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ment, Ensign Sparkes clapped on his shako fiercely, and strode out into the square to exact prompt reparation from the insulter.

Meanwhile, unconscious of all these machinations, the Rev. Joseph Stickler quietly disrobed himself in the vestry, and then proceeded to cross the parade to his house. Just as he was opposite the barrack-gates and in front of the barrack-windows, he became aware of a tall figure, in scarlet, approaching him with rapid steps. In another instant the Rev. Joseph found himself confronted by the insulted subaltern, who, with glaring eyes and flaming cheeks, addressed him thus:

'Sir, I have been most grossly insulted and assaulted by your orders. The whole regiment, sir, has been affronted in my person. I demand an apology!'

'A what!' exclaimed the chaplain, falling back, and surveying his interrogator with a look of supreme amazement.

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An apology, sir; an ample apology!' repeated young Sparkes hotly.

'Young man,' said the Rev. Joseph Stickler severely, I don't know what this buffoonery means. If it were not so early in the day I should say that you were drunk, sir.'

'What, sir!' exclaimed the enraged ensign; you refuse to apologise you dare to add to the insult by insinuating that I am not sober! Let me tell you, sir,' assuming an air of bellicosity that might have awed even a bubblyjock, that if it were not for your cloth, sir, I would give you the d-dest thrashing you ever had in your life!'

The face of the last of the Sticklers' grew black as thunder; lightning blazed from his eye; his whole body heaved with the volcano of indignation that raged

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A peal of laughter burst like a volley of musketry from the vicinity of the barracks. Sparkes glanced hurriedly round; there was the whole 'garrison' crowded at the barrack-gates, convulsed with merriment, and there, in the windows of the officers' quarters, was-no, he must be mistaken-yes, a fact ! -there was Spofforth himself, holding his sides while the tears ran down his purple face. Too late it flashed upon the unhappy Sparkes that he was both making a fool of himself, and being made a fool of. Sharply turning on his heel with a smothered anathema, which, like the parish-clerk's sweeping curse, seemed to include all persons that on earth do dwell,' Ensign Sparkes hurried back, a piteous spectacle of mingled shame, rage, and discomfiture. Whilst the Rev. Joseph Stickler, as he struggled back into his coat, was distinctly heard to ejaculate,

'Preposterous young puppy! Talk of thrashing me, indeed!'

And so, amid the ill-suppressed applause of the lookers-on, the parson strode, fuming and furious, to his house.

From that moment the Rev. Joseph Stickler was a hero in the eyes of the garrison' and the youth of Donjonville. Staid and respectable middle-aged society shook its head, and declared that the chaplain had behaved in a most undignified manner, and had

quite forgotten what was due to his cloth. I suppose these douce people were right, and that it would have exhausted even the resources of Turvey dropian deportment to have carried off such a scene with dignity. But that was the only time that Joseph Stickler was ever known to allow his eccentricity to imperil his dignity; as a rule, the latter was invariably the accompaniment and correction of the former.

Middle-aged propriety, then, might be excused for failing to see anything heroic in conduct which had only won the irreverent admiration of persons addicted to taking a sporting view of even the gravest matters, but not the less among that class had the Rev. Joseph Stickler established himself as a hero. It was not long, how ever, before even the unco guid' of Donjonville were compelled to admit that their respected and esteemed, though eccentric, parson was veritably and unmistakably a hero of the sort which a delighted and sympathetic Sovereign is proud to decorate with the Victoria Cross or the Albert Medal. And this was the startling incident which suddenly revealed to Donjonville the fact that the black coat and knee-breeches of Joseph Stickler incased as brave a man as ever faced a battery or charged a square in all the glory and glitter of scarlet and gold.

One summer afternoon, as the chaplain was passing the barrackgates, he noticed that there was something unusual taking place in the courtyard. The soldiers were gathered in excited groups, and there was that indescribable air of agitation about them which is always noticeable in a crowd when something tragic is astir. The Rev. Joseph Stickler walked in and inquired the cause of the commotion. He was told that

one of the men, a wild fellow named Hennessy, had gone mad with drink, had locked himself in the guard-room, armed himself with a loaded musket, and was threatening to shoot any one who approached him.

'Have you informed the officer on duty asked the chaplain. 'The officers, sir, are all away at a cricket-match.'

'And where's the sergeant of the guard?'

'Here, sir.'

Well, sergeant, why don't you arrest this man at once and put him in irons ?'

The sergeant looked sheepish as he replied,

'Why, ye see, sir, it's not as if he was only drunk, but he's reg'lar ravin' mad with delirium tremens; he's got every musket in the rack loaded, and he's that desperate he'd pick three or four of us off before we could lay hands upon him. I dursn't chance it, sir.'

The chaplain's face grew dour and black; there was a ringing resolute tone of command in his voice as he said,

'Fetch me a blacksmith at once. Tom Baynes is the best man; and tell him to bring his forehammer with him.'

A messenger was despatched for the blacksmith. In the interval the chaplain calmly reconnoitred the guard-room, and the soldiers stood looking at him, their voices. hushed into whispers, wondering what would come next and what the parson was about to do. They were not long kept in suspense. The messenger returned, bringing with him Tom Baynes the blacksmith, a big, gaunt, powerful man, black with the grime of the forge, girt with his leathern apron, his forehammer on his shoulder. Touching his forelock to the parson, Tom looked at him in some bewilderment. Motioning to the

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Tom Baynes hesitated. you should have seen our parson. Tom used to say afterwards that he never saw a man 'grow so big all on a sudden like.' Pointing to the door with a gesture and a tone which there was no disobeying, the chaplain said sternly,

'Baynes, smash-in that guardroom door this instant; and you, sergeant, have your picket ready to rush in and secure the man at once.'

Three vigorous blows from the forehammer burst open the door, and revealed Hennessy standing behind the long deal table with a dozen cocked and loaded muskets ranged before him. His firelock was at his shoulder, and as he levelled it straight at the doorway with his finger on the trigger, he swore with the most horrid oaths that he would blow out the brains of any man who dared to enter. The sergeant and the men with scared faces fell back at this appalling sight; but Joseph Stickler did not change colour or budge an inch. He simply pointed to the maniac and said,

'Sergeant, do your duty; arrest that man at once!'

The barrel of Hennessy's musket was directed steadily at the sergeant's head; the sergeant felt

uncomfortable, his cheek blanched, and he made a further strategic movement to the rear. The madman gave a fierce derisive yell that might have made any man's blood run cold to hear it. 'Now, you black-coated old devil-dodger, out of the way there, and let me have a clear shot at that sergeant! Out o' the way, I tell ye, or else I'll blow your head to pieces!'

'Sergeant,' cried the chaplain, in a voice of thunder, 'arrest that man at once!'

'Ha, ha !' roared Hennessy, 'he knows better. The first man that passes that door I'll send to hell in quick time.'

And in extenuation of the sergeant's backwardness it must be admitted that the fellow looked as if he meant to keep his word. He was a desperate, determined, and ferocious man at any time; but now that he was literally and uncontrollably mad with drink, he was capable of any crime.

'Am I to arrest this man myself, sergeant?' asked the chaplain, in a quiet firm voice, very different from the angry tone of command he had used a moment before.

'Arrest me, parson! I'd like to see ye try it! If ye put a foot or a hand beyond that doorway, I'll shoot ye down like a dog! If ye don't clear out from where ye are before I count three, so help me, I'll fire!'

The parson paid no heed to the raving maniac, but with ineffable disgust and scorn said to the sergeant,

'What are you afraid, man? Why, then I suppose a black coat must show you red coats the way, that's all!'

'Clear out o' that!' yelled Hennessy. I give ye fair warning. One!'

Come away, sir; come back.

He's a desperate chap, he'll fire; he's mad, sir; there's murder in his eye!' cried half-a-dozen soldiers

at once.

'Two shouted Hennessy.

Without another word the chaplain marched straight up to the madman, who covered him with his musket as he advanced, and swearing he would shoot the parson dead, pressed the trigger with his finger as he roared, 'Three! Every one of the petrified and horror-stricken spectators expected to hear the report, and see the parson's skull shattered. But the keen, resolute, unflinching gray eyes of the brave man, who slowly advanced upon him, fascinated the furious lunatic; there was an aspect of command as well as of dauntless courage in the face and bearing of our hero in black, which must have irresistibly

roused the man's instinct of discipline, and paralysed his murderous aim, for he allowed the parson to walk right up till the muzzle of the musket was not a foot from his head. Quietly grasping the weapon in one hand, Joseph Stickler raised the barrel above his head, and that instant the deafening report rang out, and the ball went crashing through the ceiling. To have dropped the discharged musket and seized another from the row that lay all cocked and loaded before him need have been, for Hennessy, only the work of a second. But the chaplain never took his eye off the madman's face, and the fellow was fairly cowed by that calm steady look, which seemed to pierce him through and through. Slowly the parson's hand slipped down the barrel till it rested with a firm grasp upon the man's wrist. Then, without turning, he said coolly, with a ring of withering contempt in his tone,

'Here, sergeant, perhaps now

you'll not be afraid to put this man under arrest!'


The sergeant summoned couple of file to assist him; but the madman, whose eyes were still riveted on the parson's, made no effort at resistance, allowing himself to be seized and led away with a dazed look on his face, as though he had been gazing on something that had dazzled and blinded him. Then, amid the ringing cheers of the soldiers, the Rev. Joseph Stickler walked quietly out of the barracks.

Before next morning every man, woman, and child in Donjonville had heard of the parson's heroism. Before the next Sunday the fame of it had spread all round the country side, and curious folks came in from far and near on Sunday evening to stare at the real live hero, who stood there in unheroic gown and bands, and delivered his homely homily as though wholly unconscious of the admiring eyes that were fixed upon him. I suppose no quality of head or heart so entirely wins the admiration of Englishmen as that of cool dauntless presence of mind under danger. We like to think and pride ourselves on the fact that it is preeminently a characteristic of the English race. But from the way in which we worship and adore the men who display it, a foreigner might be justified in cherishing the suspicion that we are conscious of its extreme rarity among us, and value it accordingly. I don't think that we Donjonville folks were one whit less plucky than our neighbours ; but we must have been secretly conscious that under such trying circumstances we should hardly have borne ourselves so well as our parson, otherwise we should not have elevated him, as we did with one consent, into the position of a hero. We were too proud of


*** If you are insensitive to BLUE, try the RED one.


(in a good light) for 20

F you look at this seconds and immediately afterwards at the blank space below, the latter will slowly assume a Pale Yellow tint, In the middle of which "PEARS" will re-appear but in Blue letters instead of White.


OME "colour-blind" persons having written in very "uncomplimentary" terms that

this is untrue, Messrs. PEARS (the appointed Soap Makers to H.R.H. the
Prince of Wales) pledge them their reputation that it is a curious scientific truth
although novel to many.
Registered [Copyright.]

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