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ceeded from, but the darkness was so intense, and the snow blinded me so completely, that I could see nothing. Again and again did the dreadful sound ring in our ears, and we remained fixed and motionless with horror; even
the dog crouched at our feet trembling. We spoke not a word-neither of us moved : the gun had fallen from my hand, the hare lay at Tom's feet; we held each other's hand in silence, and there we remained for more than a quarter of an hour, every moment more and more sinking under the effects of cold, fatigue, and horror. Fortunately for us, the storm, in which, had it continued much longer, we should in all probability have perished, was by that time over; the snow ceased to fall, the clouds were rolled away to leeward, and a clear sky, bespangled with a thousand twinkling lights, roused us from our state of bodily and mental suffering. The first object which caught my eye was a post within two yards of us; I looked at it, followed it
up with my eyes, and, to my horror, beheld a body suspended and swinging in chains over our
As soon as I recovered from the shock, which the first view occasioned, I pointed it out to Tom, who had not yet moved. He looked up, started back, and fell over the dog-jumped up again, and burst out into as loud a laugh as his frozen jaws would permit.
“ It's old Jerry Abershaw," said he, “I know him well, and
now I know where we are.
Abershaw had, about three years before, been hung in chains on Wimbledon Common, and the unearthly sound we had heard was the creaking of the rusty iron as the body was swung to and fro by the gale. “All's right, Jacob,” said Tom, looking up at the brilliant sky, and then taking up the hare, 6. We'll be on the road in five minutes." I shouldered the gun,
and off we set. " By the Lord, that rascally common-keeper was right,” continued Tom, as we renewed our steps ; “he prophesied we should come to the gallows before long, and so we have. Well, this has been a pretty turn out. Father will be in a precious stew.”
“ Better luck next time, Tom,” replied I, “it's all owing to that turf-and-bog rascal. I wish we had him here."
“ Why what would you do with him ?”
“ Take down old Abershaw, and hang him up in his place, as sure as my name's Jacob.”.
Our last adventure not fatal---Take to my grog
kindly--Grog makes me a very unkind return--Old Tom at his yarns again---How to put your foot in a mischief, without having a hand in it---Candi. dates for the cat-o'-nine-tails.
WE soon recovered the road, and in half an
hour were at Putney Bridge; cold, wet, and tired, but not so bad as when we were stationary under the gallows; the quick walking restored the circulation. Tom went in for the bottle of spirits, while I went for the skulls and carried them down to the boat, which was high and dry, and nearly up to the thwarts with snow.
When Tom joined me, he appeared with two bottles under his arms. " I have taken another
upon tick, Jacob,” said he, “for I'm sure we want it, and so will father say, when he hears our story." We launched our boat, and in a couple of minutes were close to the lighter, on the deck of which stood old Tom.
“ Boat ahoy! is that you, lads ?” cried he.
we laid in our oars.
“ Thank God !” replied the old man. “ Boys, boys, how you frightened me! where have
you been ? I thought you had met with some disaster. How have I been peeping through the snow storm these last two hours, watching for the boat, and I'm as wet as a shag, and as cold as charity. What has been the matter ? Did you bring the bottle, Tom ?”
“ Yes, father; brought two, for we shall want them to-night, if we go without for a