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These and many other expressions of ironical disapprobation
having been exhausted, two or three of the out-of-door fellows
began to hustle Nicholas and the young gentleman who had made
the noise: stumbling against them by accident, and treading on
their toes, and so forth. But this being a round game, and one not
necessarily limited to three or four players, was open to John
Browdie too, who, bursting into the little crowd--to the great
terror of his wife--and falling about in all directions, now to the
right, now to the left, now forwards, now backwards, and
accidentally driving his elbow through the hat of the tallest helper,
who had been particularly active, speedily caused the odds to wear
a very different appearance; while more than one stout fellow
limped away to a respectful distance, anathematising with tears in
his eyes the heavy tread and ponderous feet of the burly

‘Let me see him do it again,’ said he who had been kicked into
the corner, rising as he spoke, apparently more from the fear of
John Browdie’s inadvertently treading upon him, than from any
desire to place himself on equal terms with his late adversary. ‘Let
me see him do it again. That’s all.’

‘Let me hear you make those remarks again,’ said the young
man, ‘and I’ll knock that head of yours in among the wine-glasses
behind you there.’

Here a waiter who had been rubbing his hands in excessive
enjoyment of the scene, so long as only the breaking of heads was
in question, adjured the spectators with great earnestness to fetch
the police, declaring that otherwise murder would be surely done,
and that he was responsible for all the glass and china on the

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