THE COAT OF ARMS. 325
"I reckon Iknowed that," Tom says, "but you bet he'll have one before he goes out of this—because he's going out right, and there ain't going to be no flaws in his record."
So whilst me and Jim filed away at the pens on a brickbat apiece, Jim a making his'n out of the brass and I making mine out of the spoon, Tom set to work to think out the coat of arms. By-and-by he said he'd struck so many good ones he didn't hardly know which to take, but there was one which he reckoned he'd decide on. He says :
" On the scutcheon we'll have a bend or in the dexter base, a sal tire murrey in the fess, with a dog, couchant, for common charge, and under his foot a chain embattled, for slavery, with a chevron vert in a chief engrailed, and three invected lines on a field azure, with the nombril points rampant on a dancette indented; crest, a runaway nigger, sable, with his bundle over his shoulder on a bar sinister : and a couple of gules for supporters, which is you and me ; motto, Maggiore fretta, minore atto. Got it out of a book—means, the more haste, the less speed."
"Geewhillikins," I says, "but what does the rest of it mean ? "
" We ain't got no time to bother over that," he says, "we got to dig in like \ all git-out."
" Well, anyway," I says, "what's some of it ? What's a fess ?"
"A fess—a fess is—you don't need to know what a fess is. I'll show him how to make it when he gets to it."
"Shucks, Tom," I says, "I think you might tell a person. What's a bar sinister ? "
" Oh, Idon't know. But he's got to have it. All the nobility does."
That was just his way. If it didn't suit him to explain a thing to you, he wouldn't do it. * You might pump at him a week, it wouldn't make no difference.
He'd got all that coat of arms business fixed, so now he started in to finish up the rest of that part of the work, which was to plan out a mournful inscription—said Jim got to have one, like they all done. He made up a lot, and wrote them out on a paper, and read them off, so :