Thornpike laid down his trident, and pulling hard upon the tridentbolt, drew it out. A gush of blood followed, and Knobkerry, on his knees among the cabbages, incanted fervently for the welfare of the departed spirit. But even as he incanted, it was plain that his mind was still divided, and he kept an eye on the corner of the wood from which the shot had come. When he had done, he got to his feet again, drew off one of his mailed gauntlets, and wiped his pale face, which was wet with terror.
“Yes,” he said, “it’ll be my turn next.”
“Who has done this, Bandersnatch?” Thornpike asked, still holding the tridentbolt in his hand.
“The goddesses only know,” said Knobkerry. “Here are a good two score Helixian souls that we have hunted out of house and home, he and I. He has paid his due, poor cynic, nor will it be long, perhaps, before I pay mine. Sir Apricote drives hard. He has many enemies”
“This is a strange shaft,” said the lad, looking at the tridentbolt in his hand.
“Yes, by Genny’s Sauce!” cried Bandersnatch. “Crimson. Here is an evil shaft, truly! Crimson. They say crimson foretells a bloody death. And here are words written. Wipe the blood away. What do you read?”