Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

can take care of himself. Go up higher, you little

. booby !' he shouted to Toby. 'Go up to the top, or I 'll shake you down !'

Will you ?' said Harry, swinging Bob Jackson round from the tree so quickly as nearly to twist him off his legs. You 'll do nothing of the sort.

* Take that, you great bully.'

Harry's threat did not mean nothing: it meant a tremendous cuff across Bob's head. And take off your jacket and have a good thrashing, for I'll give you one for teasing a little chap who is no more than a baby ?'

Harry was so angry that he could scarcely speak plain.

Bob Jackson knew that Harry Walton was a sort of boy who meant what he said, and that his threat of a good thrashing was no idle one. The two boys were a pretty good match in size; if anything, Bob was the stronger of the two-at least, he was the stouter; but Harry had the advantage on his side of not being afraid. I daresay, if Bob had managed to get the best of it, Harry would not have cared much for the mere thrashing. Now Bob Jackson was afraid ; for there was nothing he disliked so much as being hurt.

But still Bob was very grand in his words.

* Thrashing !' said he. 'I'll give you a thrashing, and half a dozen such as you.

Come on!' And he stripped off his jacket.

He did not like it though, for all he was so brave, when Harry gave him a black eye, and set his nose bleeding; and then gave him such a pummelling that he ended by knocking him over amongst the bushes.

And Bob was left there, head downwards, with his legs sticking up in the air, for some minutes.

But all this while Tom went on teasing poor little Toby, shaking the bough of the tree where the child was clinging, until he several times let go his hold and almost slipped off. He kept calling out and begging Tom to leave him alone; but it was useless to speak to Tom. Each time Harry heard his little brother call out, he pitched into Bob Jackson more, hoping that when he had done with him, he should have time to go in at Tom.

But Harry was too late; just at the moment that he tumbled Bob into the bushes, and was ready for Tom in his turn, Tom gave a great shake to the bough. Frank screamed louder than before : there was a noise, a sort of creaking sound, then a heavy fall and a shriek,—this time

from Tom Jackson, for he was frightened at what he had done.

Just at the same moment there came round the corner, to the open place in the wood, Mr. and Mrs. Lawley, and all the rest, leading the seven donkeys which they had caught and bridled.

They had picked up George upon their road. They had found him still asleep, being tired out with all his running and his wetting ; and they had some trouble in waking him up and making him come with them. He was seated on one of the donkeys, held up by Horace, and nodding forwards, half asleep, as he rode, with his

gouty

foot and all the cloths round it hanging down on one side.

He looked very much like a Guy Fawkes going round on the fifth of November,

But no one felt inclined to laugh about Guy Fawkes, or anything else, when they saw what had just happened before they arrived.

CHAPTER XIV.

MR. DALE GOES FOR THE DOCTOR.

HERE was little Toby, lying upon the

ground under the tree, screaming no

more, but moaning every now and then as if he was in great pain. There were Bob and Tom Jackson, looking very frightened, standing by, and not knowing what to do. I think they felt very much inclined to run away. And there was Harry on his knees by the side of little Toby, with the tears pouring down his face.

· What is the matter ?' asked Mr. Lawley, running forward.

Harry could not speak, and Bob and Tom would not.

Anybody could see what was the matter : poor little Toby's leg was broken.

'I will go at once for Dr. Groves,' said Mr. Dale.

'I will go, sir,” said Harry, starting to his feet. 'I can go quicker than anybody, I am sure.'

No, no, Harry!' said Toby, hearing his brother speak. “Don't leave me ; you must not leave me.'

So Harry knelt down again by the side of Toby, and Mr. Dale set off running to the village.

• Take one of the donkeys : I can saddle him in a minute,' shouted Horace after him.

'I can go quicker on my own legs,' shouted back Mr. Dale, without stopping.

Mr. Dale was right. If you are in a hurry, do not take a donkey; unless you wish to have to carry him instead of his carrying you.

The boys all stood looking after Mr. Dale, but he was soon out of sight, and then they had nothing to do but to wait. There was an end to all their fun and laughter and play. Their happy day had become very sad, through the cruel mischief of these two bad boys, Bob and Tom Jackson.

Sam Brown went up softly to Harry, and placed his hand upon his shoulder. He could do nothing to help Toby, or to make Harry feel less sorry; but he wished to show him he was grieved for him, because Harry Walton had been so kind to him.

« PreviousContinue »