“Are there any water snakes in our rivers in Canada?” enquired Mrs. Du Plessis.
“Oh yes, ma’am,” answered the fisherman, “I imagine those lykes we are going to visit this afternoon are pretty full of snykes. Mr. Bulky, whose nyme is known to Mr. Coristine, I’m sure, wears long waterproof boots for wyding in the Beaver River—”
“But, Mr. Bigglethorpe,” asked the fair questioner, “how can one ride in a river?”
“Excuse me, ma’am, I did not say riding, I said wyding, walking in the water. Mr. Bulky was wyding, one morning, with rod in hand, when, all of a sudden, he felt something on his leg. Looking down, he sawr a big black water-snyke coiled round his boot, and jabbing awy at his leg. It hung on to him like a boa-constrictor, and squeezed his leg so tight that it gyve him a bad attack of gout. He had to get on shore and sawr it in two with his knife before the snyke would leave go. Fortunately, the brutes are not venomous, but that beggar’s teeth scratched Mr. Bulky’s boots up pretty badly, I must sy.”
When they rose from the table, Miss Carmichael went up to the lawyer and said: “Please forgive me for punishing myself between Mr. Bangs and Mr. Bigglethorpe. I sigh for good English.” The lawyer answered, all unwittingly, of course, in his worst brogue: “Miss Carrmoikle, it’s my frind Wilks I’ll be aafther gitten’ to shtarrt a noight school to tayche me to shpake Inglish in aal its purity.” To this there could be but one response: “Go away, you shameful, shameless, bad man!” It pleased the lawyer better than a more elegant and complimentary remark.
Walk to the P.O.—Harding’s
Besieged—Wilkinson Wounded—Serlizer and Other Prisoners—No
Underground Passage Found—Bangs and Guard Remain—The Constable’s
New Prisoners—Wilkinson a Hero—The Constable and Maguffin—Cards.
There was no room for twenty persons in two waggons, yet twenty proposed to go, seventeen to the seat of war, and three to the post-office. As those three were the young ladies of the house, all the warriors offered to surrender their seats to them. They refused to accept any surrender, preferring to walk, whereupon Messrs. Errol, Wilkinson and Coristine thought an after-dinner walk the height of luxury. Mr. Bangs saw he was not wanted as a fellow pedestrian, and mounted his horse instead of having him trot behind a waggon. The vehicles, or at least one of them, received instructions to wait at the post-office for the three members of squad No. 1. The walk was strictly proper, Mr. Errol taking Miss Carmichael, the dominie Miss Halbert, and the lawyer Miss Du Plessis. “What a goose you are, Mr. Wilkinson,” said his fair companion. “What a goose you are to leave Cecile, whose footsteps you fairly worship, and to come and walk with a girl for whose society you don’t care a penny.”