262 TYLNEY HALL. ther, but for a succession of female shrieks, which arose from all quarters at once, whereat, leaving the champagne to take care of itself, the perplexed pair rushed out, with palpitating hearts, to inquire into the nature of this new catastrophe. And truly they beheld a sight to Londonbred spectators peculiarly appalling. The human groups that occupied the lawn had disappeared, and in lieu of them, the terrific Alderney was racing about " like mad," with her head up, and her tail holt upright and as stiff as a kitchen poker. Driven to wildness by three hours' exposure to a hot sun, and the incessant tormenting stings of insects, poor Daisy had broken her tether, or more probably it had been cut for her by young Twigg, and she im- mediately began that headlong gallop which cows are apt to take when goaded by the breeze-fly. After running three heats round the lawn, she naturally made for the shades of the shrubbery, but being headed back by the gentlemen, she paused, and looked round for an instant, as if to consider ; and then, making up her mind, she suddenly dashed off for the only place of shelter, and rushed headlong into the marquee. An awful crash ensued. Plate clattered, glass jingled, and timber banged ! The canvass bulged fearfully on one side, and, the 'moorings giving way, out rushed Daisy, and down fell the tent like a clap-net, decidedly catching the cold fowls, ducks, and pigeons that were under it. A loud cry of a mixed character arose from the spectators of this lamentable catastrophe. The ladies screamed from terror ; the expectant citizens bellowed from hungry disappointment, and some of the younger gentlemen, amateurs of fun, gave a shout that sounded like a huzza ! " She's upset the tables!" shrieked Mrs. Twigg, with her arms working aloft like a telegraph's. " And there goes every delicacy of the season," exclaimed Mr. Twigg, gazing with the stupified aspect of an under-writer at a total wreck. " " The new covers groaned the lady. l( All battered and bruised nothing but dents and bumps," added her husband in the same tone. ' ' And the beautiful cut glass not a bit of it blowed," said the hostess beginning to whimper.
TYLNEY HALL. 263 " Smash'd shivered to atoms curse her " soul ! cried the host, with the fervour of a believer in the me- tempsychosis. " My poor damask table-cloth !" moaned the mistress, with some indications of her old fainting fits. " Hamstring her ! kill her ! knock her on the head! " shouted Twigg, dancing on his tiptoes with excitement, and unconsciously imitating the action of a slaughterman. After standing a minute at gaze, the cow had recommenced her career about the lawn, causing a general panic, and nature's first law, the sauve qui pent principle, tri- umphed over all others. Guided by this instinct, Twigg rushed into the green-house, and resolutely shut the door against the cow, as well as against Mrs. Twigg, who had made for the same place of refuge. The corpulent Mr. Deputy Dobbs, by hard running, contrived to place the breadth of the fish pond between himself and the " infuriated animal," the orchestra box, alias the octagon sum- mer-house, was crowded with company, the hermitage, oh, shade of Zimmermann, what a sacrilege ! was a perfect squeeze ; and Flora had clambered up the lattice-work of her temple, and sat shrieking on the top. All the guests were in safety but one ; and every body trembled at the probable fate of Mrs. Tipper, who had been sitting on the end of a form, and was not so alert in jumping up from it as her juniors. The bench, on a mechanical principle well understood, immediately reared up and threw its rider ; and before the unfortunate lady, as she afterwards averred, " could well feel her feet, she saw the rampaging cretur come tearing at her, with the black man arter her, making her ten times worser." The scared Alderney, however, in choosing her course, had no design against Mrs. Tipper, but merely inclined to enjoy a cold bath in the fish-pond, into which she accord- ingly plunged, accompanied by Pompey, who had just succeeded, after many attempts, in catching hold of the remnant of her tether. In they went souse ! saluted by a chorus of laughter from the orchestra; and there, floundering up to their necks in water, the black animal and the red one hauled each other about, and splashed and s 4>