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THE NEWBURY S.
A GOSPELLER IN ARMOUR.
“ How obstinate the animals are; they won't be counted anyhow! Now, my lad, fetch them round again. Eh; that's right. Now be quiet, dog--down! I've got them at last. One, two, three, four, five, -"
Elijah Newbury halted, looked first right onwards, then all round, then up to the sky, and finally down to the sheep. Aye, it must be so.
It was a horseman just showing his mud-soiled garments round the corner of a green copse, some four hundred yards or more away.
But the sheep must be counted and penned ; so with a violent effort, looking
very simple on one side of his face, and very suspicious on the other, he continued :
Six, seven, eight-nine!” Bang! It was a musket shot. And putting the two facts together, Elijah came to a reasonable induction. He then cotted his sheep, quieted his dog, and made haste home by a circuitous route. He was pale and nervous.
“It's coming, father!-quick!” he burst out ere his father was well aware of his presence. “What's coming, boy?"
Why the war, father. Didn't you say on Sunday there were signs and wonders happening around us ?”
“Eh, lad, what do you mean? What have you
heard ?”. " Heard !
Why, musket shots fired by soldiers that will be round in front of us presently; so we've no time to lose.”'
“ All right, my lad, we'll see to it. It is what I've expected some time since. Get the oxen secured in their sheds, back a couple of old waggons against the yard gates, bring the serving men in, and I'll get