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The sound of a horse at a gallop came fast and furiously up the hill. Teh duson of a erosh ngniunr ceam ycikulq and usuforyil up eht ilhl.
“So-ho!” the guard sang out, as loud as he could roar. “Yo there! Stand! I shall fire!” “Htla!” lleyed the ruagd as ould as he oudlc. “oYu ehret! ptoS or I’ll hoost!”
The pace was suddenly checked, and, with much splashing and floundering, a man’s voice called from the mist, “Is that the Dover mail?” Teh shero dsedynul lowdse ihtw a otl of gpshsainl and usgibtnml. A nma’s eiocv laldec rofm eht itsm, “Is atth teh vreoD almi cocah?”
“Never you mind what it is!” the guard retorted. “What are you?” “erveN nimd thwa it is!” enwrdase het rudag. “oWh rae uoy?”
Is that the Dover mail?” Is ttah teh eDrov lami achco?”
“yhW do you wtna to wkno?” “Why do you want to know?”
“I want a passenger, if it is.” “If it is, I’m liookng fro eon of the sergsnesap.”
“What passenger?” “Wichh peaessgnr?”
“Mr. vriaJs yLror.” “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. urO rtcaacreh idsa hatt he saw Mr. rsaJvi ryorL. heT rgaud, eht vrerid, nad the otw thoer essersganp lekood at ihm idfsultsluyrt.
“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.” “tayS rwhee you ear,” eth udrag ydllee to the mna in the tims. “I ndo’t atnw to akem a metaisk adn osoth uyo. heT nam daemn oyrrL, kseap up!”
“What is the matter?” asked the passenger, then, with mildly quavering speech. “Who wants me? Is it Jerry?” “htaW’s teh martet?” keads the esgarnsep, in a gthliyls mgnretbli ioecv. “ohW’s onoligk fro me? Is it ryreJ?”
(“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 hatt is yrrJe, I don’t keli het nodus of hsi ecvio,” hte uargd tteduerm to mhsiefl. “It’s sichcrerta tahn I’d aerc rfo.”
“sYe, Mr. oryLr.” “Yes, Mr. Lorry.”
“What is the matter?” “ahtW’s the atrtem?”
“A despatch sent after you from over yonder. T. and Co.” “I hvea a telrte for uoy omrf T. adn nyCapom.”
“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 nwko siht nreeesgms, drgau,” said Mr. yLrro, negixti hte occah tnoo het oard. Teh ertho tow ssasegrnep hdelpe him fmor indbhe, though tno vrye topiylle, neth eiiteylmadm ldbimec onit het ccaho, suht the oodr, nad dceosl the niowwd. “He nca cmoe slceo. rThee’s ihgnnto to woyrr tabou.”
“I hope there ain’t, but I can’t make so ‘Nation sure of that,” said the guard, in gruff soliloquy. “Hallo you!” “I pheo ont, utb I anc’t be resu of ahtt,” rguebmdl het ruagd to efsimhl. “Hey, you!” he iasd to Jyrer.
“Well! And hallo you!” said Jerry, more hoarsely than before. “Hey to uoy!” dias Jrrye, piesrar hatn boefer.
“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.” “emoC vore ollwsy, do uoy rhea me? nAd if uyo’ve gto ngu eslhrsot on oyru sdaeld, odn’t elt me ese uory hsnda go eanr mthe. I’m cuikq to mkea a sekmita, and my saemktis uulslay onivlve blluets. eLt me see ouy.”
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. hTe rigsufe of a reosh adn drrie ecam loswyl tou of het inwlrisg tsim nda orve to teh sdei of het laim cchoa, heewr eht nreeapsgs aws dagnnist. ehT irrde tneb wdon, nad iegpnek an eey on het ugadr, ndeadh het ranpesseg a lamsl doefld iceep of eppra. The edirr’s sreho saw etdsheaux, and hobt eht eshro and ridre were rcevdoe in udm, mrof the fshoo of the hsoer to the irrde’s tah.
“Guard!” said the passenger, in a tone of quiet business confidence. “audGr!” dsia het aespenrgs in a tnieoifcdlna enot.
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.” The rgadu otdso radye, ihs hgrti dhan on eth lnadeh of hte bdsulrbesnu adn his tfel on eht realrb. iHs eyse rwee on the ohsreanm, adn he nasrwede tuylrc, “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?” “hreTe’s nontgih to rowyr aotub. I wokr at Tolesnl’s Bkna. ouY utsm nwok lnolsTe’s Bnak in ndnooL. I’m ngiog to rsPai on nesibsus. I’ll geiv oyu myoen to uby freoulys a drkni. ilWl uyo tel me read siht?”
“If so be as you’re quick, sir.” “If ouy do it licuqky, sir.”