“My name ain’t Jones,” he muttered, “if I don’t be one to his one for that; I’ll do something that shall make him remember what it is to insult a respectable tradesman. I’ll never forgive such an insult. It is dark, and that’s why it is he has dared to do this.”
Filled with dire thoughts and a spirit of revenge, he looked from side to side to see with what he could effect his object, but could espy nothing.
“It’s shameful,” he muttered; “what would I give for a little retort. I’d plaster his ugly countenance.”
As he spoke, he placed his hands on some pales to rest himself, when he found that they stuck to them, the pales had that day been newly pitched.
A bright idea now struck him.
“If I could only get a handful of this stuff,” he thought, “I should be able to serve him out for serving me out. I will, cost what it may; I’m resolved upon that. I’ll not have my wind knocked out, and my inside set on fire for nothing. No, no; I’ll be revenged on him.”
With this view he felt over the pales, and found that he could scrape off a little only, but not with his hands; indeed, it only plastered them; he, therefore, marched about for something to scrape it off with.
“Ah; I have a knife, a large pocket knife, that will do, that is the sort of thing I want.”
He immediately commenced feeling for it, but had scarcely got his hand into his pocket when he found there would be a great difficulty in either pushing it in further or withdrawing it altogether, for the pitch made it difficult to do either, and his pocket stuck to his hands like a glove.
“D—n it,” said the grocer, “who would have thought of that? here’s a pretty go, curse that fellow, he is the cause of all this; I’ll be revenged upon him, if it’s a year hence.”
The enraged grocer drew his hand out, but was unable to effect his object in withdrawing the knife also; but he saw something shining, he stooped to pick it up, exclaiming as he did so, in a gratified tone of voice,
“Ah, here’s something that will do better.”
As he made a grasp at it, he found he had inserted his hand into something soft.
“God bless me! what now?”
He pulled his hand hastily away, and found that it stuck slightly, and then he saw what it was.
“Ay, ay, the very thing. Surely it must have been placed here on purpose by the people.”
The fact was, he had placed his hand into a pot of pitch that had been left by the people who had been at work at pitching the pales, but had been attracted by the fire at Sir Francis Varney’s, and to see which they had left their work, and the pitch was left on a smouldering peat fire, so that when Mr. Jones, the grocer, accidentally put his hand into it he found it just warm.
When he made this discovery he dabbed his hand again into the pitch-pot, exclaiming,—
“In for a penny, in for a pound.”