“You know that you speak safely, fellow,” rejoined Wyvil, “and you, therefore, give full license to your scurrile tongue. But a time will come when I will chastise your insolence.”
“No more of this,” cried Mrs. Bloundel. “Do as I bid you, Leonard; and, as you value my regard, say nothing of what has occurred to your master.”
Sullenly acquiescing, the apprentice preceded Wyvil to the shop, and opened the door.
As the other passed through it, he said, “You spoke of chastising me just now. If you have courage enough—which I doubt—to make good your words, and will wait for me for five minutes, near Saint Alban’s Church in this street, you shall have the opportunity.”
Wyvil did not deign a reply, but wrapping his cloak around him, strode away. He had not proceeded far, when it occurred to him that, possibly, notwithstanding his interdiction, some of his companions might be waiting for him, and hurrying down the passage leading to the yard, he found Lydyard, to whom he recounted his ill-success.
“I shall not, however, abandon my design,” he said. “These failures are only incentives to further exertion.”
“In the meantime, you must pay your wager to Sedley,” laughed Lydyard, “and as the house is really infected with the plague, it behoves you to call at the first apothecary’s shop we find open, and get your apparel fumigated. You must not neglect due precautions.”
“True,” replied Wyvil, “and as I feel too restless to go home at present, suppose we amuse ourselves by calling on some astrologer, to see whether the stars are favourable to my pursuit of this girl.”
“A good idea,” replied Lydyard. “There are plenty of the ’Sons of Urania,’ as they term themselves, hereabouts.
“A mere juggler will not serve my turn,” returned Wyvil.
“William Lilly, the almanack-maker, who predicted the plague, and, if old Rowley is to be believed, has great skill in the occult sciences, lives somewhere in Friday-street, not a stone’s throw from this place. Let us go and find him out.”
“Agreed,” replied Lydyard.
Any doubts entertained by Leonard Holt as to the manner in which his rival entered the house, were removed by discovering the open window in the passage and the rope-ladder hanging to the yard-wall. Taking the ladder away, and making all as secure as he could, he next seized his cudgel, and proceeded to Blaize’s room, with the intention of inflicting upon him the punishment he had threatened: for he naturally enough attributed to the porter’s carelessness all the mischief that had just occurred. Not meeting with him, however, and concluding he was in the kitchen, he descended thither, and found him in such a pitiable plight, that his wrath was instantly changed to compassion.