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duly, and for the required period publicly,
posted. The Stockingtonians protested by
their able lawyer Daredeville, against any
order for the closing of these ancient woods
the inestimable property of the public.

"Property of the public!" exclaimed Sir
Roger. "Property of the public!" echoed
the multitudinous voices of indignant Bullock-
sheds, Tenterhooks, and Ramsbottoms. " Why,
Sir, do you dispute the right of Sir Roger
Rockville to his own estate?"

"By no means;" replied the undaunted
Daredeville; "the estate of Rockville is
inquestionably the property of the honourable
baronet, Sir Roger Rockville; but the roads
through it are the as unquestionable property
of the public."

The whole bench looked at itself; that is,
at each other, in wrathful astonishment. The
swelling in the diaphragms of the squires
Otterbrook, Turnbull, and Swagsides, and all
the rest of the worshipful row, was too big to
admit of utterance. Only Sir Roger himself
burst forth with an abrupt

"Impudent fellows! But I'll see them

"Grant the order!" said Sir Benjamin
Bullockshed; and the whole bench nodded
assent. The able lawyer Daredeville retired
with a pleasant smile. He saw an agreeable
prospect of plenty of grist to his mill. Sir
Roger was rich, and so was Great Stockington.
He rubbed his hands, not in the least like a
man defeated, and thought to himself, "Let
them go at itall right."

The next day the placards on the Rockville
estate were changed for others bearing
alongside of them were huge carefully painted
boards, denouncing on all trespassers
prosecutions according to law. The same evening
came a prodigious invasion of Stockingtonians
tore all the boards and placards down, and
carried them on their shoulders to Great
Stockington, singing as they went, "See, the
Conquering Heroes come!" They set them
up in the centre of the Stockington marketplace,
and burnt them, along with an effigy of
Sir Roger Rockville.

That was grist at once to the mill of the
able lawyer Daredeville. He looked on, and
rubbed his hands. Warrants were speedily
issued by the Baronets of Bullockshed and
Tenterhook, for the apprehension of the
individuals who had been seen carrying off the
notice-boards, for larceny, and against a number
of others for trespass. There was plenty
of work for Daredeville and his brethren of
the robe; but it all ended, after the flying
about of sundry mandamuses and assize trials,
in Sir Roger finding that though Rockville
was his, the roads through it were the public's.

As Sir Roger drove homeward from the
assize, which finally settled the question of
these footpaths, he heard the bells in all the
steeples of Great Stockington burst forth with
a grand peal of triumph. He closed fast the
windows of his fine old carriage, and sunk
into a corner; but he could not drown the
intolerable sound. "But," said he, "I'll stop
their pic-nic-ing. I'll stop their fishing. I'll
have hold of them for trespassing and poaching!"
There was war henceforth between
Rockville and Great Stockington.

On the very next Sunday there came
literally thousands of the jubilant Stockingtonians
to Rockville. They had brought baskets, and
were for dining, and drinking success to all
footpaths. But in the great grove there were
keepers, and watchers, who warned them to
keep the path, that narrow well-worn line up
the middle of the grove. "What! were they
not to sit on the grass?" "No!" "What!
were they not to pic-nic?" "No! not there!"

The Stockingtonians felt a sudden damp on
their spirits. But the river bank! The cry
was "To the river bank! There they would
pic-nic." The crowd rushed away down the
wood, but on the river bank they found a
whole regiment of watchers, who pointed again
to the narrow line of footpath, and told them
not to trespass beyond it. But the islands!
they went over to the islands. But there too
were Sir Roger's forces, who warned them back!
There was no road thereall found there
would be trespassers, and be duly punished."

The Stockingtonians discovered that their
triumph was not quite so complete as they had
flattered themselves. The footpaths were
theirs, but that was all. Their ancient license
was at an end. If they came there, there was
no more fishing; if they came in crowds,
there was no more pic-nic-ing; if they walked
through the woods in numbers, they must
keep to Indian file, or they were summoned
before the county magistrates for trespass,
and were soundly fined; and not even the able
Daredeville would undertake to defend them.

The Stockingtonians were chop-fallen, but
they were angry and dogged; and they
thronged up to the village and the front of
the hall. They filled the little inn in the
hamletthey went by scores, and roving all
over the churchyard, read epitaphs

        That teach the rustic moralists to die,

but don't teach them to give up their old
indulgences very good-humouredly. They
went and sat in rows on the old churchyard
wall, opposite to the very windows of the
irate Sir Roger. They felt themselves beaten,
and Sir Roger felt himself beaten. True, he
could coerce them to the keeping of the
footpaths but, then, they had the footpaths!
True, thought the Stockingtonians, we have
the footpaths, but then the pic-nic-ing, and
the fishing, and the islands! The Stockingtonians
were full of sullen wrath, and Sir
Roger wasoh, most expressive old Saxon
phraseHAIRSORE! Yes, he was one universal
wound of vexation and jealousy of his rights.
Every hair in his body was like a pin sticking
into him. Come within a dozen yards of him;
nay, at the most, blow on him, and he was