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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

MEMOBRS OF JOSEPH

157

him be seated, said, " But, Joseph, what has brought you so
suddenly to town ?"

"Oh, drat it!" exclaimed the new-comer, " very disagreeable
business indeed. There were two vagabonds down in our parts
yesterday from London, and they killed and stole fifty or sixty
of master's pigeons. I've come up here to find them out and
apprehend them: I've got a constable drinking in the tap."

This information rather flustered them, and Bologna turned
as pale as death; but the host, after indulging in two winks,
and one fit of reflection, quietly said,

" "Well, but Joseph, how can you find them out, think you ?
London's a large place, Joseph."

" Why, I'll tell you," replied the gamekeeper, for such, as
they afterwards discovered, he was. "I found out, that the
rascals had been staying at Mrs. Mackintosh's house, and were
friends of her son; so I went to him last night and asked him
where the fellows were. ' Oh,' says he, ' I know what you've
come about: they've cut away with them pigeons !' 'Yes/ says
I; ' and unless you tell me where they've cut away to, I shall
make you answerable/ ' Oh,' says he again, ' I know nothing
about 'em; they're no friends of mine,' he says, ' they're only
play-actors: one's a Clown and t'other's a Harlequin at one of
the London theatres.' And this was all I could get from him;
so up I came this morning, and knowing that you were ac-
quainted with theatrical people, I thought I'd come and ask you
which of the Clowns and which of the Harlequins it was most
likely to be."

" Is the squire very angry?" asked Spencer.

" Oh, very," responded Joseph, with a shake of the head:
"he's determined to pursue them to the very extremity of the
law."

Upon hearing this, Grimaldi was much troubled in mind; not
that he thought Spencer was a man likely to betray his friends,
but fearing that by some inadvertence he might disclose whatfter shaking him warmly by the hand and biddingneighbourhood, whichni, in " The Great Devil; or,