The Adventures of Roderick Random HTML version

Chapter 12
Captain Weazel challenges Strap, who declines the Combat--an Affair between the
Captain and me--the Usurer is fain to give Miss Jenny five Guineas for a Release--we
are in Danger of losing a Meal--the Behaviour of Weazel, Jenny, and Joey, on that
Occasion--an Account of Captain Weazel and his Lady--the Captain's Courage tried--
Isaac's mirth at the Captain's Expense
Next morning I agreed to give the master of the waggon ten shillings for my passage to
London, provided Strap should be allowed to take my place when I should be disposed
to walk. At the same time I desired him to appease the incensed captain, who had
entered the kitchen with a drawn sword in his hand, and threatened with many oaths to
sacrifice the villain who attempted to violate his bed; but it was to no purpose for the
master to explain the mistake, and assure him of the poor lad's innocence, who stood
trembling behind me all the while: the more submission that appeared in Strap, the
more implacable seemed the resentment of Weazel, who swore he must either fight him
or he would instantly put him to death. I was extremely provoked at this insolence, and
told him, it could not be supposed that a poor barber lad would engage a man of the
sword at his own weapon; but I was persuaded he would wrestle or box with him. To
which proposal Strap immediately gave assent, by saying, "he would box with him for a
guinea." Weazel replied with a look of disdain, that it was beneath any gentleman of his
character to fight like a porter, or even to put himself on a footing, in any respect, with
such a fellow as Strap. "Odds bodikins!" cries Joey, "sure, coptain, yaw would not
commit moorder! Here's a poor lad that is willing to make atonement for his offence; and
an that woan't satisfie yaw, offers to fight yaw fairly. And yaw woan't box, I dare say, he
will coodgel with yaw. Woan't yaw, my lad?" Strap, after some hesitation, answered,
"Yes, yes, I'll cudgel with him." But this expedient being also rejected by the captain, I
began to smell his character, and, tipping Strap the wink, told the captain that I had
always heard it said, the person who receives a challenge should have the choice of the
weapons; this therefore being the rule in point of honour, I would venture to promise on
the head of my companion, that he would even fight Captain Weazel at sharps; but it
should be with such sharps as Strap was best acquainted with, namely, razors. At my
mentioning razors: I could perceive the captain's colour change while Strap, pulling me
by the sleeve, whispered with great eagerness: "No, no, no; for the love of God, don't
make any such bargain." At length, Weazel, recovering himself, turned towards me, and
with a ferocious countenance asked, "Who the devil are you? Will you fight me?" With
these words, putting himself in a posture, I was grievously alarmed at seeing the point
of a sword within half a foot of my breast; and, springing to one side, snatched up a spit
that stood in the chimney-corner, with which I kept my formidable adversary at bay, who
made a great many half-longes, skipping backward at every push, till at last I pinned
him up in a corner, to the no small diversion of the company. While he was in this
situation his wife entered, and, seeing her husband in these dangerous circumstances,
uttered a dreadful scream: in this emergency, Weazel demanded a cessation, which
was immediately granted; and at last was contented with the submission of Strap, who,