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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 228

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A NARROW ESCAPE 225 painted—it was a mouthful of crunching syllables ; but its meaning disappointed me by its mildness, as it merely expressed a wish that the object of the malediction might have the burial of a dog. I found, when the time came, that I had not thus armed myself for nothing. The muleteer asked at least three times as much as law, reason, or custom gave him the smallest right to, and though Mr. St. John, who was with me, kept telling him this, he, with dogged persistence, kept reiterating his demand. I now recognised with delight that my opportunity was come. I loaded my mouth with the oath and discharged it in the rascal's face. But alas ! despite all my efforts, as soon as I opened my lips it emerged in the form, not of an imprecation, but a laugh. At last, on Mr. St. John's advice, I produced what was properly due, deposited it on a stone, and said to the man as I walked away that there was all he-would get ; he might take it or leave it, as he pleased. He left it with some threat ; but I learnt subsequently that as soon as I was gone he returned and went thankfully off with it. When the hour for my departure arrived, though I was full of regrets at leaving, I felt a sincere satis-faction, as I got into my carriage and settled myself in comfort amongst a number of furs and rugs, that I was not going again to encounter the perils of Mr. St. John's tandem. I had with me a book with which to beguile the way (Professor Thorold Eogers' ' Six Centuries of Work and Wages '), and as we quietly Q

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