THE VENGEANCE. 203
skirting the wall. When they caught sight of him, the crowd broke into a hiss of derision.
" There ! see ! Look at the sinner ! He confesses ! actually confesses ! Come, what is it you stole ? The barefaced hypocrite ! There's your sort to set up for reproving other people ! Where's the other now ? "
But the maid had left the room, and they let the page pass, for he looked dangerous to stop. Curdie had just put him betwixt him and the wall, behind the door, when in rushed the butler with the huge kitchen poker, the point of which he had blown red-hot in the fire, followed by the cook with his longest spit. Through the crowd, which scattered right and left before them, they came down upon Curdie. Uttering a shrill whistle, he caught the poker a blow with his mattock, knocking the point to the ground, while the page behind him started forward, and seizing the point of the spit, held on to it with both hands, the cook kicking him furiously.
Ere the butler could raise the poker again, or the cook recover the spit, with a roar to terrify the dead, Lina dashed into the room, her eyes flaming like candles. She went straight at the butler. He was down in a moment, and she on the top of him, wagging her tail over him like a lioness.
" Don't kill him, Lina," said Curdie.
" Oh, Mr. Miner ! " cried the butler.