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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about The Last of the Foresters.

Still on! and in five minutes Fodder was opposite the store of O’Brallaghan.

A brilliant idea suddenly struck Ralph; with the rapidity and presence of mind of a great general, he put it into execution.

Fodder found one rein loosened—­the other drawn violently round; the consequence was, that from a straight course, he suddenly came to adopt a circular one.  Mr. Jinks had just saved himself by wrapping his legs, so to speak, around the donkey’s person, when Ralph’s design was accomplished.

Fodder, obeying the pull upon the rein, sweeped down upon O’Brallaghan’s shop, and in the midst of the cries of babies, the barking of dogs, and the shrill screams of elderly ladies, entered the broad door of the clothes-warehouse, and thrust his nose into Mr. O’Brallaghan’s face, just as that gentleman was cutting out the sixth pair of pantaloons for himself, in which he was to personate St. Michael.

O’Brallaghan staggered back—­Ralph burst into a roar of laughter, and sliding from Fodder, ignominiously retreated, leaving Mr. Jinks and O’Brallaghan face to face.

The scene which then ensued is dreadful to even reflect upon, after the lapse of so many years.  Fodder backed into the street immediately, but he had accomplished the insult to O’Brallaghan.  That gentleman ran out furiously, shears in hand, and with these instruments it seemed to be his intention to sever the epiglottis of Mr. Jinks, or at least his ears.

But, as on a former occasion, when Mr. Jinks threatened to rid the earth of a scoundrel and a villain, the execution of this scheme was prevented by the interposition of a third party; so on the present occasion did the neighbors interfere and quiet the combatants.

Ralph perfected the reconciliation by declaring that Fodder was the most vicious and dangerous of animals, and that no one could rationally wonder at his conduct on this occasion.

O’Brallaghan thereupon observed that he despised Mr. Jinks too much to touch him, and would forgive him; and so he elbowed his way through the crowd of gossips and re-entered his shop, scowling at, and being scowled at by, the severe Mr. Jinks.

Ralph also embraced the opportunity to slip through the crowd, and hasten round a corner; having achieved which movement, he leaned against a pump, and laughed until two babies playing on the side-walk nearly choked themselves with marbles as they gazed at him.  Then chuckling to himself, the young-worthy returned toward the tavern, leaving Mr. Jinks to his fate.

CHAPTER LV.

WOMAN TRAPS LAID BY MR. JINKS.

No sooner had O’Brallaghan retreated into his store, than Mr. Jinks cast after him defiant words and gestures, calling on the crowd to take notice that O’Brallaghan had ignominiously yielded ground, and declined his, Mr. Jinks’, proposition to have a combat.

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