"Sure, your worship."
"Collect thy scattered wits — bethink thee — take time, man."
After a moment's thought, the servant said —
"When he came, none came with him; but now I remember me that as the two stepped into the throng of the Bridge, a ruffian-looking man plunged out from some near place; and just as he was joining them — "
"What THEN? — out with it!" thundered the impatient Hendon, interrupting.
"Just then the crowd lapped them up and closed them in, and I saw no more, being called by my master, who was in a rage because a joint that the scrivener had ordered was forgot, though I take all the saints to witness that to blame ME for that miscarriage were like holding the unborn babe to judgment for sins com — "
"Out of my sight, idiot! Thy prating drives me mad! Hold! Whither art flying? Canst not bide still an instant? Went they toward Southwark?"
"Even so, your worship — for, as I said before, as to that detestable joint, the babe unborn is no whit more blameless than — "
"Art here YET! And prating still! Vanish, lest I throttle thee!" The servitor vanished. Hendon followed after him, passed him, and plunged down the stairs two steps at a stride, muttering, "'Tis that scurvy villain that claimed he was his son. I have lost thee, my poor little mad master — it is a bitter thought — and I had come to love thee so! No! by book and bell, NOT lost! Not lost, for I will ransack the land till I find thee again. Poor child, yonder is his breakfast — and mine, but I have no hunger now; so, let the rats have it — speed, speed! that is the word!" As he wormed his swift way through the noisy multitudes upon the Bridge he several times said to himself — clinging to the thought as if it were a particularly pleasing one — "He grumbled, but he WENT — he went, yes, because he thought Miles Hendon asked it, sweet lad — he would ne'er have done it for another, I know it well."