Master Lake began to have a kind of reckless, gambling sort of feeling about luck. Here would be an easily earned five pounds, if he could but have the luck to find the missing property! That ten shillings a week had come pretty easily to him. When all is said, there are people into whose mouths the larks fall ready cooked!
The windmiller looked inside the mill and outside the mill, and wandered a long way along the chalky road with his eyes downwards, but he was no nearer to the five-pound note for his pains. Then he went to his wife, but she had seen nothing of the pocket-book; on which her husband somewhat unreasonably observed that, “A might a been zartin thee couldn’t help un!”
He next betook himself to George, who was slowly, and it is to be hoped surely, sweeping out the round-house.
“Gearge, my boy,” said the windmiller, in not too anxious tones, “have ’ee seen a pocket-book lying about anywheres?”
George leaned upon his broom with one hand, and with the other scratched his white head.
“What be a pocket-book, then, Master Lake?” said he, grinning, as if at his own ignorance.
“Thee’s eerd of a pocket-book before now, thee vool, sure-ly!” said the impatient windmiller.
“I’se eerd of a pocket of hops, Master Lake,” said George, after an irritating pause, during which he still smiled, and scratched his poll as if to stimulate recollection.
“Book—book—book! pocket-book!” shouted the miller. “If thee can’t read, thee knows what a book is, thee gawney!”
“What a vool I be, to be sure!” said George, his simple countenance lighted up with a broader smile than before. “I knows a book, sartinly, Master Lake, I knows a book. There’s one,” George continued, speaking even slower than before,—“there’s one inzide, sir,—a big un. On the shelf it be. A Vamly Bible they calls un. And I’m sartin sure it be there,” he concluded, “for a hasn’t been moved since the last time you christened, Master Lake.”
The miller turned away, biting his lip hard, to repress a useless outburst of rage, and George, still smiling sweetly, spun the broom dexterously between his hands, as a man spins the water out of a stable mop. Just before Master Lake had got beyond earshot, George lowered the broom, and began to scratch his head once more. “I be a proper vool, sartinly,” said he; and when the miller heard this, he turned back. “Mother allus said I’d no more sense in my yead than a dumbledore,” George candidly confessed. And by a dumbledore he meant a humble-bee. “It do take me such a time to mind any thing, sir.”
“Well, never mind, Gearge,” said the miller; “if thee’s slow, thee’s sure. What do ’ee remember about the book, now, Gearge? A don’t mind giving thee five shilling, if thee finds un, Gearge.”
“A had un down at the burying, I ’member quite well now, sir. To put the little un’s name in ’twas. I thowt a hadn’t been down zince christening, I be so stoopid sartinly.”