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Wackford’s head, whose ducking was intrusted to another rebel.
The success of this first achievement prompted the malicious
crowd, whose faces were clustered together in every variety of
lank and half-starved ugliness, to further acts of outrage. The
leader was insisting upon Mrs Squeers repeating her dose, Master
Squeers was undergoing another dip in the treacle, and a violent
assault had been commenced on Miss Squeers, when John
Browdie, bursting open the door with a vigorous kick, rushed to
the rescue. The shouts, screams, groans, hoots, and clapping of
hands, suddenly ceased, and a dead silence ensued.
‘Ye be noice chaps,’ said John, looking steadily round. ‘What’s
to do here, thou yoong dogs?’
‘Squeers is in prison, and we are going to run away!’ cried a
score of shrill voices. ‘We won’t stop, we won’t stop!’
‘Weel then, dinnot stop,’ replied John; ‘who waants thee to
stop? Roon awa’ loike men, but dinnot hurt the women.’
‘Hurrah!’ cried the shrill voices, more shrilly still.
‘Hurrah?’ repeated John. ‘Weel, hurrah loike men too. Noo
then, look out. Hip--hip,--hip--hurrah!’
‘Hurrah!’ cried the voices.
‘Hurrah! Agean;’ said John. ‘Looder still.’
The boys obeyed.
‘Anoother!’ said John. ‘Dinnot be afeared on it. Let’s have a
‘Noo then,’ said John, ‘let’s have yan more to end wi’, and then
coot off as quick as you loike. Tak’a good breath noo--Squeers be
in jail--the school’s brokken oop--it’s a’ ower--past and gane--
think o’ thot, and let it be a hearty ’un! Hurrah!’