’That’s right, bebee, you struck his face; now once more, and let it be in the eye. Stay, what’s that? get up, bebee.’
‘What’s the matter, child?’
‘Some one is coming, come away.’
‘Let me make sure of him, child; he’ll be up yet.’ And thereupon Mrs. Herne, rising, leaned forward into the tent, and, supporting herself against the pole, took aim in the direction of the farther end. ’I will thrust out his eye,’ said she; and, lunging with her stick, she would probably have accomplished her purpose had not at that moment the pole of the tent given way, whereupon she fell to the ground, the canvas falling upon her and her intended victim.
‘Here’s a pretty affair, bebee,’ screamed the girl.
‘He’ll get up, yet,’ said Mrs. Herne, from beneath the canvas.
’Get up!—get up yourself; where are you? where is your—Here, there, bebee, here’s the door; there, make haste, they are coming.’
‘He’ll get up yet,’ said Mrs. Herne, recovering her breath; ’the dock tells me so.’
’Never mind him or the dook; he is drabbed; come away, or we shall be grabbed—both of us.’
‘One more blow, I know where his head lies.’
‘You are mad, bebee; leave the fellow—gorgio avella.’
And thereupon the females hurried away.
A vehicle of some kind was evidently drawing nigh; in a little time it came alongside of the place where lay the fallen tent, and stopped suddenly. There was a silence for a moment, and then a parley ensued between two voices, one of which was that of a woman. It was not in English, but in a deep guttural tongue.
‘Peth yw hono sydd yn gorwedd yna ar y ddaear?’ said a masculine voice.
‘Yn wirionedd—I do not know what it can be,’ said the female voice, in the same tongue.
‘Here is a cart, and there are tools; but what is that on the ground?’
‘Something moves beneath it; and what was that—a groan?’
‘Shall I get down?’
’Of course, Peter, some one may want your help?
’Then I will get down, though I do not like this place; it is frequented by Egyptians, and I do not like their yellow faces, nor their clibberty clabber, as Master Ellis Wyn says. Now I am down. It is a tent, Winifred, and see, here is a boy beneath it. Merciful father! what a face.’
A middle-aged man, with a strongly marked and serious countenance, dressed in sober-coloured habiliments, had lifted up the stifling folds of the tent, and was bending over me. ‘Can you speak, my lad?’ said he in English; ’what is the matter with you? if you could but tell me, I could perhaps help you—’ ’What is that you say? I can’t hear you. I will kneel down’; and he flung himself on the ground, and placed his ear close to my mouth. ’Now speak if you can. Hey! what! no, sure, God forbid!’ then starting up, he cried to a female who sat in the cart, anxiously looking on—’Gwenwyn! gwenwyn! yw y gwas wedi ei gwenwynaw. The oil! Winifred, the oil!’