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ax him to help us," said Stapleton, one day, pulling his last shilling out and laying it on the table. "I'm cleaned out; but he's a good gen
tleman, and will lend me a trifle." In the afternoon Stapleton returned, and I saw by his looks that he had been successful. "Jacob," said he, "Mr. Turnbull desires that you will breakfast with him to-morrow morning, as he wishes to see you."
I set off accordingly at day-light the next morning, and was in good time for breakfast. Mr. Turnbull was as kind as ever, and began telling me long stories about the ice in the northern regions.
By-the-by, I hear there is an ox to be roasted whole, Jacob, a little above London Bridge; suppose we go and see the fun.”
I consented, and we took the Brentford coach, and were put down at the corner of Queenstreet, from whence we walked to the river
The scene was very amusing and exciting. Booths were erected on the ice, in every direction, with flags flying, people walking, and some skating, although the ice was too rough for that pastime. The whole river was crowded with people, who now walked in security over where they a month before would have met with death. Here and there smoke ascended from various fires, on which sausages, and other eatables, were cooking; but the great attraction was the ox roasting whole, close to the centre pier of the bridge. Although the ice appeared to have fallen at the spot where so many hundreds were assembled, yet as it was now four or five feet thick, there was no danger. Here and there, indeed, were what were called rotten places, where the ice was not sound, but these were intimated by placards, warning people not to approach too near; and close to them were ropes and poles for succour, if required. We amused
ourselves for some time with the gaiety of the scene, for the sun shone out brightly, and the sky was clear. The wind was fresh from the northward, and piercing cold in the shade, the thermometer being then, it was said, twenty-eight degrees below the freezing point. We had been on the ice about three hours, amusing ourselves, when Mr. Turnbull proposed our going home, and we walked up the river towards Blackfriars Bridge, where we proposed to land, and take the coach at Charing Cross.
"I wonder how the tide is now," observed Mr. Turnbull to me; "it would be rather puzzling to find out.”
"Not if I can find a hole,” replied I, looking for one. Stop, here is one." I threw in a piece of ice, and found that it was strong ebb. We continued our walk over the ice, which was now very rough, when Mr. Turnbull's hat fell off, and the wind catching it, it blew away,
skimming across the ice at a rapid rate. Mr. Turnbull and I gave chase, but could scarcely keep up with it, and, at all events, could not overtake it. Many people on the river laughed as we passed, and watched us in our chase. Mr. Turnbull was the foremost, and, heedless in the pursuit, did not observe a large surface of rotten ice before him; neither did I, until all at once I heard it break and saw Mr. Turnbull fall in and disappear. Many people were close to us, and a rope was laid across the spot to designate the danger. I did not hesitate-I loved Mr. Turnbull, and my love and my feelings of resentment were equally potent. I seized the bight of the rope, twisted it round my arm and plunged in after, recollecting it was ebb tide; fortunate for Mr. Turnbull it was, that he had accidentally put the question. I sank under the ice, and pushed down the stream, and in a few seconds felt myself grappled by
him I sought, and, at almost the same time, the rope hauling in from above. As soon as they found there was resistance, they knew that I, at least, was attached to it, and they hauled in quicker, not, however, until I had lost my recollection. Still I clung to the rope with the force of a drowning man, and Mr. Turnbull did the same to me, and we shortly made our appearance at the hole in which we had been plunged. A ladder was thrown across, and two of the men of the Humane Society came to our assistance, pulled us out, and laid us upon it. They then drew back and hauled us on the ladder to a more secure situation. We were both still senseless—but having been taken to a public-house on the river side, were put to bed, and medical advice having been procured, were soon restored. The next morning we were able to return in a chaise to Brentford, where our absence had created the greatest alarm. Mr.