Page:That Lass o' Lowrie's.djvu/181

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CHAPTER XXIII.
"CANNYBLES."


The night school gained ground steadily. The number of scholars was constantly on the increase, so much so, indeed, that Grace had his hands inconveniently full.

"They have dull natures, these people," said the Reverend Harold; "and in the rare cases where they are not dull, they are stubborn. Absolutely, I find it quite trying to face them at times, and it is not my fortune to find it difficult to reach people, as a rule. They seem to have made up their minds beforehand to resent what I am going to say. It is most unpleasant. Grace has been working among them so long that, I suppose, they are used to his methods; he has learned to place himself on a level with them, so to speak. I notice they listen to, and seem to understand him. The fact is, I have an idea that that sort of thing is Grace's forte. He is not a brilliant fellow, and will never make any particular mark, but he has an odd perseverance which carries him along with a certain class. Riggan suits him, I think. He has dropped into the right groove."

Jud Bates and "th' best tarrier i' Riggan" were among the most faithful attendants. The lad's fancy for Anice had extended to Grace. Grace's friendly toleration of Nib had done much for him. Nib always appeared with his master, and his manner was as composed and decorous as if rats were subjects foreign to his meditations. His