Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/78

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CHAPTER VIII


AT DREEVER


IN the days before he began to expend his surplus energy in playing Rugby football, the Welshman was accustomed, whenever the monotony of his everyday life began to oppress him, to collect a few friends and make raids across the border into England, to the huge discomfort of the dwellers on the other side. It was to cope with this habit that Dreever Castle, in the county of Shropshire, came into existence. It met a long-felt want. In time of trouble, it became a haven of refuge. From all sides, people poured into it, emerging cautiously when the marauders had disappeared. In the whole history of the castle, there is but one instance recorded of a bandit attempting to take the place by storm, and the attack was an emphatic failure. On receipt of a ladleful of molten lead, aimed to a nicety by one John, the Chaplain (evidently one of those sporting parsons), this warrior retired, done to a turn, to his mountain fastnesses, and was never heard of again. He would seem, however, to have passed the word around among his friends, for subsequent raiding parties studiously avoided the castle, and a peasant who had succeeded

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