"Take that message back, and they will know that I received this, aswell as if I wrote. Make the best of your way. Good night."
With those words the passenger opened the coach-door and got in; notat all assisted by his fellow-passengers , who had expeditiouslysecreted their watches and purses in their boots, and were nowmaking a general pretence of being asleep. With no more definitepurpose than to escape the hazard of originating any other kind ofaction.
The coach lumbered on again, with heavier wreaths of mist closinground it as it began the descent. The guard soon replaced hisblunderbuss in his arm-chest, and, having looked to the rest of itscontents, and having looked to the supplementary pistols that hewore in his belt, looked to a smaller chest beneath his seat, in whichthere were a few smith's tools, a couple of torches, and a tinder-box.For he was furnished with that completeness that if the coach-lampshad been blown and stormed out, which did occasionally happen, hehad only to shut himself up inside, keep the flint and steel sparkswell off the straw, and get a light with tolerable safety and ease (ifhe were lucky) in five minutes .
Jerry, left alone in the mist and darkness, dismounted meanwhile,not only to ease his spent horse, but to wipe the mud from his face,and shake the wet out of his hat-brim, which might be capable ofholding about half a gallon. After standing with the bridle over hisheavily-splashed arm, until the wheels of the mail were no longerwithin hearing and the night was quite still again.
"After that there gallop from Temple Bar, old lady, I won't trustyour fore-legs till I get you on the level," said this hoarsemessenger, glancing at his mare. "'Recalled to life.' That's a Blazingstrange message. Much of that wouldn't do for you, Jerry! I say,Jerry! You'd be in a Blazing bad way, if recalling to life was to comeinto fashion, Jerry!"