From Georgette Heyer: The Reluctant Widow:
‘I tell you to your head, ma’am, that Master Nick, not to wrap it up in clean linen, is tedious loose in the hilts!’ he said severely.
Mrs. Barrow, with a passing admonition to him to hold his tongue, informed her mistress that this bodeful pronouncement meant merely that Master Nick, being but a lad, was scarcely to be relied on. ‘But it’s no matter!’ she said. ‘He’ll be company for you, I dare say, ma’am. But mind you make him tie that nasty dog of his up!’
The Reluctant Widow was first published in 1946.