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Dick Towler was in the stable to put down some hay.
He had been told to do so by the under ostler, and reminded to lay down his pipe first, because of John Manly's rule "never to allow a pipe in the stable". After the disastrous fire, Dick denied having taken the pipe into the stable with him, "but no one believed him". A man finally came forward and "said he saw Dick Towler go into the stable with a pipe in his mouth, and when he came out he had not one and went to the tap for another", thus implicating him as the cause of the conflagration (Chapter 16).
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