For it was George Vyell. George had lately been promoted to “pink” and made a gallant figure on his strapping grey hunter. For the first time Taffy felt ashamed of his working-suit, and would have slipped back to the church. But George had seen him, and pulled up.
“Hullo!” said he.
“Hullo!” said Taffy; and, absurdly enough, could find no more to say.
“How are you getting on?”
“Oh, I’m all right.” There was another pause. “How’s Honoria?”
“Oh, she’s all right. I’m riding over there now: they meet at Tredinnis to-day.” He tapped his boot with his hunting crop.
“Don’t you have any lessons now?” asked Taffy, after a while.
“Dear me, yes; I’ve got a tutor. He’s no good at it. But what made you ask?”
Really Taffy could not tell. He had asked merely for the sake of saying something. George pulled out a gold watch.
“I must be getting on. Well, good-bye!”
And that was all.
They could manage the carpentering now. And Jacky Pascoe, who, in addition to his other trades, was something of a glazier, had taken the damaged east window in hand. For six months it had remained boarded up, darkening the chancel. Mr. Raymond removed the boards and fixed them up again on the outside, and the Bryanite worked behind them night after night. He could only be spied upon through two lancet windows at the west end of the church, and these they curtained.
But what continually bothered them was their ignorance of iron-work. Staples, rivets, hinges were for ever wanted. At length, one evening, toward the end of March, the Bryanite laid down his tools.
“Tell ’ee what ’tis, Parson. You must send the boy to someone that’ll teach en smithy-work. There’s no sense in this cold hammering.”
“Wheelwright Hocken holds his shop and cottage from the Squire.”
“Why not put the boy to Mendarva the Smith, over to Benny Beneath? He’s a first-rate workman.”
“That is more than six miles away.”
“No matter for that. There’s Joll’s Farm close by; Farmer Joll would board and lodge en for nine shillings a week, and glad of the chance; and he could come home for Sundays.”
Mr. Raymond, as soon as he reached home, sat down and wrote a letter to Mendarva the Smith and another to Farmer Joll. Within a week the bargains were struck, and it was settled that Taffy should go at once.
“I may be calling before long, to look you up,” said the Bryanite, “but mind you do no more than nod when you see me.”
Joll’s Farm lay somewhere near Carwithiel, across the moor where Taffy had gone fishing with George and Honoria. On the Monday morning when he stepped through the white front gate, with his bag on his shoulder, and paused for a good look at the building, it seemed to him a very comfortable farmstead, and vastly superior to the tumble-down farms around Nannizabuloe. The flagged path, which led up to the front door between great bunches of purple honesty, was swept as clean as a dairy.