No-one likes being told it’s their lucky day. That sort of thing does not bode well. When someone tells you it’s your lucky day, something bad is about to happen.

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And then there was the much spoken of lock-up. It looked like a giant pepperpot built of stone. A flowering creeper grew up it, and, next to the door and restrained by a chain, there was an enormous pig. When it saw their approach it got on its hind legs, and, tottering somewhat, begged.

“This is Masher,” said Feeney. “His father was a wild boar, his mother was surprised.

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She taught me so much, she said to herself. She built me as we were walking around after the sheep, and she told me all those things that I needed to know, and the first thing was to look after people. Of course, the other thing had been to look after the sheep.

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The three thieves looked around. As their eyes grew accustomed to the gloom, they received a general impression of armourality, with strong overtones of helmetness.

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