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that he was really the sole and indisputable master of that renowned house-of-call, and the fifty broad acres which lay at its backdoor.
“ 'Tis not quite the half-hour yet, Simon -it wants eight minutes of her time,” replied the rubicund son of Bacchus, as with something of importance he laid hold of the large gold seal and bright steel chain that dangled from the zone of his tight drab smalls, and drew from his fob a huge silver watch. “She'll not be long, though,” continued he, lowering the said watch into its quarters, and giving a tug or two at the chain, as if to assure himself it had made the right descent.
Simon again cracked his whip, then with great precision hit divers times a tuft of grass with the extreme end of the thong, thrust the other hand into his pocket, and accosting the Corporal, made some slight observation, at which his quadrupedal companion gave a toss of the head, which Simon always considered as the tacit acknowledgment of the Corporal's comprehension. I have
said he went three times to the turn in the road. He went once more, and at that instant his gladdened ears heard the clanging sound of the winding horn—then the noise of the wheels—then saw the Tally-ho ! “They're a-comin' at last, old fellow,” said he to the Corporal. The Corporal, with wonderful intelligence, tossed his head—moved a pace or two on-stopped again, when the old groom just hinted if he would stand still they would soon be off home.
The vehicle in a few minutes approximated the old-fashioned portico of the wayside inn; but before the wheels had ceased to revolve, Simon, with glistening eye and happy countenance, said in tone audible to all present, “Oh, Master Moreton, you're there I see. Be'n awaitin' on ye a long time this mornin'--thought the old stager would never come.”
After this public announcement that Master Moreton had really arrived, one gentleman, as if suddenly awoke from a comfortable dose, protruded his travellingcap and a pair of huge grey whiskers, with red face and flat nose to correspond—said to himself or companions within, when he observed the fresh horses, “Change here, I suppose !"—then calling out for a glass of mild ale, backed himself into the warm corner, which comfortably contrasted with the fresh air of the morning.
“How are you, old fellow ?” said young De Bohun, as he like a roebuck jumped at one leap from the box-seat, and cordially seized the hard hand of Simon, who was childishly delighted at his young master's return.
“I hope you are well, Mr. Moreton ?"' respectfully said the landlord, and touching his hat to the young squire.
Very glad to see you coming home again, Mister Moreton,” remarked the hostess, as she was about to pass with the glass of mild ale for the travelling cap and whiskers, who by this time had thrown down the coach window, and found his tongue as dry as a tinder-box.
“Lor bless me, how he has grown! I scarcely knew him—and he is so tall !” ob
served Simon, who was now gossiping with the landlady.
“Now ma'am, that ale if you please,” shouted the thirsty gentleman out of the coach window, and who feared the horses would be harnessed and off before he secured his morning draught.
The landlady then really recollected she was the bearer of some of the best homebrewed; and when she extended the sparkling liquor, she was about to enter into some excuse for her absence, by stating that Master De Bohun, of Elleringay, was returning home, and she was wishing him—
At this moment, the grey-whiskered traveller abruptly said—“That'll do—there's the glass_here's twopence-shut the door." At this brevity the bostess was damped in her ardour about the young squire, for she thought that every one had known the De Bohuns of Elleringay Manor, and was amazed at this rude indifference on the part of the rude traveller.
“Here, my man, seize hold of this trunk
and portmanteau, and don't stand chatting there," said the guard to Simon, “or," continued he, “or you will perhaps have to fetch them from the next town."
The luggage was lowered, the coachman flourished his whip, a shrill blast was blown from the horn, the horses bounded over the ground, and in a few minutes the Tally-ho was lost in the distance.
Moreton desired Simon to follow him into the inn, and try his hand at a glass of hot rum-and-water, just by way of keeping out the Christmas cold. The interior of De Bohun Arms was in keeping with the exterior. All was clean, neat, and comfortable. The chief apartment was the house, which was immediately entered from the front door. Not boasting of fine furniture and carpet-floor, it more partook of a kitchen of the better order. Its ample fire-place, and the cosy, dark-leathered seat which was placed on one side, formed a snug berth in cold December days. The bright range with its well scoured bars, the highly-polished fender, made silver-like by many a protracted