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Upon this the dancers stood still, and Mr. Harrison, according to the established rules of the dance, being thus challenged by the young lady, flounced down on his knees at the other end of the pillow, and throwing his arms around the damsel's waist, imprinted on her lips a chaste kiss; and then they both started up and Mr. Harrison took the pillow, whilst the young lady joined hands in the circle, and then dancing recommenced with great spirit, and Mr. Harrison deposited the pillow at the feet of Peregrine Pultuney's little friend, who, in her turn deposited it at the feet of Peregrine Pultuney, and so they went on for a long time with the utmost harmony and enthusiasm, till after nearly half an hour of vigorous dancing and kissing, during which time Peregrine had been saluted by no less than seven young damsels, the whole party waxed hot and tired, and determined to leave off.
After having conducted his fair partner to the refreshment-table, where he supplied her with a pretty stiffish glass of rum-punch, and having won a sovereign from a naval gentleman, who was drinking raw brandy and insisted upon betting that it was Cape wine, Peregrine Pultuney was joined by Mr. Harrison and Julian Jenks, who asserted that it was time to go, and in spite of the vehement protestations and persuasions of his fair friend, succeeded, after they had disbursed five shillings each to the old woman, in carrying him off, very much to that young lady's annoyance.
“ It is all your fault, Harrison, it is,” pouted the damsel, “ I wish you were at Jericho."
"Do you, my love," said Mr. Harrison. “ Poor Fanny! I'll make up for your disappointment to. morrow."
" You !" cried the mortified damsel; and if Peregrine Pultuney had been a vain youth, he might have extracted whole volumes of flattery from that "you."
So the three young men went down stairs and emerged into the open air, a change that would have been considerably grateful to them all, if the room they had just left had only been one-half as close as it really was, and the atmosphere only half as noxious. A walk of ten minutes took them to the guard-house where they passed the sentries, regained their painting implements, and having burnt the cork from the brandy bottle in the candle, and given the officer of the guard, who happened to be asleep, a moderately sized moustache therewith, they set out once again with the fishing-rod and the red paint, to perform the pleasant task they had assigned themselves, and brave the efficiency of the mounted patrol.
They were presently opposite the Zuid Afrikain newspaper office, and then, the street having been thoroughly explored, and ascertained to be quite safe, operations commenced in real earnest. The joints of the fishing-rod were stuck together, the paint-brush inserted in the end of it, and copiously
besmeared with vermilion—"Now for it, my boys," cried Mr. Harrison in the excitement of his feelings, " here goes, daub number one"--and daub number one completely crippled the whole of the A in “ Afrikain.”
“ More paint, Mr.Jenks—more paint_here goes for the Z-now for it again – U-1—bravo, my boys-look out well, sir-look out well, Mr. Pultuney-Here's for the I-and the D-capital !-Good, Mr. Editor-you'll blackguard the military, will you?—there, that will do, excellent !”—and with these and sundry other expressions of selfencouragement and delight, delivered sotto voce of course, Mr. Harrison enhanced the pleasures of his pictorial avocations, and afforded great merriment to Julian Jenks, who laughed so immoderately all the time, that he was very nearly spilling the whole of the red paint, viâ his inexpressibles, on the pavement.
“Well, now, what do you think of that?” asked Mr. Harrison, with an air of satisfaction, as he gave a finishing stroke to his job, and began to think of taking his departure.
“ Won't they just stare to-morrow morning?" said Julian Jenks, dipping the brush he had just received from Mr. Harrison into the paint-pot, and writing “ find me out,” in large straggling characters on the door of the house " won't they just stare in the morning."
“ That's what I call adding insult to injury,"
observed Mr. Harrison, as he looked approvingly at Jenks's handicraft" but now let us cut our sticks."
So the young gentlemen cut their sticks accordingly, and made their way into another street, where a similar course of operations was performed upon a large haberdashery and miscellaneous store, to the proprietor of which Mr. Harrison owed a sum of money equivalent to a lieutenant's annual allowances, and about thirty pounds over to boot. But it so happened, that “the harmony of the evening was broken in upon,” [as the English newspaper-writers say, when one gentleman happens to cut another gentleman's throat in a ball-room,] by an accident, the liability of which had not wholly escaped Mr. Harrison, but which, trusting to his good fortune, he had hoped altogether to avoid the inconvenience of—this accident was no other than the untimely intervention of the police.
The streets of Cape Town are guarded by mounted patrol; it was, therefore, with no particular emotions of delight that Mr. Harrison, who knew this but too well, was informed by Peregrine Pultuney, who was on the look-out, that there was a horseman coming along the street, and upon looking up, or rather looking down, for he was painting the sign-board at the time, perceived the well-known blue cloak of the horseman, and thought it was all over with him for that night at the least. "We must make a bolt of it,” cried Mr. Harrison
Julian Jonest, as his limbe aus, dashed downs or
“there, fling away the paint-and trust to your legs as fast as you can-turn down the first turning or follow me," and the lieutenant dashed down the street-as fast as his limbs could carry him, with Julian Jenks close at his heels.
But Peregrine Pultuney had no idea of running away, even from a mounted patrol. There was something ignoble as he thought in the act of turning his back upon an enemy; so instead of running away, he stood stock still, looked at the mounted patrol, and then walked leisurely on.
But the guardian of the public peace had seen Peregrine's comrades dash at full speed down the street, and judging pretty accurately the place that they had started from, he halted opposite to the bedaubed store-house, by the aid of his dark-lantern saw the mischief that had been committed on the front of the shop, made up his mind that he saw three figures engaged there, whilst only two had escaped, and, without saying a word, dismounted and took Peregrine into custody.
Our hero, as he always did, on these occasions, felt wondrously inclined to show fight, and to do him justice he actually commenced operations upon the thickly-vested body of the patrol, but the man speedily convinced Peregrine that his efforts were bootless, for the public officer was well armed, and, as our hero had no desire to be cut down, he thought it best to make no further demonstrations of a warlike character, but quietly to be taken to