When I turned to see what was the cause of the laughter, what should I observe but Hannibal, the goat, who had, it appeared, followed his mistress, and, being excited by her cries, dashed at my schoolfellow in the way described. Several of the spectators now tried to seize the goat, but he being of extraordinary strength, butted and pushed so vigorously that several measured their length upon the earth, to the no small merriment of the clownish persons who had collected together to the burning of the guy.
During all this time Dame Clackett cried out loudly, and in the confusion her chair was upset, and she became liberated from her duress. As soon as she was free, she laid about on all sides of her with her stick, pulled off the helmet and jacket in which she had been nearly smothered, and cried out at the top of her voice:
“I am no guy! I am Dame Clackett! For goodness’ sake do not burn me for a witch!”
She, however, kept her apron close in which the money was, and took care not to let the seven-shilling piece fall out of her mouth.
The mob cheered. It would have been well if this had been all, but no: as soon as ever the old lady told her story that she had been seized for a guy, an effort was immediately made to secure the offenders. The constable, who happened to be present, laid hold of me and cousin Simon; several others were seized by the bystanders; and the whole, with the exception of Quidd, were dragged off to what in the country is called the goose-house—that is, the cage. Quidd, lawyer-like, contrived to get out of the scrape, leaving others in it. So we were all put into the cage, and bolted and barred. It was very dark, and as we were terribly frightened, we all began to howl most hideously.
As to Quidd, he went homewards, as if nothing had happened, and soon made his reappearance, prepared for the usual squibbing and cracking, with his pockets full of squibs and crackers. He was so pleased with the success of the scheme in which he had been so forward an actor that he determined to have more fun before he went to bed; so he looked about, and it was not long before he saw a fit object, as he thought.
At the corner of the street leading to the market-place sat poor old Hannah Grimly, as she was called. She had sold roasted chestnuts on the fifth of November for a score of years, and many a pinch of gunpowder had been put under the lid of the saucepan upon which the chestnuts were laid. Quidd determined to have a good explosion, and took the opportunity, while the chestnuts were being put into his hand, to introduce a packet of gunpowder into the kettle. He thought to run away before it should ignite, but there being a small hole in the paper, the moment it touched the fire the whole went off with a loud explosion. Quidd’s hand was shattered to pieces, and he fell stunned with the effects of the powder. He was taken home senseless, and put to bed.