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remote sounds close in the mouth-piece, with a
strange preternatural effect.) The bell-wire
reaches up to the Superintendent's bedside;
and the bell being rung, Mr. Braidwood raises
himself on one elbow, and applying his mouth
to the other end of the tube, answers, and
gives orders. A few words of dialogue
conducted in this way, suffice. Up jumps Mr.
Braidwoodcrosses the passage to his
dressing-room (armoury, we ought rather to call
it), and in three minutes is attired in the thick
cloth frock-coat, boots, and helmet of the
Fire Brigade, fixing buttons and straps as he
descends the stairs.

Meanwhile all the men have been equally
active below. No sooner has the fireman
aroused Mr. Braidwood, than he rings the
bell of the foreman, the engineer, and the
'singlemen's bell'which means the bell of
the division where the four unmarried men
sleep. He then runs out to the stables, calling
the 'charioteer' by the way, and two
other firemen lodging close by; after which
he returns to assist in harnessing the horses.

Owing to this simultaneous action, each
according to his special and general duties, by
the time Mr. Braidwood reaches the bottom
of the stairs, the engine has been got out,
and put in working order. All its usual
furniture, implements, and tools are placed
within, or packed about it. Short scaling-ladders,
made to fit into each other, are
attached to the sides; six lengths of hose; branch-pipes,
director-pipes, spare nozzle, suction-pipes,
goose-neck, dogs'-tails (the first to deliver
water into the engine; the second are iron
wrenches), canvas sheet, with rope handles
round the edge (to catch people who will
boldly jump out of window), dam-board (to
prevent water from plug flowing madly away),
portable cistern, strips of sheep-skin (to mend
bursting hose), balls of cord, flat rose, escape-chain,
escape-ropes, mattock, saw, shovel, pole-axe,
boat-hook, crow-bar (such a fellow!) to
burst through doors or walls, or break up
pavement; instruments for opening fire-plugs,
and keys for turning stop-cocks of
water-mains, &c.

All being ready, the Superintendent mounts
the engine to the right of the driver, and the
engineer, foreman, and firemen mount also,
and range themselves on each side of the long
red chest at the top, which contains the
multifarious articles just enumerated. Off they
startbrisk trotcantergallop! A bright
red gleam overspreads the sky to the westward.
The Superintendent knows that the fire in
the court has reached the mews, and the
stables are in flames. Full gallop!

Along the midnight streets, which are now
all alive with excited peoplesome having left
the theatres, others wending homeward from
supper at a friend's, from dances, or perhaps
late hours of business in various trades,—all
are running in the direction of the fire! As the
engine thunders by them, the gas-lamps
gleaming on the helmets of the firemen and
the eager heads of the horses, the people send
up a loud shout of 'Fi-ire!' and follow pell-mell
in its wake.

Arriving at the mews, the Superintendent
sees exactly all that has happenedall that
must happenall that may happenand all
that may be prevented. The court is doomed
to utter ruin and ashes; so is the mews. Two
of the larger stables are on fire, and the
flames are now devouring a loft full of hay
and straw. But in doing this, their luminous
tongues stretch far beyond, seeking fresh food
when this is gone. The wind too!—the fatal
wind, sets in the direction of the square!
The flames are straggling, and leaping, and
striving with all their might to reach the
back premises of the houses on this side of
the square; and reach it they will, if this
wind continues!

Meanwhile, two of the Fire Brigade
engines from stations nearer at hand than
that of the Chief Office, are already here, and
hard at work. A fourth engine arrives from
the Chief Office close upon the wheels of the
firstand now a fifth comes thundering up
the mews. The Superintendent taking
command of the whole, and having ascertained
that all the inmates of the court and mews
have been got out, gives orders for three of
the engines to continue their efforts to overcome
the fire, and at any rate to prevent it
spreading to the houses in the square on each
side of the one which is now so imminently
threatened. He then directs his own engine
and one other to be driven round to the
front of the house in the square, so as to
attack the enemy both in front and rear at
the same time. The flames have just reached
itnot a moment is to be lost! As he drives
off, innumerable cries and exhortations seek
to arrest his progress, and to make him alter
his intentions. Several voices, louder and
more excited than all the rest,—vociferating
something about 'saving her life'cause
him to pause, and prepare to turn, till,
amidst the confusion, he contrives to elicit
the fact that a stable cat has been unable to
escape, and has darted out upon the burning
roof of a loftand, also, that Mrs. Jessikin's
laundrybut he listens no further, and
gallops his engine round to the front of the
house in the square, followed by shouts of
excitement and several yells.

The Fire-escape ladders of the Royal
Society have already arrived here in front.
All the inmates have been got out by the
doorat least it is said that all are out, by
those white figures with faces as white, who,
looking round them, really see nothing
distinctly——and know nothing as it ishaving
been awoke by the cries of 'Fire,' and not
being quite sure if all this mad hubbub of
people, flames, voices, and water-spouts, may
not be some horrible nightmare vision.

The water-plugs have been drawn, and the
gutters are all flooded. The gully-hole is
covereda dam-board arrests the stream and

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