Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/178

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'And so, Peter, you won't even consider of the business?' said Mr. John Brown, buttoning his surtout over the snug rotundity of his person, and drawing on his gloves. 'You positively refuse to let me have this crazy old house, and the land under and adjoining, at the price named?'

'Neither at that, nor treble the sum,' responded the gaunt, grizzled, and threadbare Peter Goldthwaite. 'The fact is, Mr. Brown, you must find another site for your brick block, and be content to leave my estate with the present owner. Next summer, I intend to put a splendid new mansion over the cellar of the old house.'

'Pho, Peter!' cried Mr. Brown, as he opened the kitchen door; 'content yourself with building castles in the air, where house-lots are cheaper than on earth, to say nothing of the cost of bricks and mortar. Such foundations are solid enough for your edifices; while this underneath us is just the thing for mine; and so we may both be suited. What say you, again?'

'Precisely what I said before, Mr. Brown,' answered Peter Goldthwaite. 'And, as for castles in the air, mine may not be as magnificent as that sort of architecture, but perhaps as substantial, Mr. Brown, as the very respectable brick block with dry-goods'