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Chapter 10 (continued)
'Possibly he is,' returned the other. 'I should think if he were living, he would have heard you by this time.'
'In his fits of laziness, he sleeps so desperate hard,' said the distracted host, 'that if you were to fire off cannon-balls into his ears, it wouldn't wake him, sir.'
The guest made no remark upon this novel cure for drowsiness, and recipe for making people lively, but, with his hands clasped behind him, stood in the porch, very much amused to see old John, with the bridle in his hand, wavering between a strong impulse to abandon the animal to his fate, and a half disposition to lead him into the house, and shut him up in the parlour, while he waited on his master.
'Pillory the fellow, here he is at last!' cried John, in the very height and zenith of his distress. 'Did you hear me a calling, villain?'
The figure he addressed made no answer, but putting his hand upon the saddle, sprung into it at a bound, turned the horse's head towards the stable, and was gone in an instant.
'Brisk enough when he is awake,' said the guest.
'Brisk enough, sir!' replied John, looking at the place where the horse had been, as if not yet understanding quite, what had become of him. 'He melts, I think. He goes like a drop of froth. You look at him, and there he is. You look at him again, and--there he isn't.'
Having, in the absence of any more words, put this sudden climax to what he had faintly intended should be a long explanation of the whole life and character of his man, the oracular John Willet led the gentleman up his wide dismantled staircase into the Maypole's best apartment.
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