The Red Book Of Animal Stories - online children's book

Stories of Animals, Fantastic and Mundane, Edited By Andrew Lang

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his teeth, and drew them carefully backwards. Then Mrs. Osburn, sleepy though she was, began to think there must be some reason for the dog's very odd behaviour, as he was generally remarkably quiet in his ways. So she got up, put on her petticoat, and took out of a cupboard a pair of pistols, which she always kept ready loaded and knew how to use. She then left her room and went downstairs to see if anything was the matter. No sooner had she reached the floor below than she saw her coachman, fully dressed and holding a candle, coming down the servants' staircase. Without stopping to ask him any questions, she raised her pistol, and informed him that unless he went back up the stairs that moment she would fire. The coachman, who had reason to know that his mistress always meant what' she said, and who was, besides, frightened at the discovery of his intentions, obeyed at once, and the lady, feeling that sleep was impossible that night, sat down in a room close by to think what she had better do next. Suddenly she heard a sound of low voices coming towards her, and pushing up the window leaned out and fired her pistol in the direction of the noise. Dead silence followed, and, after waiting and listening some time, she heard no more. Then she made a tour of all the lower rooms, and finding everything secure there, went back to her own, taking the King Charles with her and locking the door behind her. In the morning, as soon as it was light, she got up and went into the garden to the place from which the voices had come ; there she discovered drops of blood, and followed their track till they were lost at a wall at the other end of the garden. She then ordered her carriage—we are not told if it was the same coachman who drove her—and taking the money with her, this time carried it safely to the bank. She then called on Sir John Fielding and asked his advice on the matter. He advised her to dismiss the coachman at once, and to leave the affair in
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