helped to kick the devil: one has served an apprenticeship to his limb: and one is ready to meet him foot to foot any day, which last should be myself. Not a man more do we want, though it were to fish up that treasure you talk of being under the Rhine there, and guarded by I don’t know how many tricksy little villains. Horses can be ferried across at Linz, you say?’ ‘Ay, thereabout,’ grunted the Thier. ‘We ‘re on the right road, then!’ said Guy. ‘Thanks to you both, I’ve had no sleep for two nights—not a wink, and must snatch it going—not the first time.’ The Goshawk bent his body, and spoke no more. Farina could not get a word further from him. By the mastery he still had over his rein, the Goshawk alone proved that he was of the world of the living. Schwartz Thier, rendered either sullen or stunned by the latest cracked crown he had received, held his jaws close as if they had been nailed. At Linz the horses were well breathed. The Goshawk, who had been snoring an instant before, examined them keenly, and shook his calculating head. ‘Punch that beast of yours in the ribs,’ said he to Farina. Farina 66 ‘Ah! not a yard of wind in him. And there’s the coming back, when we shall have more to carry. Well: this is my lord’s money; but i’ faith, it’s going in a good cause, and Master Groschen will make it all right, no doubt; not a doubt of it.’ The Goshawk had seen some excellent beasts in the stables of the Kaiser’s Krone; but the landlord would make no exchange without an advance of silver. This done, the arrangement was prompt. ‘Schwartz Thier!—I’ve got your name now,’ said Guy, as they were ferrying across, ‘you’re stiff certain they left Cologne with the maiden yesternoon, now?’ ‘Ah, did they! and she’s at the Eck safe enow by this time.’ ‘And away from the Eck this night she shall come, trust me!’ ‘Or there will I die with her!’ cried Farina. ‘Fifteen men at most, he has, you said,’ continued Guy. ‘Two not sound, five true as steel, and the rest shillyshally. ‘Slife, one lock loose serves us; but two saves us: five we’re a match for, throwing in bluff Baron; the remainder go with victory.’ ‘Can we trust this fellow?’ whispered Farina.
‘Trust him!’ roared Guy. ‘Why, I’ve thumped him, lad; pegged and pardoned him. Trust him? trust me! If Werner catches a sight of that snout of his within half-a-mile of his hold, he’ll roast him alive.’ He lowered his voice: ‘Trust him? We can do nothing without him. I knocked the devil out of him early this morning. No chance for his Highness anywhere now. This Eck of Werner’s would stand a siege from the Kaiser in person, I hear. We must into it like weasels; and out as we can.’ Dismissing the ferry-barge with stern injunctions to be in waiting from noon to noon, the three leapt on their fresh nags. ‘Stop at the first village,’ said Guy; ‘we must lay in provision. As Master Groschen says, “Nothing’s to be done, Turpin, without provender.”’ ‘Goshawk!’ cried Farina; ‘you have time; tell me how this business was done.’ The only reply was a soft but decided snore, that spoke, like a voluptuous trumpet, of dreamland and its visions. At Sinzig, the Thier laid his hand on Guy’s bridle, with the words, ‘Feed here,’ a brief, but effective, form of signal, which aroused the Goshawk completely. The sign of the Trauben George Meredith 67 received them. Here, wurst reeking with garlic, eggs, black bread, and sour wine, was all they could procure. Farina refused to eat, and maintained his resolution, in spite of Guy’s sarcastic chiding. ‘Rub down the beasts, then, and water them,’ said the latter. ‘Made a vow, I suppose,’ muttered Guy. ‘That’s the way of those fellows. No upright manly takethe-thing-as-it-comes; but fly-sky-high whenever there’s a dash on their heaven. What has his belly done to offend him? It will be crying out just when we want all quiet. I wouldn’t pay Werner such a compliment as go without a breakfast for him. Not I! Would you, Schwartz Thier?’ ‘Henker! not I!’ growled the Thier. ‘He’ll lose one sooner.’ ‘First snatch his prey, or he’ll be making, God save us! a meal for a Kaiser, the brute.’ Guy called in the landlady, clapped down the score, and abused the wine. ‘Sir,’ said the landlady, ‘ours is but a poor inn, and we do our best.’ ‘So you do,’ replied the Goshawk, softened; ‘and I say that a civil tongue and rosy smiles sweeten even sour wine.’