The Honourable Mr. Tawnish (Chapter 3, page 5 of 5)

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Chapter 3

"Hey--what?" spluttered Jack, "don't I tell you--"

"A flight of steps, a stirrup, and a stone!" sighed Pen, shaking her head at us each in turn.

"Now look'ee, Pen," says Jack, trying to bluster, "I say I'm not to be badgered and brow-beaten by a slip of a girl--I say I'm not, by heaven!"

"Oh, my dears, my dears!" sighed Pen, reprovingly, "Isn't it time you learned that you can keep few--very few secrets from me, who understand you all so well because I love you all so well? I have been your playfellow and companion so long that, methinks, I know you much better than you know yourselves; I, who have had my word in all your councils? How foolish then to think to put me off with such flimsy stories. Of course I shall find out all about it, sooner or later, I always do. Yes, I shall, even if I must needs hide in corners sirs, and hearken at keyholes, and peep and pry--so I warn you." And with this, she nodded and turned and left us to stare blankly at one another.

"That settles it!" said Bentley, gloomily, "she'll no more swallow thy cobble-stone than Dick's flight of steps, Jack. She'll know the truth before the week is out!"

"The minx!" cried Jack, "the jade!" And with the word he snatched off his wig and hurled it into a corner.

"Jack," says I, "what's to be done?"

"Done?" he roared, "I'll pack her off to her Aunt Sophia to-morrow!"

"Aye," says Bentley, "but--will she go?"

"Bentley," says Jack, "I'll thank you to reach me my wig!"

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