"Look here, Davy, that gentleman who's at the winder a-smelling to the jassamine is the surveyor and valuer to t'other party. I fancy you'd best go round outside and have a word with him and coax him to pass the boards."
"Come in!" in a loud voice. Then there entered a man in a cloth coat, with very bushy whiskers. "How d'y' do, Spargo? What do you want?"
"Well, Mr. Scantlebray, I understand the linney and cow-shed is to be pulled down."
"So it is, Spargo."
"Well, sir!" Sir. Spargo drew his sleeve across his mouth. "There's a lot of very fine oak timber in it— beams, and such like—that I don't mind buying. As a timber merchant I could find a use for it."
"Say ten pound."
"Ten pun'! That's a long figure!"
"Not a pound too much; but come—we'll say eight."
"I reckon I'd thought five."
"Five! pshaw! It's dirt cheap to you at eight."
"Why to me, sir?"
"Why, because the new rector will want to rebuild both cattle-shed and linney, and he'll have to go to you for timber."
"But suppose he don't, and cuts down some on the glebe!"
"No, Spargo—not a bit. There at the winder, smelling to the jessamine, is the new rector's adviser and agent. Go round by the front door into the garding, and say a word to him—you understand, and—" Mr. Scantlebray tapped his palm. "Do now go round and have a sniff of the jessamine, Mr. Spargo, and I don't fancy Mr. Cargreen will advise the rector to use home-grown timber. He'll tell him it sleeps away, gets the rot, comes more expensive in the long run."
The valuer took a wing of chicken and a little ham, and then shouted, with his mouth full—"Come in!"
The door opened and admitted a farmer.
"How do, Mr. Joshua? middlin'?"
"Middlin', sir, thanky'."
"And what have you come about, sir?"
"Well—Mr. Scantlebray, sir ! I fancy you ha'n't offered me quite enough for carting away of all the rummage from them buildings as is coming down. 'Tis a terrible lot of stone, and I'm to take 'em so far away."