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to think that the better part of valour was discretion, and that he had driven the intruders from his royalty. So they parted. The young one went up to receive his reward from the mother of his family, and the old one rubbed his neck on his wings, and dived, and dropped down stream again, evidently comforting himself that he had given the trespasser a lesson.

There was a dog belonging to the Lock-house. He, from experience, seemed to know that all swans are bullies; but still the encounter was something for a dog at a lock-house, where anything is an incident. And, indeed, this was so much more earnest in show than the usual conflicts, that he came down towards the brink, though the rain was coming on. At first he sat upon his tail ; but, as the affair gave hope of becoming serious, he couched, and when the birds lifted themselves, as in act to fight, dropped his head on his outstretched fore-legs, with all the ecstacy of an amateur. When, however, he found that it was no go, and that the menaces ended as usual-much in the same way as they have done of late among the unfeathered bipeds_according to the new code of chivalry, he shook himself, like a sensible dog, and went back to shelter.

On another occasion, after fishing many miles of water with nothing but a few perch and jack in the well as the results, we dropped down to Weir.

Wearied with my no-sport, I stretched my listless length on the dry boarding that flanked the main weir, and watched with half-shut eyes, through the tremulous aërial medium that often attends a warm summer's day, the osiers on my left. The thundering of the fall had, by degrees, something soothing in it, and I felt that I was sinking fast into a doze, when I beheld a tall figure, in rusty black, with a club-foot, swarthy sharp visage, and an eye that positively glowed, looking down upon me.

"Ah!” said he, “no sport! Well, I, too, am a sportsmanand a very poor sportsman ; but I am getting old, and I cannot walk the weirs now.”

How he could ever have walked the weirs with that foot of his seemed a mystery; but the love of sport will carry people over anything. Finding I made no reply, the figure continued

“ What would you give to have on your line that fish, whose glittering side you saw but now, as he leaped from the river, till his splash was heard above the noise of the waters ? He that was afterwards chasing the bleak on the shallow till his huge shoulders and back-fin were fairly shown.”

" Anything," replied I; for I had been watching this fish-a twelve or fourteen-pounder at least, strong on his feed, and making the small fish skip into the air before him—"anything !"

I looked up.

"I do not want anything very substantial,” said he, meekly. “You said awhile you would give anything?" I did.” “You will give it, then ?” “Certainly. “Agreed."

He produced a small but most brilliant fish—such a one as I had never seen, and I had seen many, a kind of miniature Opah or King-fishand fixed it on the hooks of the trace most skilfully.

* You don't repent ?” said he.
“No; but I am to have that great fish on my line ?”

And land him ?"
“ The fish shall be landed.”.

“I shall want to send him to town. Can you meet me at the church with a basket ?”

“I don't go much to churches,” said he; “people would stare at me so; but if you mean there,” (as I pointed with my

rod towards the tower) “I will see you in the churchyard."

I examined my splendid bait to see that it was all right. Neither Wilder, Purdy, nor Goddard could have fixed it better. I tried it in the still water, and it spun admirably. When I raised my

head to praise the baiter, he was gone.

I was anxious to try my bait; and beckoned to the fisherman, who was sitting on the other end of the long weir-beam by my companion, as the latter was fishing between the two last spurs, near the eddy in the corner.

He came.


had a run ?” said I. “ Yes,” replied the fisherman ; " but not from the big fish, though the one as come at us was a solakerI put him at seven or eight pounds."

“ Where was it?”

“ There, in the corner; he came out of the foam, and took us in the wamblingbut the hooks drew.”

“ Then the fish are on the feed ?”

Yes; the sun has draw'd the baits up close to the weir, and the fish are come up arter 'em. That great fish druv the baits right out of the water but now, at the far side there, just by that shrimple.

I showed him my bait fish. “Where did you get that ?” said he;

and who put it on?” Did you not see the man in black who was talking to

me ?"

“No; I sid no man in black. I sid a great dark-looking heron

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fly away just beyond them osiers, and I wondered how he come to let you be so nigh him; you must ha' bin werry quiet.” I began to climb to the top of the weir-beam.

“ Is it any use to try again, think you ?”

“ It's a werry odd bait as ever see,” responded the fisherman; “but it's werry bright, and you may as well try the weir over with it.”

I stood on the weir-beam.

Now, no one who has not walked the Thames' weirs can tell what a task it is to walk them, till practice has made it easy.

Weir is one that affords as steady footing as any; but to stand on that narrow beam for the first time, whilst the ear is stunned by the roar of the fall, and the eye reels as it is dazzled with the raging white water of the boiling pool, fifteen feet below, demands good nerves.

To fish in such a position requires strong


My bait was, at one time, spinning far down in the pool thirty yards off-and at another, as I shortened my line,—which then lay at my feet on the beam or hung down from it,—and reversed my rod, it was glittering close beneath me in the foam on the apron. Suddenly I lost sight of it, and, at the same instant, there was a snatch that I felt to my spinal chord. I had him! I raised my rod in the twinkling of an eye, gave him the butt, and up he sprang into the broad sun-light, showing a side like a sow.

“Don't check him!” cried the fisherman, in a voice that was heard above the river-thunder. Out ran the line! Who can be collected at such a moment? It coiled round my ancle, and down I went headlong into the mad water below.

Strange as it may appear, my principal anxiety, as I struck out into the pool to avoid being sucked back under the apron, was to secure the fish, which I felt was still fast. This embarrassed me, and, notwithstanding my efforts, I was drawn back into the weltering waves under the weir. I looked round, and there I beheld that dreadful face glaring ghastly at me through the smooth glassy sheet of the falling water; and I felt the long deadly arms dragging me, feet foremost, under the apron. In the delirium of despair I cried out,-“You said I should land the fish.” “I said,” shouted the horror, that the fish should be landed, and that I would see you in the churchyard;" and he mercilessly pulled me under.

“Lord! Lord ! methought what pain it was to drown.” The long, cruel arms kept dragging me deeper and deeper. The brightness became less and less. My agony was inexpressible. Then came darkness,—the blackness of darkness. Suddenly my sensa

tions were even pleasant, and I fancied that I was in a delicious meadow.

A fearful change succeeded. I found myself in a well-known burial-vault,

“Girt by parent, brother, friend,

Long since number'd with the dead.” And there was that grim feature still claiming me, and the long lean arms were stretched out to grapple me, and the grasp entered into my soul. I turned to make one desperate effort at escape, and, opening my eyes, I found myself still stretched on the dry boards. My companion was shaking me by the shoulder, and inquiring, with something like reproach, if I thought that was the way to get the great fish into the well.

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