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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 669 pages of information about Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest.

Late that evening as I sat on the shaft of my cart in deep meditation, with my arms folded, I thought I heard a rustling in the bushes over against me.  I turned my eyes in that direction, but saw nothing.  ’Some bird,’ said I; ‘an owl, perhaps’; and once more I fell into meditation; my mind wandered from one thing to another—­musing now on the structure of the Roman tongue—­now on the rise and fall of the Persian power—­and now on the powers vested in recorders at quarter-sessions.  I was thinking what a fine thing it must be to be a recorder of the peace, when, lifting up my eyes, I saw right opposite, not a culprit at the bar, but, staring at me through a gap in the bush, a face wild and strange, half covered with gray hair; I only saw it a moment, the next it had disappeared.

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CHAPTER LXXI

Friend of Slingsby—­All quiet—­Danger—­The two cakes—­Children in the wood—­Don’t be angry—­In deep thought—­Temples throbbing—­Deadly sick—­Another blow—­No answer—­How old are you?—­Play and sacrament—­Heavy heart—­Song of poison—­Drow of gypsies—­The dog—­Ely’s church—­Get up, bebee—­The vehicle—­Can you speak?—­The oil.

The next day, at an early hour, I harnessed my little pony, and, putting my things in my cart, I went on my projected stroll.  Crossing the moor, I arrived in about an hour at a small village, from which, after a short stay, I proceeded to another, and from thence to a third.  I found that the name of Slingsby was well known in these parts.

‘If you are a friend of Slingsby you must be an honest lad,’ said an ancient crone; ’you shall never want for work whilst I can give it you.  Here, take my kettle, the bottom came out this morning, and lend me that of yours till you bring it back.  I’m not afraid to trust you—­not I. Don’t hurry yourself, young man, if you don’t come back for a fortnight I shan’t have the worse opinion of you.’

I returned to my quarters at evening, tired, but rejoiced at heart; I had work before me for several days, having collected various kekaubies which required mending, in place of those which I left behind—­those which I had been employed upon during the last few days.  I found all quiet in the lane or glade, and, unharnessing my little horse, I once more pitched my tent in the old spot beneath the ash, lighted my fire, ate my frugal meal, and then, after looking for some time at the heavenly bodies, and more particularly at the star Jupiter, I entered my tent, lay down upon my pallet, and went to sleep.

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