Part 6 out of 13
"Then keep close be'ind me--go!" With the word Mr. Shrig began to run,
always keeping close beside the wall; indeed he ran so fast and was
so very nimble that Barnabas had some ado to keep up with him. They
had gone but a little distance when five rough looking fellows
started into view further up the alley, completely blocking their
advance, and by the clatter of feet behind, Barnabas knew that their
retreat was cut off, and instinctively he set his teeth, and gripped
his cane more firmly. But on ran Mr. Shrig, keeping close beside the
wall, head low, shoulders back, elbows well in, for all the world as
if he intended to hurl himself upon his assailants in some desperate
hope of breaking through them; but all at once, like a rabbit into
his burrow, he turned short off in mid career, and vanished down a
dark and very narrow entry or passage, and, as Barnabas followed, he
heard, above the vicious thud of footsteps, hoarse cries of anger
and disappointment. Half-way down the passage Mr. Shrig halted
abruptly and turned, as the first of their pursuers appeared.
"This'll do!" he panted, swinging the nobbly stick in his hand,
"can't come on more nor two at vunce. Be ready vith your stick--at
their eyes--poke at 'em--no 'itting--" the rest was drowned in the
echoing rush of heavy feet and the boom of hoarse voices. But now,
seeing their quarry stand on the defensive, the pursuers checked
their advance, their cries sank to growling murmurs, till, with a
fierce shout, one of their number rushed forward brandishing a heavy
stick, whereupon the others followed, and there, in the echoing
dimness, the battle was joined, and waxed furious and grim.
Almost at the first onset the slender cane Barnabas wielded broke
short off, and he was borne staggering back, the centre of a panting,
close-locked, desperate fray. But in that narrow space his
assailants were hampered by their very numbers, and here was small
room for bludgeon-play,--and Barnabas had his fists.
There came a moment of thudding blows, trampling feet, oaths, cries,
--and Barnabas was free, staring dazedly at his broken knuckles. He
heard a sudden shout, a vicious roar, and the Bow Street Runner,
dropping the nobbly stick, tottered weakly and fell,--strove to rise,
was smitten down again, and, in that moment, Barnabas was astride him;
felt the shock of stinging blows, and laughing fierce and short,
leapt in under the blows, every nerve and muscle braced and quivering;
saw a scowling face,--smote it away; caught a bony wrist, wrenched
the bludgeon from the griping fingers, struck and parried and struck
again with untiring arm, felt the press thin out before him as his
assailants gave back, and so, stood panting.
"Run! Run!" whispered Mr. Shrig's voice behind him. "Ve can do it now,
"No!" panted Barnabas, wiping the blood from his cheek. "Run!"
cried Mr. Shrig again, "there's a place I knows on close by--ve can
reach it in a jiff--this vay,--run!"
"Not run? then v'ot vill ye do?"
"Are ye mad? Ha!--look out!" Once more the echoing passage roared
with the din of conflict, as their assailants rushed again, were
checked, smote and were smitten, and fell back howling before the
thrust of the nobbly stick and the swing of the heavy bludgeon.
"Now vill ye run?" panted Mr. Shrig, straightening the broad-brimmed
"V'y then, I vill!" which Mr. Shrig immediately proceeded to do.
But the scowl of Barnabas grew only the blacker, his lips but curled
the fiercer, and his fingers tightened their grip upon the bludgeon
as, alone now, he fronted those who remained of the nine.
Now chancing to glance towards a certain spot, he espied something
that lay in the angle of the wall, and, instinctively stooping, he
picked up Mr. Shrig's little book, slipped it into his pocket, felt
a stunning blow, and reeled back, suddenly faint and sick. And now a
mist seemed to envelop him, but in the mist were faces above, below,
around him, faces to be struck at. But his blows grew weak and ever
weaker, the cudgel was torn from his lax grip, he staggered back on
stumbling feet knowing he could fight no more, and felt himself
caught by a mighty arm, saw a face near by, comely and dimpled of
chin, blue-eyed, and with whiskers trimmed into precise little tufts
on either cheek. Thereafter he was aware of faint cries and shouts,
of a rushing patter like rain among leaves, and of a voice speaking
in his ear.
"Right about face,--march! Easy does it! mind me 'ook, sir, the
p'int's oncommon sharp like. By your left--wheel! Now two steps up,
sir--that's it! Now three steps down, easy does it! and 'ere we are.
A cheer, sir, now water and a sponge!"
Here Barnabas, sinking back in the chair, leaned his head against
the wall behind him, and the mist grew more dense, obliterating all
OF CORPORAL RICHARD ROE, LATE OF THE GRENADIERS; AND FURTHER
CONCERNING MR. SHRIG'S LITTLE READER
A small, dim chamber, with many glasses and bottles arrayed very
precisely on numerous shelves; a very tall, broad-shouldered man who
smiled down from the rafters while he pulled at a very precise
whisker with his right hand, for his left had been replaced by a
shining steel hook; and Mr. Shrig who shook his placid head as he
leaned upon a long musket whose bayonet twinkled wickedly in the dim
light; all this Barnabas saw as, sighing, he opened his eyes.
"'E's all right now!" nodded the smiling giant.
"Ha!" exclaimed Mr. Shrig, "but vith a lump on 'is 'ead like a negg.
'Run!' I sez. 'No!' sez 'e,--and 'ere's me vith vun eye a-going into
mourning, and 'im vith a lump on 'is nob like a noo-laid egg!"
"'E's game though, Jarsper," said the benevolent giant.
"Game! I believe you, Corp!" nodded Mr. Shrig. "Run!' I sez. 'No!'
sez 'e. 'Then v'ot vill you do?' sez I. 'Make them!' sez 'e. Game?
Lord love me, I should say so!" Here, seeing Barnabas sit upright,
Mr. Shrig laid by the musket and came towards him with his hand out.
"Sir," said he, "when them raskels got me down they meant to do for
me; ah! they'd ha' given me my quietus for good an' all if you
'adn't stood 'em off. Sir, if it ain't too much, I should like to
shake your daddle for that!"
"But you saved my life twice," said Barnabas, clasping the proffered
"V'y the coping-stone I'll not go for to deny, sir," said Mr. Shrig,
stroking his smooth brow, "but t'other time it were my friend and
pal the Corp 'ere,--Corporal Richard Roe, late Grenadiers. 'E's only
got an 'ook for an 'and, but vith that 'ook 'e's oncommonly 'andy,
and as a veapon it ain't by no means to be sneezed at. No, 'e ain't
none the worse for that 'ook, though they thought so in the army,
and it vere 'im as brought you off v'ile I vos a-chasing of the
enemy vith 'is gun, yonder."
"Why, then I should like to thank Corporal Richard Roe," said
Barnabas,--(here the Corporal tugged at his precise and carefully
trimmed whisker again), "and to shake his hand as well." Here the
giant blushed and extended a huge fist.
"Honored, sir," said he, clicking his heels together.
"And now," said Mr. Shrig, "ve're all a-going to drink--at my
"No, at mine," said Barnabas.
"Sir," said Mr. Shrig, round and placid of eye, "ven I says a thing
I means it. Consequent you are now a-going to sluice your ivory vith
a glass of the Vun an' Only, at my expense,--you must and you shall."
"Yes," said Barnabas, feeling in his pockets. "I must, my purse is
"Purse!" exclaimed Mr. Shrig, his innocent eyes rounder than ever,
"Stolen," nodded Barnabas.
"Think o' that now!" sighed Mr. Shrig, "but I ain't surprised, no, I
ain't surprised, and--by Goles!"
"Your cravat-sparkler!--that's wanished too!" Barnabas felt his
rumpled cravat, and nodded. "And your vatch, now--don't tell me as
they 've took--"
"Yes, my watch also," sighed Barnabas.
"A great pity!" said Mr. Shrig, "though it ain't to be vondered
at,--not a bit."
"I valued the watch greatly, because it was given me by a very good
friend," said Barnabas, sighing again.
"Walleyed it, hey?" exclaimed Mr. Shrig, "walleyed it, sir?--v'y then,
'ere it be!" and from a capacious side-pocket he produced Natty
Bell's great watch, seals and all.
"Why--!" exclaimed Barnabas, staring.
"Also your purse, sir,--not forgetting the sparkler." Mr. Shrig
continued, producing each article in turn.
"But--how in the world--?" began Barnabas.
"I took 'em from you v'ile you vos a-lookin' at my castor. Lord love
me, a babe could ha' done it,--let alone a old 'and, like me!"
"Do you mean--?" began Barnabas, and hesitated.
"In my young days, sir," explained Mr. Shrig with his placid smile,
"I vere a champion buzman, ah! and a prime rook at queering the gulls,
too, but I ewentually turned honest all along of a flash, morning-sneak
covess as got 'erself conwerted."
"What do you mean by a morning-sneak covess?"
"I means a area-sneak, sir, as vorks werry early in the morning. A
fine 'andsome gal she vere, and vith nothing of the flash mollisher
about 'er, either, though born on the streets, as ye might say, same
as me. Vell, she gets con-werted, and she's alvays napping 'er bib
over me,--as you'd say, piping 'er eye, d'ye see? vanting me to turn
honest and be con-werted too. 'Turn honest,' says she, 'and ve'll be
married ter-morrow,' says she."
"So you turned honest and married her?" said Barnabas, as Mr. Shrig
"No, sir, I turned honest and she married a coal-v'ipper, v'ich,
though it did come a bit 'ard on me at first, vos all for the best
in the end, for she deweloped a chaffer,--as you might say, a tongue,
d' ye see, sir, and I'm vun as is fond of a quiet life, v'en I can
get it. Howsomever, I turned honest, and come werry near starving
for the first year, but I kept honest, and I ain't never repented
it--so fur. So, as for the prigs, and scamps, and buzmen, and flash
leary coves, I'm up to all their dodges, 'aving been one of them,
d'ye see. And now," said Mr. Shrig, as the big Corporal having
selected divers bottles from his precise array, took himself off to
concoct a jorum of the One and Only--"now sir, what do you think o'
my pal Corporal Dick?"
"A splendid fellow!" said Barnabas.
"'E is that, sir,--so 'e is,--a giant, eh sir?"
"A giant, yes, and handsome too!" said Barnabas.
"V'y you're a sizable cove yourself, sir," nodded Mr. Shrig,
"but you ain't much alongside my pal the Corp, are you? I'm
nat'rally proud of 'im, d'ye see, for 't were me as saved 'im."
"Saved him from what? How?"
"Me being only a smallish chap myself, I've allus 'ad a 'ankering
arter sizable coves. But I never seen a finer figger of a man than
Corporal Dick--height, six foot six and a quarter, chest,
fifty-eight and a narf, and sir--'e were a-going to drownd it all in
the River, all along o' losing his 'and and being drove out o' the
army, v'ich vould ha' been a great vaste of good material, as ye
might say, seeing as there's so much of 'im. It vas a dark night,
the night I found 'im, vith vind and rain, and there vos me and 'im
a-grappling on the edge of a vharf--leastvays I vere a-holding onto
'is leg, d'ye see--ah, and a mortal 'ard struggle it vere too, and
in the end I didn't save 'im arter all."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean as it vere 'im as saved me, for v'ot vith the vind, and the
rain, and the dark, ve lost our footing and over ve vent into the
River together--down and down till I thought as ve should never come
up again, but ve did, o' course, and then, jest as 'ard as 'e'd
struggled to throw 'imself in, 'e fought to get me out, so it vere
'im as really saved me, d'ye see?"
"No," said Barnabas, "it was you who really saved him."
"V'y, I'm as glad as you think so, sir, only d'ye see, I can't svim,
and it vos 'im as pulled me out. And it all come along of 'im losing
'is 'and--come nigh to breaking 'is 'eart to be discharged, it did."
"Poor fellow!" said Barnabas, "and how did he lose his hand?"
"V'y, I could tell you, or you could read of it in the Gazette--jest
three or four lines o' printing--and they've spelt 'is name wrong at
that, curse 'em! But Corporal Dick can tell you best. Let 'im. 'Ere
'e comes, vith a steaming brew o' the Vun and Only."
And indeed, at this moment the Corporal re-entered, bearing a jug
that gave forth a most enticing and delicious aroma, and upon which
Mr. Shrig cast amorous glances, what time he reached three glasses
from the marshalled array on the shelves.
And now, sitting at the small table that stood in a snug corner
beside the chimney, Mr. Shrig, having filled the three glasses with
all due care, tendered one to Barnabas with the words:
"Jest give that a snuff with your sneezer, sir,--there's perfume,
there's fray-grance for ye! There ain't a man in London as can brew
a glass o' rum-punch like the Corp,--though 'e 'as only got vun 'and.
And now, Corporal Dick, afore ve begin, three steamers."
"Ay, for sure, Jarsper!" said the Corporal; and opening a small
corner cupboard he took thence three new pipes and a paper of tobacco.
"Will you smoke, sir?" he inquired diffidently of Barnabas.
"Thank you, yes, Corporal," said Barnabas, and taking the proffered
pipe he filled and lighted it.
Now when the pipes were in full blast, when the One and Only had
been tasted, and pronounced by Mr. Shrig to be "up to the mark," he
nodded to Corporal Dick with the words:
"Tell our young gent 'ow you lost your 'and, Corp."
But hereupon the Corporal frowned, shuffled his feet, stroked his
trim whiskers with his hook, and finally addressed Barnabas.
"I aren't much of a talker, sir,--and it aren't much of a story, but
if you so wish--"
"I do so wish," said Barnabas heartily.
"Why, very good, sir!" Saying which the Corporal sat up, squared his
mighty shoulders, coughed, and began:
"It was when they Cuirassiers broke our square at Quatre-bras,
sir,--fine fellows those Cuirassiers! They rode into us, through us,
over us,--the square was tottering, and it was 'the colors--rally!'
Ah, sir! the colors means the life or death of a square at such times.
And just then, when horses was a-trampling us and the air full o'
the flash o' French steel, just then I see our colors dip and sway,
and down they went. But still it's 'the colors--rally!' and there's
no colors to rally to; and all the time the square is being cut to
pieces. But I, being nearest, caught up the colors in this here left
hand," here the Corporal raised his gleaming hook, "but a Cuirassier,
'e caught them too, and there's him at one end o' the staff and me
at t'other, pulling and hauling, and then--all at once he'd got 'em.
And because why? Because I hadn't got no left 'and to 'old with. But
I'd got my right, and in my right was 'Brown Bess' there," and the
Corporal pointed to the long musket in the corner. "My bayonet was
gone, and there weren't no time to reload, so--I used the butt. Then
I picked up the colors again and 'eld 'em high over my head, for the
smoke were pretty thick, and, 'To the colors,' I shouted,' Rally,
lads, rally!' And oh, by the Lord, sir,--to hear our lads cheer! And
so the square formed up again--what was left of it--formed up close
and true round me and the colors, and the last thing I mind was the
cheering. Ah! they was fine fellows, they Cuirassiers!"
"So that vere the end o' the Corp's soldiering!" nodded Mr. Shrig.
"Yes," sighed the Corporal, "a one-handed soldier ain't much good,
ye see, sir."
"So they--throwed 'im out!" snarled Mr. Shrig.
"Now Jarsper," smiled the giant, shaking his head. "Why so 'ard
on the sarvice? They give me m' stripe."
"And your dis-charge!" added Mr. Shrig.
"And a--pension," said the soldier.
"Pension," sniffed Mr. Shrig, "a fine, large vord, Dick, as means
werry little to you!"
"And they mentioned me in the Gazette, Jarsper," said the Corporal
looking very sheepish, and stroking his whisker again with his hook.
"And a lot o' good that done you, didn't it? Your 'eart vos broke
the night I found you--down by the River."
"Why, I did feel as I weren't much good, Jarsper, I'll admit. You see,
I 'adn't my hook then, sir. But I think I'd ha' give my other
'and--ah! that I would--to ha' been allowed to march on wi' the
rest o' the lads to Waterloo."
"So you vos a-going to throw yerself into the River!"
"I were, Jarsper, should ha' done it but for you, comrade."
"But you didn't do it, so later on ve took this 'ere place."
"You did, Jarsper--"
"Ve took it together, Dick. And werry vell you're a-doing vith it,
for both of us."
"I do my best, Jarsper."
"V'ich couldn't be bettered, Dick. Then look how you 'elp me vith my
"Do I, Jarsper?" said the Corporal, his blue eyes shining.
"That you do, Dick. And now I've got another case as I'm a-vaiting
for,--a extra-special Capital case it is too!"
"Another murder, Jarsper?"
"Ah, a murder, Dick,--a murder as ain't been committed yet, a murder
as I'm expecting to come off in--say a month, from information
received this 'ere werry arternoon. A murder, Dick, as is going to
be done by a capital cove as I spotted over a month ago. Now v'ot I
'm going to tell you is betwixt us--private and confidential and--"
But here Barnabas pushed back his chair.
"Then perhaps I had better be going?" said he.
"Going, sir? and for v'y?"
"That you may be more private, and talk more freely."
"Sir," said Mr. Shrig. "I knows v'en to speak and v'en not. My eyes
tells me who I can trust and who not. And, sir, I've took to you,
and so's the Corp,--ain't you, Dick?"
"Yes, sir," said the giant diffidently.
"Sir," pursued Mr. Shrig, "you're a Nob, I know, a Corinthian by
your looks, a Buck, sir, a Dash, a 'eavy Toddler, but also, I takes
the liberty o' telling you as you're only a man, arter all, like the
rest on us, and it's that man as I'm a-talking to. Now v'en a man
'as stood up for me, shed 'is good blood for me, I makes that man my
pal, and my pal I allus trusts."
"And you shall find me worthy of your confidence," said Barnabas,
"and there's my hand on it, though, indeed, you hardly know
"More than you think, sir. Besides, it ain't v'ot a cove tells me
about 'imself as matters, nor v'ot other coves tell me about a cove,
as matters, it's v'ot a cove carries in 'is face as I goes by,--the
cock of 'is eye, an' all the rest of it. And then, I knows as your
name's Barnabas Barty--"
"Barty!--you know that?" exclaimed Barnabas, starting,--"how--how in
the world did you find out?"
"Took the liberty to look at your vatch, sir."
"Watch!" said Barnabas, drawing it from his fob, "what do you mean?"
"Give it 'ere, and I'll show ye, sir." So saying, Mr. Shrig took the
great timepiece and, opening the back, handed it to Barnabas. And
there, in the cavity between the two cases was a very small folded
paper, and upon this paper, in Natty Bell's handwriting, these words:
"To my dear lad Barnabas Barty, hoping that he may prove
as fine a gentleman as he is--a man."
Having read this, Barnabas folded the paper very gently, and putting
it back, closed the watch, and slipped it into his fob.
"And now," said Mr. Shrig, exhaling a vast cloud of smoke, "afore I
go on to tell you about this 'ere murder as I'm a-vaiting for, I
must show ye my little reader." Here Mr. Shrig thrust a hand into
his pocket,--then his pipe shivered to fragments on the stone floor
and he started up, mouth agape and eyes staring.
"Lord, Jarsper!" cried the Corporal, "what is it, comrade?"
"It's gone, Dick!" he gasped, "my little reader's been stole."
But now, even as he turned towards the door, Barnabas laid a
detaining hand upon his arm.
"Not stolen--lost!" said he, "and indeed, I'm not at all surprised!"
Here Barnabas smiled his quick, bright smile.
"Sir--sir?" stammered Mr. Shrig, "oh, Pal, d'ye mean--?"
"That I found it, yes," said Barnabas, "and here it is."
Mr. Shrig took his little book, opened it, closed it, thrust it into
his pocket, and took it out again.
"Sir," said he, catching Barnabas by the hand, "this here little
book is more to me nor gold or rubies. Sir, you are my pal,--and
consequent the Corp's also, and this 'ere chaffing-crib is allus
open to you. And if ever you want a man at your back--I'm your man,
and v'en not me--there's my pal Dick, ain't there, Di--"
Mr. Shrig stopped suddenly and stood with his head to one side as
one that listens. And thus, upon the stillness came the sound of one
who strode along the narrow passage-way outside, whistling as he went.
"'Sally in our Alley,' I think?" said Mr. Shrig.
"Yes," said Barnabas, wondering.
"V'ich means as I'm vanted, ah!--and vanted precious qvick too,"
saying which, Mr. Shrig caught up his "castor," seized the nobbly
stick, crossed to the door, and came back again.
"Dick," said he, "I'll get you to look after my little reader for me,
--I ain't a-going to risk losing it again."
"Right you are, Jarsper," nodded the Corporal.
"And sir," continued Mr. Shrig, turning towards Barnabas with the
book in his hand, "you said, I think, as you'd like to see what I'd
got inside o' this 'ere.--If so be you're in the same mind about it,
why--'ere it is." And Mr. Shrig laid the little book on the table
before Barnabas. "And v'ot's more, any time as you're passing, drop
in to the 'Gun,' and drink a glass o' the Vun and Only vith Dick and
me." So Mr. Shrig nodded, unlocked the door, shut it very gently
behind him, and his footsteps died away along the echoing passage.
Then, while the Corporal puffed at his long pipe, Barnabas opened
the little book, and turning the pages haphazard presently came to
one where, painfully written in a neat, round hand, he read this:
|Name. |When |Date of |Sentence. |Date of |
| |spotted. |Murder. | |Execution.|
| ______________________| _________|________| __________|__________|
|James Aston (Porter) |Feb. 2 |March 30|Hanged |April 5 |
|Digbeth Andover (Gent) |March 3 |April 28|Transported|May 5 |
|John Barnes (Sailor) |March 10 |Waiting |Waiting |Waiting |
|Sir Richard Brock(Bart)|April 5 |May 3 |Hanged |May 30 |
|Thomas Beal (Tinker) |March 23 |April 15|Hanged |May 30 |
There were many such names all carefully set down in alphabetical
order, and Barnabas read them through with perfunctory interest.
But--half-way down the list of B's his glance was suddenly arrested,
his hands clenched themselves, and he grew rigid in his
chair--staring wide-eyed at a certain name. In a while he closed the
little book, yet sat there very still, gazing at nothing in
particular, until the voice of the Corporal roused him somewhat.
"A wonderful man, my comrade Jarsper, sir?"
"Yes," said Barnabas absently.
"Though he wouldn't ha' passed as a Grenadier,--not being tall enough,
"No," said Barnabas, his gaze still fixed.
"But as a trap, sir,--as a limb o' the law, he ain't to be
ekalled--nowheres nor nohow."
"No," said Barnabas, rising.
"What? are you off, sir--must you march?"
"Yes," said Barnabas, taking up his hat, "yes, I must go."
"'Olborn way, sir?"
"Why then--foller me, sir,--front door takes you into Gray's Inn
Lane--by your left turn and 'Olborn lays straight afore you,--this
way, sir." But, being come to the front door of the "Gun," Barnabas
paused upon the threshold, lost in abstraction again, and staring at
nothing in particular while the big Corporal watched him with a
"Is it your 'ead, sir?" he inquired suddenly.
"Head?" repeated Barnabas.
"Not troubling you, is it, sir?"
"No,--oh no, thank you," answered Barnabas, and stretched out his
hand. "Good-by, Corporal, I'm glad to have met you, and the One and
Only was excellent."
"Thankee, sir. I hope as you'll do me and my comrade the honor to
try it again--frequent. Good-by, sir." But standing to watch
Barnabas as he went, the Corporal shook his head and muttered to
himself, for Barnabas walked with a dragging step, and his chin upon
Holborn was still full of the stir and bustle, the rush and roar of
thronging humanity, but now Barnabas was blind and deaf to it all,
for wherever he looked he seemed to see the page of Mr. Shrig's
little book with its list of carefully written names,--those
names beginning with B.--thus:
|Name. |When |Date |Sentence.|Date of |
| |spotted.|of Murder. | |Execution.|
|Sir Richard | | | | |
|Brock (Bart.)|April 5 | May 3 | Hanged | May 30 |
|Thomas Beal | | | | |
|(Tinker) |March 23| April 15 | Hanged | May 30 |
|Ronald | | | | |
|Barrymaine | May 12 | Waiting | Waiting | Waiting |
CONCERNING THE DUTY OF FATHERS; MORE ESPECIALLY THE VISCOUNT'S
It was about two o'clock in the afternoon that Barnabas knocked at
the door of the Viscount's chambers in Half-moon Street and was duly
admitted by a dignified, albeit somewhat mournful gentleman in blue
and silver, who, after a moment of sighing hesitancy, ushered him
into a small reception room where sat a bullet-headed man with one
eye and a remarkably bristly chin, a sinister looking person who
stared very hard with his one eye, and sucked very hard, with much
apparent relish and gusto, at the knob of the stick he carried. At
sight of this man the mournful gentleman averted his head, and
vented a sound which, despite his impressive dignity, greatly
resembled a sniff, and, bowing to Barnabas, betook himself upstairs
to announce the visitor. Hereupon the one-eyed man having surveyed
Barnabas from head to foot with his solitary orb, drew the knob of
his stick from his mouth, dried it upon his sleeve, looked at it,
gave it a final rub, and spoke.
"Sir," said he in a jovial voice that belied his sinister aspect,
"did you 'ear that rainbow sniff?"
"Rainbow?" said Barnabas.
"Well,--wallet, then,--footman--the ornamental cove as jest popped
you in 'ere. Makes one 'undred and eleven of 'em!"
"One hundred and eleven what?"
"Sniffs, sir,--s-n-i-double-f-s! I've took the trouble to count 'em,
--nothing else to do. I ain't got a word out of 'im yet, an' I've
been sittin' 'ere ever since eight o'clock s'mornin'. I'm a
conwivial cock, I am,--a sociable cove, yes, sir, a s-o-s-h-able
cove as ever wore a pair o' boots. Wot I sez is,--though a bum, why
not a sociable bum, and try to make things nice and pleasant, and I
does my best, give you my word! But Lord! all my efforts is wasted
on that 'ere rainbow--nothing but sniffs!"
"Why then--who--what are you?"
"I'm Perks and Condy, wines and sperrits,--eighty-five pound,
eighteen, three--that's me, sir."
"Do you mean that you are--in possession--here?"
"Just that, sir,--ever since eight o'clock s'morning--and nothing
but sniffs--so fur." Here the bullet-headed man nodded and eyed the
knob of his stick hungrily. But at this moment the door opened, and
the dignified (though mournful) gentleman appeared, and informed
Barnabas (with a sigh) that "his Lordship begged Mr. Beverley would
Upstairs accordingly Barnabas stepped, and guided by a merry
whistling, pushed open a certain door, and so found the Viscount
busily engaged in the manufacture of a paper dart, composed of a
sheet of the Gazette, in the midst of which occupation he paused to
grip Barnabas by the hand.
"Delighted to see you, Bev," said he heartily, "pray sit down, my
dear fellow--sit anywhere--no, not there--that's the toast, deuce
take it! Oh, never mind a chair, bed'll do, eh? Yes, I'm rather
late this morning, Bev,--but then I was so late last night that I
was devilish early, and I'm making up for it,--must have steady
nerves for the fifteenth, you know. Ah, and that reminds me!" Here
the Viscount took up his unfinished dart and sighed over it.
"I'm suffering from a rather sharp attack of Romanism, my dear fellow,
my Honored Parent has been at it again, Bev, and then, I dropped two
hundred pounds in Jermyn Street last night."
"Dropped it! Do you mean you lost it, or were you robbed?" inquired
Barnabas the Simple. Now when he said this, the Viscount stared at
him incredulously, but, meeting the clear gaze of the candid gray
eyes, he smiled all at once and shook his head.
"Gad!" he exclaimed, "what a strange fellow you are, Bev. And yet I
wouldn't have you altered, no, damme! you're too refreshing. You ask
me 'did I lose it, or was I robbed?' I answer you,--both, my dear
fellow. It was a case of sharps and flats, and--I was the flat."
"Ah,--you mean gambling, Dick?"
"Gambling, Bev,--at a hell in Jermyn Street."
"Two hundred pounds is a great deal of money to lose at cards," said
Barnabas, shaking his head gravely.
"Humph!" murmured the Viscount, busied upon his paper dart again,
"you should congratulate me, I think, that it was no more,--might
just as easily have been two thousand, you see, indeed I wonder it
wasn't. Egad! the more I think of it, the more fortunate I consider
myself. Yes, I certainly think you should congratulate me. Now--watch
me hit Sling!" and the Viscount poised his completed dart.
"Captain Slingsby--here?" exclaimed Barnabas, glancing about.
"Under the settee, yonder," nodded the Viscount, "wrapped up in the
"Table-cloth!" repeated Barnabas.
"By way of military cloak," explained the Viscount. "You see--Sling
was rather--mellow, last night, and--at such times he always imagines
he's campaigning again--insists upon sleeping on the floor."
Now, looking where the Viscount pointed, Barnabas espied the touzled
head of Captain Slingsby of the Guards protruding from beneath the
settee, and reposing upon a cushion. The Captain's features were
serene, and his breathing soft and regular, albeit deepening, ever
and anon, into a gentle snore.
"Poor old Sling!" said the Viscount, leaning forward the better to
aim his missile, "in two hours' time he must go and face the Ogre,
--poor old Sling! Now watch me hit him!" So saying Viscount Devenham
launched his paper dart which, gliding gracefully through the air,
buried its point in the Captain's whisker, whereupon that warrior,
murmuring plaintively, turned over and fell once more gently
"Talking about the Ogre--" began the Viscount.
"You mean--Jasper Gaunt?" Barnabas inquired.
"Precisely, dear fellow, and, talking of him, did you happen to
notice a--fellow, hanging about downstairs,--a bristly being with
one eye, Bev?"
"Ha!" said the Viscount nodding, "and talking of him, brings me back
to my Honored Roman--thus, Bev. Chancing to find myself
in--ha--hum--a little difficulty, a--let us say--financial tightness,
Bev. I immediately thought of my father, which,--under the
circumstances was, I think, very natural--and filial, my dear fellow.
I said to myself, here is a man, the author of my being, who, though
confoundedly Roman, is still my father, and, as such, owes certain
duties to his son, sacred duties, Bev, not to be lightly esteemed,
blinked, or set aside,--eh, Bev?"
"Undoubtedly!" said Barnabas.
"I, therefore, ventured to send him a letter, post-haste, gently
reminding him of those same duties, and acquainting him with
my--ah--needy situation,--which was also very natural, I think."
"Certainly!" said Barnabas, smiling.
"But--would you believe it, my dear fellow, he wrote, or rather,
indited me an epistle, or, I should say, indictment, in his most
Roman manner which--but egad! I'll read it to you, I have it here
somewhere." And the Viscount began to rummage among the bedclothes,
to feel and fumble under pillow and bolster, and eventually dragged
forth a woefully crumpled document which he smoothed out upon his
knees, and from which he began to read as follows:
MY DEAR HORATIO.
"As soon as I saw that' t--i--o,' Bev, I knew it was no go. Had it
been merely a--c--e I should have nourished hopes, but the 't--i--o'
slew 'em--killed 'em stone dead and prepared me for a screed in my
Honored Roman's best style, bristling with the Divine Right of
Fathers, and, Bev--I got it. Listen:"
Upon reading your long and very eloquent letter, I was surprised
to learn, firstly, that you required money, and secondly to observe
that you committed only four solecisms in spelling,
("Gives me one at the very beginning, you'll notice,
As regards the money, you will, I am sure, be amazed, nay astounded,
to learn that you have already exceeded your allowance by some five
("So I was, Bev, begad--I thought it was eight.")
As regards your spelling--
("Ah! here he leads again with his left, and gets one in,--low,
As regards your spelling, as you know, I admire originality in
all things; but it has, hitherto, been universally conceded that the
word "eliminate" shall not and cannot begin with the letters i-l-l!
"Vanquish" does not need a k. "Apathy" is spelled with but one p--
while never before have I beheld "anguish" with a w.
("Now, Bev, that's what I call coming it a bit too strong!" sighed
the Viscount, shaking his head; "'anguish' is anguish however you
spell it! And, as for the others, let me tell you when a fellow has
a one-eyed being with bristles hanging about his place, he isn't
likely to be over particular as to his p's and q's, no, damme! Let's
see, where were we? ah! here it is,--'anguish' with a 'w'!")
I quite agree with your remarks, viz. that a father's duties to
his son are sacred and holy--
("This is where I counter, Bev, very neatly,--listen! He quite
--a father's duties to his son are sacred and holy, and not to be
lightly esteemed, blinked, or set aside--
("Aha! had him there, Bev,--inside his guard, eh?")
I also appreciate, and heartily endorse your statement that it is
to his father that a son should naturally turn for help--
("Had him again--a leveller that time, egad!")
naturally turn for help, but, when the son is constantly turning,
then, surely, the father may occasionally turn too, like the worm.
The simile, though unpleasant, is yet strikingly apt.
("Hum! there he counters me and gets one back, I suppose, Bev? Oh,
I'll admit the old boy is as neat and quick with his pen as he used
to be with his hands. He ends like this:")
I rejoice to hear that you are well in health, and pray that,
despite the forthcoming steeplechase, dangerous as I hear it is, you
may so continue. Upon this head I am naturally somewhat anxious,
since I possess only one son. And I further pray that, wilfully
reckless though he is, he may yet be spared to be worthy of the name
that will be his when I shall have risen beyond it.
BAMBOROUGH AND REVELSDEN.
The Viscount sighed, and folded up his father's letter rather
"He's a deuced old Roman, of course," said he, "and yet--!" Here the
Viscount turned, and slipped the letter back under his pillow with a
hand grown suddenly gentle. "But there you are, Bev! Not a word about
money,--so downstairs Bristles must continue to sit until--"
"If," said Barnabas diffidently, "if you would allow me to lend--"
"No, no, Bev--though I swear it's uncommon good of you. But really I
couldn't allow it. Besides, Jerningham owes me something, I believe,
at least, if he doesn't he did, and it's all one anyway. I sent the
Imp over to him an hour ago; he'll let me have it, I know. Though I
thank you none the less, my dear fellow, on my soul I do! But--oh
deuce take me--you've nothing to drink! what will you take--?"
"Nothing, thanks, Dick. As a matter of fact, I came to ask you a
"Granted, my dear fellow!"
"I want you to ask Captain Slingsby to introduce me to Jasper Gaunt."
"Ah?" said the Viscount, coming to his elbow, "you mean on behalf of
"Of Barrymaine, yes."
"It's--it's utterly preposterous!" fumed the Viscount.
"So you said before, Dick."
"You mean to--go on with it?"
"You are still determined to befriend a--"
"More than ever, Dick."
"For Her sake. Yes, Dick," said Barnabas, beginning to frown a little.
"I mean to free him from Gaunt, and rescue him from Chichester--if I
"But Chichester is about the only friend he has left, Bev."
"On the contrary, I think Chichester is his worst enemy."
"But--my dear fellow! Chichester is the only one who has stood by
him in his disgrace, though why, I can't imagine."
"I think I can tell you the reason, and in one word," said Barnabas,
his face growing blacker.
"Well, Bev,--what is it?"
"Cleone!" The Viscount started.
"What,--you think--? Oh, impossible! The fellow would never have a
chance, she despises him, I know."
"And fears him too, Dick."
"Fears him? Gad! what do you mean, Bev?"
"I mean that, unworthy though he may be, she idolizes her brother."
"And for his sake, would sacrifice her fortune,--ah! and herself!"
"Well, Dick, Chichester knows this, and is laying his plans
"He's teaching Barrymaine to drink, for one thing--"
"He didn't need much teaching, Bev."
"Then, he has got him in his power,--somehow or other, anyhow,
Barrymaine fears him, I know. When the time comes, Chichester means
to reach the sister through her love for her brother, and--before he
shall do that, Dick--" Barnabas threw up his head and clenched his
"I'll--kill him, Dick."
"You mean--fight him, of course?"
"It would be all one," said Barnabas grimly.
"And how do you propose to--go about the matter--to save Barrymaine?"
"I shall pay off his debts, first of all."
"Take him away with me."
"To-morrow, if possible--the sooner the better."
"And give up the race, Bev?"
"Yes," said Barnabas, sighing, "even that if need be."
Here the Viscount lay back among his pillows and stared up at the
tester of the bed, and his gaze was still directed thitherwards when
"And you would do all this--"
"For--Her sake," said Barnabas softly, "besides, I promised, Dick."
"And you have seen her--only once, Bev!"
Again there was silence while the Viscount stared up at the tester
and Barnabas frowned down at the clenched fist on his knee.
"Gad!" said the Viscount suddenly, "Gad, Beverley, what a deuced
determined fellow you are!"
"You see--I love her, Dick."
"And by the Lord, Bev, shall I tell you what I begin to think?"
"Well, I begin to think that in spite of--er--me, and hum--all the
rest of 'em, in spite of everything--herself included, if need be,
--you'll win her yet."
"And shall I tell you what I begin to think, Dick?"
"I begin to think that you have never--loved her at all."
"Eh?" cried the Viscount, starting up very suddenly, "what?--never
lov--oh, Gad, Beverley! what the deuce should make you think that?"
"Clemency!" said Barnabas.
The Viscount stared, opened his mouth, shut it, ran his fingers
through his hair, and fell flat upon his pillows again.
"So now," said Barnabas the persistent, "now you know why I am so
anxious to meet Jasper Gaunt."
"Gaunt!" said the Viscount dreamily, "Gaunt!"
"Captain Slingsby has to see him this afternoon,--at least so you
said, and I was wondering--"
"Slingsby! Oh, egad I forgot! so he has,--curricle's ordered for
half-past three. Will you oblige me by prodding him with your cane,
Bev? Don't be afraid,--poke away, my dear fellow, Sling takes a
devil of a lot of waking."
Thus admonished, Barnabas presently succeeded in arousing the
somnolent Slingsby, who, lifting a drowsy head, blinked sleepily,
and demanded in an injured tone:
"Wha' the dooce it was all about, b'gad?" Then having yawned
prodigiously and come somewhat to himself, he proceeded to crawl
from under the settee, when, catching sight of Barnabas, he sprang
lightly to his feet and greeted him cordially.
"Ah, Beverley!" he cried,--"how goes it? Glad you woke me--was
having a devil of a dream. Thought the 'Rascal' had strained his
'off' fore-leg, and was out of the race! What damnable things dreams
"My dear Sling," said the Viscount, "it is exactly a quarter past
"Oh, is it, b'gad! Well?"
"And at four o'clock I believe you have an appointment with Gaunt."
"Gaunt!" repeated the Captain, starting, and Barnabas saw all the
light and animation die out of his face, "Gaunt,--yes, I--b'gad!--I
'd forgotten, Devenham."
"You ordered your curricle for half-past three, didn't you?"
"Yes, and I've no time to bathe--ought to shave, though, and oh,
damme,--look at my cravat!"
"You'll find everything you need in my dressing-room, Sling."
The Captain nodded his thanks, and forthwith vanished into the
adjacent chamber, whence he was to be heard at his ablutions,
puffing and blowing, grampus-like. To whom thus the Viscount,
raising his voice: "Oh, by the way, Sling, Beverley wants to go with
you." Here the Captain stopped, as it seemed in the very middle of a
puff, and when he spoke it was in a tone of hoarse incredulity:
"Eh,--b'gad, what's that?"
"He wants you to introduce him to Jasper Gaunt."
Here a sudden explosive exclamation, and, thereafter, the Captain
appeared as in the act of drying himself, his red face glowing from
between the folds of the towel while he stared from the Viscount to
Barnabas with round eyes.
"What!" he exclaimed at last, "you, too, Beverley! Poor devil, have
you come to it--and so soon?"
"No," said Barnabas, shaking his head, "I wish to see him on behalf
"Eh? Another? Oh--!"
"On behalf of Mr. Ronald Barrymaine."
"Of Barrym--" Here the Captain suddenly fell to towelling himself
violently, stopped to stare at Barnabas again, gave himself another
futile rub or two, and, finally, dropped the towel altogether.
"On behalf of--oh b'gad!" he exclaimed, and incontinent vanished
into the dressing-room. But, almost immediately he was back again,
this time wielding a shaving brush. "Wish to see--Gaunt, do you?" he
"Yes," said Barnabas.
"And," said the Captain, staring very hard at the shaving brush,
"not--on your own account?"
"No," answered Barnabas.
"But on behalf--I think you said--of--"
"Of Ronald Barrymaine," said Barnabas.
"Oh!" murmured the Captain, and vanished again. But now Barnabas
"Have you any objection to my going with you?" he inquired.
"Not in the least," answered the Captain, making hideous faces at
himself in the mirror as he shaved, "oh, no--delighted, 'pon my soul,
"Only, if it's time you're going to ask for--it's no go, my
boy--hard-fisted old rasper, you know the saying,--(Bible, I think),
figs, b'gad, and thistles, bread from stones, but no mercy from
"I don't seek his mercy," said Barnabas.
"Why, then, my dear Beverley--ha! there's Jenk come up to say the
curricle's at the door."
Sure enough, at the moment, the Viscount's gentleman presented
himself to announce the fact, albeit mournfully and with a sigh. He
was about to bow himself out again when the Viscount stayed him with
an upraised finger.
"Jenkins," said he, "my very good Jenk!"
"Yes, m'lud?" said Jenkins.
"Is the person with the--ah--bristles--still downstairs?"
"He is, m'lud," said Jenkins, with another sigh.
"Then tell him to possess his soul in patience, Jenk,--for I fear he
will remain there a long, long time."
OF THE LUCK OF CAPTAIN SLINGSBY, OF THE GUARDS
"You don't mind if we--drive about a bit, do you, Beverley?"
"Not in the least."
"I--er--I generally go the longest way round when I have to call on--"
Now as they went, Barnabas noticed that a change had come over his
companion, his voice had lost much of its jovial ring, his eye its
sparkle, while his ruddy cheeks were paler than their wont; moreover
he was very silent, and sat with bent head and with his square
shoulders slouched dejectedly. Therefore Barnabas must needs cast
about for some means of rousing him from this depression.
"You drive a very handsome turnout," said he at last.
"It is neat, isn't it?" nodded Slingsby, his eye brightening.
"Very!" said Barnabas, "and the horses--"
"Horses!" cried the Captain, almost himself again, "ha,
b'gad--there's action for you--and blood too! I was a year matching
'em. Cost me eight hundred guineas--and cheap at the money--but--"
"After all, Beverley, they--aren't mine, you see."
The Captain nodded gloomily.
"Yes," said he, "my horses are his, my curricle's his, my clothes
are his--everything's his. So am I, b'gad! Oh, you needn't look so
infernal incredulous--fact, I assure you. And, when you come to
think of it--it's all cursed humorous, isn't it?" and here the
Captain contrived to laugh, though it rang very hollow, to be sure.
"You owe--a great deal then?" said Barnabas.
"Owe?" said the Captain, turning to look at him, "I'm in up to my
neck, and getting deeper. Owe! B'gad, Beverley--I believe you!" But
now, at sight of gravefaced Barnabas, he laughed again, and this
time it sounded less ghoul-like. "Debt is a habit," he continued
sententiously, "that grows on one most damnably, and creditors are
the most annoying people in the world--so confoundedly unreasonable!
Of course I pay 'em--now and then--deserving cases, y' know. Fellow
called on me t' other day,--seemed to know his face. 'Who are you?'
says I. 'I'm the man who makes your whips, sir,' says he. 'And
devilish good whips too!' says I, 'how much do I owe you?' 'Fifteen
pounds, sir,' says he, 'I wouldn't bother you only'--well, it
seemed his wife was sick--fellow actually blubbered! So of course I
rang for my rascal Danby, Danby's my valet, y' know. 'Have you any
money, Danby?' says I. 'No sir,' says he; queer thing, but Danby
never has, although I pay him regularly--devilish improvident fellow,
Danby! So I went out and unearthed Jerningham--and paid the fellow
on the spot--only right, y' know."
"But why not pay your debts with your own money?" Barnabas inquired.
"For the very good reason that it all went,--ages ago!"
"Why, then," said Barnabas, "earn more."
"Eh?" said the Captain, staring, "earn it? My dear Beverley, I never
earned anything in my life, except my beggarly pay, and that isn't
enough even for my cravats."
"Well, why not begin?"
"Begin? To earn money? How?"
"You might work," suggested Barnabas.
"Work?" repeated the Captain, starting, "eh, what? Oh, I see, you're
joking, of course,--deuced quaint, b'gad!"
"No, I'm very serious," said Barnabas thoughtfully.
"Are you though! But what the deuce kind of work d'you suppose I'm
"All men can work!" said Barnabas, more thoughtfully than before.
"Well,--I can ride, and shoot, and drive a coach with any one."
"No,--not that I can think of."
"Have you never tried to work, then,--hard work, I mean?"
"Oh Lord, no! Besides, I've always been too busy, y'know. I've never
had to work. Y' see, as luck would have it, I was born a gentleman,
"Yes," nodded Barnabas, more thoughtful than ever, "but--what is a
"A gentleman? Why--let me think!" said the Captain, manoeuvring his
horses skilfully as they swung into the Strand.
And when he had thought as far as the Savoy he spoke:
"A gentleman," said he, "is a fellow who goes to a university, but
doesn't have to learn anything; who goes out into the world, but
doesn't have to--work at anything; and who has never been
blackballed at any of the clubs. I've done a good many things in my
time, but I've never had to work."
"That is a great pity!" sighed Barnabas.
"Oh! is it, b'gad! And why?"
"Because hard work ennobles a man," said Barnabas.
"Always heard it was a deuce of a bore!" murmured the Captain.
"Exertion," Barnabas continued, growing a little didactic perhaps,
"exertion is--life. By idleness come degeneration and death."
"Sounds cursed unpleasant, b'gad!" said the Captain.
"The work a man does lives on after him," Barnabas continued,
"it is his monument when he is no more, far better than your
high-sounding epitaphs and stately tombs, yes, even though it be
only the furrow he has ploughed, or the earth his spade has turned."
"But,--my dear fellow, you surely wouldn't suggest that I should
"You might do worse," said Barnabas, "but--"
"Ha!" said the Captain, "well now, supposing I was a--deuced good
digger,--a regular rasper, b'gad! I don't know what a digger earns,
but let's be moderate and say five or six pounds a week. Well, what
the deuce good d'you suppose that would be to me? Why, I still owe
Gaunt, as far as I can figure it up, about eighty thousand pounds,
which is a deuced lot more than it sounds. I should have been
rotting in the Fleet, or the Marshalsea, years ago if it hadn't been
for my uncle's gout, b'gad!"
"Precisely! Every twinge he has--up goes my credit. I'm his only heir,
y'know, and he's seventy-one. At present he's as sound as a bell,
--actually rode to hounds last week, b'gad! Consequently my
credit's--nowhere. Jolly old boy, though--deuced fond of him--ha!
there's Haynes! Over yonder! Fellow driving the phaeton with the
black-a-moor in the rumble."
"You mean the man in the bright green coat?"
"Yes. Call him 'Pea-green Haynes'--one of your second-rate, ultra
dandies. Twig his vasty whiskers, will you! Takes his fellow hours
to curl 'em. And then his cravat, b'gad!"
"How does he turn his head?" inquired Barnabas.
"Never does,--can't! I lost a devilish lot to him at hazard a few
years ago--crippled me, y' know. But talking of my uncle--devilish
fond of him--always was."
"But mark you, Beverley, a man has no right--no business to go
on living after he's seventy, at least, it shows deuced bad
taste, I think--so thoughtless, y'know. Hallo! why there's Ball
Hughes--driving the chocolate-colored coach, and got up like a
regular jarvey. Devilish rich, y'know--call him 'The Golden
Ball'--deuce of a fellow! Pitch and toss, or whist at five pound
points, damme! Won small fortune from Petersham at battledore and
shuttlecock,--played all night too."
"And have you lost to him also?"
"Do you ever win?"
"Oh, well--now and then, y'know, though I'm generally unlucky. Must
have been under--Aldeboran, is it?--anyhow, some cursed star or other.
Been dogged by ill-luck from my cradle, b'gad! On the turf, in the
clubs and bells, even in the Peninsular!"
"So you fought in the Peninsular?"
"And did you gamble there too?"
"Naturally--whenever I could."
"And did you lose?"
"Generally. Everything's been against me, y'know--even my size."
"Well, there was a fellow in the Eighty-eighth, name of Crichton.
I'd lost to him pretty heavily while we were before Ciudad Rodrigo.
The night before the storming--we both happened to have volunteered,
y'know--'Crichton,' says I, 'I'll go you double or quits I'm into
the town to-morrow before you are.' 'Done!' says he. Well, we
advanced to the attack about dawn, about four hundred of us. The
breach was wide enough to drive a battery through, but the enemy had
thrown up a breast-work and fortified it during the night. But up we
went at the 'double,' Crichton and I in front, you may be sure. As
soon as the Frenchies opened fire, I began to run,--so did Crichton,
but being longer in the leg, I was at the breach first, and began to
scramble over the débris. Crichton was a little fellow, y' know, but
game all through, and active as a cat, and b'gad, presently above
the roar and din, I could hear him panting close behind me. Up we
went, nearer and nearer, with our fellows about a hundred yards in
our rear, clambering after us and cheering as they came. I was close
upon the confounded breastwork when I took a musket-ball through my
leg, and over I went like a shot rabbit, b'gad! Just then Crichton
panted up. 'Hurt?' says he. 'Only my leg,' says I, 'go on, and good
luck to you.' 'Devilish rough on you, Sling!' says he, and on he went.
But he'd only gone about a couple of yards when he threw up his arms
and pitched over on his face. 'Poor Crichton's done for!' says I to
myself, and made shift to crawl over to him. But b'gad! he saw me
coming, and began to crawl too. So there we were, on our hands and
knees, crawling up towards the Frenchies as hard as we could go. My
leg was deuced--uncomfortable, y' know, but I put on a spurt, and
managed to draw level with him. 'Hallo, Sling!' says he, 'here's
where you win, for I'm done!' and over he goes again. 'So am I, for
that matter,' says I--which was only the truth, Beverley. So b'gad,
there we lay, side by side, till up came our fellows, yelling like
fiends, past us and over us, and charged the breastwork with the
bayonet,--and carried it too! Presently, up came two stragglers,--a
corporal of the Eighty-eighth and a sergeant of 'Ours.' 'Hi,
Corporal,' yells Crichton, 'ten pounds if you can get me over the
breastwork--quick's the word!' 'Sergeant,' says I, 'twenty pounds if
you get me over first.' Well, down went the Corporal's musket and the
Sergeant's pike, and on to their backs we scrambled--a deuced
painful business for both of us, I give you my word, Beverley. So we
began our race again--mounted this time. But it was devilish bad
going, and though the Sergeant did his best, I came in a very bad
second. You see, I'm no light weight, and Crichton was."
"You lost, then?"
"Oh, of course, even my size is against me, you see." Hereupon, once
more, and very suddenly, the Captain relapsed into his gloomy mood,
nor could Barnabas dispel it; his efforts were rewarded only by
monosyllables until, swinging round into a short and rather narrow
street, he brought his horses to a walk.
"Here we are, Beverley!"
"Where?" Barnabas inquired.
"Kirby Street,--his street. And there's the house,--his house," and
Captain Slingsby pointed his whip at a high, flat-fronted house. It
was a repellent-looking place with an iron railing before it, and
beyond this railing a deep and narrow area, where a flight of damp
steps led down to a gloomy door. The street was seemingly a quiet one,
and, at this hour, deserted save for themselves and a solitary man
who stood with his back to them upon the opposite side of the way,
apparently lost in profound thought. A very tall man he was, and
very upright, despite the long white hair that showed beneath his hat,
which, like his clothes, was old and shabby, and Barnabas noticed
that his feet were bare. This man Captain Slingsby incontinent
hailed in his characteristic fashion.
"Hi,--you over there!" he called. "Hallo!" The man never stirred.
"Oho! b'gad, are you deaf? Just come over here and hold my horses
for me, will you?" The man raised his head suddenly and turned. So
quickly did he turn that the countless gleaming buttons that he wore
upon his coat rang a jingling chime. Now, looking upon this strange
figure, Barnabas started up, and springing from the curricle,
crossed the street and looked upon the man with a smile.
"Have you forgotten me?" said Barnabas. The man smiled in turn, and
sweeping off the weather-beaten hat, saluted him with an old-time
bow of elaborate grace.
"Sir." he answered in his deep, rich voice, "Billy Button never
forgets--faces. You are Barnaby Bright--Barnabas, 't is all the same.
Sir, Billy Button salutes you."
"Why, then," said Barnabas, rather diffidently, seeing the other's
grave dignity, "will you oblige me by--by holding my friend's horses?
They are rather high-spirited and nervous."
"Nervous, sir? Ah, then they need me. Billy Button shall sing to them,
horses love music, and, like trees, are excellent listeners."
Forthwith Billy Button crossed the street with his long, stately
stride, and taking the leader's bridle, fell to soothing the horses
with soft words, and to patting them with gentle, knowing hands.
"B'gad!" exclaimed the Captain, staring, "that fellow has been used
to horses--once upon a time. Poor devil!" As he spoke he glanced
from Billy Button's naked feet and threadbare clothes to his own
glossy Hessians and immaculate garments, and Barnabas saw him wince
as he turned towards the door of Jasper Gaunt's house. Now when
Barnabas would have followed, Billy Button caught him suddenly by
"You are not going--there?" he whispered, frowning and nodding
towards the house.
"Don't!" he whispered, "don't! An evil place, a place of, sin and
shadows, of sorrow, and tears, and black despair. Ah, an evil place!
No place for Barnaby Bright."
"I must," said Barnabas.
"So say they all. Youth goes in, and leaves his youth behind; men go
in, and leave all strength and hope behind; age goes in, and creeps
out--to a grave. Hear me, Barnaby Bright. There is one within there
already marked for destruction. Death follows at his heel, for evil
begetteth evil, and the sword, the sword. He is already doomed.
Listen,--blood! I've seen it upon the door yonder,--a bloody hand! I
know, for They have told me--They--the Wise Ones. And so I come here,
sometimes by day, sometimes by night, and I watch--I watch. But this
is no place for you,--'t is the grave of youth, don't go--don't go!"
"I must," repeated Barnabas, "for another's sake."
"Then must the blighting shadow fall upon you, too,--ah, yes, I know.
Oh, Barnaby,--Barnaby Bright!"
Here, roused by the Captain's voice, rather hoarser than usual,
Barnabas turned and saw that the door of the house was open, and
that Captain Slingsby stood waiting for him with a slender,
youthful-seeming person who smiled; a pale-faced, youngish man, with
colorless hair, and eyes so very pale as to be almost imperceptible
in the pallor of his face. Now, even as the door closed, Barnabas
could hear Billy Button singing softly to the horses.
HOW BARNABAS MET JASPER GAUNT, AND WHAT CAME OF IT
Barnabas followed the Captain along a somewhat gloomy hall, up a
narrow and winding staircase, and here, halfway up, was a small
landing with an alcove where stood a tall, wizen-faced clock with
skeleton hands and a loud, insistent, very deliberate tick; so, up
more stairs to another hall, also somewhat gloomy, and a door which
the pale-eyed, smiling person obligingly opened, and, having ushered
them into a handsomely furnished chamber, disappeared. The Captain
crossed to the hearth, and standing before the empty grate, put up
his hand and loosened his high stock with suddenly petulant fingers,
rather as though he found some difficulty in breathing; and, looking
at him, Barnabas saw that the debonair Slingsby had vanished quite;
in his place was another--a much older man, haggard of eye, with a
face peaked, and gray, and careworn beneath the brim of the jaunty
"My dear Beverley," said he, staring down into the empty grate,
"if you 're ever in need--if you're ever reduced to--destitution,
then, in heaven's name, go quietly away and--starve! Deuced
unpleasant, of course, but it's--sooner over, b'gad!"
At this moment the smiling person reappeared at a different door,
and uttered the words:
"Captain Slingsby,--if _you_ please." Hereupon the Captain visibly
braced himself, squared his shoulders, took off his hat, crossed the
room in a couple of strides, and Barnabas was alone.
Now as he sat there waiting, he gradually became aware of a sound
that stole upon the quiet, a soft, low sound, exactly what he could
not define, nevertheless it greatly perturbed him. Therefore he rose,
and approaching that part of the room whence it proceeded, he saw
another door. And then, all at once, as he stood before this door,
he knew what the sound was, and why it had so distressed him; and,
even as the knowledge came, he opened the door and stepped into the
And this is what he saw:
A bare little room, or office; the pale, smiling gentleman, who
lounged in a cushioned chair, a comb in one hand, and in the other a
small pocket mirror, by the aid of which he was attending to a
diminutive tuft of flaxen whisker; and a woman, in threadbare
garments, who crouched upon a bench beside the opposite wall, her
face bowed upon her hands, her whole frame shaken by great,
heart-broken, gasping sobs,--a sound full of misery, and of
At the opening of the door, the pale gentleman started and turned,
and the woman looked up with eyes swollen and inflamed by weeping.
"Sir," said the pale gentleman, speaking softly, yet in the tone of
one used to command, "may I ask what this intrusion means?" Now as
he looked into the speaker's pallid eyes, Barnabas saw that he was
much older than he had thought. He had laid aside the comb and mirror,
and now rose in a leisurely manner, and his smile was more
unpleasant than ever as he faced Barnabas.
"This place is private, sir--you understand, private, sir. May I
suggest that you--go, that you--leave us?" As he uttered the last
two words, he thrust out his head and jaw in a very ugly manner,
therefore Barnabas turned and addressed himself to the woman.
"Pray, madam," said he, "tell me your trouble; what is the matter?"
But the woman only wrung her hands together, and stared with great,
frightened eyes at the colorless man, who now advanced, smiling still,
and tapped Barnabas smartly on the shoulder.
"The trouble is her own, sir, the matter is--entirely a private one,"
said he, fixing Barnabas with his pale stare, "I repeat, sir,--a
private one. May I, therefore, suggest that you withdraw--at once?"
"As often as you please, sir," retorted Barnabas,
"Ah!" sighed the man, thrusting out his head again, "and what do you
"First, is your name Jasper Gaunt?"
"No; but it is as well known as his--better to a great many."
"And your name is--?"
"Then, Mr. Quigly, pray be seated while I learn this poor creature's
"I think--yes, I think you'd better go," said Mr. Quigly,--"ah,
yes--and at once, or--"
"Or?" said Barnabas, smiling and clenching his fists.
"Or it will be the worse--for you--"
"And for your friend the Captain."
"And you will give this woman more reason for her tears!"
Then, looking from the pale, threatening eyes, and smiling lips of
the man, to the trembling fear of the weeping woman, and remembering
Slingsby's deathly cheek and shaking hand, a sudden, great anger
came upon Barnabas; his long arm shot out and, pinning Mr. Quigly by
the cravat, he shook him to and fro in a paroxysm of fury. Twice he
raised his cane to strike, twice he lowered it, and finally loosing
his grip, Mr. Quigly staggered back to the opposite wall, and leaned
Hereupon Barnabas, somewhat shocked at his own loss of self-restraint,
re-settled his cuff, straightened his cravat, and, when he spoke,
was more polite than ever.
"Mr. Quigly, pray sit down," said he; "I have no wish to thrash you,--it
would be a pity to spoil my cane, so--oblige me by sitting down."
Mr. Quigly opened his mouth as if to speak, but, glancing at Barnabas,
thought better of it; yet his eyes grew so pale that they seemed all
whites as he sank into the chair.
"And now," said Barnabas, turning to the crouching woman, "I don't
think Mr. Quigly will interrupt us again, you may freely tell your
trouble--if you will."
"Oh, sir,--it's my husband! He's been in prison a whole year, and
now--now he's dying--they've killed him. It was fifty pounds a year
ago. I saved, and scraped, and worked day and night, and a month
ago--I brought the fifty pounds. But then--Oh, my God!--then they
told me I must find twenty more--interest, they called it. Twenty
pounds! why, it would take me months and months to earn so much,
--and my husband was dying!--dying! But, sir, I went away despairing.
Then I grew wild,--desperate--yes, desperate--oh, believe it, sir,
and I,--I--Ah, sir--what won't a desperate woman do for one she loves?
And so I--trod shameful ways! To-day I brought the twenty pounds,
and now--dear God! now they say it must be twenty-three. Three
pounds more, and I have no more--and I can't--Oh, I--can't go back
to it again--the shame and horror--I--can't, sir!" So she covered
her face again, and shook with the bitter passion of her woe.
And, after a while, Barnabas found voice, though his voice was very
hoarse and uneven.
"I think," said he slowly, "yes, I think my cane could not have a
worthier end than splintering on your villain's back, Mr. Quigly."
But, even as Barnabas advanced with very evident purpose, a tall
figure stood framed in the open doorway.
"Ah, Quigly,--pray what is all this?" a chill, incisive voice
demanded. Barnabas turned, and lowering the cane, stood looking
curiously at the speaker. A tall, slender man he was, with a face
that might have been any age,--a mask-like face, smooth and long,
and devoid of hair as it was of wrinkles; an arresting face, with
its curving nostrils, thin-lipped, close-shut mouth, high, prominent
brow, and small, piercingly-bright eyes; quick eyes, that glinted
between their red-rimmed, hairless lids, old in their experience of
men and the ways of men. For the rest, he was clad in a rich yet
sober habit, unrelieved by any color save for the gleaming seals at
his fob, and the snowy lace at throat and wrist; his hair--evidently
a wig--curled low on either cheek, and his hands were well cared for,
with long, prehensile fingers.
"You are Jasper Gaunt, I think?" said Barnabas at last.
"At your service, sir, and you, I know, are Mr. Barnabas Beverley."
So they stood, fronting each other, the Youth, unconquered as yet,
and therefore indomitable, and the Man, with glittering eyes old in
their experience of men and the ways of men.
"You wished to see me on a matter of business, Mr. Beverley?"
"Then pray step this way."
"No," said Barnabas, "first I require your signature to this lady's
Jasper Gaunt smiled, and shrugged his shoulders slightly.
"Such clients as this, sir,--I leave entirely to Mr. Quigly."
"Then, in this instance, sir, you will perhaps favor me by giving
the matter your personal attention!"
Jasper Gaunt hesitated, observed the glowing eye, flushed cheek,
and firm-set lips of the speaker, and being wise in men and their
"To oblige you, Mr. Beverley, with pleasure. Though I understand
from Mr. Quigly that she is unable to meet--"
"Seventy-eight pounds, sir! She can pay it all--every blood-stained,
tear-soaked farthing. She should meet it were it double--treble the
sum!" said Barnabas, opening his purse.
"Ah, indeed, I see! I see!" nodded Jasper Gaunt. "Take the money,
Quigly, I will make out the receipt. If you desire, you shall see me
sign it, Mr. Beverley." So saying, he crossed to the desk, wrote the
document, and handed it to Barnabas, with a bow that was almost
Then Barnabas gave the precious paper into the woman's eager fingers,
and looked down into the woman's shining eyes.
"Sir," said she between trembling lips, "I cannot thank you,--I--I
cannot. But God sees, and He will surely repay."
"Indeed," stammered Barnabas, "I--it was only three pounds, after all,
and--there,--go,--hurry away to your husband, and--ah! that reminds
me,--he will want help, perhaps!" Here Barnabas took out his card,
and thrust it into her hand. "Take that to my house, ask to see my
Steward, Mr. Peterby,--stay, I'll write the name for you, he will
look after you, and--good-by!"
"It is a truly pleasant thing to meet with heartfelt gratitude, sir,"
said Jasper Gaunt, as the door closed behind the woman. "And now I
am entirely at your service,--this way, sir."
Forthwith Barnabas followed him into another room, where sat the
Captain, his long legs stretched out before him, his chin on his
breast, staring away at vacancy.
"Sir," said Jasper Gaunt, glancing from Barnabas to the Captain and
back again, "he will not trouble us, I think, but if you wish him to
"Thank you--no," answered Barnabas, "Captain Slingsby is my friend!"
Jasper Gaunt bowed, and seated himself at his desk opposite Barnabas.
His face was in shadow, for the blind had been half-drawn to exclude
the glare of the afternoon sun, and he sat, or rather lolled, in a
low, deeply cushioned chair, studying Barnabas with his eyes that
were so bright and so very knowing in the ways of mankind; very
still he sat, and very quiet, waiting for Barnabas to begin. Now on
the wall, immediately behind him, was a long, keen-bladed dagger,
that glittered evilly where the light caught it; and as he sat there
so very quiet and still, with his face in the shadow, it seemed to
Barnabas as though he lolled there dead, with the dagger smitten
sideways through his throat, and in that moment Barnabas fancied he
could hear the deliberate tick-tock of the wizen-faced clock upon
"I have come," began Barnabas at last, withdrawing his eyes from the
glittering steel with an effort, "I am here on behalf of one--in
whom I take an interest--a great interest."
"Yes, Mr. Beverley?"
"I have undertaken to--liquidate his debts."
"Yes, Mr. Beverley."
"To pay--whatever he may owe, both principal and interest."
"Indeed, Mr. Beverley! And--his name?"
"His name is Ronald Barrymaine."
"Ronald--Barrymaine!" There was a pause between the words, and the
smooth, soft voice had suddenly grown so harsh, so deep and vibrant,
that it seemed incredible the words could have proceeded from the
lips of the motionless figure lolling in the chair with his face in
the shadow and the knife glittering behind him.
"I have made out to you a draft for more than enough, as I judge, to
cover Mr. Barrymaine's liabilities."
"For how much, sir?"
"Twenty-two thousand pounds."
Then Jasper Gaunt stirred, sighed, and leaned forward in his chair.
"A handsome sum, sir,--a very handsome sum, but--" and he smiled and
shook his head.
"Pray what do you mean by 'but'?" demanded Barnabas.
"That the sum is--inadequate, sir."
"Twenty-two thousand pounds is not enough then?"
"It is--not enough, Mr. Beverley."
"Then, if you will tell me the precise amount, I will make up the
deficiency." But, here again, Jasper Gaunt smiled his slow smile and
shook his head.
"That, I grieve to say, is quite impossible, Mr. Beverley."
"Because I make it a rule never to divulge my clients' affairs to a
third party; and, sir,--I never break my rules."
"Then--you refuse to tell me?"
"It is--quite impossible."
So there fell a silence while the wide, fearless eyes of Youth
looked into the narrow, watchful eyes of Experience. Then Barnabas
rose, and began to pace to and fro across the luxurious carpet; he
walked with his head bent, and the hands behind his back were
tightly clenched. Suddenly he stopped, and throwing up his head faced
Jasper Gaunt, who sat lolling back in his chair again.
"I have heard," said he, "that this sum was twenty thousand pounds,
but, as you say, it may be more,--a few pounds more, or a few
"Precisely, Mr. Beverley."
"I am, therefore, going to make you an offer--"
"Which I must--refuse."
"And my offer is this: instead of twenty thousand pounds I will
double the sum."
Jasper Gaunt's lolling figure grew slowly rigid, and leaning across
the desk, he stared up at Barnabas under his hairless brows. Even
Captain Slingsby stirred and lifted his heavy head.
"Forty thousand pounds!" said Jasper Gaunt, speaking almost in a
"Yes," said Barnabas, and sitting down, he folded his arms a little
ostentatiously. Jasper Gaunt's head drooped, and he stared down at
the papers on the desk before him, nor did he move, only his long,
white fingers began to tap softly upon his chair-arms, one after the
"I will pay you forty thousand pounds," said Barnabas. Then, all in
one movement as it seemed, Gaunt had risen and turned to the window,
and stood there awhile with his back to the room.
"Well?" inquired Barnabas at last.
"You mean--will not!" said Barnabas, clenching his fists.
"Cannot, sir." As Gaunt turned, Barnabas rose and approached him
until barely a yard separated them, until he could look into the
eyes that glittered between their hairless lids, very like the
cruel-looking dagger on the wall.
"Very well," said Barnabas, "then I'll treble it. I'll pay you sixty
thousand pounds! What do you say? Come--speak!" But now, the eyes so
keen and sharp to read men and the ways of men wavered and fell
before the indomitable steadfastness of unconquered Youth; the long,
white hands beneath their ruffles seemed to writhe with griping,
contorted fingers, while upon his temple was something that
glittered a moment, rolled down his cheek, and so was gone.
"Speak!" said Barnabas.
Yet still no answer came, only Jasper Gaunt sank down in his chair
with his elbows on the desk, his long, white face clasped between
his long, white hands, staring into vacancy; but now his smooth brow
was furrowed, his narrow eyes were narrower yet, and his thin lips
moved as though he had whispered to himself "sixty thousand pounds!"
"Sir,--for the last time--do you accept?" demanded Barnabas.
Without glancing up, or even altering the direction of his vacant
stare, and with his face still framed between his hands, Jasper
Gaunt shook his head from side to side, once, twice, and thrice; a
gesture there was no mistaking.
Then Barnabas fell back a step, with clenched fist upraised, but in
that moment the Captain was before him and had caught his arm.
"By Gad, Beverley!" he exclaimed in a shaken voice, "are you mad?"
"No," said Barnabas, "but I came here to buy those bills, and buy
them I will! If trebling it isn't enough, then--"
"Ah!" cried Slingsby, pointing to the usurer's distorted face,
"can't you see? Don't you guess? He can't sell! No money-lender of
'em all could resist such an offer. I tell you he daren't sell, the
bills aren't his! Come away--"
"Not his!" cried Barnabas, "then whose?"
"God knows! But it's true,--look at him!"
"Tell me," cried Barnabas, striving to see Gaunt's averted eyes,
"tell me who holds these bills,--if you have one spark of
But Jasper Gaunt gave no sign, only the writhing fingers crept
across his face, over staring eyes and twitching lips.
So, presently, Barnabas suffered Captain Slingsby to lead him from
the room, and down the somewhat dark and winding stair, past the
wizen-faced clock, out into the street already full of the glow of
"It's a wonder to me," said the Captain, "yes, it's a great wonder
to me, that nobody has happened to kill Gaunt before now."
So the Captain frowned, sighed, and climbed up to his seat. But,
when Barnabas would have followed, Billy Button touched him on the
"Oh, Barnaby!" said he, "oh, Barnaby Bright, look--the day is dying,
the shadows are coming,--in a little while it will be night. But, oh
Youth, alas! alas! I can see the shadows have touched you already!"
And so, with a quick upflung glance at the dismal house, he turned,
waved his hand, and sped away on noiseless feet, and so was gone.
OF AN ETHICAL DISCUSSION, WHICH THE READER IS ADVISED TO SKIP
Oho! for the rush of wind in the hair, for the rolling thunder of
galloping hoofs, now echoing on the hard, white road, now muffled in
Oho! for the horse and his rider and the glory of them; for the long,
swinging stride that makes nothing of distance, for the tireless
spring of the powerful loins, for the masterful hand on the bridle,
strong, yet gentle as a caress, for the firm seat--the balance and
sway that is an aid to speed, and proves the born rider. And what
horse should this be but Four-legs, his black coat glossy and
shining in the sun, his great, round hoofs spurning the flying earth,
all a-quiver with high courage, with life and the joy of it? And who
should be the rider but young Barnabas?
He rides with his hat in his whip-hand, that he may feel the wind,
and with never a look behind, for birds are carolling from the cool
freshness of dewy wood and copse, in every hedge and tree the young
sun has set a myriad gems flashing and sparkling; while, out of the
green distance ahead, Love is calling; brooks babble of it, birds
sing of it, the very leaves find each a small, soft voice to whisper
So away--away rides Barnabas by village green and lonely cot, past
hedge and gate and barn, up hill and down hill,--away from the dirt
and noise of London, away from its joys and sorrows, its splendors
and its miseries, and from the oncoming, engulfing shadow. Spur and
gallop, Barnabas,--ride, youth, ride! for the shadow has already
touched you, even as the madman said.
Therefore while youth yet abides, while the sun yet shines,--ride,
Now as he went, Barnabas presently espied a leafy by-lane, and
across this lane a fence had been erected,--a high fence, but with a
fair "take-off" and consequently, a most inviting fence. At this,
forthwith, Barnabas rode, steadied Four-legs in his stride, touched
him with the spur, and cleared it with a foot to spare. Then, all at
once, he drew rein and paced over the dewy grass to where, beneath
the hedge, was a solitary man who knelt before a fire of twigs
fanning it to a blaze with his wide-eaved hat.
He was a slender man, and something stooping of shoulder, and his
hair shone silver-white in the sunshine. Hearing Barnabas approach,
he looked up, rose to his feet, and so stood staring as one in doubt.
Therefore Barnabas uncovered his head and saluted him with grave
"Sir," said he, reining in his great horse, "you have not forgotten
me, I hope?"
"No indeed, young sir," answered the Apostle of Peace, with a
dawning smile of welcome. "But you are dressed very differently from
what I remember. The quiet, country youth has become lost, and
transfigured into the dashing Corinthian. What a vast difference
clothes can make in one! And yet your face is the same, your
expression unchanged. London has not altered you yet, and I hope it
never may. No, sir, your face is not one to be forgotten,--indeed it
reminds me of other days."
"But we have only met once before," said Barnabas.
"True! And yet I seem to have known you years ago,--that is what
puzzles me! But come, young sir,--if you have time and inclination
to share a vagrant's breakfast, I can offer you eggs and new milk,
and bread and butter,--simple fare, but more wholesome than your
French ragouts and highly-seasoned dishes."
"You are very kind," said Barnabas, "the ride has made me hungry,
--besides, I should like to talk with you."
"Why, then--light down from that great horse of yours, and join me.
The grass must be both chair and table, but here is a tree for your
back, and the bank for mine."
So, having dismounted and secured his horse's bridle to a convenient
branch, Barnabas sat himself down with his back to the tree, and
accepted the wandering Preacher's bounty as freely as it was offered.
And when the Preacher had spoken a short grace, they began to eat,
and while they ate, to talk, as follows:
_Barnabas_. "It is three weeks, I think, since we met?"
_The Preacher_. "A month, young sir."
_Barnabas_. "So long a time?"
_The Preacher_. "So short a time. You have been busy, I take it?"
_Barnabas_. "Yes, sir. Since last we met I have bought a house and set
up an establishment in London, and I have also had the good fortune
to be entered for the Gentleman's Steeplechase on the fifteenth."
_The Preacher_. "You are rich, young sir?"
_Barnabas_. "And I hope to be famous also."
_The Preacher_. "Then indeed do I begin to tremble for you."
_Barnabas_ (staring). "Why so?"
_The Preacher_. "Because wealth is apt to paralyze effort, and Fame is
generally harder to bear, and far more dangerous, than failure."
_Barnabas_. "How dangerous, sir?"
_The Preacher_. "Because he who listens too often to the applause of
the multitude grows deaf to the voice of Inspiration, for it is a
very small, soft voice, and must be hearkened for, and some call it
Genius, and some the Voice of God--"
_Barnabas_. "But Fame means Power, and I would succeed for the sake of
others beside myself. Yes,--I must succeed, and, as I think you once
said, all things are possible to us! Pray, what did you mean?"