Making use of some very strong expressions, such as he would not make use of at a chapel tea-meeting, the keeper dashes into the thicket, followed by Jim; quickly they reach the spot, where they see a confused mass of living matter, turning and twisting, growling, whining, and snapping, at their feet.
"I'll murder ye, you old varmint!—Look out, Jim! Cuss an' hang him! I can't git a stroke at him! Why the —— here they are; what's up now? Ginger! Ginger! loose him! Ginger! he'll rip ye up in bits. Let me smash him!"
"Here he is; hold hard, master! ye nearly had 'im; hold hard!"
"Well, if ever I take my tarriers! Oh dear! oh dear! if there ain't Nipper; he's done for. Hold him, Jim; don't ye let him out o' yer arms, for mercy sake. Now, then, here they are; now fur it, one way or t'other. This is the wust night's work as ever I come across. Jim! Jim! where be ye?"
"In this 'ere tangle; I'm comin' fast as I can."
"Have ye got Nipper?"
"Yes, I got un."
"He's a dunner, ain't he?"
"No, he ain't; it's tight work fur me to hold him!"
"Don't ye let him go; here they be, dead as herrins! Oh dear, Ginger! if I ain't wound up clean! Never agin will I see your feller. If it waunt fur the shame on it, I could fairly beller! I be cut up, an' no mistake."
"Pick him up, master! you'll hev to loose his holt, for dead as he be he's got him under the ear. This 'ere night's work about winds my pig up, I can tell ye."
Picking Ginger up, and holding him in his arms, the keeper stood in silence. Presently a slight movement took place in the body of the terrier, and with a low whimper and one long-drawn breath he opened his eyes, and then licked the face of his master.
"Jim! hoora! houra! Ginger's alive; oh, my precious Ginger! oh, ain't you tore about! Give us Nipper, an' shove that cusnation warmint in the sack, an' let's git back fur to doctor these 'ere poor things. We'll git 'em round, if 'tis to be done.—Look 'ere, Jim, did ye ever? they ain't hurt much; they're tryin' their werry hardest ter get out o' my hands ter hev another go at him! I don't think as there's sich another pair o' tarriers as these 'ere two, no, not nowheres: there can't be! Ye've got that murderin' warmint?"
"Yes, he's in the sack."
"Then look sharp! we'll cut out o' this; come on! an' next time as master wants a badger fur one o' his friends, somebody else's tarriers 'll hev to drive un. The fust one as we got out was that old warmint's missus an' her cubs. That was a diggin' job,