The Long Night
But the grinning faces in the doorway hardened the student in his resolution. "I drink not on compulsion," he repeated stubbornly. And he rose from his seat.
"You drink not?" Grio exclaimed. "You drink not? Then by the living----"
"For Heaven's sake!" the landlord cried, and threw himself between them. "Messer Grio! Gentlemen!"
But the bully, drunk and wilful, twitched him aside. "Under compulsion, eh!" he sneered. "You drink not under compulsion, don't you, my lad? Let me tell you," he continued with ferocity, "you will drink when I please, and where I please, and as often as I please, and as much as I please, you meal-worm! You half-weaned puppy! Take that glass, d'you hear, and say after me, Devil take----"
"Messer Grio!" cried the horrified landlord.
"Devil take"--for a moment a hiccough gave him pause--"all flinchers! Take the glass, young man. That is w