here he could not help lowering his voice " when I may have more than a parchment threepence in my pocket. My present business," continued he, speaking with lofty confidence, " is merely to inquire my way to the dwell- ing of my kinsman, Major Molineux."
There was a sudden and general movement in the room, which Robin interpreted as expressing the eager- ness of each individual to become his guide. But the innkeeper turned his eyes to a written paper on the wall, which he read, or seemed to read, with occasional recur- rences to the young man's figure.
" What have we here ? " said he, breaking his speech into little dry fragments. " ' Left the house of the sub- scriber, bounden servant, Hezekiah Mudge ; had on, when he went away, grey coat, leather breeches, master's third-best hat. One pound currency reward to whoso- ever shall lodge him in any jail of the province.* Better trudge, boy, better trudge ! '
Robin had begun to draw his hand towards the lighter end of the oak cudgel, but a strange hostility in every countenance induced him to relinquish his purpose of breaking the courteous innkeeper's head. As he turned to leave the room, he encountered a sneering glance from the bold-featured personage whom he had before noticed ; and no sooner was he beyond the door, than he heard a general laugh, in which the innkeeper's voice might be distinguished, like the dropping of small stones into a kettle.
" Now, is it not strange," thought Robin, with his usual shrewdness, " is it not strange that the confession of an empty pocket should outweigh the name of my kinsman, Major Molineux ? Oh, if I had one of those