The "Shikarris" shikarred The Worm very much, and he bore everything without winking.
One day, after he had borrowed The Worm's trap for a lady who never existed, had used it himself all the afternoon, had sent a note to The Worm purporting to come from the lady, and was telling the Mess all about it, The Worm rose in his place and said, in his quiet, ladylike voice: "That was a very pretty sell; but I'll lay you a month's pay to a month's pay when you get your step, that I work a sell on you that you'll remember for the rest of your days, and the Regiment after you when you're dead or broke." The Worm wasn't angry in the least, and the rest of the Mess shouted.
Two months passed, and the Senior Subaltern still educated The Worm, who began to move about a little more as the hot weather came on.
One morning, as the flowers awoke, Fragrant, and fresh, and fair, A little worm came creeping by, And begged a shelter there.
Its rosy face smiled kindly down, As the friendless worm drew near; And its low voice, softly whispering, said "Poor thing, thou art welcome here; Close at my side, in the soft green moss, Thou wilt find a quiet bed, Where thou canst softly sleep till Spring, With my leaves above thee spread.
And little Clover bloomed once more, Rosy, and sweet, and fair, And patiently watched by the mossy bed, For the worm still slumbered there.
In Mercian tongue it was 'The Lair of the White Worm.' This needs a word of explanation at the beginning.
"In the dawn of the language, the word 'worm' had a somewhat different meaning from that in use to-day.
'Worm Well' of Lambton Castle, and that of the 'Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh' near Bamborough.
His rod was a tough stalk of grass, his line was a fine long white horse-hair, and he tied a little wriggling worm
at the end.
But when his trouble came upon him, she discovered many good things in this cousin of hers, and learned not only to pity but to respect and love the poor Worm, who tried to be patient, brave, and cheerful, and found it a harder task than anyone guessed, except the little nurse, who saw him in his gloomiest moods.
"The poor old Worm turns as if she was treading on him instead of cuddling him like a pussy cat.