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546 > Page 546 of Channings / by Mrs. Henry Wood.

546 The Channings "I do see it," said the dean. " I believed you then. " And once more shaking Arthur's hand, he turned into the cloisters with Dr. Gardner. " I have already offered my congratulations," said the canon good humouredly, nodding to Arthur. This was correct. He had waylaid Arthur as he went into college. Arthur suffered them to go on a few steps, and then descended to the cloisters. Old Ketch was shuffling along. " What's this I've been a hearing, about that there drownded boy having come back" asked he of Arthur, in his usual ungracious fashion. " I don't know what you may have heard, Ketch. He is come back." " And he ain't dead nor drownded" " Neither one nor the other. He is alive and well." Ketch gave a groan of despair. " And them horrid young wretches '11 escape the hangman! I'd ha' walked ten miles to see 'em " " Gracious, Sir John, what's that you are talking about" interrupted Bywater, as the choristers trooped up. " Escaped you! so we have, for once. What an agony of disappointment it must be for you, Mr. Calcraft ! Such practice for your old hands, to topple off a dozen or so of us! Besides the pay ! How much do you charge a head, Calcraft" Ketch answered by a yell. " Now, don't excite yourself, I beg," went on aggra- vating Bywater. " We are thinking of getting up a petition to the dean, to console you for your disap- pointment, praying that he'll allow you to wear a cap we have ordered for you ! It's made of scarlet cloth, with long ears and a set of bells ! Its device is a cross-beam and a cord, and we wish you health to wear it out! I say, let's wish Mr. Calcraft health! What's tripe a pound to-day, Calcraft" The choristers, in various stages of delight, entered on their aggravating shouts, their mocking dance. When they had driven Mr. Ketch to the very verge of insanity, they decamped to the school-room. I need not enlarge on the evening of thankfulness it was at Mr. Channing's. Not one, but had special