terms of disapprobation as he had never heard him use
about anything else; and it was well known in the bank
that Marway was in the company of gamblers almost
every night. He was so troubled, that at first he wished
the child had not told him. For what was he to do?
Could it be right to let the thing go on ? Clare felt sure
Mr. Shotover either did not know that Marway gambled,
or did not know that he talked in the nursery with his
daughter. But, alas, he could do nothing without tell-
ing, and they all said none but the lowest of cads would
carry tales! For the young men thought it the part of
354 A ROUGH SHAKING.
gentlemen to stick by each other, and hide from Mr. Shot-
over some things he had a right to know. But Clare saw
that, whatever they might think, he must act in the
matter. Little Ann wondered that he scarcely spoke to
her all the way home. But she did not say anything, for
she too was troubled: she did not belong to Clare so
much as she had thought she did!
Clare reflected also as he went, how much he owed
Ann's sister for letting him have the little one. She had
always spoken to him kindly too, and never seemed, like
the clerks, to look down upon him because he had been a
page-boy though, he thought, if they were to be as often
hungry as he had been, they would be glad to be page-boys
themselves ! For himself, he liked to be a page-boy ! He
would do anything for Miss Tempest! And he must do
what he could for Miss Shotover! It would be wicked
to let her marry a man that was wicked! He had him-
self seen him drunk! Would it be fair, knowing she did
not know, not to tell ? Would it not be helping to hurt
her? Was he to be a coward and fear being called bad
names? Was he, for the sake of the good opinion of
rascals, to take care of the rascal, and let the lady take
care of herself? There was this difficulty, however, that
he could assert nothing beyond having seen him drunk !
He carried Ann to the nursery, and set out for the
menagerie. When he knocked at the door of the house-
caravan, Mrs. Halliwell opened it, stared hardly an
instant, threw her arms round his neck, and kissed him.
" Come in, come in, my boy!" she said. " It makes me
a happy woman to see you again. I've been just miser-
able over what might have befallen you, and me with all
that money of yours! I've got it by me safe, ready for
you! I lie awake nights and fancy Gunn has got hold of
you, and made away with you; then fall asleep and am
A WALK WITH CONSEQUENCES. 355
sure of it. He's been gone several times, a looking for
you, I know! I think he's afraid of you; I know he
hates you. Mind you keep out of his sight; he'll do you
a mischief if he has the chance. He's the same as ever, a
man to make life miserable."
"I've never done him wrong," said Clare, "and I'm not
going to keep out of his way as if I were afraid of him!
I mean to come and see the animals to-morrow."
A great deal more passed between them. They had
their tea together. Mr. Halliwell, who did not care for
tea, came and went several times, and now the night was
dark. Then they spoke again of Gunn.
"Well, I don't think he'll venture to interfere with
you," said Mrs. Halliwell, "except he happens to be
drunk. But what's that talking ? TPe're all quiet for the
For some time Clare had been conscious of the whispered
sounds of a dialogue somewhere near, but had paid no
attention. The voices were now plainer than at first.
When his mother told him to listen, he did, and thought
he had heard one of them before. It was peculiar that
of an old Jew whom he had seen several times at the
bank. As the talking went on, he began to think he knew
the other voice also. It was that of Augustus Marway.
The two fancied themselves against a caravan full of wild
Marway was the son of the port-admiral, who, late in
life, married a silly woman. She died young, but not
before she had ruined her son, whose choice company was
the least respectable of the officers who came ashore from
the king's ships.
He had of late been playing deeper and having worse
luck; and had borrowed until no one would lend him a
single sover 3ign more. His father knew, in a vague way,
356 A ROUGH SHAKING.
how he was going on, and had nearly lost hope of his
reformation. Having yet large remains of a fine physical
constitution, he seldom failed to appear at the bank in the
morning if not quite in time, yet within the margin of
lateness that escaped rebuke. Mr. Shotover was a con-
nection by marriage, which gave Mar way the privilege of
being regarded by Miss Shotover as a cousin a privilege
with desirable possibilities contingent,makinghim anxious
to retain the good opinion of his employer.
Clare heard but a portion here and there of the conver-
sation going on outside the wooden wall; but it was plain
nevertheless that Marway was pressing a creditor to leave
him alone until he was married, when he would pay every
shilling he owed him.
The young fellow had a persuasive tongue, and boasted
he could get the better of even a Jew. Clare heard the
money-lender grant him a renewal for three months,
when, if Marway did not pay, or were not the accepted
suitor of the lady whose fortune was to redeem him, his
creditor would take his course.
The moment he perceived they were about to part,
Clare hastened from the caravan, and went along the
edge of the waste ground, so as to meet Marway on his
road back to the town: at the corner of it they came
jump together. Marway started when Clare addressed
him. Seeing, then, who claimed his attention, he drew
"Well?" he said.
" Mr. Marway, ' began Clare, " I heard a great deal of
what passed between you and old Lewin."
Marway used worse than vulgar language at times, and
he did so now, ending with the words,
"A spy! a sneaking spy! Would you like to lick my
boot? By Jove, you shall know the taste of it!"
A WALK WITH CONSEQUENCES. 357
" Nobody minds being overheard who hasn't something
to conceal! If I had low secrets I would not stand up
against the side of a caravan when I wanted to talk
about them. I was inside. Not to hear you I should
have had to stop my ears."
"Why didn't you, then, you low-bred flunkey?"
" Because I had heard of you what made it my duty to
Marway cursed his insolence, and asked what he was
doing in such a place. He would report him, he said.
" What I was doing is my business," answered Clare.
" Had I known you for an honest man I would not have
listened to yours. I should have had no right."
"You tell me to my face I'm a swindler!" said Marway
between his teeth, letting out a blow at Clare, which he
" I don't know what you mean, but bitterly shall you
repent your insolence, you prying rascal! This is your
sweet revenge for a blow you had not the courage to
return! to dog me and get hold of my affairs! You
cur! You're going to turn informer next, of course, and
bear false witness against your neighbour! You shall
repent it, I swear!"
" Will it be bearing false witness to say that Miss Shot-
over does not know the sort of man who wants to marry
her? Does she know why he wants to marry her? Does
her father know that you are in the clutches of a money-
Marway caught hold of Clare and threatened to kill
him. Clare did not flinch, and he calmed down a little.
" What do you want to square it?" he growled.
" I don't understand you," returned Clare.
"What's the size of your tongue-plaster?"
358 A ROUGH SHAKING.
" I don't know much slang."
"What bribe will silence you then? I hope that is
plain enough even for your comprehension!"
"If I had meant to hold my tongue,! should have held it."
"What do you want, then?"
" To keep you from marrying Miss Shotover."
"By Jove! And suppose I kick you into the gutter,
and tell you to mind your own business what then?"
"I will tell either your father or Mr. Shotover all
"Even you can't be such a fool! What good would
it do you? You're not after her yourself, are you? Ha!
ha! that's it! I didn't nose that! But come, hang it!
where's the use? I'll give you four flimsies there!
Twenty pounds, you idiot! There!"
" Mr. Marway, nothing will make me hold my tongue
not even your promise to drop the thing."
"Then what made you come and cheek me ? Impudence ?"
" Not at all ! I should have been glad enough not to
have to do it! I came to you for my own sake."
"That of course!"
"I came because I would do nothing underhand!"
"What are you going to do next, then?"
" I am going to tell Mr. Shotover, or Admiral Marway
I haven't yet made up my mind which."
"What are you going to tell them?"
"That old Lewin has given you three months to get
engaged to Miss Shotover, or take the consequences of
not being able to pay what you owe him."
"And you don't count it underhand to carry such a tale?"
" I do not. It would have been if I hadn't told you
first. I would tell Miss Shotover, only, if she be anything
of a girl, she wouldn't believe me."
"I should think not! Come, come, be reasonable! I
THE CAGE OF THE PUMA. 359
always thought you a good sort of fellow, though I was
rough on you, I confess. There! take the money, and
leave me my chance."
" No. I will save the lady if I can. She shall at least
know the sort of man you are."
"Then it's war to the knife, is it?"
" I mean to tell the truth about you."
" Then do your worst. You shall black my boots again."
" If I do, I shall have the penny first."
"You cringing flunkey!"
"I haven't cringed to you, Mr. Marway!"
Marway tried to kick him, failed, and strode into the
dark between him and the lamps of the town.
THE CAGE OF THE PUMA.
MARWAY was a fine, handsome fellow, whose manners,
where he saw reason, soon won him favour, and two
of the young men in the office were his ready slaves. Every
moment of the next day Clare was watched. Marway had
laid his plans, and would forestall frustration. Clare could
hardly do anything before the dinner-hour, but Marway
would make assurance double sure.
At anchor in the roads lay a certain frigate, whose
duty it was to sail round the islands, like a duck about
her floating brood. Among the young officers on board
were two with whom Marway was intimate. He had met
them the night before, and they had together laid a plot
for nullifying Clare's interference with Marway's scheme
which his friends also had reason to wish successful, for
360 A ROUGH SHAKING.
Marway owed them both money. Clare had come in the
way of all three.
Now little Ann was a guardian cherub to the object of
their enmity, and he and she must first of all be sepa-
rated. Clare had asked leave of Miss Shotover to take
the child to Noah's ark, as she called it, that evening,
and Marway had learned it from her: Clare's going would
favour their plan, but the child's presence would render
One thing in their favour was, that Mr. Shotover was
from home. If Clare had resolved on telling him rather
than the admiral, he could not until the next evening,
and that would give them abundant time. On the other
hand, having him watched, they could easily prevent him
from finding the admiral. But Clare had indeed come
to the just conclusion that his master had the first right
to know what he had to tell. His object was not the
exposure of Marway, but the protection of his master's
daughter: he would, therefore, wait Mr. Shotover's return.
He said to himself also, that Marway would thereby have
a chance to bethink himself, and, like Hamlet's uncle,
"try what repentance can."
As soon as he had put the bank in order for the night,
he went to find his little companion, and take her to
Noah's ark. The child had been sitting all the morning
and afternoon in a profound stillness of expectation; but
the hour came and passed, and Clare did not appear.
" You never, never, never came," she said to him after-
ward. " I had to go to bed, and the beasts went away."
It was many long weeks before she told him this, or
her solemn little visage smiled again.
He went to the little room off the hall, where he almost
always found her waiting for him, dressed to go. She was
not there. Nobody came. He grew impatient, and ran
THE CAGE OF THE PUMA. 361
in his eagerness up the front stair. At the top he met
the butler coming from the drawing-room a respectable
old man, who had been in the family as long as his master.
"Pardon me, Mr. Person," said the butler, who was
especially polite to Clare, recognizing in him the ennoble-
ment of his own order, " but it is against the rules for any
of the gentlemen below to come up this staircase."
"I know I'm in the wrong," answered Clare; "but I was
in such a hurry I ventured this once. I've been waiting
for Miss Ann twenty minutes."
" If you will go down, I will make inquiry, and let you
know directly," replied the butler.
Clare went down, and had not waited more than an-
other minute when the butler brought the message that
the child was not to go out. In vain Clare sought an
explanation; the old man knew nothing of the matter,
but confessed that Miss Shotover seemed a little put out.
Then Clare saw that his desire to do justice had
thwarted his endeavour: Marway had seen Miss Shotover,
he concluded, and had so thoroughly prejudiced her against
anything he might say, that she had already taken the
child from him ! He repented that he had told him his
purpose before he was ready to follow it up with im-
mediate action. Distressed at the thought of little Ann's
disappointment, he set out for the show, glad in the midst
of his grief, that he was going to see Pummy once more.
The weather had been a little cloudy all day, but as he
left the closer part of the town, the vaporous vault gave
way, and the west revealed a glorious sunset. Troubled
for the trouble of little Ann, Clare seemed drawn into the
sunset. The splendour said to him: "Go on; sorrow is
but a cloud. Do the work given you to do, and the
clouds will keep moving; stop your work and the clouds
will settle down hard."
362 A ROUGH SHAKING.
" When I was on the tramp," thought Clare, " I always
went on, and that's how I came here. If I hadn't gone
on, I should never have found the darling!"
As little as during any day's tramp did he know how
his reflection was going to be justified.
He wandered on, and the minutes passed slowly: it
was wandering now with no child in his arms! He
was in no haste to go to the menagerie; he would be in
good time for the beasts ; and the later he was, the sooner
he would see his mother alone and have a talk with her!
At last, it being now quite dark, he turned, and made
for the caravans.
A crowd was going up the steps, passing Mrs. Halli-
well slowly, and descending into the area surrounded by
the beasts. Clare went up, and laid his money on the
little white table. The good woman took it with a smile,
threw it in her wooden bowl, and handed him, as if it
had been his change, three bright sovereigns. Clare
turned his face away. He could not take them. He felt
as if it would break one bond between them.
" The money's your own!" she said, in a low voice.
"By and by, mother!" he answered.
" No, no, take it now," she insisted, in an almost angry
whisper; but the same moment threw the sovereigns
among the silver, and some coppers that lay on the table
Judging by her look that he had better say nothing,
he turned and went down the steps. Before he reached
the bottom of them, Glum Gunn elbowed his way past
him, throwing a scowl on him from his ugly eyes at the
range of a few inches.
The place was fuller than it had been all the evening,
and with a rougher sort of company. The show would
close in about an hour. It seemed to Clare not so well
THE CAGE OF THE PUMA. 363
lighted as usual. Perhaps that was why he did not
observe that he was watched and followed by Marway,
with two others, and one burly, middle-aged, sailor-looking
fellow. But I doubt whether he would have seen them
in any light, for he had no suspicions, and was not ready
to analyze a crowd and distinguish individuals.
He avoided making straight for Pummy, contenting
himself for the moment with an occasional glimpse of
him between the moving heads, now opening a vista,
now closing it again, for he hoped to get gradually nearer
unseen, so as to be close to the animal when first he
should descry him, for he dreaded attracting attention
by becoming, while yet at a distance, the object of an
uproarious outbreak of affection on the part of the puma.
But while he was yet a good way from him, a most
ferocious yell sprang full grown into the air, which
the very fibres of his body knew as one of the cries of
the puma when most enraged. There he was on his hind
legs, ramping against the front of the cage, every hair
on him bristling, his tail lashing his flanks. The same
instant arose a commotion in the crowd behind Clare, a
pushing and stooping and swaying to and fro, with shouts
of, "Here he is! here he is!"
Filled with a foreboding that was almost a prescience, he
fell to forcing his way without ceremony, and had got
a little nearer to the puma, when, elbowing roughly
through the spectators, with red, evil face, in drink but
not drunk, Glum Gunn appeared, almost between him and
the cage once more, to the horror of Clare, holding by
the neck his poor little Abdiel, curled up into the shape of
a flea. The brute was making his way with him to the
cage of the puma, whose wrath, grown to an indescribable
frenzy, now blazed point-blank at the dog.
I think some waft of the wild odour of the menagerie
364 A ROUGH SHAKING.
must have reached the nostrils of the loving creature,
brought back old times and his master, and waked the
hope of finding him. That he had but just arrived was
plain, for he had not had time to get to his master.
Clare was almost at the edge of the close -packed,
staring crowd, absorbed in the sight of the huge raving
cat. Breaking through its outermost ring in the strength
of sudden terror, he darted to the cage to reach it before
Glum Gunn. A man crossed and hustled him. Gunn
opened the door of the cage, and flung Abdiel to the
puma. Ere he could close it, Clare struck him once more
a stout left-hander on the side of his head. Gunn stag-
gered back. Clare sprang into the cage just as Pummy
spying him uttered a jubilant roar of recognition. His
jumping into the cage just prevented the puma from
getting out, and the crowd from trampling each other
to death to escape The Christians' Friend; but now that
Clare was in, the cage-door might have swung all night
open unheeded so long, that is, as no dog appeared.
As for Abdiel the puma had forgotten him : the dog was
out of his sight for the moment, though only behind him,
while his friend and he were rubbing recognizant noses.
Abdiel showed his wisdom by keeping in the background.
The moment he was flung into the cage, he had got into
a corner of it, and stood up on his hind legs.
His master believed that, knowing how the puma loved
the human form divine, he thought to prejudice him in
his favour by showing how near he could come to it.
There he yet stood, his head sunk on his chest, watching
out of his eyes for the terrible moment when his enemy
should again catch sight of him.
The moment came. The puma's delight had broken out
in wildest motion. He sprang to the roof of his cage, and
grappling there, looked down with retorted neck, and saw
THE CAGE OF THE PUMA. 365
the dog. Poor Abdiel immediately raised his head, and
in hope of propitiation all but forlorn, began a little dance
his master had taught him.
What Pummy would have done with him, I fear, but I
cannot tell. Clare sprang to the rescue, and the weight
of the puma's bulk descended, not on Abdiel, but on the
shoulders of Clare who had the dog in his bosom. In a
moment more it was evidenced that a common love, how-
ever often the cause of jealousy, is the most powerful
mediator between the generous. The puma forgot his
hate, the dog forgot his fear, and presently, to the ad-
miration of the crowd, Clare and Pummy and Abby were
rolling over and over each other on the floor of the cage.
Pummy had the best of the rough game. One moment
he would be a bend in a seemingly unloosable knot of
confused animality, the next he would be clinging to the
top of his cage, where the others could not follow him.
Perhaps to have a human to play with, was even better
than dreams of loveliest frolics with brothers and sisters,
and a mother as madly merry as they, in still, moonlit
nights among the rocks, where neither sound nor scent
of horse woke the devil in any of their bosoms!
Glum Gunn, too angry to speak, stood watching with
a scowl fit for Lucifer when he rose from his first fall
from heaven. He could do nothing! If he touched one,
all three would be upon him! Experience had taught
him what the puma would do in defence of Clare! He
must bide his time ! But he must keep hold of his chance !
He drew from his pocket his master-key, and at a moment
when Clare was under the other two, slid it into the key-
hole, and locked the door of the cage. He had him now
and his beast of a dog too! If he could have turned
the puma mad, and made him tear them both to shreds,
he would not have delayed an instant. But he must
366 A ROUGH SHAKING.
think! He must say, like Hamlet, "About, my brains!"
The man, however, who wishes to do evil, will find as
ready helpers as he who wishes to do well: in the place were
those who wanted Gunn's aid, and would give him theirs.
He felt a touch on his arm, glanced sullenly round, and
saw a face under whose beauty lay the devil. Marway,
with eye and thumb, requested him to withdraw for a
moment, and he did not hesitate. As he went he chuckled
to himself at the thought of Clare when he found the
Marway 's three accomplices had drifted off one by one
to wait him outside: he rejoined them with Gunn; and,
retiring a little way from the caravans, the five held a
council, the results of which make an important part of
Clare seemed absorbed in his game with his four-footed,
one-tailed friends, but he was wide awake: he had Abdiel
to deliver, and kept, therefore, all the time, at least half
an eye on Glum Gunn. He saw Marway come up to him,
and saw them retire together: it was the very moment
to leave the cage with Abdiel! He rose, not without
difficulty, because of the jumping of his playmates upon
him and over him, and went to the door.
The moment he did so, the crowd was greatly amused
to see the puma turn upon the dog with a snarl, and the
dog, at the fearful sound of altered mood, immediately
put on the man, rise to one pair of feet, and begin to
dance. The puma turned from him, went to the heel of
his chosen master, and there stood.
In vain Clare endeavoured to open the gate. He had
never known it locked, and could not think when it had
been done. At length, amid the laughter of the specta-
tors, he desisted, and the three resumed their frolics.
At this the admiration of the visitors broke out. They
THE CAGE OF THE PUMA. 367
had seen the door made fast, and had kept pretty quiet,
waiting what would come: they had thus earned their
amusement when he sought in vain to open it. When
his withdrawal confessed him foiled, the merrier began to
mock and the ruder to jeer. But when they saw him
laugh, and all three return to their gambols, they ap-
Just before this last portion of the entertainment, Mr.
Halliwell, who had been looking on for a while, retired,
not knowing the cage-door was locked. He went to his
wife and said, that, if they had but the boy and his dog
again, and were but free of that brother of his, the mena-
gerie would be a wild-beast paradise. He would have had
her go and see the pranks in the puma's cage, but she was
too tired, she said; so he strolled out with his pipe, and
left his men to close the exhibition. Mrs. Halliwell
fastened her door and went to bed, a little hurt that
Clare did not come to her.
Gradually the folk thinned away; and at last only a
few who had got in at half-price remained. To them the
attendants hinted that they were going to shut shop, and
one by one they shuffled out, the readier that Clare was
now so tired that Pummy could not get up the merest
tail of a lark more. He was quite fresh himself, and had
he been out in the woods, would certainly not have gone
home till morning. But he was such a human creature
that he would not insist when he saw Clare was weary;