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402 TYLNEY HALL.

" wish

" Manners will mend," answered Ned sharply ;

some matters could be mended too. Mayhap you have

heard of Tom Tatters ? "

A scornful laugh burst from Sir Walter at the idea of

the ragged itinerant setting up as a candidate for the hereditary

honours and possessions of the house of Tyrrel, and

he received with a sneer of pity

the paper that was tendered

to him, whereon the Squire had traced with his own hand

a sort of tree in illustration of the pedigree of his protege.

It was, however, made out with so much of the phraseology

of the stud-book Dam, Somebody ; Grandam,

Somebody else ; by Such-a-one out of So-and-so that

the Creole was some time in picking out its meaning.

" All plain enough," said Ned, jealous of the character

of his performance; "don't want spelling over: first, old

Theophilus ; then two sons, Theodore and Timothy.

Twigg comes from Timothy,

Theodore, the eldest branch."

and tattered Tom from

" I will grant you all your branches and Twiggs to

boot," answered Sir Walter, coolly. "But now condescend

to view the other side of the tree. Listen : Rupert

was the elder brother of Theophilus. From Rupert, Mark ;

and my father was Sir Mark's only brother

"

" There pull up," said Ned. " Remember the bend

sinister ; might be the wrong

side of the blanket."

" That question, if you would be so rash as to moot it,

must be tried at law," answered Sir Walter, contemptuously

; and, with an insolent parade of his toothpick, he

rose from the table and sauntered to the window.

The Squire's one eye glistened like a red-hot coal.

" "

Law, eh ! he " said : civil or criminal ? or, mayhap,

both at once ? Soon see. Good-by to Sir Walter ! " he

added significantly,

as he reached the door, which, after a

long withering frown, like that of Byron's Corsair, he

closed behind him with a sudden slam.

The Creole, in spite of his affected indifference, was ill

at ease : the determined inveterate character of the Squire

assured him that the new claim, however preposterous and

unfounded, would be brought forward, and prosecuted with

all possible pertinacity, necessarily involving a heavy ex-

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