“He will find that he can’t defy me with impunity,” said the squire stiffly.
“Just so. Then you’ll sell me the fiddle?”
“I will!” said the squire emphatically.
“You won’t ask too much, will you?” asked Nick anxiously.
Now Squire Pope, who knew nothing of the price of violins, and had a very inadequate idea of their value, after some haggling on the part of Nick, agreed to sell him the instrument for two dollars and a half, and to see that it was delivered that evening.
“Do you know where it is, Nicholas?” he asked.
“Why, Phil is staying over at Frank Dunbar’s, and I guess he’s got it there somewhere. I guess we’d better go over there and get it.”
“Very well, Nicholas. After supper, if you will come to my house, I will go over there, and see that you have the instrument.”
“All right, squire!” said Nick gleefully, “Phil will find that he can’t have his own way this time.”
“I apprehend he will,” said the squire complacently.
Now the reader understands how it happened that Squire Pope and Nick Holden made a call on Philip. As to what passed at the interview, we must refer him to the next chapter.
Fuss about A fiddle.
“Ahem! Good evening!” said Squire Pope to Frank Dunbar, taking no notice of Philip’s cold but polite salutation.
“Good evening! Will you go into the house?” said Frank.
“I believe not. I have not time.”
“I am sorry father isn’t home. He just started for the village.”
“Ahem! it was not to see your father that I called,” answered Squire Pope. “I wish to have a few words with this young man,” indicating Philip stiffly.
“I am at your service, Squire Pope,” said Philip, with ceremonious politeness.
“We came about the fiddle,” interrupted Nick Holden, who always wanted to have a share in the conversation.
Squire Pope frowned, for he did not relish Nick’s interference.
“Nicholas,” he said severely, “I apprehend I am competent to manage the business we have come upon.”
“Don’t get riled, squire,” said Nick, by no means abashed by this rebuke. “I thought you were kinder slow about comin’ to the point.”
“Your interruption was very indecorous. I do not require any assistance or any suggestions.”
“All right, squire!”
Squire Pope now turned to our hero, and said:
“As I was about to say, when interrupted by Nicholas, I have come to require you to give up—the Violin which, without authority and against my express command, you withheld from the auction.”
“The violin is mine, Squire Pope,” said Philip firmly, “and I mean to keep it!”
“You talk like an ignorant boy. As a minor, you had no claim to the possession of any article except your clothing. I judged it best that the violin should be sold at the auction, and it is presumptuous for you to set up your judgment against mine!”