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A Yorkshire Tale.

1880]

165

The Irishman agreed to this at once ; but Bowler was not well pleased with it. Our duty is to give him up,' he said.

Your duty is to take my orders,' answered Nettlebones severely. • If there is a row about it, lay the blame on me. I know what I am about in what I say. Gentlemen, good-bye, and good luck to you.'

After long shivers in teeth of the wind and pendulous labour of rolling, the three cutters joyfully took the word to go. With a creak, and a cant, and a swish of canvas, upon their light heels they flew round, and trembled with the eagerness of leaping on their way. The taper boom dipped towards the running hills of sea, and the jibforeleech drew a white arc against the darkness of the sky to the bovsprit's plunge. Then, as each clean cut-water clove with the pressure of the wind upon the beam, and the glistening bends lay over, green hurry of surges streaked with grey began the quick dance along them. Away they went merrily, scattering the brine, and leaving broad tracks upon the closing sea.

Away also went, at a rapid scamper, three men who had watched them from the breastwork of the cliffs-one went northward, another to the south, and the third rode a pony up an inland lane. Swiftly as the cutters flew over the sea the tidings of their flight took wing ashore, and before the night swallowed up their distant sails, everybody on the land whom it concerned to know, knew as well as their steersman what course they had laid.

CHAPTER XXX.

INLAND OPINION.

WHATEVER may be said, it does seem hard, from a wholly disinterested point of view, that so many mighty men, with swift ships, armed with villanous saltpetre and sharp steel, should have set their keen faces all together and at once, to nip, defeat, and destroy as with a blow, liberal and well conceived proceedings, which they had long regarded with a larger mind. Everyone who had been led to embark soundly and kindly in this branch of trade, felt it as an outrage and a special instance of his own peculiar bad luck, that suddenly those officers should become so active. For long success had encouraged enterprise ; men who had made a noble profit nobly yearned to treble it, and commerce having shaken off her shackles, flapped her wings, and began to crow; so at least she had been declared to do, at a public banquet given by the Mayor of Malton, and attended by a large grain-factor, who was known as a wholesale purveyor of

illicit goods.

This man, Thomas Rideout, long bad been the head-master of the smuggling school. The poor seafaring men could not find feiture), which the breadth and turbulence of the North Sea made needful for such ventures. Across the narrow English Channel, an open lobster-boat might run in common summer weather, without much risk of life or goods. Smooth water, sandy coves, and shelfy landings tempted comfortable jobs; and any man, owning a boat that would carry a sail as big as a shawl, might smuggle, with heed of the weather, and audacity. It is said, that once upon the Sussex coast, a band of haymakers, when the rick was done, and their wages in hand on Saturday night, laid hold of a stout boat on the beach, pushed off to sea in tipsy faith of luck, and hit upon Dieppe with a set-fair breeze, having only a fisherman's boy for guide. There on the Sunday they heartily enjoyed the hospitality of the natives; and the dawn of Tuesday beheld them rapt in domestic bliss and breakfast, with their money invested in old Cognac; and glad would they have been to make such hay every season. But in Yorkshire a good solid capital was needed to carry on free importation. Without broad bottoms and deep sides, the long and turbulent and often foggy voyage and the rocky landing could scarcely be attempted by sane folk; well-todo people found the money and jeopardised neither their own bodies, consciences, nor good repute. And perhaps this fact had more to do with the comparative mildness of the men, than difference of race, superior culture, or a loftier mould of mind; for what man will fight for his employer's goods with the ferocity inspired by his own ? A thorough good ducking, or a tow behind a boat, was the utmost penalty generally exacted by the victors from the vanquished.

Now, however, it seemed too likely that harder measures must be meted. The long success of that daring Lyth, and the large scale of his operations, had compelled the authorities to stir at last. They began by setting a high price upon him, and severely reprimanding Carroway, who had long been doing his best in vain, and becoming flurried did it more vainly still; and now they had sent the sharp Nettlebones down; who boasted largely, but as yet without result. The smugglers, however, were aware of added peril, and raised their wages accordingly.

When the pending great venture was resolved upon, as a noble finish to the season, Thomas Rideout would entrust it to no one but Robin Lyth himself; and the bold young mariner stipulated that after succeeding he should be free, and started in some more lawful business. For Dr. Upround, possessing, as he did, great influence with Robin, and shocked as he was by what Carroway had said, refused to have anything more to do with his most distinguished parishioner, until he should forsake his ways. And for this he must not be thought narrow-minded, strait-laced, or unduly dignified. His wife quite agreed with him, and indeed had urged it as the only proper course; for her motherly mind was uneasy about the impulsive nature of Janetta ; and chessmen to her were dolls, without even the merit of encouraging the needle. Therefore, with a deep sigh, next day, and did his best to endure for a night the arithmetical torture of cribbage; while he found himself supported by a sense of duty, and capable of preaching hard at Carroway, if he would only come for it on Sunday.

From that perhaps an officer of revenue may abstain, through the pressure of his duty and his purity of conscience ; but a man of less correctness must behave more strictly. Therefore, when a gentleman of vigorous aspect, resolute step, and successful-looking forehead, marched into church the next Sunday morning, and showed himself into a prominent position, and hung his hat against a leading pillar, after putting his mouth into it, as if for prayer, but scarcely long enough to say “ Amen'-it was universally concluded that here was the great financier of free-trade, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of smuggling, the celebrated Master Rideout.

That conclusion was shared by the rector, whose heart immediately burned within him to have at this man, whom he had met before and suspiciously glanced at in Weighing Lane, as an interloper in his parish. Probably this was the very man whom Robin Lyth served too faithfully; and the chances were that the great operations, now known to be pending, had brought him hither, spying out all Flamborough. The corruption of fish-folk, the beguiling of women with foreign silks and laces, and of men with brandy, the seduction of Robin from lawful commerce, and even the loss of his own pet pastime, were to be laid at this man's door. While donning his surplice, Dr. Upround revolved these things with gentle indignation, quickened—as soon as he found himself in white-by clerical and theological zeal. These feelings impelled him to produce a creaking of the heavy vestrý door, a well-known signal for his daughter to slip out of the chancel-pew, and come to him.

• Now, papa, what is it?' cried that quick young lady; "that miserable Methodist, that ruined your boots, has he got the impudence to come again? Oh, please do say so, and show me where he is; after church nobody shall stop me

'Janetta, you quite forget where you are, as well as my present condition. Be off like a good girl, as quick as you can, and bring No. 27 of my own handwriting—“ Render unto Cæsar ”—and put my hat upon it. My desire is that Billyjack should not know that a change has been made in my subject of discourse.'

• Papa, I see; it shall be done to perfection, while Billyjack is at his very loudest roar in the chorus of the anthem. But do tell me who it is; or how can I enjoy it? And lemon drops—lemon drops

'Janetta, I must have some very serious talk with you. Now don't cry, darling ; you are a thoroughly good girl, only thoughtless' and careless; and remember, dear, you must keep your high spirits down in church.'

The rector, as behoved him, kissed his child behind the vestry door, to soothe all sting, and then he strode forth towards the reading

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feiture), which the breadth and turbulence of the North Sea made needful for such ventures. Across the narrow English Channel, an open lobster-boat might run in common summer weather, without much risk of life or goods. Smooth water, sandy coves, and shelfy landings tempted comfortable jobs; and any man, owning a boat that would carry a sail as big as a shawl, might smuggle, with heed of the weather, and audacity. It is said, that once upon the Sussex coast, a band of haymakers, when the rick was done, and their wages in hand on Saturday night, laid hold of a stout boat on the beach, pushed off to sea in tipsy faith of luck, and hit upon Dieppe with a set-fair breeze, having only a fisherman's boy for guide. There on the Sunday they heartily enjoyed the hospitality of the natives ; and the dawn of Tuesday beheld them rapt in domestic bliss and breakfast, with their money invested in old Cognac; and glad would they have been to make such hay every season.

But in Yorkshire a good solid capital was needed to carry on free importation. Without broad bottoms and deep sides, the long and turbulent and often foggy voyage and the rocky landing could scarcely be attempted by sane folk; well-todo people found the money and jeopardised neither their own bodies, consciences, nor good repute. And perhaps this fact had more to do with the comparative mildness of the men, than difference of race, superior culture, or a loftier mould of mind; for what man will fight for his employer's goods with the ferocity inspired by his own ? A thorough good ducking, or a tow behind a boat, was the utmost penalty generally exacted by the victors from the vanquished.

Now, however, it seemed too likely that harder measures must be meted. The long success of that daring Lyth, and the large scale of his operations, had compelled the authorities to stir at last. They began by setting a high price upon him, and severely reprimanding Carroway, who had long been doing his best in vain, and becoming flurried did it more vainly still; and now they had sent the sharp Nettlebones down; who boasted largely, but as yet without result. The smugglers, however, were aware of added peril, and raised their wages accordingly.

When the pending great venture was resolved upon, as a noble finish to the season, Thomas Rideout would entrust it to no one but Robin Lyth himself; and the bold young mariner stipulated that after succeeding he should be free, and started in some more lawful business. For Dr. Upround, possessing, as he did, great influence with Robin, and shocked as he was by what Carroway had said, refused to have anything more to do with his most distinguished parishioner, until he should forsake his ways. And for this he must not be thought narrow-minded, strait-laced, or unduly dignified. His wife quite agreed with him, and indeed had urged it as the only proper course; for her motherly mind was uneasy about the impulsive nature of Janetta ; and chessmen to her were dolls, without even the merit of encouraging the needle. Therefore, with a deep sigh, next day, and did his best to endure for a night the arithmetical torture of cribbage; while he found himself supported by a sense of duty, and capable of preaching hard at Carroway, if he would only come for it on Sunday.

From that perhaps an officer of revenue may abstain, through the pressure of his duty and his purity of conscience ; but a man of less correctness must behave more strictly. Therefore, when a gentleman of vigorous aspect, resolute step, and successful-looking forehead, marched into church the next Sunday morning, and showed himself into a prominent position, and hung his hat against a leading pillar, after putting his mouth into it, as if for prayer, but scarcely long *Dough to say “ Amen '-it was universally concluded that here was the great financier of free-trade, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of smuggling, the celebrated Master Rideout.

That conclusion was shared by the rector, whose heart immediately burned within him to have at this man, whom he had met before and suspiciously glanced at in Weighing Lane, as an interloper in his parish. Probably this was the very man whom Robin Lyth served too faithfully; and the chances were that the great operations, now known to be pending, had brought him hither, spying out all Flamborough. The corruption of fish-folk, the beguiling of women with foreign silks and laces, and of men with brandy, the seduction of Robin from lawful commerce, and even the loss of his own pet pastime, were to be laid at this man's door. While donning his surplice, Dr. Upround revolved these things with gentle indignation, quickened—as soon as he found himself in white-by clerical and theological zeal. These feelings impelled him to produce a creaking of the heavy vestrý door, a well-known signal for his daughter to slip out of the chancel-pew, and come to him.

• Now, papa, what is it?' cried that quick young lady; that miserable Methodist, that ruined your boots, has he got the impudence to come again? Oh, please do say so, and show me where he is; after church nobody shall stop me

• Janetta, you quite forget where you are, as well as my present condition. Be off like a good girl, as quick as you can, and bring No. 27 of my own handwriting—“ Render unto Cæsar "--and put my hat upon it. My desire is that Billyjack should not know that a change has been made in my subject of discourse.'

• Papa, I see; it shall be done to perfection, while Billyjack is at his very loudest roar in the chorus of the anthem. But do tell me who it is; or how can I enjoy it? And lemon drops—lemon drops-

‘Janetta, I must have some very serious talk with you. Now don't cry, darling ; you are a thoroughly good girl, only thoughtless and careless; and remember, dear, you must keep your high spirits down in church.'

The rector, as behoved him, kissed his child behind the vestry door, to soothe all sting, and then be strode forth towards the reading

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