Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/168

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sat two men, one long and narrow-faced, the other tall, but stout and round-faced He recognized the former at once as Mr. Scantlebray, the appraiser. Mr. Scantlebray, who was driving, nudged his companion, and with the butt-end of the whip pointed to the boy.

"Heigh! hi-up! Gaffer!" called Mr. Scantlebray, flapping his arms against his sides, much as does a cock with his wings. "Come along; I have something of urgent importance to say to you—something so good that it will make you squeak; something so delicious that it will make your mouth water."

This was addressed to Jamie, as the white mare leisurely trotted up to where the boy stood. Then Scantlebray drew up, with his elbows at right angles to his trunk.

"Here's my brother thirsting, ravening to make your acquaintance—and, by George! you are in luck's way, young hopeful, to make his. Obadiah! this here infant is an orphing. Orphing! this is Obadiah Scantlebray, whom I call Scanty because he is fat. Jump up, will y', into the gig."

Jamie looked vacantly about him. He had an idea that he ought to wait for Judith or go directly home. But she had not forbidden him to have a ride, and a ride was what he dearly loved.

"Are you coming?" asked Scantlebray; "or do you need a more ceremonious introduction to Mr. Obadiah, eh? "

"I've got a basket of shells," said Jamie. "They belong to Ju."

"Well, put Ju's basket in—the shells won't hurt—and then in with you. There's a nice little portmantle in front, on which you can sit and look us in the face, and if you don't tumble off with laughing, it will be because I strap you in. My brother is the very comicalest fellow in Cornwall. It's a wonder I haven't died of laughter. I should have, but our paths diverged; he took up the medical line, and I the valuation and all that, so my life was saved. Are you comfortable there?"

"Yes, sir," said Jamie, seated himself where advised.

"Now for the strap round ye," said Scantlebray. "Don't be alarmed; it's to hold you together, lest you split your sides with merriment, and to hold you in, lest you tumble overboard convulsed with laughter.