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TYLNEY HALL. 99

fortable when all at once, says Mrs. T. with a scream,

*

Mercy on '

us, the island's getting littler ! And sure

enough, as we watched, the water kept creeping on and

creeping on, till it came to the edge of the table-cloth, and

threatened to swallow up every thing! There we were,

in eminent danger, and no boat; for those d d boys had

gone up the d d river after some d d swans."

" "

Haw ! haw ! haw ! burst out the graceless Twigg,

"

junior ; and when we came back and looked for the

island, there was 'Tilda singing out, on the top of the

tree ; and mother roosting a little further down ; with

father hugging the trunk, up to his coat-flaps in water !

" None of your levity, sir," said :

Twigg very sternly

" if I'd been drowned through your swan-hopping, you

wouldn't be in the station in life you enjoy."

f<

Stealing a King's swan, young man," said the Justice

solemnly, " is capital felony, without benefit of clergy."

" I assure you, Sir Mark Tyrrel, Baronet," resumed

Twigg, " my reflections, when I saw the devouring element

raging round us, was very serious very

"

serious indeed !

Here's a situation, thinks I, fora man of my property."

" "

! Egad said Sir Mark, smiling, " or for a man of

no property."

fc I declare I could have cried with vexation," said Mrs.

Twigg, " to see the good table-cloth floating away ; and

the hamper, and all the nice eatables, being squamped.

As for the silver forks and plate, it was all lost in the deep ;

for though we paid a waterman something handsome to

look for them when the island came up again, he never

brought us nothing but a "

mustard-pot full of mud !

" Very provoking indeed, madam," said the Baronet ;

" but if you're fond of angling," he continued, addressing

Twigg, " you should have got a punt, and fished on the

spot directly ; for what with the pigeon-pie, the cold ham,

and so forth, you had ground-baited rarely

for barbel. I

only hope, Grace, that you will not take fright at this

story, and "

give up our boat excursions on the lake ?

"

Certainly not," answered "

Grace, while the vessel has

so skilful a master as the Squire, and so expert a mate as

Ringwood."

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