St. Ives: Being the Adventures of a French Prisoner in England

By Robert Louis

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...Transcribed 1898 William Heinemann edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pflaf.org





...

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... ...

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...I was relieved to be held a prisoner of war.
Into the Castle of Edinburgh, standing...

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...state of soldiers. We had but the one interest
in common: each of us who...

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...was so left-handed a
toy-maker, I made out to be rather a successful merchant; and found...

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...and felt my
anger rise, and choked upon tears, to behold them thus parodied. The
more...

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...frequent visitor) it seemed I was aware of it. She had an air
of angelic...

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...very indulgent; but see where my tool slipped!
Yes, I am afraid you may go from...

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...down, but they were ever fixed in
the same direction, quite in vain. The aunt...

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...winds seem
to become you like ornaments, would you regret, do you think? We must
surely...

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...spoken with
her; and in both interviews I had been well inspired, I had engaged her
sympathies,...

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...advantage: there is nothing to distract him, and he can
spend all his hours ripening his...

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...at last she was there. At last I
saw her approach me in the company...

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...my rusty nail--had
traced those letters; and simple as the words were, they would keep
repeating to...

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...haste to wreak on the nearest
victim, and too often on myself.

It was so now. ...

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...promise you, Goguelat, you shall be dead
to-night.'

I had borne so much from him in the...

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...that make them,' was his only answer. And there remained
nothing but to arrange the...

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...my life upon one card: should I not mortally
wound him, no defence would be left...

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...a doctor
brought. 'It may still be possible to save him,' I cried.

The sergeant-major reminded...

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...nature and direction of the wound
forbidding it. Goguelat replied that he was more ingenious...

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...inquiry died away like a tune that no one listens to; and
yet I was unmasked--I,...

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...clear, severe eyes.

'I think we must have a little talk,' said he.

'I am entirely at...

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...said I.

He gave no sign of impatience; simply sat awhile silent, and began again
in the...

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...if you are sure, all right, and here
goes. An affair of honour among you...

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...one into a corner for an affair
that was at all necessary or correct. At...

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...all told; and as soon as we were
mustered, the doctor led the way to the...

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...what ailed me:
when I awoke the following day, nothing remained of it; but that night...

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...this my ill-humour broke fairly out in words. 'He!' I cried. 'He
never dared...

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...must content myself with _dying_, of which
I am equally susceptible with the best of you....

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...and how did you know I was here?'

Carefull separating his coat skirts, the lawyer took...

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... If a man gets a prisoner to guard and lets him go, the least
he...

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...quite
beyond my brief. I have been clothed with no capacity to talk of wills,
or...

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...Britain to get through; and for the first stages, I must
leave you to your own...

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...to be bitter? This man, my uncle, M. de
Keroual, fled. My parents, who...

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...command a view on the chief thoroughfare!

It is not necessary that I should trouble you...

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...see Flora again;
and I wanted some one to further me in my flight and to...

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...education,
while others, no older than myself, are in the field.'

'I cannot blame you,' said I....

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...to be mournful, and to take the pair of them as one.

'I have been thinking,'...

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...the smoke of a house rising,
I must tell myself that some one sits before the...

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...I think it
is time we should be going.'

'High time,' said Ronald, whom (to say the...

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...by escaping prisoners. In all other directions an abominable
precipice surrounds it, down the face...

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...that some poor devil was to hazard his
bones upon such premises, revolted me. Had...

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...near a month ago. Since I have
been a prisoner, I have made for myself...

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...punishment. The General was, in
consequence, extremely roughly handled, and the next day was
congratulated by...

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...the hope of liberty and the fear of a hateful
death. The guard call sounded;...

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...this juncture prayers and a cold sweat burst from me
simultaneously.

The line was knotted at intervals...

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...I saw what a fool I was--what fools we had all
been--and that I had no...

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...than the first. I am not strong enough to keep this
rope extended. If...

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...asked; and who could tell but
what the noise of his fall was already remarked, and...

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...distance, when a miserable accident
put a period to the escape. Of a sudden the...

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...dim to show my dress, I carried it off
once more. One person, indeed, inquired...

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... I presume they were asleep; by the shawl about her head and
shoulders, one of...

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...guarantee
it might not prove either the aunt with the gold eyeglasses (whom I could
only remember...

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...named the talismans on
which I habitually depend, but here was a conjuncture in which both...

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...gazing in the
opposite direction. 'There's a child among the artichokes,' she said.

'The Plagues of...

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...approaching footsteps, my good-humour was restored. The
key rattled in the lock, and Master Ronald...

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...about this
very combat of Chiclana, or Barossa as you call it. I was in...

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...yet, if the reader
were to smile also, I should feel ashamed. If my son...

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...would like
me to oblige your brother if the parts were reversed, and take this note
for...

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...not feel with me that perhaps the bitterest thing in this
captivity has been the clothes?...

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...profit by the last seconds
of our interview; and it certainly rendered her escape the more...

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...to the ceiling; and the
knowledge that I was so imminently near to the resting-place of...

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...he
might have vindicated an easy valour, he preferred to make a friend. I
wish that...

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...said I. 'The story is a little long;
and our meeting, however welcome, was for...

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...against
him with horse-pistol and'--smiling--'bedroom candlesticks. It is but a
young gentleman in extreme distress, hunted...

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...'And you
carry such a sum about you, and have not so much as counted it!...

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...of their beds, and make it
perfectly distinct that Sim is not to leave till he...

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...excellent bed, to try to sleep soon, to be stirring early, and to hope
for some...

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...with real tenderness; I pray you
to consider me from henceforth as the most devoted of...

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...I desire that this random acquaintance of yours with my
family will cease and determine.'

I believe...

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...in a row.

The formality of these gifts, and the waiting figure of the driver, told
me...

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...fine day!' says he.

I agreed with him, and asked him how he did.

'Brawly,' was the...

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...anything to drink,' said I, 'I am as dry as my neighbours.'

Whereupon Sim produced from...

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...no means clear to me; the names and distances I never
clearly knew, and have now...

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...should have a guide. The
pleasure of this country is much in the legends, which...

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...they had
recognised two of our neighbours on the road--one Faa, and another by the
name of...

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...more.

It seemed this was the signal for the engagement to be discontinued. The
other combatants...

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...I hae seen o' them that was the tither;
but the wale of a gentleman like...

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...rear with the plaids about their bowed
shoulders and the drop at their snuffy nose--I thought...

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...I think that I really ought to say that ye seem to me to
have the...

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...year was not good enough for me; I
was not made of sugar, I was no...

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...guard hoarse with shouting victory, I went even so far as to
entertain the company to...

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...for my sins, there was
one silent little man at table who took my story at...

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...under huge difficulties here as to unbiassed
information.'

'I believe I have heard the same complaint in...

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...It was cold, starry, and clear,
and the road dry, with a touch of frost. ...

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...both armies lay as quiet as mice, when I saw the English
sentinel opposite making a...

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...this solemnity, the hero whose obsequies we were come forth at this
unusual hour to celebrate....

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...civilisation (as, indeed, it's
a defect they are rather prone to), I hear the measured blows...

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...bad wind that blows where we want to go, and you
may be sure there was...

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...If Luck
(who must certainly be feminine) favoured me as far as to throw me in...

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...it; but I
was still inquisitive as to what it should contain, and where it had...

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...the whip. 'None o' that with me.'

'None of what?' said I. 'I asked...

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...But
the driver only turned a white face on me for a moment, and redoubled his
efforts,...

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...red as a harvest
moon; and in his jockey cap, blue coat and top boots, he...

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...only
furniture, a candle had been stuck and suffered to burn down--plainly a
long while ago, for...

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... I am not going to
kill you, do you hear? I have need of...

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...to say truth,
I would as readily forget it myself. Suppose we try. Take...

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...as well as that of Monseer the
Count?'

God forgive me! the horrible fellow was still puffing...

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...our passage in the hall.




CHAPTER XIII--I MEET TWO OF MY COUNTRYMEN


As soon as I judged...

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...salute to my superiors.

'Champdivers, private, Eighth of the Line,' said I.

'Pretty business!' said he. ...

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...dare
say he imagined to be awful; but another fit of sneezing cut him off ere
he...

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...your
daughter alive and restored.'

'That is past praying for,' said the Colonel; and immediately the brief
fire...

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...man and a private soldier. I have not
been long in this room, and already...

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...his dinner, his company, the place where he then
was, and the escape he was engaged...

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...Fenn, who could not be
more false--though he might be more vindictive--than I fancied him. ...

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...the nature of prodigy. I am well aware there
is a Providence for drunken men,...

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...was shut; in a moment, the
night closed upon us solid and stifling; and we felt...

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...it were, a whiff of the highway. The first
reached my ears alone. I...

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...and our fatigue
was too extreme for visionary terrors. The second or third, we alighted
on...

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...yet I
cannot remember any hasty, harsh, or impatient word to have fallen from
his lips. ...

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...old and very unhappy soldier--and may God
bless you for your goodness!' The girl threw...

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...so kindly the end came to that
disastrous life. It was only at our evening...

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...company, to give himself the airs of a
man of the world among that rustic herd;...

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...a late neighbour of
mine in the city of Carlisle.'

I thought the attorney looked put out;...

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...of martial ardour about the landlord, and the
peasants were indifferent--they only listened, and gaped, and...

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...tap my claret first, there are five guineas for
you, and I'll go with you to...

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...how he stands! do any of you fellows
stand like that? Does the landlord, there?...

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...criminal himself, or--last and worst supposition--as
a Bow-street 'runner'?

The cart would wait for me, perhaps, half...

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...a hair's breadth. The devil might race him for me--I had enough
of it!

And, besides,...

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...my concerns to myself and to walk alone. Now I put it to you
pointedly,...

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...in my embrace; so bleats the sheep
in the arms of the butcher. The whole...

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... Inspiration now swells in my bosom,
because--to tell you the plain truth, and descend a...

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...of country lying
a thought downhill. The road was smooth and free of ice, the...

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...in a blaze of candle-light, with such a
meal as I had been dreaming of for...

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...a
subordinate gets by officiousness; if I can trust my memory, old Romaine
has not at all...

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...bustled on my service in such a pother of
ringlets and with such a jingling of...

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... The look of my uncle's park wall,
even from the outside, had something of a...

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...in what I stand in. I don't know if the
doctor be a formalist, but...

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...ready; and soon after, arrayed in a shawl dressing-gown, and in
a luxury of contentment and...

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...and
handsomer than life they had appeared. And looking in the mirror, it
seemed to me...

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...The other Viscount have been horse-racing, and dicing,
and carrying on all his life. All...

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...glad, at my time of life
or Alain's, to follow his example. 'Tis a misfortune...

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...prey. His speech was very deliberate and courteous,
but scarce louder than a sigh.

'I bid...

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...list. She passed me on to Madame de Noytot;
she, in her turn, to Mademoiselle...

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...and my benefactor, who had
kept the fire lit in my room for a month past--my...

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...inheritance so coldly
offered. At the same time I had to consider that he was...

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...bulky piece of baggage, covered
with Russia leather. Before the doctor and an excellent old...

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...cried Rowley.

'Now, Rowley, hold up your right hand and repeat the words of the oath
after...

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...this fortune took my breath away. With that sum in my
hands, I need fear...

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...this singular labyrinth of
blunders and difficulties that you have prepared for us, I am positively
hesitating...

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...it cost my
neck.

'Very annoying, no doubt,' said I, as I returned the paper to Mr.
Romaine.

'Is...

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... 'Any one might have
heard me. But you were not listening, I suppose? being...

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...indeed if, with all these advantages, Mr. St.
Ives should not be able to live quietly...

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...height, as I guessed for the
tailors, and I see nothing wrong with the result. ...

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...his hand upon my shoulder.

'Well, it's this way,' said Rowley--'Mr. Powl have been at me!...

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...imagine how it would impress a jury!' says he.

'And how it would affect the hangman,...

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...your face was as good or better than a
letter of recommendation. I wonder if...

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...pale, and his
lip was caught up in a smile that could almost be called a...

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... But I believe I am not
mistaken! You have to-night transacted business with the...

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...With a great air of
unconcern, he secured the newspaper, which still lay open before him...

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...me inclined to be your
enemy.'

He paused in front of me--for he had not accepted the...

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...ill at ease and
heartily bewildered, standing on one foot, gaping like zanies, and those
who were...

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...taught to regard myself as your heir. In that
position, I judged it only loyal...

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...to Romaine and me,
and his eyes flashed.

'It is your turn now,' he said. 'At...

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...of voice,
'understand the position in which you are placed, and how delicately it
behoves you to...

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...my good
behaviour, some friends of mine should always determine to play a piece
of heroics and...

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...circumstances, I may call it the
indecency--to appear cast down?'

'It is true,' said he: 'I am....

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...but glance an eye upon that column of print, and where
were we? It is...

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...to do, and I did it, and burned my last cartridge in
the doing of it....

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...prevent my going to Edinburgh.'

If I had fired a pistol in his ear he could...

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...pass as a servant from a distance--as a creature
seen poised on the dicky of a...

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...that I may leave everywhere the inconspicuous
image of a handsome young man of a good...

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...write to you?' I said, a little bewildered.

'I believe I am cutting the last strand...

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...serve you for an introduction, and cannot compromise
me.' And he wrote his name and...

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...part of my new outfit, it should be
about half-past three in the morning; and as...

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... I am in peril, homeless,
hunted. I count scarce any one in England who...

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...imagine how his new prospects brightened on a boy of this
disposition. To be the...

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...by to
find you in a ditch with your throat cut. But there is something...

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...roof, baggage
platform, pistol 'olsters--the most com-plete and the most gen-teel
turn-out I ever see! The...

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...exhibiting their different characters
in that diagnostic moment of the farewell: some escorted to the stirrup
or...

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...feeling.
'Why, no longer agone than this morning, he was sitting breakfasting and
reading in his paper....

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...forth (as I had no doubt in the world he was
doing) to clap the Bow...

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...tell
you, I believe I nearly went off in a swound! There's something so
beastly in...

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...and spend
it; I had lived happily in the regiment, as in my father's house, fed...

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...showed an amiable curiosity when he was asking
questions; an amiable guilelessness when he was conferring...

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...lost. Presently the pipe was
in his hands again; he fitted, unfitted, refitted, and played...

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...the candle and lay down with a good resolution; and in a moment
all was light...

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...loyal gentleman, an
honest man. Sim and Candlish must not be left to pay the...

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...profound
refreshment, mispronounce it in several different ways, and forget it
again with magical celerity. Say...

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...Green. Over
these same leagues of road--which Rowley and I now traversed in the
claret-coloured chaise,...

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...regretting it, but expressing her regret with point
and pungency.

As I alighted they both paused with...

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...much obliged to you,' he said, with an
ill grace.

I gave her my hand; she mounted...

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...to appear from your carriage, and I knew it,
O, she must be a fortunate young...

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...when it came
in--that we had been overtaken by the two post-boys, Rowley and Mr.
Bellamy, which...

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...A highwayman!' It was otherguess work with
Bellamy. That gentleman no sooner observed our...

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...what she was pleased to call
my wound. She must dress it for me with...

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...likely for six
months to come. It only remained for me, therefore, to settle on...

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...and the whole party reaccompanied me to the terrace,
where they stood waving hats and handkerchiefs,...

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...the road on our four feet, and after a decent
interval of trudging, get places on...

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...the guineas with the quickness of a conjurer, and, like a
base-born cockney as he was,...

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...it should contain, had waxed inordinately, and
I felt I could never eat a meal in...

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...hear of you with two names; I
hear of you running away with young ladies, and...

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...I assure you,
I am looking on, with all the interest of a man of the...

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... I am quite an original,' I replied, and laughed again.

Presently, in a changed voice,...

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...initial mistake had been
committed before that; and if I had not suffered myself to be...

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... After all, it was more likely that I should have recognised our
visitors, than that...

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...advance: no, not even to do that which
seemed the most natural and pleasing thing in...

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...a salute than of renewed hostilities. And
presently she condescended on very moderate terms, and...

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...I began.

'O, don't make any bones about it!' he interrupted. 'Of course it struck
you!...

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...to you!'

'And who is your friend Icarus?' I asked,

'The aspiring son of Daedalus!' said he....

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...again on the wet pavements, and
make darkness sparingly visible.

By the time I had got to...

Page 201

...would certainly be another.

Arrived in the cottage-garden I found the circumstances mighty inclement.
From the round...

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...trees. In the midst of this lull, and as I was already
drawing near to...

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...between the bars, and I dropped upon one knee on the wet
path and kissed it...

Page 204

...man Goguelat--it was that you meant?'

She mutely signed to me that it was; she had...

Page 205

...he had seen her, the interest that he seemed immediately
to conceive; and I could not...

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...I may have
bitter need of it ere long. Do you know the old country...

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... But, no!' she broke
off, 'I envy no one--I need not--I am yours.'

'Mine,' said I,...

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...high time I should be gone from Swanston; but what I was to
do in the...

Page 209

...fire in the chimney and a prodigious number of empty bottles on
the floor; and informed...

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...while they were hot,' 'Ay, they were a' on the ran-dan
last nicht! Hout! they're...

Page 211

...am astonished you should
display so much proficiency.'

'O, I was well grounded in my youth by...

Page 212

...made up:
I thanked my obliging friend, and placed myself at his disposal.

Our way now led...

Page 213

...Till you shall have heard it, and,
indeed, till its issue is known, I should feel...

Page 214

...stranger in your city,' said I. 'If I
have done wrong, it was in mere...

Page 215

...more
incoherent, and the matter of his sermon (which was a direct attack,
apparently, on all the...

Page 216

...was so
unexpected as almost to deprive me of breath.

'Upon my word, ma'am, I have never...

Page 217

...worst of it; and all this he took with gravity,
but without the least appearance of...

Page 218

...a measure by which you
should judge the scale on which I can afford to have...

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...said I, "that was just what Mr St. Ivey said of yourself!"'

'So it was a...

Page 220

...by my appearance; and while, of course,
she deplored the vanity that led to it, she...

Page 221

...the door, where I found her, on my arrival, surrounded
by a posse of vapid youths;...

Page 222

...she said, 'and what of Ronald, then? Do you think _he_ is above
making a...

Page 223

...we owe a first
duty to Mr. Robbie. It would never do to risk making...

Page 224

...my lawyer, too!'

'I'll wager,' broke in Mr. Robbie, 'that, when you knew my client,
Chevenix--the past...

Page 225

...to me
doomed to come to nothing, and there is more attractive metal.'

'Yes,' I replied, 'as...

Page 226

...I am, I have
to be--what do you call it?--a non-combatant? And to remind me...

Page 227

...give you an answer
that is no answer at all. "The wind bloweth where it...

Page 228

...on Thursday evening. Shortly after, as I was composing my
mind with a segar at...

Page 229

...your own.'

'No,' he said, 'I couldn't take it; I couldn't, really. Besides, the
fact is,...

Page 230

...my reference, Mr.
Gilchrist. Until you have written to him, and received his negative
answer, I...

Page 231

...the man to be my
brother-in-law!' he cried.

'Do you know who will be my first witness...

Page 232

...drew its light from the direction of the square. Hence
I was able to observe...

Page 233

...and the deposit
receipt still in his hand.

'No go, Mr. Anne,' says he.

'How's that?' I inquired,

'Well,...

Page 234

...part very soon now; probably
to-morrow. And it's for my sake, Rowley! Depend upon...

Page 235

...I am.'

'Not one foot of you,' said I. 'You are a prisoner, Rowley, and...

Page 236

...I did not require to entertain Mrs. McRankine also, that was
but another drop of bitterness...

Page 237

...the threshold with
a lantern. As they so stood, they were almost immediately below me,
strongly...

Page 238

...its bereaved master would only watch the more indefatigably for the
loss. In the pardonable...

Page 239

...oath.

'Is he clean-shaved?' I tried him again.

'Clean-shaved?' he repeated, with the same air of anxious...

Page 240

...in a prodigious flutter, and showed me an honest and rather
venerable citizen passing in the...

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... Yours, T. ROBBIE.'

That was short and sweet. It emphatically extinguished...

Page 242

...though a precipice had stood between us, or the deep
sea had intervened. Nearer to...

Page 243

...in telling of my breakdown,
because it was my only experience of the sort; and it...

Page 244

...his seclusion, and was ready along with him at the
trysting-place, the corner of Duke Street...

Page 245

...and whisky were set out for the
manufacture of toddy. I played a good knife...

Page 246

...the town. They sang songs, they
ran races, they fenced with their walking-sticks and umbrellas;...

Page 247

...are properly punished, Mr. Byfield; we had no business there,' I
replied.

'No, indeed, sir, you may...