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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

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      What lease has the Club got? he asked.

      On arriving home he was uncertain as to whether it would be more diplomatic to go straight to bed or let his father on his return from the Cocks find him industriously working at the corn accounts. He decided on the latter, and was soon with many groans and lickings of his pencil crediting and debiting Odiam's wheat.

      "'Tis a capital night," said Byles, as he looked up at the sky in a tone of soliloquy; "I could not have wished for a betterjust light enough to see what we are about, and not enough to tell tales. Sam," continued he, closing the door and sitting again at the fire, "bring me the shafts and let me look if the bow is in order."Mary had sustained herself wonderfully well, considering how unprepared she had been, but this last interrogatory of Sir Robert, conjuring up, as it were, Edith's ghost, was too much; she struggled against nature for an instant, and then, giving an hysterical shriek, fell back in strong convulsions.

      Calverley started at the boldness of the proposition, and resolved, much as he desired that Edith should suffer, not to engage in so daring an act. But in a few minutes, as his mind became more familiarized with the idea, much of the supposed danger of the undertaking disappeared. He might disguise his countenance so, that, aided by the dress, detection would be almost impossible; and even if detected, the letter, which, despite of every effort at concealment, bore evidence of the Lady Isabella's handwriting, would compel her to exert all her influence in his favour. Nevertheless, Calverley, possessing less physical than moral courage, could not bring himself to look with total indifference upon even the possibility of personal danger, and he determined, therefore, to associate with him in the adventure the bold and reckless Byles.

      The nightmare had its appropriate ending. Sixty[Pg 297] dead beasts were burned in lime. Boarzell became Hinnomit was the most convenient open space, so Reuben's herd was burned on it. From a dozen different pyres streamers of white smoke flew along the wind, and a strange terrible smell and tickling of the nostrils troubled the labourer on the westward lands by Flightshot or Moor's Cottage.There was a restless anxiety that morning, in every inhabitant of the castle, from old Luke, the steward, who was fretting and fidgetting lest the lady should consider him too old for the stewardship, to the poor varlet who fed the dogs, and the dirty nief who scoured the platters. This anxiety increased when a messenger arrived to announce that the noble party were on the road from Oxford, and might be expected in a few hours: and when at length a cloud of dust was observed in the distance, old Luke, bare headed, and followed by the retainers and domestics, went forth to greet with the accustomed homage, De Boteler and his bride.


      Will you see to that for me? he asked.


      "We shall have fine doings then," said Byles, in an animated tone, and with a cheerful countenance; not that the news was of particular moment to him, but people love to be told news; and, besides, the esquire's increasing familiarity was not a little flattering.


      "Good-bye, my Bluebell, farewell to you,Keeling bent over the book, and with his eyes on the page, just touched the arm of Properts black coat.{41}