"I comes up from Tonbridge this 'ere very afternoon, an', 'avin' drunk a pint over at 'The Bull' yonder, an' axed questions as none o' they chawbacons could give a answer to, I 'ears the chink o' your 'ammer, an' comin' over 'ere, chance like, I finds you; I'll be gormed if it ain't a'most onnat'ral!" "And why?" "'Cos you was the very i-dentical chap as I come up from Tonbridge to find."

Is that fair, my lads?" says I, appealing to the company. "Ay, ay," said the chorus of chawbacons; "he can't say no fairer nor that, he can't. Take off thy coat, master!" The limb of the law was now on the wrong side of public opinion, and, what heartened me to go on, the position was rapidly changing in our favour.

And so there are none of the groups of vacant faces, the joyless chawbacons lounging gloomily from stall to stall, the settled inanity and dreariness of the crowd that drifts through an English fair. An English peasant goes to be amused, and the clown finds it wonderfully hard work to amuse him. The peasant of Italy goes to Carnival to amuse himself and to amuse everybody else.

Is it because he hath seen the backs of a parcel of rascally militiamen, and because he hath drawn a few hundred chawbacons from the plough's tail to his standard, that he ventures to hold such language to the President of Wales? But ye will be my witnesses as to the spirit in which I received it?

"For Heaven's sake," says Bill, "hurry back, Sam, as soon as you can. I wish we hadn't made the ransom more than a thousand. Say, you quit kicking me or I'll get up and warm you good." I walked over to Poplar Cove and sat around the postoffice and store, talking with the chawbacons that came in to trade.

Some dozen of these curiosities were staggering, and swaggering, and smoking in front of Nonsuch House, to the edification of a lot of gaping grooms and chawbacons, when Mr. Sponge cantered becomingly up on the piebald.

"Half-past twelve," he said, "the Chawbacons I mean the farmhouse servants, miss will be at their dinner. All in your favor, so far. If the dog happens to be loose, don't forget that his name's Grinder; call him by his name, and pat him before he has time enough to think, and he'll let you be. When you want me, here you'll find me waiting for orders." I looked back as I crossed the field.

'Ay, ay, said the chorus of chawbacons; 'he can't say no fairer nor that, he can't. Take off thy coat master! The limb of the law was now on the wrong side of public opinion, and, what heartened me to go on, the position was rapidly changing in our favour.

The plantation was about twenty acres, rather thick and briary at the bottom; and master Reynard, finding it was pretty safe, and, moreover, having attempted to break just by where some chawbacons were ploughing, had headed short back, so that, when the excited field rushed through the parallel gate on the far side of the plantation, expecting to see the pack streaming away over the downs, they found most of the hounds with their heads in the air, some looking for halloos, others watching their companions trying to carry the scent over the fallow.

"For Heaven's sake," says Bill, "hurry back, Sam, as soon as you can. I wish we hadn't made the ransom more than a thousand. Say, you quit kicking me or I'll get up and warm you good." I walked over to Poplar Cove and sat around the post-office and store, talking with the chawbacons that came in to trade.