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you are !
about pedigree and ancestry, now ploding with laughter, in which that
you have started the subject; Garth joined; “but without in what is bred in the bone, and all the slightest degree doubting your that sort of thing” (here he paused word, my dear Fitz, I must say to drink)—“there's a lot in it, don't that I should like some slight conyou know ;” and he put down the firmation of the facts, such as they glass solemnly and decisively—"a are, because I don't believe one lot in it."
word of the story.” “ There was,” said
then “you're just a little mixed as to that's all. I am convinced mytense, that's all; we won't fall self that investigation would reout about trifles.”
veal the additional fact of the “What an aggravating 'cuss' stone
mason's wife, or the builder's I didn't refer to the wife, or Hodman's own mother, glass, you know that well enough. having been a pastry-cook. This I was going to enlighten you about would account for the jam. Oh, the influence of heredity on char- you may laugh, of course—so may acter. Oh, fellows may laugh, of Garth ; but take his own case. course; but I'll give you an in- He never gets sea - sick. Why? stance, and you can make what Clearly because his grandfather, you like out of it. Hodman, of or great-grandfather (I forget the 210th- -you knew Hodman, which), was an admiral! There Tynte. He was deuced fond of you go guffawing again! Why, I
could easily give you much more “Yes, I remember. We used convincing facts-yes, facts,” said to chaff him unmercifully about Fitz, bobbing his head to avoid
a fizzing fusee; “hard facts. Dr “We used. Well, his favourite Barnes told me, in confidence, that preserve was plum jam, and he al- when Tiptop getsways spelt it plumb jamb."
The entrance of a fourth person “I don't see the point-quite,” at this stage of the conversation said Garth.
created a break, and gave the “Nor I either," put in the major a pretext for turning the major. “If it comes to spelling, subject of discussion into another three-fourths of us can't have had channel, in which he hoped to find grandfathers. Your theory won't a rock ahead sufficiently formidable hold water, Fitz."
to check the flux of words on the - Won't it? There you go as
part of the lieutenant. usual, off at a tangent, generalis- “How about Sparks ?” said the ing before you have data to go major ; “just look at him! The upon. Can't you let me finish biggest scamp in the regiment, next first ? Hodman's great - grand- to yourself. He's had a bishop for father was stone - mason, his a father; that cuts against your grandfather became a builder, and theory.” his father rose to be an architect. “Does it !-- not necessarily. The Now, how the deuce can you ac- paternal Sparks might not have count for Hodman's use of tech- been—strictly—well—orthodoxnical terms to convey the idea of don't you know; eh, Sparks ?” a potted preserve, except through The young man addressed was his pedigree? You may laugh.” not one of
words. “That opens up quite a new on a broad grin, winked, and wag. field of research," said Tynte, ex- ged his head.
“I told you so,'
He put said Fitz, triumphantly. “If the indication of large-hearted and Right Rev. Dr Sparks had been child-like credulity could you exstrictly evangelical, Sparks of ours pect than that? and still you are would have been a parson.” not happy, nor grateful !”
The bare idea seemed so comical “I confess, after that, I feel to the individual alluded to, that small,” said Fitz, “though I suphe crowed rather than laughed, pose I don't look it. The old and ejaculated "By Jove !” beggar always sets everything
- The fact of it is,” said the down as a yarn. He is the most major, “you must really, Fitz, at credulous old boss I ever came times be off your head.”
across, on some points; while on “And you'll probably find on others, Old Nick himself would investigation," said the suddenly not convince him.” inspired Sparks, “that he had an “ You seem to be the biggest Irish ancestor who lost his." puzzle he has ever had to encounter,
“Oh, for heaven's sake, shut in his military experience, up to up!” pleaded Tynte, convulsed in this at all event,” said Sparks. spite of himself.
“ Allow me to remark that life “Of course the majority of you is full of puzzles, big and little. are of a sceptical turn of mind,” If I don't greatly mistake, somewent on Fitzmaurice Bateman; body or other, probably Shake" that's your misfortune, not my speare—he has anticipated all the fault. I can tell you one more profound thoughts that occur to curious fact about this same Hod- me from time to time. - has disman: make the most of it. When covered that life itself is a puzzle. Dawkins came in for his family I find puzzles everywhere. There title, by the deaths of two uncles you are, for instance, a greyand a nephew, or something of that headed man at, say, thirty-five sort, Hodman wrote a letter —I (if I understate the age don't corsaw it — congratulating him on rect me), while the major, bless being raised to the pierage! Now, him! appears to be permitted by there is the mason ancestor again, an over-indulgent providence to plumb, jamb, pier," and he ticked wear his hair of its original hue them off on his fingers.
- Some at the advanced age of, say,people won't be convinced, like our what age shall we say, major?” old chief, who never will take a “ Never mind rushing into fellow's statement off-hand.” these disagreeable personal mat
Why do you say that of the ters. Confound your impudence !” colonel ?” asked Garth. " That's said Sparks. too bad: it's unjust. The very last “If I had thought a little —what shall we call it ?—bouncer more," said the major, “perhaps or anecdote you gave us at mess I might by this time have been about that fellow who put his head able to understand why big boys, out of one train and had it cut off as boys, should be so cheeky, by another, he implicity believed. unmanageable, and troublesomeThe major will bear me out in this.” why they should be, at the inter“I do, fully."
mediate stage, so utterly different “He just turned to me and said, from what we become as men. 'I'm quite sure it is a literal fact, “Come! I like that,” said Fitz ; and it must have been Bateman to “there's humility in it, and such a whom the accident happened, just confounded lot of self-depreciation before he joined.' What greater about it.”
“You might be able to throw “I merely remarked that I some light on this point, Garth,” liked red hair-so does the major. continued the major, ignoring the This is a free country (or is big lieutenant.
erroneously supposed to be), and " Who? I-I give it up,” said if I follow his lead-at a respectthe captain. “I couldn't tell you
“I couldn't tell you ful distance-I suppose it is all any more than I could say why right.” it is that veal—even the best fed “What is he driving at ?” asked veal-is so much more indigestible Tynte. than, and different in flavour from, "I
suppose he saw you walking beef. But never mind, we'll have with Miss Harman to-day, and he our revenge on Fitz, and take it means to be witty in his personal out of him when we get him on and usually mild sort of way,” board the 'trooper. We'll put said Sparks. him on duty every time he gets “ Well, his wit is about equal sick, and have him as limp, re- to his judgment. Beyond the spectful, and obedient as you shadow of a doubt, Fitz, you are please before he returns.”
colour-blind, if that is any satis“If he does return,” added Fitz, faction to you.” helping himself to
“Oh, I should have said golden brandy. “ Here's to the girls hair, of course—or auburn; any. we leave behind us. And he thing but red.” Here he went off winked at Garth. “I like red hair, at a tangent, and flourishing the major. On my word of honour, I empty tumbler, broke out into do; no humbug. Don't blush, song: any of you. Here's to our foxy fair ones!”
“Oh, Biddy Magee “I haven't the most remote Is devoted to me! notion of what you are driving And I'm partial to her, I'll allow. at, any more than I have of blush
She owns an estate,
And a family sate, ing.”
With a pig, and a goose, and a cow. “I say, look here, Fitz," put in
My luck, which was great Garth, coming to the rescue; “ draw When I met her, the line somewhere. Woman is Can only be bate our fate ; and you don't know When I get herhow soon your own turn may
For I'm partial to her, I'll allowcome. Have some outward re
Sweet Colleen Macree ! spect for that sex to which one's
Ballybog is the country for me ;
With Biddy Magee mother and sisters belong, to say On my knee, nothing of one's maiden aunts from
And her pig, and the goose, and the whom there are expectations.”
CHAPTER II.-FRIENDS IN COUNCIL.
“ Verborum tanta cadit vis,"-JUVENAL.
minutes the room was maurice Bateman soon attracted filled to inconvenience. There was kindred spirits, and all who hap- no resisting the attraction. Even pened to be within earshot made the laziest junior threw away his for Tynte's quarters; consequently, unfinished cigar, and shaking him
The well-known voice of Fitz- before
self together joined the throng. there's sense and humanity in Once the game was started, a that. Time is short, and some of noisy, obstreperous, overwhelming us haven't long to live, perhaps. mob insisted on keeping it up. Jam te premet nox fabulæque “Bravo, Fitz! Give us another.” manes, &c., &c. Let's thank our « Bravo !” again. “One more! stars, at all events, for that conHang it, yes !”—and so on, till at soling certainty of modern science last the victim's patience reached - the survival of the fittest'; its limit and culminated in a sten- let us also rejoice in that we torian "NO! Hanged if I do! have one major of ours the I call on Spunner for a song !” worthy host—who hasn't made an
Enter the bland and beaming ass of himself by going in for Spunner, amid general laughter; matrimony and all that sort of for he had never been known even thing, and cutting the mess-table to hum.
with its improving companionship There was considerable trouble of brothers-in-arms for the society in the matter of sitting accom
of babies - in - arms. Peg away, modation, but no more than was Fitz!” quite common, and, under the cir- He obeyed; but as his song cumstances, usual; but the com- was not complimentary to that motion served to create a diver- sex which in reality he adored, sion in Spunner's favour, which, we will not give it. Its anticoupled with his well-known in- marital sentiments may be gathability even to croak, served to ered from the tenor of the reget him out of a difficulty. He marks which followed the applause. immediately cast about for a seat, “ Time enough to think of getseeing others following the same ting pieced or spliced, joined toline of action.
gether, or whatever you call it, Tiptop settled himself down on when a chap is somewhere about Tynte's tin uniform - case, and seventy-or a shade over.” would have done very well there “Holloa !” said Tiptop, “what had not another warrior sat down is going to happen next? Hanged in his lap, which resulted in the if Spunner hasn't committed himbulging in of the case. The win- self to an opinion at last on somedow-sill afforded sittings for two thing !” and he patted Spunner more, while another had to con- patronisingly with his cane-rather tent himself as best he could with harder, however, than that gentlea helmet-case—no easy matter on man seemed to like. Snatching account of its peculiar conical it dexterously out of its owner's shape.
hand, he administered a couple "Now, Fitz,” said Garth, after of retaliatory blows with considsome sort of order had been ob- erably more energy than was extained, “let's have one more — pected across Tiptop's calves, who only one—song.
We'll be con- had to seek cover behind the ample tent to have it out of you now,
form of Fitz, and to sue for quarif you don't make yourself dis- ter from this point of vantage. agreeable, instead of taking a “I'll retract, Spunner, unconmean advantage when you are ditionally. But I really thought sea-sick."
you had given a decided opinion.” “That's fair," said Tiptop, who “So I have, old chap," retorted was a bad sailor and had done Spunner, flinging back the cane; voyage in a
trooper " ; "a very decided one as to your
mental capacity, more than once; “Fitz, to do him justice, is the only you find it convenient to have only man who never grumbles," a bad memory on this point. I said the major; "he adapts himsuppose, because the capacity is so self to circumstances, as a soldier low; however, as you can't be should.” blamed for that, I forgive you." “ That's accounted for by the
“Come, that's magnanimous, at fact,” said Sparks, “that when he all events," put in Fitz.
is at home he's in the habit of ac“Well, it certainly is; and I commodating Miss Biddy Magee am almost disposed, out of sheer on his lap, together with a pig, a gratitude, to wipe out that bet of goose, and a cow—all at once.” five sovs you lost yesterday on “I wish he'd show us how it Bluebeard."
was done,” said Spunner. “It is “Don't you wish you may get all very well in a song; but the 'em !” said Spunner. “Make a practical knowledge would be of virtue of necessity this time. I use to us just now. However, object to betting, as you know, on chairs or no chairs, you are principle—when I don't think the gentleman, major — every inch. outlook is good."
You never indulge in personalities, Well, I booked it, as a matter which is more than can be said of form ; and I appeal now to Fitz, for some of your impecunious who is the soul of honour."
guests. Now look here, Fitz: There was
à general hush to what has the fact of my not being hear the oracle speak.
hard-up got to do with feeling the "I think,” said Fitz solemnly, loss of money one way or other? and promptly accepting the posi- That is the sort of stuff people tion of arbitrator, if the bet was talk about wealth. If you pull a booked as a mere matter of form, hair out of a fellow with plenty the payment ought to be a mere on his head, doesn't it hurt him matter of form also. The decision, as much as if it had been pulled you will perceive, is final, but—it out of a scantily furnished nut, settles nothing; that's the beauty belonging to somebody else ?” and impartiality of it. But I say, “Hear, hear !" shouted Tiptop, Spunner, a fellow as rich as you delighted at the retort.
- Bravo ! —excuse me for being so beastly That's one to Spunner, and a right personal, don't you know—should good one too. Experience shows not feel so acutely the deprivation that it is clearly only the perfectly of a few sovs one way or other.” bald, and quite impecunious chap,
“Shouldn't he! Excuse me for who doesn't mind. You can't being equally personal, Master hurt him.” Fitz,” put in the major ; “but I “ It seems to me, Spunner,” said won't have my friend Spunner Sparks from the window-sill, “ that sat upon in my quarters, at all you are placed at rather a disadevents."
vantage as to wisdom, and all that “Here! I say, major," said one sort of thing. A fellow can't have of the company, who was of a wisdom, I understand, without expractical turn of mind, and ex- perience; and no chap can ever ceeding uncomfortable on the tin know the value of money if he helmet-case, “if you talk about hasn't to borrow it." fellows being sat on, and seats, “ How do you explain the glarand what not, you ought to pro- ing contradiction in your vide at least forms."
then, Sparks? You should be the