"All right, only not too late." At twelve we departed, and I was taken to a row of low cottages, which, however, were fairly solid and neat. At first we sat in a kitchen, and I was accommodated with a tub for a seat. Our light came from the fire and a dull lamp, which only made a reddened twilight in the air. The fat woman watched me like a cat, and I fancied that her mouth was like that of a carnivorous beast. The sly old man looked on the ground, but his stealthy eye like the eye of a cunning magpie glittered sometimes as he turned it on me. Blackey was most cordial, and soon proposed a song. He obliged first, and warbled some ghastly affair which aimed at being nautical in sentiment. The chorus contained some observations like "Hilley-hiley-Hilley-ho," and it also gave us the information that gentleman named Jack would shortly come home from the sea. The thing was a silly Cockney travesty of a sailor's song, but we were all pleased with it, and it led the way nicely to the girl's ditty, which stated that somebody was going sailing, sailing, over the bounding main (sailors always mention the sea as the bounding main), and by easy steps we got to the fat woman's "Banks of Hallan Worrrtter." We were a jovial company: four of us were wondering how they could rob the fifth, and that fifth resolved, quite early in this sèance, to use his knuckle-duster promptly, and to prevent either of the male warblers from getting behind him, at any risk. About three o'clock the junior lady placed herself on my knee, and her husband approvingly described her as a bloomin' baggage. I did not like the special perfume which my friend employed for her hair, and I also disliked the evidences which went to prove that the bath was not her favourite luxury; but we did not fall out, and, after a spell of sprightly song, we all indulged in a dance of the most spirited description. Drink was plentiful, and, as I saw I was being plied very freely, I pretended to be eager for more. This modified the strategy of my friends, for they were reasonably anxious to secure a skinful, and they feared lest my powers might prove to be abnormal. Four watching like wild beasts! One waiting, and calculating chances! The sullen, grey-eyed old man had taken on the aspect of a ferret; the fat woman was like that awful wretch who meets the pale girl in Hogarth's "Marriage