In an instant the other two were on their legs, and all were actively engaged in busy preparation. Sikes and his companion enveloped their necks and chins in large dark shawls, and drew on their great-coats, while Barney, opening a cupboard, brought forth several articles which he hastily crammed into the pockets,
"Barkers for me, Barney," said Toby Crackit.
"Here they are," replied Barney, producing a pair of pistols. "You loaded them, your-self."
"All right!" replied Toby, stowing them away. "The persuaders?"
"I've got 'em," replied Sikes.
"Crape, keys, centre-bits, darkies—nothing forgotten?" inquired Toby, fastening a small crowbar to a loop inside the skirt of his coat.
"All right," rejoined his companion. "Bring them bits of timber, Barney:that's the time of day."
With these words he took a thick stick from Barney's hands, who, having delivered another