I asked, weren't we taking the pistol, or anyhow the long, murderous-looking pike which has hung across our broad kitchen chimney ever since I can remember? I was disappointed when my father whispered, "No," and more than disappointed—in fact, I felt mad—when Tom said, in that sneering superior way that elder brothers have:
"What do you think this is, kid—a raid against the Scots? Or do you fancy you're marching against the Spaniards?"
I was glad it was pitch dark in the kitchen where we stood whispering. There wasn't a glimmer from the fire, though that fire has never gone out in my lifetime, nor for a few years before that. But, as usual, mother had covered it with slabs of black, damp peat before we went to bed, and it wouldn't show a gleam till morning, when one poke would stir it into a cheerful blaze.
I was glad it was dark, so that Tom couldn't see my face. I was getting tired of the way he made fun of me