Page:That Lass o' Lowrie's.djvu/89

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CHAPTER VIII.
THE WAGER OF BATTLE.


"Owd Sammy Craddock" rose from his chair, and going to the mantle-piece, took down a tobacco jar of red and yellow delft, and proceeded to fill his pipe with solemn ceremony. It was a large, deep clay pipe, and held a great deal of tobacco—particularly when filled from the store of an acquaintance. "It's a good enow pipe to borrow wi'," Sammy was wont to remark. In the second place, Mr. Craddock drew forth a goodly portion of the weed, and pressed it down with ease and precision into the top of the foreign gentleman's turban which constituted the bowl. Then he lighted it with a piece of paper, remarking to his wife between long indrawn puffs, "I'm goin'—to th' Public."

The good woman did not receive the intelligence as amicably as it had been given.

"Aye," she said, "I'll warrant tha art. When tha art na fillin' thy belly tha art generally either goin' to th' Public, or comin' whoam. Aw Riggan ud go to ruin if tha wert na at th' Public fro' morn till neet looking after other folkses business. It's well for th' toun as tha'st getten nowt else to do."

Sammy puffed away at his pipe, without any appearance of disturbance.

"Aye," he consented dryly, "it is, that. It ud be a