And he endeavoured to secure as large a handful of the slippery and sticky stuff as he could, and this done he set off to come up with the big countryman who had done him so much indignity and made his stomach uncomfortable.
He soon came up with him, for the man had stopped rather behind, and was larking, as it is called, with some men, to whom he was a companion.
He had slipped down a bank, and was partially sitting down on the soft mud. In his bustle, the little grocer came down with a slide, close to the big countryman.
“Ah—ah! my little grocer,” said the countryman, holding out his hand to catch him, and drawing him towards himself. “You will come and sit down by the side of your old friend.”
As he spoke, he endeavoured to pull Mr. Jones down, too; but that individual only replied by fetching the countryman a swinging smack across the face with the handful of pitch.
“There, take that; and now we are quits; we shall be old friends after this, eh? Are you satisfied? You’ll remember me, I’ll warrant.”
As the grocer spoke, he rubbed his hands over the face of the fallen man, and then rushed from the spot with all the haste he could make.
The countryman sat a moment or two confounded, cursing, and swearing, and spluttering, vowing vengeance, believing that it was mud only that had been plastered over his face; but when he put his hands up, and found out what it was, he roared and bellowed like a town-bull.
He cried out to his companions that his eyes were pitched: but they only laughed at him, thinking he was having some foolish lark with them.
It was next day before he got home, for he wandered about all night: and it took him a week to wash the pitch off by means of grease; and ever afterwards he recollected the pitching of his face; nor did he ever forget the grocer.
Thus it was the whole party returned a long while after dark across the fields, with all the various accidents that were likely to befal such an assemblage of people.
The vampyre hunting cost many of them dear, for clothes were injured on all sides: hats lost, and shoes missing in a manner that put some of the rioters to much inconvenience. Soon afterwards, the military retired to their quarters; and the townspeople at length became tranquil and nothing more was heard or done that night.
THE DEPARTURE OF THE BANNERWORTHS FROM THE HALL.—THE NEW ABODE.—JACK PRINGLE, PILOT.
During that very evening, on which the house of Sir Francis Varney was fired by the mob, another scene, and one of different character, was enacted at Bannerworth Hall, where the owners of that ancient place were departing from it.
It was towards the latter part of the day, that Flora Bannerworth, Mrs. Bannerworth, and Henry Bannerworth, were preparing themselves to depart from the house of their ancestors. The intended proprietor was, as we have already been made acquainted with, the old admiral, who had taken the place somewhat mysteriously, considering the way in which he usually did business.