Let no man despise the help of a dog, for there are times when the friendship of a dog is more sufferable, and of more avail, and far more comforting, than that of any ordinary human being.
PART THE FOURTH
It was just two days before the end of Graeme’s fourth week in Sark. His spirits were rising to the requirements of his work, and he was looking forward with quite novel enjoyment to a steady spell of writing, when his hostess startled him, as she cleared away his breakfast, by saying—
“It iss the day after to-morrow you will be going?”
“Eh? What? Going? No, I’m not going, Mrs. Carre. What made you think I was going? Why, I’ve only just come.”
His landlady put down the dishes on the table again as a concrete expression of surprise, put her hands on her hips by way of taking grip of herself, and stared at him.
“You are not going? Noh? But it wass just for the month I thought you kem.”
“Not at all. I may stop two months, three months,—all my life perhaps. Won’t you let me live and die here if I want to?”
“Ach, then! It iss not to die we woult want you. But I thought my man said it wass just for the month you kem, and—my Good!—I haf let your roomss for the day after to-morrow,” and her face had lost its usual smile and was full of distress and bewilderment.
“You’ve let my rooms? Oh, come now!—But now I think of it, I believe I did say something about a month or so, when I spoke to John Philip. Well now, what will you do? Put me out into the road? Or can you find me somewhere else?—though I’m quite sure you’ll not be able to find me any place as comfortable as this.”
“Whatt will we do?” she said, much disturbed, and gazed at him thoughtfully. Then, with sudden inspiration, “There iss the big house up the garden?” and looked at him hopefully.
“But it’s empty.”
“Everything iss there, and all ready for them to come any time they want to. It woult only mean making up a bed and you coult come here for your meals.”
“That would do first-rate if you can arrange it.”
“I will write to Mrs. Lee to-day and ask her to tell me by the telegraph. It will be all right.”
“That’s all right then. Who’s the wretched person who is turning me out of here?”
“It is two leddies. They wrote to the Vicar, and he asked John Philip and he told my man.”
“Two ladies! Then I can’t possibly have my meals in here. You’d better let me join you in the kitchen,”—a consummation he had been striving after for some time past, in fact ever since his literary instincts had shaken off the thrall and got their heads above the mists,—with a view, of course, of turning a more intimate knowledge of his surroundings to profitable account.
But his hostess was jealous of her kitchen and would not hear of it.