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of kindness of heart, not to feel my situation, and anger at the injustice with which I had been

treated. Employment, however, for a time relieved our melancholy thoughts. Our cargo

was on board of the lighter, and we were again tiding it through the bridges.


We dropped our anchor above Putney Bridge a little after twelve o'clock, and young Tom, with the wish of amusing me, proposed that we should go on shore and walk. do, my lads, do-it will do you good, Jacob; no use moping here a whole tide. I'll take care of the 'barkey. Mind you make the boat well fast, and take the skulls into the public-house there. I'll have the supper under weigh when you come back, and then we'll have a night on't. It's a poor heart that never rejoices; and Tom, take a bottle on shore, get it filled, and bring it off with you. Here's the money. But I say, Tom, honour bright."

"Honour bright, father;" and to do Tom justice, he always kept his word, especially after the word had passed of "honour bright." Had there been gallons of spirits under his charge, he would not have tasted a drop after that pledge.

"Haul up the boat, Jacob, quick," said Tom, as his father went into the cabin to fetch an empty bottle. Tom hastened down below forward, and brought up an old gun, which he put under the stern sheets before his father came out on the deck. We then received the bottle from him, and Tom called out for the dog Tommy.


Why, you're not going to take the dog. What's the use of that? I want him here to

keep watch with me," said old Tom.

"Pooh! father; why can't you let the poor devil have a run on shore? He wants to eat grass, I'm sure, for I have watched him this day or two. We shall be back before dark."

"Well, well, just as you please, Tom." Tommy jumped into the boat, and away we


"And now, Tom, what are you after ?” said I, as soon as we were ten yards from the lighter. "A'ter, Jacob, going to have a little shooting on Wimbledon Common; but father can't bear to see a gun in my hand, because I once shot my old mother. I did pepper her, sure enough; her old flannel petticoat was full of shot, but it was so thick that it saved her. Are you any thing of a shot ?”

"Never fired a gun in my life."


Well, then, we'll fire in turns, and toss up, if you like, for first shot."

We landed, carried the skulls up to the public-house, and left the bottle to be filled, and then, with Tommy bounding before us, and throwing about his bushy tail with delight,

ascended Putney Hill, and arrived at the Green

Man public-house, at the corner of Wimbledon

Common. "I wonder where green men are to be found?" observed Tom, laughing; "I sup

pose they live in the same country with the blue dogs my father speaks about sometimes. Now, then, it's time to load."

The bowl of a tobacco-pipe full of powder was then inserted, with an equal dose of shot, and all being ready, we were soon among the furze. A half-penny decided it was my first shot, and fate further decided that a water-wagtail should be the mark. I took good aim as I thought, at least I took sufficient time, for I followed him with the muzzle of the gun for three or four minutes at least, as he ran to and fro; at last I fired, Tommy barked with delight, and the bird flew away. "I think I must have hit it," said I, "I saw it wag its tail."

"More proof of a miss than a hit,” replied Tom. "Had you hit it, he'd never have wagged his tail again.”

"Never mind," said I, "better luck next time."

Tom then knocked a blackbird off a furze bush, and loading the gun, handed it to me. I was more successful than before; a cock sparrow three yards distant yielded to the prowess of my arm, and I never felt more happy in my life than in this first successful attempt at murder.

Gaily did we trudge over the common, sometimes falling in with gravel pits half full of water, at others bogs and swampy plains, which obliged us to make a circuit. The gun was fired again and again, but our game-bag did not fill very fast. However, if we were not quite so well pleased when we missed as when we hit, Tommy was, every shot being followed up with a dozen bounds, and half a minute's barking.

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