As his manly bearing was evidently producing an effect, the "afflicted girls" came out in full force the next day at the adjourned session. When he was brought in, they fell at once into the most grievous fits and screechings. "Who hurts you?" was asked, after they had recovered somewhat. "This man," said Abigail Williams, going off into another fit.
There were pipings of pain and pipings of joy; there was whistling to pierce the drums of ears; there were hootings and howlings and bleatings and screechings, while over all bleated the heathen battle-cry incessantly: "GOTCHER BUMPUS! GOTCHER BUMPUS!" For the boys had been inspired by the unusual water to transform Penrod's game of "Gotcher bumpus" into an aquatic sport, and to induce one another, by means of superior force, dexterity, or stratagems, either to sit or to lie at full length in the flood, after the example of Carlie Chitten.
An involuntary shriek burst from Dillon, as he felt his person thrust from the narrow shelf; and his cry sounded amidst the tempest, like the screechings of the spirit of the storm. "Another such a call, and I cut your tow-line, villain," said the determined seaman, "when nothing short of eternity will bring you up."
Their groans were answered by the screechings of Lampaxo through the port-hole and the taunts of Phormio. “Sing, sing, pretty Pisinoë, sweetest of the sirens,” tossed the fishmonger, playing his part at Glaucon’s side; “lure that dear penteconter a little nearer. And you, brave, gentle sirs, don’t try ‘to flay a skinned dog’ by thrusting down here.
Then it was that there arose such a yell, such screechings and cries, as reached far over the prairie, and might have appalled the stoutest heart. The picture that was soon offered to the eye was not less terrific than the sounds which assailed the ear.
The Minister for Health looked at once heartbroken and embittered. The head of the planetary police stared grimly ahead. Screechings and howlings echoed and re-echoed between the building walls. Objects began to fall from the windows: bottles, pots and pans. Chairs and stools twirled and spun, hurtling downward.
We dashed through them, crushing many an egg, as well as several hapless young ones, regardless of the screechings of the old birds and the furious pecks they gave at our legs. I looked out ahead, but could see nothing of Harry and the ladies. We shouted, thinking that they might not be far off; but, receiving no answer, I hoped that they had already embarked.
"We have carried the monster's carcase far enough off to prevent it from poisoning us by its horrible odour when it putrifies, which it will in a few hours," he observed. "But I am afraid that it will attract the hyaenas and jackals in no small numbers, so that we shall be annoyed by their howls and screechings.
"I hear it all, now," said Torley, "the cries and the shouting, the screechings and the well, you need not be afeared; put poor Brian in with me, for I know there is no Irishman but will respect a death-bed, be it landlord, or agent, ay, or bailey. Oh, no, father, the hand of God is upon us, and if they respect nothing else, they will surely respect that.
When the woods again began to pour forth the dark-hued masses of the enemy the youth felt serene self-confidence. He smiled briefly when he saw men dodge and duck at the long screechings of shells that were thrown in giant handfuls over them. He stood, erect and tranquil, watching the attack begin against a part of the line that made a blue curve along the side of an adjacent hill.