“I should just add, to set your heart at rest about the money, that it does not distress me at all to lend it to you. I am not quite so poor as I appear to be. But it is my wish to go about as I do. I see more of the world under my tattered clothes than, perhaps, I should ever see in a better dress. There are many of us like this, and we are glad, when we can, to do any kindness to such a worthy family as yours.—So fare ye well.
Susan now, at her father’s bidding, opened the ballad. He took the five-guinea bank-note, while she read, with surprise, “Susan’s Lamentation for her Lamb.” Her mother leaned over her shoulder to read the words, but they were stopped before they had finished the first verse by another knock at the door.
ATTORNEY CASE IN TROUBLE
It was not the postman with another letter. It was Sir Arthur and his sisters.
They came meaning to lend the farmer and his good family the money to pay the man who was willing to go away in the farmer’s place. But they found their help was not needed.
“Still, since we are here,” said Sir Arthur, “there is something I should like to speak about. Mr. Price, will you come out with me, and let me show you a piece of your land through which I want to make a road. Look there,” said Sir Arthur, pointing to the spot, “I am laying out a drive round my estate, and that bit of land of yours stops me.”
“Why, sir, true enough it’s mine, but you are welcome to it. I can trust you to find me another bit worth the same, or to make up the value of it in some other way. I need say no more.”
Sir Arthur was silent for a few moments. Then he said, “What is this I hear about some mistake in your lease?”
“Well, sir,” replied the farmer, “the truth is the fit thing to be spoken at all times. I can show you a letter from your brother who had the estate before you, and who let the farm to me. That letter shows what he meant, Sir Arthur, and if in the writing of the lease it was otherwise said, it is, as you say, a mistake, sir. Now a mistake is a mistake all the world over, and should be treated as such, but Attorney Case says in the matter of a lease you must abide by the mistake as though it were the truth.”
“You seem,” said Sir Arthur, “to have some quarrel with this Attorney of whom you talk so often. Now would you mind telling me frankly what is the matter between you?”