“’Tes the leppards, sure ‘nuff, a-ha’ntin’ o’ th’ ould place. Scriptur’ says they will not change their spots, an’ I’m blest ef et don’t say truth. But deary me, sir, an’ axin’ your pardon for sayin’ so, you’m a game-cock, an’ no mistake.”
“Iss, sir. Two knacks ‘pon the floor, an’ I’d ha’ been up in a jiffey. But niver mind, sir, us’ll wait up for mun to-night, an’ I’ll get the loan o’ the Dearlove’s blunderbust in case they gets pol-rumptious.”
Mr. Fogo deprecated the blunderbuss, but agreed to sit up for the ghost; and so for the time the matter dropped. But Caleb’s eyes followed his master admiringly for the rest of the day, and more than once he had to express his feelings in vigorous soliloquy.
“Niver tell me! Looks as ef he’d no more pluck nor a field-mouse; an’ I’m darned ef he takes more ’count of a ghost than he wud of a circuit-preacher. Blest ef I don’t think ef a sperrit was to knack at the front door, he’d tell ’un to wipe hes feet ‘pon the mat, an’ make hissel’ at home. Well, well, seein’s believin’, as Tommy said when he spied Noah’s Ark i’ the peep-show.”
Footnote, Chapter XVII  I cannot forbear to add a note on this eminently Trojan word. In the fifteenth century, so high was the spirit of the Trojan sea-captains, and so heavy the toll of black-mail they levied on ships of other ports, that King Edward IV sent poursuivant after poursuivant to threaten his displeasure. The messengers had their ears slit for their pains; and “poursuivanting” or “pussivanting” survives as a term for ineffective bustle.
OF A YOUNG MAN THAT WOULD START UPON A DARK ADVENTURE, BUT HAD TWO MINDS UPON IT.
At ten o’clock on this same morning Mr. Samuel Buzza sat by the Club window, alternately skimming his morning paper and sipping his morning draught. He was alone, for the habit of early rising was fast following the other virtues of antique Troy, and the members rarely mustered in force before eleven.
He had read all the murders and sporting intelligence, and was about to glance at the affairs of Europe, when Mrs. Cripps, the caretaker, entered in a hurry and a clean white apron.
“If you please, sir, there’s Seth Udy’s little boy below with a note for you. I’d have brought it up, but he says he must give it hisself.”
Sam, descending with some wonder, encountered Mr. Moggridge in the passage. The rivals drew aside to let each other pass. On the doorstep stood a ragged urchin, and waved a letter.
“For you, sir; an’ plaise you’m to tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ so quick as possible.”
Sam took the letter, glanced at the neat, feminine handwriting of the address, and tore open the envelope.