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The Hal of Kirklees 3

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Miss Ayrton then tried again to make him understand by showing him her every-day ruffles, but said that, being in the country, she wished her best to be sent. He then willingly undertook to return, though he had already walked or danced eight miles in her service. This time he tried hard, and said "ruffles and lappets" all the way; but he chanced to get a fall, which completed the before muddled state of his brains, and when he rose he had only a vague recollection of cuffs and that they should be smarter than usual in the country. So he arrived at Miss Ayrton's home shouting out "Ruff cuffs and country cuffs." More puzzled than ever, the servants stood in dismay, until, out of breath and patience with his now twelve miles walk, Hal insisted upon having various articles of female wardrobe exhibited to him, when his desire being complied with, he quickly pounced upon the commodity wanted. Having been allowed to take a pair of ruffles and lappets of rich point lace, which he triumphantly attached to his walking staff, he set out puffing and blowing upon his second return to Sir George Armytage's, where he presented himself to the anxiously expecting young lady, just in time to decorate her fair person with the result of his sixteen miles labour. But he had his reward, for Miss Ayrton smiled, and her smile was at that period of her life witchcraft itself, even to such a being as Hal Pierson.  Hal wore Sir George Armytage's livery when he chose, for he never was constrained by his kind benefactor, whose motive for keeping him in his household was pure benevolence.
 Sauntering, as was his custom, one day by the river side, he saw a young gallant riding on the other bank. Hal owed him a grudge for once having given him a pinch of very strong snuff. The young man had no remembrance of the joke, or the person of the fool; and he asked him if the river was fordable there. Hal replied "Yes." "Are you sure? Have you seen anyone pass it to-day?" "Troth, I have—a most respectable family, father, mother, and young ones," replied Hal; "they came over right merrily this morn's morning." Upon this assurance the young man put his horse to the stream, and though the animal with instinctive sagacity, hesitated, whip and spur soon compelled him to go in. It was wonderful that both were not drowned. After a hard struggle, horse and rider gained the bank, which Hal no sooner saw than he ran off, to avoid a resentment expressed by menaces both loud and deep. The cavalier made the best of his way to the great house, to prefer his complaint against one bearing the Armytage livery, having endangered his life. All the servants were summoned. He could not identify the mischievous one, until someone suggested the possibility of its being Hal Pierson. Hal was sought for and brought into his presence; but all he could be got to say in answer to his master's queries and reproaches was that be had seen a very respectable family pass that morning—the grey drake, his duck, and ducklings, and therefore he guessed a goose might do the same. Here was the pinch of snuff revenged.

As a gentleman with a very prominent nose was about to visit Kirklees, the Hal was forewarned by Sir George not to pass any remarks upon the peculiar proboscis. The visitor and Hal never passed each other without the latter remarking aloud—" What a nose! If anybody dare mention one." This has passed into a saying in the vicinity.

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