THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF 'TOM' 147
revealed his identity, and the girl, horrified to find herself in a bear's paws, uttered the scream which had given the first note of warning. As already said, the sudden appearance of Decamps and his guests had frightened Tom, and Tom's fright had resulted in the fainting fit of the old lady and the rout of the wedding party.
Alexandre Decamps, who was a special friend of Tom's, undertook to make his excuses to society in general, and as a proof of his docility, to fetch Tom wherever he might be, and bring him to make his own apologies. He went into the dining-room, and there he found Tom walking about the table with great dexterity, and in the act of finishing his third tipsy-cake.
Unluckily this proved a climax. The bridegroom shared Tom's tastes, and he appealed for sympathy to all lovers of tipsy-cake. Loud murmurs arose, which not even the docile air of Tom as he followed Alexandre Decamps could subdue.
At the door Alexandre met the landlord, to whom the old lady had just given notice to leave. The bridegroom declared that nothing would induce him to stay in the house another hour unless justice were done him, the other lodgers chimed in as chorus.
The landlord grew pale, as he foresaw himself left in an empty house, and, turning to Decamps, told him that, much as he wished to retain him as a lodger, it would be impossible to do so unless he lost no time in getting rid of an animal which had caused such a disturbance at such an hour in a respectable house.
Decamps, who, truth to say, was getting rather weary of Tom's various scrapes, only hesitated long enough to save appearances. He promised that Tom should leave the premises the very next day, and, completely to reassure the lodgers, he at once took his bear down to the yard, where he made him get into a large dog-kennel. He then turned the opening to the wall, and heaped big stones on the top.