Hocken and Hunken eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 260 pages of information about Hocken and Hunken.

“I shan’t sleep a wink,” declared Cai, still pacing.  “How on earth Benny—­” He halted of a sudden.  “You don’t suppose Benny himself—­”

“Ch’t! a man of his age. . . .  No, I’ll tell you how it happened, as I allow:  and, if so, Benny’s not altogether to blame.  First you goes to him, and wants a letter written.  You give him no names, but he learns enough to guess how the wind sits . . . am I right, so far?”

Cai nodded.

“So he writes the letter and off you goes with it.  Later on, in I drops with pretty much the same request.  I remember, now, the old fellow behaved rather funny:  asked me something about bein’ the ’first person,’ and then wanted to know if I didn’ wish the letter written for a friend.  I wasn’t what you might call at my ease with the job, and so—­as the time was gettin’ on for dinner, too—­I let it go at that.”

“You did? . . .  But so did I!”

“Hey?”

“I let Benny think he was writin’ it for a friend o’ mine.  Far as I remember, he suggested it. . . .  Yes, he certainly did,” said Cai with an effort of memory.

“It don’t matter,” said ‘Bias after a few seconds’ reflection.  “He took it for granted that one of us was tellin’ lies:  and likely enough he’s chucklin’ now at the thought of our faces when the thing came to be cleared up.  Come to consider, there was no vice about the trick, ‘specially as he wouldn’ take any money from me.”

“Nor from me,” Cai dropped into his chair and reached for the tobacco-jar.  “Well,” he sighed, “the man’s done for both of us, that’s all!”

“Not a bit,” said ’Bias sturdily.  “We’ll walk up early to-morrow, and explain.  Ten to one it’ll put her in the best o’ tempers, havin’ such a laugh against us both.”

PART II.

“He can’t have known!” said Mrs Bosenna early next morning, sitting in a high-backed chair beside the kitchen-table.  Her face was slightly flushed, and the toe of her right shoe kept an impatient tap-tap on the flagged floor.  “He can’t possibly have known.”

“We’ll hope not,” said Dinah.  “It’s thoughtless, though—­put it at the best:  and any way it don’t speak too well for his past.”

“He may have bought it, you know,” urged Mrs Bosenna; “late in life.”

“Well, he’s no chicken,” allowed Dinah; “since you put it like that.”

“I wasn’t referring to Captain Hunken, you silly woman.  I meant it.”

“Eh?” said Dinah.  “Oh!—­him?

“‘Him’ if you like,” Mrs Bosenna mused.  “It can’t possibly be a female, can it?”

“I should trust not, for the sake of a body’s sex . . . to say things like that.  Besides, I’ve surely been told somewhere—­in the ’Child’s Guide to Knowledge,’ it may have been—­that the females don’t talk at all.”

“Are you sure of that?”

“Pretty sure.  It was something unnatural anyhow; or I shouldn’ have remembered it.”

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Project Gutenberg
Hocken and Hunken from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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