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at the far end of the hedge- such startling rapidity that row.

There we were presently our air - and - exercise member joined by the trio, who were went off into a wild shout of all now walking on our side of laughter, which proving to be the hedge, Tertius loudly ex- contagious sensibly relieved the postulating with William, that situation. When the party individual looking more like a had returned to their sober martyr than usual, and the senses Tertius proceeded to uninquisitive one apparently lack- fold his dolorous tale. It aping some of his characteristic peared that William, astute urbanity.

enough to keep his own preci" You seem to have had

ous carcase on the right side pretty good sport," I remarked. of the hedge, had either of

"Yes, good sport, thank you, inadvertence or design allowed and a good row too,” snapped our friends on the right to Tertius. “That double-dis- wander into a neighbouring tilled idiot”-indicating Wil- squire's turnip-field, wherein liam — "let us go poaching was lying a covey of part

— beyond our boundary,

boundary, and ridges which the keeper had we've mopped up pretty well carefully reared and preserved a whole covey of somebody's as breeding-stock for the futtame birds, and got caught in ure. As the poor tame things the act by the gamekeeper!” lay like so many stones, and

It may be remembered that got up either singly or in Mr Pickwick, most charitable pairs, no less than fifteen out of mankind, on one occasion of eighteen had fallen to our eyed a horse "with looks ex- guns, who innocently supposed

a pressive of hatred and revenge, that fickle fortune had been and more than once calculated unusually kind to them. The the probable amount of the slaughter over, there followed expense he would incur by the small matter of retrieving cutting its throat.” , So, too, the game; and as repeated the normally placid Tertius shouts and entreaties had

now eyeing the guilty about as much effect upon William with any feeling William as the cuttings with rather than that of affection knives and lancets upon Baal in his mind, when the last- on Mount Carmel, the two named individual, pointing sportsmen buckled to the task with his finger, slowly ejac- themselves. Gathering dead ulated “Doock !” and surely birds in rime-covered turnips enough there were three of even with a dog is a difficult those birds high in the air, task, without a dog wellnigh well within half a mile of us. hopeless. With exceeding

Dn the duck!” rasped great joy, then, the searchers out the inquisitive one in hailed the

appearance on the tone which showed that the scene of action of a man with iron had entered into his soul a retriever, and in all confidalso. Fortunately or unfor- ence they invoked his assisttunately, this anticlimax fol

With the help of these lowed William's climax with new allies the game was duly

was

a

ance.

retrieved, and Tertius was al- sented to withdraw the sumready fumbling in his pocket monses on the understanding for the wherewithal to reward that a modest contribution was the Deus ex machind, when- given to the local poor - box.

6 There!” exclaimed the Curiously enough, on the one man, laying out the last hand, the stipulated sum was bird, “and now I'll trouble considerably less than the you for your names and ad- market - value of the dead dresses, or you shall come partridges.

On

the other along with me. Who are you, hand, in our annoyance over I'd like to know, to come and the incident, we temporarily shoot my partridges ?”

lost sight of the fact that “Your partridges?” Tableau! the fifteen birds, which our

The rest of the interview may landlord annexed as a matbe left to the imagination. The ter of course, most certainly finale was that the keeper took did not belong to him, but their cards and seemed so far ought to have gone to the to accept their explanation and agent. apologies as to promise to pass I will add that up to a certhem on with the cards to his tain point one and all of our master's agent. An offer of party were certainly in symthe dead birds he most stead- pathy with the gamekeeper's ily and to my thinking most feelings. True, he put himself unaccountably declined, declar- out of court by wantonly pering that they were valueless verting the true facts of the to him when dead, though case; but a good deal of allowalive they had been worth ance must be made for a man their weight in gold. Whether who by dint of good watching it was that he subsequently had kept a covey of partridges repented of the refusal, or that intact up to the middle of brooding over what was un- January, when their harbourage doubtedly a very serious loss lay in such close proximity to brought him to a wholly un- a kill-everything-you-see sort of charitable frame of mind, I shooting. It must have been cannot pretend to decide. But gall and wormwood to the according to the agent, who man's feelings to his on the strength of his rep- treasured breeding-stock pracresentations instantly applied tically wiped out.

Nor again for summonses against the of- had we any reason for doubting fenders, he depicted Tertius the agent's version of the state and the inquisitive one as of affairs, when he told us that ill - conditioned and insolent our landlord had earned poachers who had carried off evil reputation as a notorious the dead game vi et armis. grabber of odd lots of shooting The agent, however, when in- which either intersected terviewed, proved more amen- marched side by side with able to reason, and finding various proprietors' preserves. that he had to do with two Though it was impolitic to say courteous gentlemen who had so at the time, I thought then erred in all innocence, con

and still think that even in our

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at the far end of the hedge- such startling rapidity that row.

There we were presently our air - and - exercise member joined by the trio, who were went off into a wild shout of all now walking on our side of laughter, which proving to be the hedge, Tertius loudly ex- contagious sensibly relieved the postulating with William, that situation. When the party individual looking more like a had returned to their sober martyr than usual, and the senses Tertius proceeded to uninquisitive one apparently lack- fold his dolorous tale. It aping some of his characteristic peared that William, astute urbanity.

enough to keep his own preci“ You seem to have had

ous carcase on the right side pretty good sport," I remarked. of the hedge, had either of

“Yes, good sport, thank you, inadvertence or design allowed and a good row too,” snapped our friends on the right to Tertius. “That double - dis- wander into a neighbouring tilled idiot”-indicating Wil- squire's turnip-field, wherein liam — “let us go poaching was lying a covey of partbeyond our

our boundary, and ridges which the keeper had we've mopped up pretty well carefully reared and preserved a whole covey of somebody's as breeding-stock for the futtame birds, and got caught in ure. As the poor tame things the act by the gamekeeper!” lay like so many stones, and

It may be remembered that got up either singly or Mr Pickwick, most charitable pairs, no less than fifteen out of mankind, on one occasion of eighteen had fallen to our eyed a horse “with looks ex- guns, who innocently supposed pressive of hatred and revenge, that fickle fortune had been and more than once calculated unusually kind to them. The the probable amount of the slaughter over, there followed expense he would incur by the small matter of retrieving cutting its throat.” So, too, the game; and as repeated the normally placid Tertius shouts and entreaties had

now eyeing the guilty about as much effect upon William with any feeling William as the cuttings with rather than that of affection knives and lancets upon Baal in his mind, when the last- Mount Carmel, the two named individual, pointing sportsmen buckled to the task with his finger, slowly ejac- themselves. Gathering dead ulated “Doock !” and surely birds in rime-covered turnips enough there were three of even with a dog is a difficult those birds high in the air, task, without a dog wellnigh well within half a mile of us. hopeless. With exceeding

“D-n the duck!” rasped great joy, then, the searchers out the inquisitive one in a hailed the appearance on the tone which showed that the scene of action of a man with iron had entered into his soul a retriever, and in all confidalso. Fortunately or unfor- ence they invoked his assisttunately, this anticlimax fol

With the help of these lowed William's climax with new allies the game was duly

was

on

a

ance.

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retrieved, and Tertius was al- sented to withdraw the sumready fumbling in his pocket monses on the understanding for the wherewithal to reward that a modest contribution was the Deus ex machind, when- given to the local poor - box.

“ There!” exclaimed the Curiously enough, on the one man, laying out the last hand, the stipulated sum was bird, “and now I'll trouble considerably less than the you

for your names and ad- market - value of the dead dresses, or you shall come partridges.

On the other along with me. Who are you, hand, in our annoyance over I'd like to know, to come and the incident, we temporarily shoot my partridges ?”

lost sight of the fact that “Your partridges?” Tableau! the fifteen birds, which our The rest of the interview may landlord annexed as matbe left to the imagination. The ter of course, most certainly finale was that the keeper took did not belong to him, but their cards and seemed so far ought to have gone to the to accept their explanation and agent. apologies as to promise to pass I will add that up to a certhem on with the cards to his tain point one and all of our master's agent.

An offer of party were certainly in symthe dead birds he most stead- pathy with the gamekeeper's ily and to my thinking most feelings. True, he put himself unaccountably declined, declar- out of court by wantonly pering that they were valueless verting the true facts of the to him when dead, though case; but a good deal of allowalive they had been worth ance must be made for a man their weight in gold. Whether who by dint of good watching it was that he subsequently had kept a covey of partridges repented of the refusal, or that intact up to the middle of brooding over what was un- January, when their harbourage doubtedly a very serious loss lay in such close proximity to brought him to a wholly un- a kill-everything-you-see sort of charitable frame of mind, I shooting. It must have been cannot pretend to decide. But gall and wormwood to the according to the agent, who man's feelings to

his on the strength of his rep- treasured breeding-stock pracresentations instantly applied tically wiped out.

Nor again for summonses against the of- had we any reason for doubting fenders, he depicted Tertius the agent's version of the state and the inquisitive one of affairs, when he told us that ill - conditioned and insolent our landlord had earned an poachers who had carried off evil reputation as a notorious the dead game vi et armis. grabber of odd lots of shooting The agent, however, when in- which either intersected terviewed, proved more amen- marched side by side with able to reason, and finding various proprietors' preserves. that he had to do with two Though it was impolitic to say courteous gentlemen who had so at the time, I thought then erred in all innocence, con

and still think that even in our

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particular instance the agent of English law as administered erred on the side of leniency. by local magistrates. A less courteous but perhaps “We can't quite depend, wiser man would have laid George, on having our whist down for himself a hard-and- if these other fellows get, as fast rule of prosecuting with the they seem to have a very good utmost rigour of the law every chance of getting, a fortnight single instance of conscious or with “hard.' What rot these unconscious poaching. For the game laws are, and what a sooner that a shooting-hotel blethering idiot is William,run under these conditions is if it was William's fault, I brought into thoroughly bad mean.' odour with the general public,

And then he would amuse the better for all parties except himself by speculating on the the hotel proprietor. Rough probable appearance of Tertius, shooting in a wild district is an who was bearded like a pard, intelligible and attractive form when he “came out” closeof sport; yet the destruction of cropped and clean-shaven. a neighbour's hand-reared birds “Anyway, if they don't in the course of their passage shave you, old chap, they'll from one covert to another may crop it a bit, for fear that be legal, but most certainly is the ends might get hitched up neither equitable nor sportsman- in the ‘mill.' Merciful men like. Wholesale prosecution, are merciful to their beasts, though now and again liable and draw the line at either to bear hardly upon individuals, muzzling the ox that treadeth seems to me, as the law stands out the corn or pulling off the now, to be the only method of beard of a fellow who is doing preventingan irremediable form time on the mill." of iniquity.

He affected to be rather I regret to record that our scandalised than otherwise air-and-exercise member, in the when, thanks to the agent's brief interval between the ser- courtesy, the plea of ignorance vice of the summons and the secured the withdrawal of the interview with the agent, did summonses, and he talked a lot not adopt an entirely sym- about William's injured innopathetic attitude towards the cence, the agent's willingness two companions in adversity. to compound a felony, and the Not being himself exactly par- undeserved good - luck of the ticeps criminis, and having poachers. “But, after all,” therefore a conscience void of as Tertius sagely remarked, offence, he met all attempts to “what could be expected of a discuss future plans—for we man who was caught napping had promptly determined to without any cartridges in his save our reputation by chang- gun at the moment when a ing quarters — with sinister large flock of golden plover suggestions of the uncertainties flew whistling over his head!”

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(To be continued.)

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