Our booked passenger showed in a moment that it was his name. The guard, the coachman, and the two other passengers eyed him distrustfully.
‘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.’
‘What is the matter?’ asked the passenger, then, with mildly quavering speech. ‘Who wants me? Is it Jerry?’
("I don’t like Jerry’s voice, if it is Jerry,’ growled the guard to himself. ‘He’s hoarser than suits me, is Jerry.’)
‘Yes, Mr. Lorry.’
‘What is the matter?’
‘A despatch sent after you from over yonder. T. and Co.’
‘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 hope there ain’t, but I can’t make so ‘Nation sure of that,’ said the guard, in gruff soliloquy. ‘Hallo you!’
‘Well! And hallo you!’ said Jerry, more hoarsely than before.‘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.’
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