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had taken care to include in the portion of the carcass which he had brought with him. He then looked about for two convenient stakes, two feet and a half long, with a fork at the end of each, which he laid on the ground ready for use. He had taken out the kidneys and liver of the animal; the latter of which he placed to bake in a convenient receptacle of hot ashes; as the liver of the kangaroo, from its extreme dryness, is used by the old traveller in the bush as a substitute for bread to eat with the other part of the flesh.
From the kidneys, which is the only part of the animal on which, except in very rare cases, any fat is to be found, for the kangaroo is almost all lean and sinew, the corporal carefully separated all the fat he could find. Then taking his iron ramrod, first carefully ramming down a cartridge, having previously primed, into the barrel of his musket, he slipped it through the pieces of flesh and fat which he had cut, after the manner of more ancient heroes — taking a layer of flesh and a layer of fat alternately.
Matters being thus in progress, and the corporal in a state of considerable excitement, he scraped away with a stake as much of the fire as he did not want for his cooking, and reserved the clear glowing embers of the hot charcoal for his kitchen fire. Then driving in his short stakes, one on each side of the live coals, with their forked ends uppermost, he laid his ramrod, which performed the part of a spit, on the upright supports, the two ends resting on the two forks, with the fire in the middle. This being arranged, he set himself to turn his ramrod round and round with great assiduity, so that the pieces of flesh might be equally roasted. He kept his eye also on the liver, which was baking, as he declared, "beautifully."
A sudden thought, however, striking him, he took the liberty to ask the ensign if he felt himself strong enough to turn the ramrod while he manufactured some plates, and procured some water, to which Trevor cheerfully assented.
The corporal then cast his eyes about, and spying a tree, which seemed to his mind about a hundred yards to the left, and not far from the water, he proceeded to the spot, and cut through the bark with his knife, though not without much difficulty, and peeled a long strip, which he broke into two pieces one for a plate for his officer, and the other for himself. Thus provided, and with his cap full of water for their drink, he returned to the fire, and finding the meat cooked, he slid off a couple of slices, which he presented to the ensign on his bark-plate, waiting with much deference, for his officer to finish his meal before he began his own.
"Eat, my good fellow," said Trevor: "this is neither a time nor place for ceremony; we are comrades now."
The corporal swung his open hand up to his forehead, but missing the peak of his military cap, was baulked in the military obeisance which he intended; perhaps he would have completed his salute by touching the peak of the cap as it stood on the grass like a jug full of water, for habit is strong, but at this moment a gentle air from the north-west wafted the fragrance of the crisped venison to the corporal's nose! It was too much! military etiquette is strong, but nature is stronger still! The corporal's bowels yearned for the meat,
and without further ceremony, he plumped himself down by the fire; and as he stuffed himself with the exquisite morsels his appetite did really seem to grow on what it fed on, and he declared, with moistened eyes and greasy chops, that never, no-never, had he feasted on such delicious meat before.
The ensign, albeit that his heart was sorely troubled at the uncertain fate of Helen, acquiesced by a nod in the eulogium of the corporal.
"And to think," said the corporal, sympathisingly, as he took in another huge mouthful of the dainty viand,-" to think that, at this moment perhaps those black savages are doing just the same as we are doing with this kangaroo," he continued, speaking with difficulty through the mass of meat which he was discussing, "just the same with that poor young lady!"
Trevor dropped his meat and his bark plate at this horrid and most ill-timed suggestion, and made an effort to rise; but he was too weak, and his wounds had begun to stiffen he sank down again, and putting his hands before his face he groaned aloud.
The poor corporal, excessively abashed at the effect of his remark, which he had intended as amusing conversation wherewith to enliven the repast, suspended his diligent mastication, and pondered for a few moments within himself. Not knowing what else to do, he proffered his capful of water to his officer, who declined it courteously.
Having refreshed himself and invigorated his appetite by a copious draught of the pure element, the corporal finished his meal in silence, and, having eaten up all the meat from the ramrod, which he carefully wiped and returned to its proper place, he proceeded to attack the liver, which he devoured leisurely, amusing himself with it to pass away the time. But, thinking that the ensign showed signs of drowsiness, he assisted him to his bed of leaves and blossoms, and covered him with boughs so as to guard him from the night air as well as possible. Having attended to this duty, and having so arranged the fire that it should communicate its warmth to his sleeping officer without danger of its blaze reaching the temporary habitation, the corporal dissected from the hind quarter of the game one of the legs, which he arranged to cook gradually near the fire on three small stones which he set under the meat to keep it in a convenient position. This he did in order to provide refreshment ready for the next morning.
The dirty condition of his firelock after the work of the day now grieved him sorely; but he did not think it safe to attempt the cleaning of the inside, as he might want to dispose of its contents on the sudden against an enemy; and he considered also, that the discharge of his piece, besides disturbing his officer, involved the waste of another cartridge. He remedied the evil, however, as well as he could so far as the outside went, and fixed his bayonet as an additional means of defence against surprise, although he trusted more to the butt-end of it as a cudgel in an affray, than to its point as a scientific
Thus prepared, he mounted guard over his officer's quarters, pacing
up and down regularly, after the manner of sentinels, and resting occasionally in a standing posture, with his hands reposing on the muzzle of his firelock. After an hour or two of this watching, the poor fellow found himself so overpowered by fatigue that he was obliged from mere exhaustion to sit down on the ground; but he kept diligent watch on all sides, nevertheless.
He sat gazing at the fire, and listening to catch the slightest sound; but all was still, and the vast bush seemed buried in universal repose. The stars above his head, and the moon which gradually rose, shed their quiet light over the tranquil scene; but there was no stir of any living thing. The corporal gazed at the sky, and the kangaroo's leg which was roasting, alternately. He looked at the fire, and thought of his night bivouacs in former campaigns, and of his old comrades whom disease or the shot of the enemy had long since sent to their last homes. At last his eyes began to blink—and wink-at the fire; -and the light of the moon-and the twinkling of the stars-faded from his sight;- he thought he was still awake-but even as he determined not... to give way... to the drowsy... oppression . . . which... mastered him. . . his eyes closed-and the wearied soldier slept.
THE CHRONICLES OF "THE FLEET."
BY A PERIPATICIAN.
THE hackney coach containing Ned and Dick Bristel was just on the point of setting off-the latter in his character of a lord having smiled intensely on the city constable as he requested him to desire the coachman to drive as fast as possible to his Lordship's mansion in Park Lane,—when the turnkey who had Kitty in charge, whom he was escorting to the justice-room, came up, and being curious to know who the distinguished individuals were to whom Mr. Jacob Coddlewhiffe was bowing so profoundly, he took the liberty to poke his ugly mug into the coach-window, and there he saw, to his infinite joy the escaped one!
"Drive on," cried out Dick from the other window; "five pounds if you get to the Park in half an hour! it's a race, and there's a bet on it."
The coachman immediately began to flog or "to wind up," as he called it, his unsympathising horses; but, as those unhappy beasts had no interest in the bet or the reward of five pounds promised to the coachman, they merely wagged their stumps of tails with a slight degree of emotion, and prepared to set the coach a-going at their leisure-the one waiting, as the coachman declared, "like Christians," for the other to do the work.
"Drive on," cried Dick, "there's a hundred pounds on the race!" "Stop," called out the turnkey;-"here, Stephen-do you take Kitty before the alderman, and leave me to deal with these coves." His fellow-jailer obeyed, and while he marched off with Kitty to Guildhall, who screamed, and kicked, and fought the whole of the way, Joe remained by the coach, threatening the coachee with all the terrors of the law if he moved a step, averring that the persons in the coach were two prisoners escaped from the Fleet; at the same time he opened the coach-door, and summoned the pair to surrender quietly.
But this was precisely what Ned most objected to. To be ignominiously taken back to the Fleet after having got on so far successfully, was more than human patience could bear. He intimated to Joe, therefore, in terms the most decided, that if he attempted to take hold of him he would break his jaws to eternal smash, and knock his head clear off his shoulders into the gutter!
What the effect of this tremendous threat might have had on the not over-pugnacious Joe it is impossible to say; but at this moment the officious Peter Kokkide, panting for breath, and his eyes gleaming ferociously in every possible direction, arrived at the spot, and as soon as he could find breath to articulate, he informed his venerable superior, who was standing by, speechless with amazement, that the landlord of the Cat and Fiddle had refused to comply with the order
of the lord for the dinner, and that he, the landlord, declared there was no such person as Lord Dunham in the book of peerage at all, he having consulted, for that purpose, a copy which he had procured from a circulating library over the way, and that in short he must have some earnest of payment in money down!
This afflicting news, throwing suspicion as it did on the noble Lord Dunham and the gallant Captain Brown, made a most powerful and painful impression on the worthy Mr. Coddlewhiffe, who began to have a confused notion that he had been duped! No sooner did that idea get possession of him than his original suspicion returned — that the pair were two housebreakers or thieves of some sort, who had been surprised in the very act of planning some audacious robbery, which, without the vigilance so meritoriously exercised by himself, would doubtless have been carried into effect, to the great loss of some one of his Majesty's faithful citizens. In the mean time the turnkey had been employed in examining with particular attention the person of Mr. Richard Bristel, whom he was unable to recognise, but he knew Ned at once by his voice.
"Lord Dunham!" said he; "which is Lord Dunham ?"
"That is Lord Dunham-at least he said so❞—groaned Mr. Coddlewhiffe," and that is Captain Brown."
"Which?-why that-that gentleman in lady's clothes-that is, if he is a gentleman; but it's my opinion they are two housebreakers, and worse, perhaps, for anything I know!"
"Gentlemen as is gentlemen don't go about without money in their pockets," chimed in the disagreeable Peter, the lost dinner, and above all the never-to-be-received two one-pound notes, rankling in his breast. "And the landlord says, there's no such lord as Dunham in the Peerage Book, for that's the book that his visitors most like to read, as it is the genteelest work that is written for the gentlefolks." "No such name in the peerage!" said Joe, with a sneer at the lord in the coach; "no- I'll be bail there isn't nor no such captain in the army. But it's no use talking; my young fellow, you must come with me, and that's the long and the short of it; and as to the other one, I charge him with aiding and abetting an escape: and that's no joke, as his 'Lordship' will find out when he is asked about it at the Old Bailey."
But here the venerable city constable, who had remained in an attitude of profound meditation for the last minute, interposed authoritatively :
"It's all very well for you, Mr. Ward, to claim a prisoner who has escaped from the Fleet, but how am I to know the truth of that? These chaps are in my custody as the head-constable of the ward; it was I and Peter who took them first, and if they be as I suspect they be, two malefarious housebreakers, it is my duty to take them before the alderman at Guildhall."
"And it is my duty," said Joe, "to take our prisoner back again to the Fleet. As to the other gentleman, I tell you I give him in charge for being concerned in an unlawful act, so you may take him where you please."