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He opened it in the light of the coach-lamp on that side, and read—first to himself and then aloud: “‘Wait at Dover for Mam’selle.’ It’s not long, you see, guard. Jerry, say that my answer was, RECALLED TO LIFE.” He opened it in the light of the coach lamp, and read it to himself first and then aloud: “‘Wait at Dover for Mademoiselle.’ It’s a short message, you see, guard. Jerry, tell them my answer was ‘Brought back to life.’”
Jerry started in his saddle. “That’s a Blazing strange answer, too,” said he, at his hoarsest. Jerry jumped in his saddle. “That’s a very strange answer,” he said, raspier than ever.
“Take that message back, and they will know that I received this, as well as if I wrote. Make the best of your way. Good night.” “Give them that reply and they will know that I understood their message as if I’d written it myself. Have a good trip back. Good night.”
With those words the passenger opened the coach-door and got in; not at all assisted by his fellow-passengers, who had expeditiously secreted their watches and purses in their boots, and were now making a general pretence of being asleep. With no more definite purpose than to escape the hazard of originating any other kind of action. With that, Mr. Lorry opened the coach door and got in. He wasn’t helped by the other passengers, who had quietly hidden their watches and purses in their boots and were pretending to be asleep. They wanted only to avoid trouble.
The coach lumbered on again, with heavier wreaths of mist closing round it as it began the descent. The guard soon replaced his blunderbuss in his arm-chest, and, having looked to the rest of its contents, and having looked to the supplementary pistols that he wore in his belt, looked to a smaller chest beneath his seat, in which there 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-lamps had been blown and stormed out, which did occasionally happen, he had only to shut himself up inside, keep the flint and steel sparks well off the straw, and get a light with tolerable safety and ease (if he were lucky) in five minutes. The mail coach pushed on again, with a heavier mist closing round it as it began to move down the hill. The guard soon put his blunderbuss back inside the chest and checked on the rest of the weapons. Having done that, he checked on the extra pistols he wore on his belt, and then checked on the smaller chest under his seat, in which he kept some blacksmithing tools, a couple of torches, and a box of kindling for starting fires. The guard was so well prepared that if the coach lamps went out, which happened sometimes, he could easily light them again from inside the coach within five minutes (if he were lucky).
“Tom!” softly over the coach roof. “Tom!” said Joe quietly over the top of the coach.
“Hallo, Joe.” “Yeah, Joe.”
“Did you hear the message?” “Did you hear that message?”
“I did, Joe.” “I did, Joe.”
“What did you make of it, Tom?” “What do you think it meant, Tom?”
“Nothing at all, Joe.” “Nothing, Joe.”
“That’s a coincidence, too,” the guard mused, “for I made the same of it myself.” “That’s a coincidence,” Joe said, “I thought the same thing myself.”
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 of holding about half a gallon. After standing with the bridle over his heavily-splashed arm, until the wheels of the mail were no longer within hearing and the night was quite still again, he turned to walk down the hill. Jerry, left alone in the dark mist, got down to give his tired horse a rest, wipe the mud off his face, and shake the water from his wide hat brim, which could probably hold half a gallon. He waited there with his bridle on his wet, muddy arm until he could no longer hear the wheels of the mail coach and the night was still again. Then he turned to walk down the hill.
“After that there gallop from Temple Bar, old lady, I won’t trust your fore-legs till I get you on the level,” said this hoarse messenger, glancing at his mare. “`Recalled to life.’ That’s a Blazing strange 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 come into fashion, Jerry!” “After galloping all the way from Temple Bar, old lady, I won’t ride you again until we get to level ground,” said the raspy-voiced messenger, looking at his horse. “‘Brought back to life.’ That’s a very strange message. You wouldn’t like that, Jerry. You’d be in trouble if dead people started coming back to life!”