“Yes, of course, it is.”
George thought for a minute.
“I’m a-thinking, Squire, that if I arn’t wanting that day I want to go up to Lunnon about a bit of business.”
“Go up to London!” said the Squire; “why what are you going to do there? You were in London the other day.”
“Well, Squire,” he answered, looking inexpressibly sly, “that ain’t no matter of nobody’s. It’s a bit of private affairs.”
“Oh, all right,” said the Squire, his interest dying out. “You are always full of twopenny-halfpenny mysteries,” and he continued his walk.
But George shook his fist in the direction of the road down which the dog-cart had driven.
“Ah! you laryer devil,” he said, alluding to Mr. Quest. “If I don’t make Boisingham, yes, and all England, too hot to hold you, my mother never christened me and my name ain’t George. I’ll give you what for, my cuckoo, that I will!”
GEORGE’S DIPLOMATIC ERRAND
George carried out his intention of going to London. On the second morning after the day when Mr. Quest had driven the auctioneer in the dog-cart to Honham, he might have been seen an hour before it was light purchasing a third class return ticket to Liverpool Street. Arriving there in safety he partook of a second breakfast, for it was ten o’clock, and then hiring a cab caused himself to be driven to the end of that street in Pimlico where he had gone with the fair “Edithia” and where Johnnie had made acquaintance with his ash stick.
Dismissing the cab he made his way to the house with the red pillars, but on arriving was considerably taken aback, for the place had every appearance of being deserted. There were no blinds to the windows, and on the steps were muddy footmarks and bits of rag and straw which seemed to be the litter of a recent removal. Indeed, there on the road were the broad wheelmarks of the van which had carted off the furniture. He stared at this sight in dismay. The bird had apparently flown, leaving no address, and he had taken his trip for nothing.
He pressed upon the electric bell; that is, he did this ultimately. George was not accustomed to electric bells, indeed he had never seen one before, and after attempting in vain to pull it with his fingers (for he knew that it must be a bell because there was the word itself written on it), as a last resource he condescended to try his teeth. Ultimately, however, he discovered how to use it, but without result. Either the battery had been taken away, or it was out of gear. Just as he was wondering what to do next he made a discovery—the door was slightly ajar. He pushed it and it opened—revealing a dirty hall, stripped of every scrap of furniture. Entering, he shut the door and walked up the stairs to the room whence he had fled after thrashing Johnnie. Here he paused and listened, thinking that he heard somebody in the room. Nor was he mistaken, for presently a well-remembered voice shrilled out: