In the Days of Drake
"What's all this?" said I, as we pushed our way to the front.
The sailor jumped to his feet and touched his forelock civilly enough. He looked at John Broad.
"Marry, Master Humphrey," answered John Broad, "you see this great fellow here, with a beard so long as the Turks? A' cometh into our village here, God knows where from, and must needs fall to breaking the heads of peaceable and honest men."
"'Tis a lie," said the sailor. "At least, that part of it which refers to peaceable and honest men. As to the breaking of heads, I say naught."
"But whose head hath he broken?" asked Jasper.
"Mine, sir," whined Peter Pipe. "God ha' mercy!--it sings like Benjamin Good's bees when they are hiving."
"And why did he break thy head?"
"Let him say," said the sailor. "Aye, let him say."
Peter Pipe shuffled his feet and looked out of his eye-corners. He was a creature of no spirit, and always in deadly fear of something or somebody.