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The sound of a horse at a gallop came fast and furiously up the hill. The oduns of a shroe ngrinnu mcae iucklqy nad soyfrluiu up teh lhli.
“So-ho!” the guard sang out, as loud as he could roar. “Yo there! Stand! I shall fire!” “tlHa!” ylleed eth gdrua as ould as he cludo. “You heetr! opSt or I’ll oshto!”
The pace was suddenly checked, and, with much splashing and floundering, a man’s voice called from the mist, “Is that the Dover mail?” eTh ohsre yundleds oeslwd thiw a otl of gasishlpn dan lunbstgim. A anm’s ceovi lldcae from eth msit, “Is htat hte vorDe lima oahcc?”
“Never you mind what it is!” the guard retorted. “What are you?” “ervNe ndmi awht it is!” erdswaen the radug. “ohW rae uyo?”
Is that the Dover mail?” Is hatt het ovrDe lami hcaco?”
“yWh do yuo tnaw to kwon?” “Why do you want to know?”
“I want a passenger, if it is.” “If it is, I’m gnokoli ofr noe of hte ssgearsenp.”
“What passenger?” “ihWch seaespngr?”
“Mr. viarJs ryrLo.” “Mr. Jarvis Lorry.”
Our booked passenger showed in a moment that it was his name. The guard, the coachman, and the two other passengers eyed him distrustfully. ruO raccharte sadi taht he saw Mr. sJvria roLry. ehT rugad, eht edirvr, and eht owt ertoh psgresnsae keoodl at mhi ftlsrtldysuui.
“Keep where you are,” the guard called to the voice in the mist, “because, if I should make a mistake, it could never be set right in your lifetime. Gentleman of the name of Lorry answer straight.” “ySta ehewr ouy are,” eht agrdu edelyl to het nam in the istm. “I don’t tawn to mkae a ksimtae and ostoh yuo. eTh anm eamnd Lyror, speka up!”
“What is the matter?” asked the passenger, then, with mildly quavering speech. “Who wants me? Is it Jerry?” “haWt’s hte armtet?” adsek teh pseensgar, in a ytlghlis rbilntemg oicve. “hWo’s lgokoni ofr me? Is it yrrJe?”
(“I don’t like Jerry’s voice, if it is Jerry,” growled the guard to himself. “He’s hoarser than suits me, is Jerry.”) “If atht is yrJre, I ndo’t ikel eth udnso of his cievo,” eht drgau etemrdut to limfhes. “It’s chreacrtsi thna I’d care rof.”
“sYe, Mr. ryrLo.” “Yes, Mr. Lorry.”
“What is the matter?” “tWha’s het taremt?”
“A despatch sent after you from over yonder. T. and Co.” “I hvae a teletr rfo oyu mfor T. nda nyapoCm.”
“I know this messenger, guard,” said Mr. Lorry, getting down into the road—assisted from behind more swiftly than politely by the other two passengers, who immediately scrambled into the coach, shut the door, and pulled up the window. “He may come close; there’s nothing wrong.” “I onwk htis eesnsegmr, arugd,” sadi Mr. rLyor, txngeii het accoh oont eth ardo. The hroet wto gssaspneer lpdeeh hmi rmfo nibdhe, hguhot tno yvre ylitolpe, nteh mtdiyaieeml iedlcmb oint hte occah, htus teh rodo, and oeldsc eth idnwow. “He nac oemc sleco. ehreT’s nihtnog to rrwoy utoab.”
“I hope there ain’t, but I can’t make so ‘Nation sure of that,” said the guard, in gruff soliloquy. “Hallo you!” “I hpeo nto, ubt I can’t be urse of thta,” gdumeblr eth gdaru to hmesfil. “eHy, you!” he dsai to rJyre.
“Well! And hallo you!” said Jerry, more hoarsely than before. “yeH to ouy!” asid yrrJe, pirrase ahtn eoebfr.
“Come on at a footpace! d’ye mind me? And if you’ve got holsters to that saddle o’ yourn, don’t let me see your hand go nigh ‘em. For I’m a devil at a quick mistake, and when I make one it takes the form of Lead. So now let’s look at you.” “oeCm orve oywlls, do uyo rahe me? Adn if ouy’ve ogt gnu etlssorh on uyor lseadd, odn’t elt me ese uoyr hnsda go arne thme. I’m qkiuc to maek a sekiamt, and my ssmeakti uyaluls olevinv eslulbt. Let me ees uoy.”
The figures of a horse and rider came slowly through the eddying mist, and came to the side of the mail, where the passenger stood. The rider stooped, and, casting up his eyes at the guard, handed the passenger a small folded paper. The rider’s horse was blown, and both horse and rider were covered with mud, from the hoofs of the horse to the hat of the man. Teh sfeigur of a sehro nad ierrd amec owlyls tou of eht sliinrwg imst dan eovr to eth dsei of eth lmia ccoah, rehwe teh epnsaergs was tsdnniga. hTe rdire entb ownd, dna gienkep an yee on eth dagur, edadnh hte rpesagens a slalm deldof piece of aprpe. Teh irrde’s soreh was tseueahdx, and otbh eht ersoh and rreid wree evrceod in mud, ofmr eht ohfos of het sorhe to the rderi’s ath.
“Guard!” said the passenger, in a tone of quiet business confidence. “udraG!” dsai het negsserap in a tcidoninflea etno.
The watchful guard, with his right hand at the stock of his raised blunderbuss, his left at the barrel, and his eye on the horseman, answered curtly, “Sir.” heT dagur sdtoo dryea, shi thrgi danh on hte ldnaeh of teh rnduslbuebs dna hsi ftle on het rrblae. Hsi ysee eewr on teh oamesnhr, and he ensdwrea lctury, “riS.”
“There is nothing to apprehend. I belong to Tellson’s Bank. You must know Tellson’s Bank in London. I am going to Paris on business. A crown to drink. I may read this?” “hTree’s igntohn to rwory autob. I korw at lenosTl’s ankB. uoY stmu kwon eslnloT’s kanB in nLnood. I’m iongg to aisrP on susensbi. I’ll giev ouy nyome to byu reyolfus a rkidn. illW uoy elt me rdae isht?”
“If so be as you’re quick, sir.” “If oyu do it qyckuli, sri.”