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his residence, swearing that they would be satisfied with nothing but his immediate destruction. De Witt, however, found means to apprise his friend of his danger, urging him to instant flight, and counselling him to conceal himself till the storm had blown over, and the populace could be disabused of their error. The burgomaster knew the blind and brutal character of a Dutch mob, and saw that not a moment was to be lost. Hurrying with Constantia into his cutter, he was soon sailing down the river with a favourable breeze. As he intended passing over to England, where Winky Boss might prove useful from his knowledge of the language, while his fidelity, under any circumstances, entitled him to a preference in selecting a servant to accompany him in his flight, he communicated to him in a few words the imminency of his present peril, directing him to put up in a valise some papers of importance which he instructed him where to find, and follow him without delay to Maaslandsleys, at which place he should await his arrival. To avoid suspicion he was ordered to leave the city in an opposite direction, and make a considerable detour before he reached the appointed place of meeting.
All this did Winky Boss perform with his usual deliberate and accurate observance of orders. The papers were carefully secured, the valise was strapped to his back, he was equipped in his travelling garb, mounted upon the back of Punchinello, smoking his pipe, and proceeding out of the city at an easy trot, when upon turning the corner of a street he found himself in the very midst of the infuriated mob, who
were hurrying towards the Boompies for the purpose of arresting the burgomaster. Being recognized by some of these worthies, he was seized, pulled from his horse, and his valise torn from his back before he had time to prepare for defence, even could it have availed him against such a formidable host of assailants, The contents of the valise, which was hastily ransacked, not only confirmed the rumours of the burgomaster's escape, which now began to reach them from other quarters, but sufficiently betrayed that the bearer was proceeding to join his master, wherever he had concealed himself.
« Whither has the traitorous burgomaster betaken himself?» cried a fierce-looking fellow, who seemed to be the leader of the rabble.
« I don't know any such person,» calmly replied Boss.
“I mean your villanous master,» resumed the same party.
« I have no villanous master,» answered Boss. —«I am no servant of yours?»
« Saucy scoundrel! you will not deny that you serve Adrian Beverning?»
« No; I am too proud of such a master to deny him.» « And
know where he is at this moment.» « Ja, Ja,» replied Boss, with a familiar nod of his head.
« Then why did you not tell us so in the first instance?»
«Because I have no intention to do
either first or last.»
« Villain !» resumed the fellow, holding a long pointed knife to his throat,-«have you now a mind to discover ? »
« Not the least in the world,» replied Boss, with the utmost seeming indifference.
“ Cut out his stubborn tongue!» exclaimed another of the mob.
« Do!» said Boss. « I shall be more likely to tell you then :' and, as he said this, he slowly puffed a mouthful of smoke into the face of this new assailant.
«Curse the fellow !» continued the same party, «he seems to mind his pipe more than our threats.»
« A good deal more,» replied Boss, favouring him with another whiff, which so provoked the recipient that he violently dashed the pipe out of his mouth.
Boss had endured, with patience, the scurrilous terms applied to his master and himself; but an insult to his pipe was beyond the limitations assigned to his phlegm. His eyes began to wink and sparkle with rapid coruscations, and though the rest of his face was as imperturbable as if it had been cut out of wood, his limbs appeared to sympathize with his optics; for he suddenly raised his muscular arm, and, with one blow, laid the destroyer of his pipe sprawling upon the ground, amidst its fragments.
This was the signal for a general tumult and assault : knives were drawn and flourished, fists began to rain blows
upon the broad shoulders of Bóss, and it would
probably have gone hard with him, had not the leader of the rabble, in a loud and authoritative voice, ordered them to desist; reminding them that the prisoner was, perhaps, the only person who could guide them to the traitorous burgomaster's retreat, and that the torture would presently wring the secret from him. «I will state nothing,» cried Winky Boss, « to an angry mob, which may pervert every thing I utter into a crime; but if you will take me before the Justiciary Wanderhoof, I will make a deposition of all that I know.»
« To the Justiciary! Away with him to the Justiciary!» cried the many-headed monster; and they forthwith began hauling him to the opposite extremity of the town, where that functionary dwelt; and which was the sole reason why his name had been mentioned by the prisoner. Considerable time was gained for his fugitive master, by his thus diverting the attention of the mob; nor was he a whit more disposed to give them the information they sought, when they at length reached the magistrate's residence. No sooner did that personage understand the object of this unexpected visit, than he seated himself with all due ceremony in his hall of justice, bidding his clerk prepare to take down the deposition of the prisoner; but Winky Boss declared he would save him that trouble, as he had changed his mind for the present; adding, however, that if his worthy friends, the mob, would do him the favour to call at the same hour, on the following day, he should have no objection to tell them all he knew, as he caľculated that by that time the object of their search would be completely beyond their reach.
The previous wrath of the populace was a halcyon serenity, compared to the fury with which they were seized, at being thus defied and cajoled. Again were their long knives brandished in the air, as they demanded the prisoner with loud cries: in vain did the magistrate implore them not to sully the hall of justice with murder. They rushed impetuously towards their intended victim; when the Justiciary, who feared that he might be rendered, in some way, responsible for an assassination committed in his presence, opened a private door that communicated with his dwelling-house, pushed the prisoner in, closed it again, and, placing himself before it, declared that he would allow no one
but that he would hold himself accountable for the production of the supposed delinquent, whenever his examination could be safely resumed.
At this moment, two or three voices cried out, «To the Boompies ! to the Boompies ! Let us attack the burgomaster's house!» and the versatile mob, attracted by the hope of plunder, instantly echoed the cry, and sallied forth to wreak that vengeance upon the property of the master, which they had been prevented from inflicting upon
the person of the servant. Miss Vanspaacken, who had, at her own request, been left in charge of the mansion, having received some obscure intimations of the meditated attack, had already ordered all the doors to be closed; and no popular assault would have easily forced a massy structure, originally built for defence, had due preparations been made for repelling it. Nothing of this sort was meditated, Miss Vanspaacken relying sufficiently upon the effects of