they miss him, but Durdles seems indifferent to either fortune. The hideous small boy, on the contrary whenever he hits Durdles, blows a whistle of triumph through a jagged gap, convenient for the purpose, in the front of his mouth, where half his teeth are wanting; and whenever he misses him, yelps out 'Mulled agin!' and tries to atone for the failure by taking a more correct and vicious aim.
'What are you doing to the man?' demands Jasper, stepping out into the moonlight from the shade.
'Making a cock-shy of him,' replies the hideous small boy.
'Give me those stones in your hand.'
'Yes, I'll give 'em you down your throat, if you come a-ketching hold of me,' says the small boy, shaking himself loose, and backing. 'I'll smash your eye, if you don't look out!'
'Baby-Devil that you are, what has the man done to you?'
'He won't go home.'
'What is that to you?'
'He gives me a 'apenny to pelt him home if I ketches him out too late' says the boys. And then chants, like a little savage, half stumbling and half dancing among the rags and laces of his dilapidated boots:--
'Widdy widdy wen!
Widdy widdy wen!
Widdy Widdy Wake-cock warning!'
--with a comprehensive sweep on the last word, and one more delivery at Durdles.
This would seem to be a poetical note of preparation, agreed upon, as a caution to Durdles to stand clear if he can, or to betake himself homeward.
John Jasper invites the boy with a beck of his head to follow him (feeling it hopeless to drag him, or coax him), and crosses to the iron railing where the Stony (and stone) One is profoundly meditating.
'Do you know this thing, this child?' asks Jasper, at a loss for a word that will define this thing.
'Deputy,' says Durdles, with a nod.
'Is that its--his--name?'
'Deputy,' assents Durdles.