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pagated by Alick and the other woodman, Wallace shouted, James echoed him, and the servants followed. The poachers rushed forward. A gun was fired; by whom, and with what effect, nobody knew at the moment. A second shot ensued, whose consequences were immediately perceived by Mr. Cranston's party. Alick sunk down with a cry like that of a woman. His father knew the voice, and sprang from among his captors to the side of his son. The fight which ensued was very harmless, the poachers perceiving that they were in no danger from such a handful of enemies. With the most provoking coolness, they retreated, carrying their game with them, and only laughing at the pursuit of their foes. If they would only have been angry, and gone on fighting, there would have been some consolation. But they would fight no more. Neither did they sport any more; at least, not visibly nor audibly. As it was undesirable that they should be tracked to their place of carouse, and as it was necessary to cut up their venison into a more portable state, they retired behind Whitford's granary, and there took up a strong position, rightly supposing that the enemy would see no use or safety in watching them for any length of time. While knives were being plied with skill upon the venison, those who were not wanted for the work thought it a pity they should be idle. A sheep of Whitford's was abstracted from the flock by one detachment, while another sought the place where the granary had been last tapped, and drew a further supply of fine wheat which was pretty sure not to be missed. In these expeditions, it was a rule of morals to employ every man according to his capacity. Those who could neither kill game nor cut it up delicately were very capable of boring a hole in the floor of a loft full of corn, and, when the bag was filled, of stopping up the hole with a cork till next time. This done, all proved themselves capable of swearing fellowship and drinking more or less gin or other spirit in Swallow's office, whether or not they could sing such songs as frightened the twin sisters from their sleep in the farthest corner of the house. . On this occasion, the sisters were spared the panic suffered by Mrs. Day and Fanny, when a wounded man was brought in to be put to bed, and supposed dying till the surgeon could be summoned to see him. Fanny's satisfaction at her brothers' coming home safe was much impaired by the moodiness of their countenances, which seemed to betoken that the strife with their neighbours was not at an end,

CHAPTER V.
WOWED SISTERHOOD,

Poor Alick Morse died in three days. The bro

thers did not wait for the event to show their

determination to put down the practice of poaching in their neighbourhood. Several suspected persons at A were brought up before the magistrates, the morning after the adventure; some of them being caught (before they had completely emerged from their drunken fit) with sheep's wool or grains of corn stuck with blood to their shoe-soles, or their hands blackened with powder, or smelling of venison. George Swallow was committed, with all ceremony ; and the county was pledged to prosecute him for his theft of five walnuts. His father offered to whip him to any extent their worships might think proper; but it was decided that he should be consigned to vagabond society in gaol for a couple of months, and cause the county an expense of the requisite number of pounds, in order to his being finally condemned to four days' imprisonment. When poor Alick died, (after having been removed, by his father's peremptory desire, to his cottage,) Morse was much cheered by seeing his natural office of avenger of blood so well filled as it was by his two younger masters, who actually dogged the heels of the reluctant constable, to see that he did his duty in taking up the suspected. The only thing that vexed the gamekeeper was Mr. James's obstimacy in disbelieving that Swallow had anything to do in the affair. There was more reason for arresting Swallow than many another that was marched before their worships: but James quashed every hint in this man's disfavour; and Swallow might be seen exhibiting himself about his own premises with an air of triumph equally offensive to his accomplices and to him

whom some believed him to have most deeply injured. “Come, come, my poor fellow,” said James to Morse, “let us have no more of this. I cannot listem to an information that has so little in it as yours. Tell me of anything else that I can do for you, Morse. Would it be a satisfaction to you that I should bury your son?” Morse uncovered his grizzled locks, and a deeper red than usual burned in his jolly cheeks, as he acknowledged the young clergyman's kindmess. He did not think Alick had supposed his young master would do him this honour, though the poor lad had brought himself to ask whether his father believed that a funeral sermon would be preached for him. “There shall be one, certainly, if it will be any satisfaction to you. I should not wonder at your desiring it; but what could make Alick wish it?” “ He liked the idea that Sarah Swallow would hear him made much of, sir. In fact, sir, he left his silver-topped gin-bottle to the parson, if he made her cry at his funeral sermon. Hope mo offence, sir?” James had an idea that he had a better chance of making Sarah cry than any other parson in the world. He was pretty sure of the gim-bottle, if he chose to try for it: but he was heartily vexed that he had promised the sermon. While he was meditating his next evasion, Morse went on, “And since you have been so ready about the sermon, sir, perhaps you have no objection to be accommodating about the text?” “None in the world,” replied James, hoping that the matter would end in the necessity of making Sarah laugh. “Let me hear.” “Perhaps you remember, sir, the text about the soul—something about the bird and the smare of the fowler. My son thought that text would tell that the manner of his death was by poachers.” “As if everybody did not know that already!” muttered James. “Well, Morse; make yourself easy.” “And you may depend, sir, on having the gim-bottle on the Monday morning.” “And when is the funeral to be, Morse 7” “Why, sir, they say it must be to-morrow, sir. The undertaker says so, sir; or else—” “To-morrow ! D—m it !” muttered James. “Wallace and I had fixed to-morrow for a morning's shooting; and it is the last day we shall . have this week. Morse, did your master say he could spare you to-morrow 7” “He did, sir. I am as sorry as you can be to spoil sport in such a way. But the undertaker is positive.” “Then there is no help for it. I am not going back from my word, Morse.” It was a most delicious morning for sport. James came down with a countenance as black as might. Wallace was making ready to go forth. He only waited to know whether James meant to

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