September 01, 2006


The report of the gun, as may be supposed, had aroused both the ladies
from their sleep.
"Did you hear it?" ejaculated Miss Priscilla, clutching her sister by
the arm.
"Just so," muttered Sophia, in bewilderment. "It's the gun."
"Burglars!" exclaimed Sophia, in alarm.
"I am afraid so. What shall we do?"
"Run away," suggested Sophia.
"No, we must not leave the boy to be murdered."
"Perhaps he has shot them?" said Sophia, with a gleam of hope.
"At any rate, it is our duty to go and see what has happened."
"I'm afraid," whimpered Sophia, covering up her head.
"Then you can stay here," said the more courageous Priscilla. "I will
"And leave me alone?"
"I must."
"I'll go too, then," said Sophia, her teeth chattering with fear.
So they crept out of bed, and throwing shawls over their shoulders,
advanced into the entry, trembling with excitement and fear.
"If we should find Andy weltering in his gore?" suggested Priscilla.
"Don't say such horrid things, or I shall scream," said her sister.
Then came the tremulous knock mentioned at the close of the last
Andy opened the door in person, and met the gaze of the two Miss
Grants, Sophia almost ready to drop with fright.
"Do you see any gore, Priscilla?" she asked, tremulously.
"Are you hurt, Andrew?" asked the elder sister.
"No, ma'am."
"Did you fire the gun?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"What made you? Did any burglars try to get in?"
"Not exactly, ma'am," said Andy; "but I thought there might be some."
"Did you see any?"
"Not exactly," said Andy, a little embarrassed; "but I heard a noise."
"Just so," said Sophia.
"Why didn't you wait till they appeared at the window, Andrew?"
"Because, ma'am, they would fire at me first. I wanted to scare 'em
"Perhaps you were right. You don't see any traces of them outside, do
"You can look for yourself, ma'am."
The two ladies went to the window, which as already explained, had
suffered from the discharge, and peered out timidly, but, of course,
saw no burglars.
"Are you sure there were any burglars, Andrew?" asked Priscilla.
"No, ma'am, I couldn't swear to it."
"Well, no harm has been done."
"Except breakin' the winder, ma'am."
"Never mind; we will have that mended to-morrow."
"Were you afraid, Andrew?" asked Miss Sophia.
"Not a bit," answered Andy, valiantly. "I ain't afraid of burglars, as
long as I have a gun. I'm a match for 'em."
"How brave he is!" exclaimed the timid lady. "We might have been
killed in our beds. I'm glad we hired him, Priscilla."
"As there is nothing more to do, we had better go to bed."
"Just so."
"That's a bully way to get out of a scrape," said Andy to himself, as
the ladies filed out of his chamber. "I expected they'd scold me.
Plague take the old gun--it kicks as bad as a mule. Oh, Andy, you're a
lucky boy to get off so well."
The next day Andy obtained permission to take out the gun in the
afternoon when his chores were done.
"I want to get used to it, ma'am," he said. "It kicked last night."
"Dear me, did it?" asked Sophia. "I didn't know guns kicked. What do
they kick with? They haven't got any legs."
Andy explained as well as he could what he meant by the gun's kicking,
and said it was because it had not been used for a good while, and
needed to be taken out.
"It needs exercise, just like horses, ma'am," he said.
"That is singular, Andrew," said Priscilla.
"Just so," observed her sister.
"It's a fact, ma'am," said Andy. "It gets skittish, just like
horses--but if I take it out sometimes, it'll be all right."
"Very well, you may take it, only be careful."
"Oh, I'll be careful, ma'am," said Andy, with alacrity.
"Now, I'll have some fun," he said to himself.
He found a supply of powder and some shot in the closet, and proceeded
to appropriate them.
"Come back in time for supper, Andrew," said Miss Priscilla.
"Yes, ma'am, I'm always on hand at meal times," answered our hero.
"That's because he's hungry," said Sophia, brilliantly.
"You're right, ma'am," said Andy; "my stomach always tells me when
it's supper time."
"It's as good as a watch," said Priscilla, smiling.
"And a good deal cheaper," observed Sophia, with another brilliant
Andy started up the road with his gun over his shoulder. It was his
intention after going a little distance to strike into the fields, and
make for some woods not far away, where he thought there would be a
good chance for birds or squirrels. He hadn't gone many steps before
he encountered Godfrey Preston, his antagonist of three days previous.
Now, Godfrey hadn't seen or heard anything of Andy since that day. He
had learned from his mother with great satisfaction that she had
discharged Mrs. Burke from her employment, as this, he imagined, would
trouble Andy. But of Andy himself he knew nothing, and was not aware
that he had already secured a place. When he saw our hero coming
along, his curiosity led him to stop and find out, if he could, where
he was going with the gun he carried on his shoulder, and where he
obtained it. So he looked intently at Andy, waiting for him to speak,
but Andy preferred to leave that to him.
"Whose gun is that?" asked Godfrey, in the tone of one who was
entitled to ask the question.
"Shure, it belongs to the owner," said Andy, with a smile.
"Of course, I know that," said Godfrey, impatiently. "I'm not quite a
"Not quite," repeated Andy, emphasizing the last word in a way which
made Godfrey color.
"What do you mean?" he said.
"What do I mane? It was only your words I repeated."
"Then, don't trouble yourself to repeat them--do you hear?"
"Thank you; I won't."
"You didn't tell me whose gun that is."
"No, I didn't."
"Very likely you stole it," said Godfrey, provoked.
"Maybe you'll go and tell the owner."
"How can I when you haven't told me whose it is?"
"No more I did," said Andy with apparent innocence.
"Where are you going with it?"
"Goin' out shootin'."
"So I supposed."
"Did you, now? Then what made you ask?" returned Andy.
"You are an impudent fellow," said Godfrey, provoked.
"I never am impudent to gentlemen," said Andy, pointedly.
"Do you mean to say that I am not a gentleman?" demanded the other,
"Suit yourself," said Andy, coolly.
"You're only an Irish boy."
"Shure, I knew that before. Why can't you tell me some news? I'm an
Irish boy and I'm proud of the same. I'll never go back on ould
"The Irish are a low set."
"Are they now? Maybe you never heard of Burke, the great orator."
"What of him?"
"Shure, he was an Irishman; and isn't my name Andy Burke, and wasn't
he my great-grandfather?"
"He must be proud of his great-grandson," said Godfrey, sarcastically.
"I never axed him, but no doubt you're right. But it's time I was
goin', or I shan't get any birds. Would you like to come with me?"
"No, I am particular about the company I keep."
"I'm not, or I wouldn't have invited you," said Andy, who was rather
quicker witted than his opponent.
"I should like to know where he got that gun," said Godfrey to
himself, following with his eyes the retreating figure of our hero. "I
am sure that isn't his gun. Ten to one he stole it from somebody."
But Godfrey's curiosity was not destined to be gratified that
afternoon, as it might have been if he had seen Andy turning into the
yard of the Misses Grant two hours afterward. He had not shot
anything, but he had got used to firing the gun, and was not likely to
be caught again in any such adventure as that recorded in the last
WingSix--Leading Web Hosting Provider!!!

Download ZoneAlarm Pro Here

Counter Statistics