'And about time to do it, grumbles Silas, 'when a man's visitors, without a word of notice, conduct themselves with the sudden wiciousness of Jacks-in-boxes! Don't come flying out of your chair like that, Mr Venus! 'I ask your pardon, Mr Wegg. I am so soured. 'Yes, but hang it, says Wegg argumentatively, 'a well-governed mind can be soured sitting!

"A wictim o' wiciousness, sir." "What in the world do you mean? Who was she?" "Well, d'ye 'appen to know a young woman name of Nancy Price, sir?" "No!" "And yet you've 'ad same in your arms, Mr. Werricker, sir." "What the devil are you suggesting?" I demanded angrily. "I suggest as you found same young woman in a vood at midnight and carried 'er to a inn called the 'Soaring Lark."

Shrig parted the kindly leaves and I beheld the form of my servant Clegg, as neat and precise in death as he had ever been in life. "Poor lad!" said Mr. Shrig, baring his head. "Ye see, 'e 'appened to love Nancy Price, sir the wictim o' Wiciousness yonder, an' 'ere's the result. Even walets has feelin's this 'un werry much so!" "Dead?" I mumbled, feeling myself suddenly faint. "Dead both?"

"Aye, to be sure, sir!" nodded Mr. Shrig. "Wiciousness has been a-ridin' in that theer chaise an' Windictiveness a-gallopin' arter on your 'oss. P'raps you can likewise tell me who't was as rode your 'oss?" "No," I answered, "unless good heaven, can it be Anthony my friend Mr. Vere-Manville?" "Name sounds familiar!" said Mr.

The hat had fallen and rolled away and staring down into the horror of this face fouled with blood and blackened with powder, I recognised the features of Captain Danby. "So here's the end o' Wiciousness," said Mr.

"Good heavens!" I exclaimed. "That unfortunate creature?" "That werry same i-dentical, sir a wictim o' wiciousness as your late lamented uncle, Sir Jervas, God bless 'im amen! saved from des'prit courses " "My uncle Jervas " I exclaimed. "Saved from des'prit courses!" repeated Mr. Shrig. "Himself, sir.