“Indeed, sir,” replied I, amused with his imposition, “I should like to accompany you—for, as Josephus says most truly, ’Capiat pillulae duae post prandium.’ Travel is, indeed, a most delightful occupation, and I would like to run over the whole world.”
“And I would like to follow you,” interrupted Timothy. “I suspect we have commenced our grand tour already—three miles behind a hackney-coach—ten on foot, and about two, I should think, in this wagon. But as Cophagus says, Cochlearija crash many summendush,’ which means, ‘there are ups and downs in this world.’”
“Hah!” exclaimed our companion. “He, also, has the rudiments.”
“Nay, I hope I’ve done with the Rudimans,” replied Timothy.
“Is he your follower?” inquired the man.
“That very much depends upon who walks first,” replied Timothy, “but whether or no—we hunt in couples.”
“I understand—you are companions. ’Concordat cum nominativo numero et persona.’ Tell me, can you roll pills, can you use the pestle and the mortar, handle the scapula, and mix ingredients?”
I replied that of course I knew my profession.
“Well, then, as we have still some hours of night, let us now obtain some rest. In the morning, when the sun hath introduced us to each other, I may then judge from your countenances whether it is likely that we may be better acquainted. Night is the time for repose, as Quintus Curtius says, ’Custos, bos, fur atque sacerdos. Sleep was made for all—my friends, good-night.”
In which the adventures
in the wagon are continued, and we become
more puzzled with our new companions—We leave off talking Latin,
and enter into an engagement.
Timothy and I took his advice, and were soon fast asleep. I was awakened the next morning by feeling a hand in my trouser’s pocket. I seized it, and held it fast.
“Now just let go my hand, will you?” cried a lachrymal voice.
I jumped up—it was broad daylight, and looked at the human frame to which the hand was an appendix. It was a very spare, awkwardly-built form of a young man, apparently about twenty years old, but without the least sign of manhood on his chin. His face was cadaverous, with large goggling eyes, high cheek bones, hair long and ragged, reminding me of a rat’s nest, thin lips, and ears large almost as an elephant’s. A more woe-begone wretch in appearance I never beheld, and I continued to look at him with surprise. He repeated his words with an idiotical expression, “Just let go my hand, can’t you?”
“What business had your hand in my pocket?” replied I, angrily.
“I was feeling for my pocket-handkerchief,” replied the young man. “I always keeps it in my breeches’ pocket.”
“But not in your neighbour’s, I presume?”