whilst one may count a hundred thousand—counting slowly,” said Hendon, with the expression of a man who asks but a reasonable favour, and that a very little one.
“It is my destruction!” said the constable despairingly. "Ah, be reasonable, good sir; only look at this matter, on all its sides, and see how mere a jest it is—how manifestly and how plainly it is so. And even if one granted it were not a jest, it is a fault so small that e’en the grimmest penalty it could call forth would be but a rebuke and warning from the judge’s lips.”
Hendon replied with a solemnity which chilled the air about him—
“This jest of thine hath a name, in law,—wot you what it is?”
“I knew it not! Peradventure I have been unwise. I never dreamed it had a name—ah, sweet heaven, I thought it was original.”