A tempest, which was only rumbling in the distance as yet, was floating on the surface of this crowd.
The crowd hurled itself towards them, and they already beheld the frail wooden railing, which separated them from it, giving way and bending before the pressure of the throng.
When they saw their leader fall, the crowd gave another angry shout; but the stranger placed his back against the tent near which he stood, swinging his terrible staff, and so fell had been the blow that he struck the stout smith that none dared to come within the measure of his cudgel, so the press crowded back, like a pack of dogs from a bear at bay.
Now it might have gone ill with the youth, even to the losing of his young life, had not Sir Richard come to this fair; for of a sudden, shouts were heard, and steel flashed in the air, and blows were given with the flat of swords, while through the midst of the crowd Sir Richard of the Lea came spurring on his white horse.
Figures with something singularly unfamiliar about them were seen by crowds
on the sidewalk to pass in and out.
By what impulse the crowd was moved none ever recollected, but the entire mass--men, women, children, dogs--made a simultaneous and tumultuous rush for the entrance.
To the only spectator remaining on the other side of the street-- Alvan Creede, the banker--the interior of the store with its inpouring crowd continued in full illumination; all the strange things going on there were clearly visible.
The scrutiny which the president of the Gun Club had instituted regarding this new rival was quickly interrupted by the shouts and hurrahs of the crowd.
So saying, the president left the cabin and informed the crowd of the proposal of Michel Ardan.
As he said this, he glanced at Sir John, who lifted his hands and eyebrows, as if deploring the intemperate conduct of Mr Haredale, and smiled in admiration of the crowd and of their leader.
He was pretty near the boat, when Gashford, as if without intention, turned about, and directly afterwards a great stone was thrown by some hand, in the crowd, which struck him on the head, and made him stagger like a drunken man.
The follow touched his hat with a grin, expecting something for his pains; but, the old gentleman, eyeing him with an expression of dislike, look anxiously round, as if he contemplated running away himself: which it is very possible he might have attempted to do, and thus have afforded another chase, had not a police officer (who is generally the last person to arrive in such cases) at that moment made his way through the crowd, and seized Oliver by the collar.
The gentleman walked on with them by the officer's side; and as many of the crowd as could achieve the feat, got a little ahead, and stared back at Oliver from time to time.
They entered the house, the crowd
opening right and left to let them pass, and cheering vociferously.
round them was laughing too and indeed, how could they help laughing?