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"Pray," interrupted Oliver, "what may be the meaning of `scat 'em all in jowds'? "Broke 'em all in pieces," replied Captain Dan; "but he was wrong, for no bones were broken, and the fingers were all right again in the course of a few days. Sampy got a tremendous fright, however, and he was never known to travel underground without a light after that."

It so chanced that a man named Sampy had got his light put out when about to ascend the shaft, and, as he also was well acquainted with the way, he did not take the trouble to relight. There was a good deal of noise in consequence of the pump being at work. When I had got about half-way down I put my foot on something that felt soft.

"`Hope I haven't hurt 'ee, Sampy? said I. "`Aw dear! aw dear! aw, my dear! was all that poor Sampy could reply. "`Let us go up, my son, said I, `and we'll strike a light. "So up we went to the next level, where I got hold of the poor lad's candle and lighted it. "`Aw, my dear! said Sampy, looking at his fingers with a rueful countenance; `thee have scat 'em all in jowds."

Instantly there was uttered a tremendous yell, and my legs at the same moment were seized by something from below. My heart almost jumped out of my mouth at this, but as the yell was repeated it flashed across me I must have trod on some one's fingers, so I lifted my foot at once, and then a voice, which I knew to be that of Sampy, began to wail and lament miserably.