“You may depend,” said one, “that Dick knows something about it, or he wouldn’t take it so easy.”
“Ah! down with him,” said the man who had received the box on the ears; “he’s perhaps a vampyre himself.”
The mob made a demonstration towards him, but Dick stood his ground, and they paused again.
“Now, you’re a cowardly set,” he said; “cause you’re disappointed, you want to come upon me. Now, I’ll just show what a little thing will frighten you all again, and I warn beforehand it will, so you sha’n’t say you didn’t know it, and were taken by surprise.”
The mob looked at him, wondering what he was going to do.
“Once! twice! thrice!” he said, and then he flung the brick up into the air an immense height, and shouted “heads,” in a loud tone.
A general dispersion of the crowd ensued, and the brick fell in the centre of a very large circle indeed.
“There you are again,” said Dick; “why, what a nice act you are!”
“What fun!” said the boy. “It’s a famous coffin, this, Dick,” and he laid himself down in the butcher’s last resting-place. “I never was in a coffin before—it’s snug enough.”
“Ah, you’re a rum ’un,” said Dick; “you’re such a inquiring genius, you is; you’ll get your head into some hole one day, and not be able to get it out again, and then I shall see you a kicking. Hush! lay still—don’t say anything.”
“Good again,” said the boy; “what shall I do?”
“Give a sort of a howl and a squeak, when they’ve all come back again.”
“Won’t I!” said the boy; “pop on the lid.”
“There you are,” said Dick; “d——d if I don’t adopt you, and bring you up to the science of nothing.”
“Now, listen to me, good people all,” added Dick; “I have really got something to say to you.”
At this intimation the people slowly gathered again round the grave.
“Listen,” said Dick, solemnly; “it strikes me there’s some tremendous do going on.”
“Yes, there is,” said several who were foremost.
“It won’t be long before you’ll all of you be most d—nably astonished; but let me beg of all you not to accuse me of having anything to do with it, provided I tell you all I know.”
“No, Dick; we won’t—we won’t—we won’t.”
“Good; then, listen. I don’t know anything, but I’ll tell you what I think, and that’s as good; I don’t think that this brick is the butcher; but I think, that when you least expect it—hush! come a little closer.”
“Yes, yes; we are closer.”
“Well, then, I say, when you all least expect it, and when you ain’t dreaming of such a thing, you’ll hear something of my fat friend as is dead and gone, that will astonish you all.”
Dick paused, and he gave the coffin a slight kick, as intimation to the boy that he might as well be doing his part in the drama, upon which that ingenious young gentleman set up such a howl, that even Dick jumped, so unearthly did it sound within the confines of that receptacle of the dead.