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consuming to the hand's turn he did, knowing it would be only useless; for, instead of clearing it out, he'd be only filling it.
It was now near dinner time, and Jack was very sad and sorrowful, as how could he be otherwise, poor fellow, with such a bloodyminded ould chap to dale with? when up comes the darling of the world again, to call him to his dinner.
"Well, Jack," says she, with her white arms so beautiful, and her oark clusters tossed about by the motion of the walk—" how are you coming on at your task?" "How am I coming on, is it? Och, thin," says Jack, giving a good humoured smile through the frown that was on his face, "plase your lady—a cushla ma chree—it's all over with me; for I've still the same story to tell, and off goes my head, as sure as it's on my shoulders, this blessed night."
"That would be a pity, Jack," says she, "for there are worse heads on worse shoulders; but will you give me the shovel?" "Will I give you the shovel, is it?—Och, thin, wouldn't I be a right big baste to do the likes of that, any how?" says Jack; "what! avourneen dheelish 1 to stand up with myself, and let this hard shovel into them beautiful, soft, white hands of your own! Faith, my jewel, if you know but all, my mother's son's not the man to do such a disgraceful turn, as to let a lady like you take the shovel out of his hand, and he standing with m's mouth under his nose, looking at you —not myself, avourneen! we have no such unginteel manners as that in our country." "Take my advice, Jack," says she, pleased in her heart at what Jack said, for all she didn't purtend it—" give me the shovel, and depend upon it, I'll do more in a short time to clear the stable, than you would for years." "Why then, avourneen, it goes to my heart to refuse you; but, for all that, may I never see yesterday, if a taste of it will go into your purty, white fingers," says the thief, praising her to her face all the time—" my head may go off, any day, and welcome, but death before dishonour. Say no more, darling; but tell your father I'll be in to my dinner immediently." Nothwithstanding all this, by jingo the lady would not be put off; like a ra-al woman, she'd have her way, so on telling Jack that she didn't intend to work with the shovel, at all at all, but only to take it for a minute in her hand, at long last he gave it to her; when she struck it three times on the threshel of the door, and, giving it back into his hand, tould him to try what he could do. Well, sure enough, now there was a change; for instead of three shovelfuls coming in, as before, when he threw one out, there went nine more along with it. Jack, in coorse, couldn't do less than thank the lovely crathur for her assistance; but, when he raised his head to speak to her, she was gone. I needn't say, howsomever, that he went into his dinner, with a light heart, and when the ould fellow axed him how he was coming on, Jack tould him that he was doing gloriously "Remember the empty hook, Jack," said he. "Never fear, your honour," answered Jack, "if I don't finish my task, you may bob my head off any time."
Jack now went out, and was a short time getting through his job, for, before the sun set it was finished, and he came into the kitchen, ate his supper, and, sitting down before the fire, sung " Lore among the roses," and the " Black Joke," to vex the ould fellow.
This was one task over, and his head was safe for this bout; but that night, before he went to bed, his master called him up stairs, brought him into the bloody room, and gave him his orders for the next day. "Jack," says he, " I have a wild filley that has never been caught, and you must go to my demesne to-morrow, and catch her, or if you don't—look there," says the big blackguard, "on that hook it hangs, before to-morrow, if you hav'n't her before sunset in thestable that you claned yesterday." " Very well, your honour," says Jack, " I'll do every thing in my power, and if I fail, I can't help it."
The next morning Jack was out with his bridle in his hand, going to catch the filley. As soon as he got into the demesne, sure enough there she was in the middle of a green field, grazing quite at her ase. When Jack saw this, he went over toardst her, houlding out his hat, as if it was full of oats; but he kept the hand that had the bridle in it behind his back, for fraid she'd see it and make off. Well, my dear, on he went till he was almost within grip of her, cock sure that he had nothing more to do than to slip the bridle over her neck and secure her; but he made a bit of a mistake in his reckoning, for though she smelt and snoaked about him, just as if she didn't care a feed of oats whether he caught her or not, yet when he boulted over to hould her fast, she was off like a shot, with her tail cocked, to the far end of the demesne, and Jack had to set off hot foot after her. All, however, was to no purpose; he couldn't come next or near her for the rest of the day, and there she kept coorsing him about, from one field to another, till he hadn't a blast of breath in his body.
In this state was Jack, when the beautiful crathur came out to call him home to his breakfast, walking with the pretty small feet and light steps of her own, upon the green fields, so bright and beautiful, scarcely bending the grass and flowers as she went along, the darling. "Jack," says she, " I fear you have as difficult a task to-day as you had yesterday." "Why, an it's you that may say that with your own purty mouth," says Jack, says he; for out of breath and all as he was, he couldn't help giving her a bit of blarne y, the rogue. "Well, Jack," says she, "take my advice, and don't lire yourself any longer by attempting to catch her; truth's best— I tell you, you could never do it: come home to your breakfast, and when you return again, just amuse yourself as well as you can until dinner time.'' "Och, och," says Jack, striving to look, the sly thief, as if she had promised to help him—" I only wish I was a king, and, by the powers, I know who would be my queen, any how; for it's your own sweet lady—savournecn dheelM—1 say, amn't I bound to you for a year and a day longer, for promising to give me a lift as well as for what you done yesterday." "Take care, Jack," says she, smiling, however, at his ingenuity in striving to trap her into a promise, "I don't think I made any promise of assistance." "You didn't?" says Jack, wiping his face with the skirt of his coat, 'cause why?—you see pocket handkerchiefs weren't invinted in them times; "why, then, may I never live to see yesterday, if there's not as much ra-al beauty in that smile that's divarting itself about them sweet-breathing lips of yours, and in them two eyes of light that's breaking both their hearts laughing at me, this minnit, as would encourage any poor fellow to expect a good turn from you —that is, when you could do it, without hurting or harming yourself; for it's he would be the right rascal that could take it, if it would injure a silken hair of j our head." "Well," said the lady, with another roguish smile, "I shall call you home to dinner at all events."
When Jack went back from his breakfast, he didn't slave himself after the filley any more, but walked about to view the demesne, and the avenue, and the green walks, and nice temples, and fishponds, and rookeries, and every thing, in short, that was worth seeing, Towards dinner time, however, he began to have an eye to the way the sweet crathur was to come, and sure enough it's she that wasn't one minnit late. "Well, Jack," says she, " I'll keep you no longer in doubt," for the tender hearted crathur saw that Jack, although he didn't wish to let an to her, was fretting every now and then about the odd hook and the bloody room—" Jack," says she, "although I didn't promise, yet I '11 perform;" and with that she pulled a small ivory whistle out of her pocket, and gave three blasts on it that brought the wild filley up to her very hand, as quick as the wind. She then took the bridle, and threw it over the baste's neck, giving her up, at the same time, to Jack. "You needn't fear now, Jack," says she, " You will find her as quiet as a lamb, and as tame as you wish; as a proof of it, just walk before her, and you will see she'll follow you to any part of the field."
Jack, you may be sure, paid her as many and as sweet compliments as he could, and never heed one from his country for being able to say something toothsome to the ladies. At any rate, if he laid it on thick the day before, he gave her two or three additional coats this time, and the innocent soul went away, smiling as usual.
When Jack brought the filly home, the dark fellow, his master, if dark before, was a perfect tunder-cloud this night: bedad, he was nothing less than near bursting with vexation, bekase the thieving ould sinner intended to have Jack's head upon the hook, but he fell short in his reckoning now as well as before. Jack sung "Love among the Roses," and the "Black Joke," to help him into better temper. "Jack," says he, striving to make himself speak pleasant to him, "you've, got two difficult tasks over you; but you know the third time's the charm—take care of the next." "No matter about that," says Jack, speaking up to him stiff and stout, bekase, as the dog tould him, he knew he had a friend in coort—'Met us hear what it is, any how." "To-morrow, then," says the other, "you are to rob a crane's nest, on the top of a beech tree which grows in the middle of the lake that you saw, yesterday, in my demesne; you're to have neither boat nor oar, nor any kind of conveyance, but just as you stand; and if you fail to bring me the eggs, or if you break one of them—look there!" says he, again pointing to the odd hook, for all this discourse took place in the bloody room. "Good again," says Jack; "if I fail, I know my doom." "No you don't, you spalpeen," says the other, getting vexed with him, entirely, "for I'll roast you till you are half dead, and ate my dinner off you, after; and, what is more than that, you blackguard, you must sing the ' Black Joke' all the time." "Divel fly away with you," thought Jack, " but you're fond of music, you vagabond." The next morning Jack was going round and round the lake, trying about the edge of it, if he could find any place shallow enough to wade in; but he might as well go for to wade the say, and, what was worst of all, if he attempted to swim, it would be like a tailor's goose,—straight to the bottom; so he kept himself safe on dry land, still expecting a visit from the "lovely crathur," but, bedad, his luck failed him for wanst; for, instead of seeing her coming over to him, so mild and sweet, who does he obsarve steering at a dog's trot, but his ould friend, the smoking cur. "Confusion to that cur," says Jack to himself, "I know there's some bad fortune before me, or he wouldn't be coming acrass me."
"Come home to your breakfast, Jack", says the dog, walking up to him, "it's breakfast time." "Ay," says Jack, scratching his head, "its no great matter whether I do or not, for I bleeve my head's hardly worth a flat-dutch cabbage at the present speaking." "Why, man, it was never worth so much;" says the baste, pulling out Bis pipe and putting it in his mouth, when it lit at once. "Take care of yourself," says Jack, quite desperate—for he thought he was m. "2 D
near the end of his ttther—" take care of yourself, you dirty cur, or may be I might take a jintleman's toe from the nape of your neck." "You had better keep a straight tongue in your head," says four legs, "while it's on your shoulders; or I'll break every bone in your skin.—Jack, you are a fool," says he, checking himself, and speaking kindly to him, ";.l-u are a fool; did not I tell you the other day to do what you were bid, and keep never minding?" "Well," thought Jack to himself, "there's no use in making him any more my enemy than he is—particularly as I'm in such a hobble." "You lie," says the dog, as if Jack had spoken out to him, wherein he only thought the words to himself, "you lie," says he, " I'm not, nor never was your enemy, if you knew but all." "I beg your honour's pardon," answers Jack, "for being so smart with your honour; but, bedad, if you were in my case,—if you expected your master to roast you alive—eat his dinner off of your body—make you sing the 'Black Joke' by way of music for him:and, to crown all, knew that your head was to be stuck upon a hook, after—may be you would be a little short in your temper as well as your neighbours." "Take heart, Jack," says the other, laying his foreclaw as knowingly as ever along his nose, and winking slyly at Jack, "didn't I tell you that you have a friend hvcoort? the day's not past yet; so cheer up, who knows but there is luck before you still?" "Why, thin," says Jack, getting a little cheerful, and wishing to crack a joke with him, "but your honour's very fond of the pipe!" "Oh! don't you know, Jack," says he, "that that's the fashion at present among my tribe; sure all my brother puppeys smoke now, and a man might as well be out of the world as out of the fashion, you know." When they drew near home, they got quite thick entirely; "now," says Jack, in a good humoured way, "if you can give me a lift in robbing this crane's nest, do; at any rate, I'm sure your honour won't be my enemy. I know you have too much good nature in your face to be one that wouldn't help a lame dog over a style—that is," says he, taking himself up for fear of offending the other—" I'm sure you'd be always inclined to help the weak side." "Thank you for the compliment," says the dog, "but didn't I tell you that you have a friend in coort?"
When Jack went back to the lake, he could only sit and look sorrowfully at the tree, or walk about the edge of it, without being able to do any thing else. He spent the whole day this-a way till dinner time, when what would you have of it, but he sees the * darling' coming out to him, as fair and as blooming as an angel. His heart, you may be sure, got up to his mouth, for he knew she would be apt to take him out of all his difficulties. When she came up, "Now, Jack," says she, "there is not a minnit to be lost, for