"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
Arthur suffered them to go on a few steps, and then
descended to the cloisters. Old Ketch was shuffling
" 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