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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

“Is it to be east, west, north, or south, Japhet?” said Timothy.

“The wise men came from the east,” replied I.

“Then they must have travelled west,” said Tim; “let us show our wisdom by doing the same.”

“Agreed.”

Passing by a small shop, we purchased two good sticks, as defenders, as well as to hang our bundles on—­and off we set upon our pilgrimage.

Chapter VIII

     We take a coach, but the driver does not like his fare and hits us
     foul—­We change our mode of travelling upon the principle of slow
     and sure, and fall in with a very learned man.

I believe it to be a very general custom, when people set off upon a journey, to reckon up their means—­that is, to count the money which they may have in their pockets.  At all events, this was done by Timothy and me, and I found that my stock amounted to twenty-two pounds eighteen shillings, and Timothy’s to the five guineas presented by Mr Cophagus, and three halfpence which were in the corner of his waistcoat pocket—­sum total, twenty-eight pounds three shillings and three halfpence; a very handsome sum, as we thought, with which to commence our peregrinations, and, as I observed to Timothy, sufficient to last us for a considerable time, if husbanded with care.

“Yes,” replied he, “but we must husband our legs also, Japhet, or we shall soon be tired, and very soon wear out our shoes.  I vote we take a hackney coach.”

“Take a hackney coach, Tim! we mustn’t think of it; we cannot afford such a luxury; you can’t be tired yet, we are now only just clear of Hyde Park Corner.”

“Still I think we had better take a coach, Japhet, and here is one coming.  I always do take one when I carry out medicines, to make up for the time I lose looking at the shops, and playing peg in the ring.”

I now understood what Timothy meant, which was, to get behind and have a ride for nothing.  I consented to this arrangement, and we got up behind one which was already well filled inside.  “The only difference between an inside and outside passenger in a hackney coach, is that one pays, and the other does not,” said I, to Timothy, as we rolled along at the act of parliament speed of four miles per hour.

“That depends upon circumstances:  if we are found out, in all probability we shall not only have our ride, but be paid into the bargain.”

“With the coachman’s whip, I presume?”

“Exactly.”  And Timothy had hardly time to get the word out of his mouth, when flac, flac, came the whip across our eyes—­a little envious wretch, with his shirt hanging out of his trousers, having called out, Cut behind! Not wishing to have our faces, or our behinds cut any more, we hastily descended, and reached the footpath, after having gained about three miles on the road before we were discovered.

“That wasn’t a bad lift, Japhet, and as for the whip I never mind that with corduroys.  And now, Japhet, I’ll tell you something; we must get into a wagon, if we can find one going down the road, as soon as it is dark.”

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