the next day's dinner, “of course he'll sleep. Why not? We have no fleas, have we?"
“ Fleas, Doctor Gilead! Don't insult me! Fleas in my beds ! ” and Mrs. Gilead spoke tremulously, as though hurt, wounded in her huswifery-the weakest place of the weakest sex. And Doctor Gilead knew there was not a flea in the house ; but it was like the man-it was like the brotherhood at large-to suggest to a wife the probability of the most impossible annoyance. Of course, it was only said to hurt her.
Nor let us forget the Miss Gileads. For each, saying no syllable to the other, was sleepless with the thoughts of providing life-long bliss for the noble, the beautiful guest. How delightful to make him happy for the rest of his days, and how very advantageous to be a legal, partner in the felicity. If eyes ever did dazzle-if lips ever did take man's heart from his bosom, like a stone from a