“Captain Hunken.” Dinah’s answer was prompt. “He’s that curt. I like a man to be curt; he makes it so hard for ’ee to say no. Besides which, as you might say, that parrot of his did break the ice in a manner of speakin’.”
“Dinah, I’m ashamed of you.”
“Well, mistress, natur’ is natur’: and we knows what we can’t help knowin’.”
“That’s true,” Mrs Bosenna agreed. It was her turn to sigh.
“Cap’n Hunken’s the man,” repeated Dinah. She nodded her head on it and paused. “Though, if you ask my opinion, Cap’n Hocken ’d make the better husband.”
“Ay. . . . For my part I don’t know what you want with a husband at all.”
“Nor I,” said Mrs Bosenna, still gazing into the fire.
“At the best ’tis a risk.”
Mrs Bosenna sighed again. “If it weren’t, where’d be the fun?”
A NEWSPAPER PARAGRAPH.
Mr Rogers enjoyed his newspaper. To speak more accurately, he enjoyed several: and one of Fancy’s duties—by no means the least pleasant or the least onerous—was to read to him daily the main contents of ‘The Western Morning News,’ ‘The Western Daily Mercury,’ and ‘The Shipping Gazette’: and on Thursdays from cover to cover—at a special afternoon seance—’The Troy Herald,’ with its weekly bulletin of more local news.
“What’s the items this week?” asked Mr Rogers, puffing at a freshly lit pipe and settling himself down to listen.
Fancy opened the paper at its middle sheet, folded it back and scanned it.
“Here we are. ‘If you want corsets, go to—’ no, that’s an advertisement. ’Troy Christian Endeavour. Under the auspices of the above-named flourishing society—’”
“Skip the Christian Endeavour.”
“Very well. The next is ’Wesley Guild. A goodly company met this week to hear the Rev. J. Bates Handcock on “Gambling: its Cause and Cure.” The reverend gentleman is always a favourite at Troy—’”
“He’s none of mine, anyway. Skip the Wesley Guild.”
“Right-o! ’On Wednesday last, in spite of counter attractions, much interest was testified by those who assembled in the Institute Hall to hear Mr Trudgeon, lately returned from the United States, on the Great Canyon of Colorado, illustrated with lantern slides. The lecturer in a genial manner, after personally conducting his audience across the Great Continent—’”
“Damn,” said Mr Rogers. “Get on to the drunks. Ain’t there any?”
“Seems not. How will this do?”
’Report says that Monday’s Agricultural Demonstration —a full report of which will be found in another column—was not without its comic relief, beloved of dramatists. On dit that—’”
“Dit. Misprint, perhaps.”