"No, sah, I don' know as I could 'scribe 'im perzacly; but I'd know 'im, no matter where I sot eyes on 'im, and I know'd 'im the nex' time I see 'im. Well, sah, dat aft'noon, mars'r Mainwaring an' de folks had gone out ridin', an' I was roun' kind o' permiscuous like, an' I see anoder kerridge way down de av'nue by de front gate, an' I waited, 'spectin' maybe I'd see dat man again.
"'S all for 's aft'noon!" He bit savagely into his unlighted cigar and began to rifle through a new sheaf of documents. Bean deftly effaced himself, with a parting glare at the unlighted cigar. It was a feature of Breede that no reporter ever neglected to mention, but Bean thought you might as well chew tobacco and be done with it.
Skimpole. "Know'd it yes'day aft'noon at tea-time," said Coavinses. "It didn't affect your appetite? Didn't make you at all uneasy?" "Not a bit," said Coavinses. "I know'd if you wos missed to-day, you wouldn't be missed to-morrow. A day makes no such odds." "But when you came down here," proceeded Mr. Skimpole, "it was a fine day.
Burnt down the day before yist'd'y aft'noon. A'n't hardly a stick of her left. Ketehed Lord knows how, from the kitchen chimney, and a high northwest wind blowin', that ca'd the sparks to the barn, and set fire to that, too. Hasses gone; couldn't get round to 'em; only three of us there, and mixed up so about the house till it was so late the critters wouldn't come out.
"I met him right comin' out o' the Casino at Trouville, yes'day aft'noon; c'udn' a' b'en more'n four o'clock hol' on though, yes 'twas, 'twas nearer five, about twunty minutes t' five, say an' this feller tells me " He cackled with laughter as palpably disingenuous as the corroborative details he thought necessary to muster, then he became serious, as if marvelling at his own wondrous verdancy.
"Ye'll give me all of it, ye mean," responded Scammon. "And ye'll meet me to-morrow aft'noon with five more -something for interest, ye know." "But I won't have five dollars again, as soon as that," argued Fred, weakly. "Yes, you will," leered Tip. "You'll have to!" "What do you mean?" demanded Fred, trying to bluster, but making a failure of the attempt.
Aunt Hannah had planned the trip with remarkable accuracy, for at about three o'clock the lumbering stage stopped at a pretty chalet half hidden among the tall pines and overlooking a steep bluff. Here the baggage and boxes were speedily unloaded. "I gotta git back ter meet the aft'noon train," said Bill Coombs, their driver.
"I'm tur'ble sorry, Miss Billie," said Debbie, gently but very, very firmly, "but mah young man and me we has a mos' awful impo'tant in-gagement fo' dis aft'noon, an' I couldn't break it no'm, much as I want to." She added that last in the evident hope of appeasing her young mistress, who was still regarding her with horrified eyes.
Dey talked togedder berry low, an' den one man goes back into de house, an' I seen 'im plain in de hall light, an' he was de fust man; an' while I was a-watchin' 'im, de oder man he disappeahed an' I cudn' see 'im nowhar, but I know'd he was de man dat came in de aft'noon, 'case he look jes' like 'im, an' toted a coat on his arm.
"I'm afraid it's a small part," she returned, "compared to yours." "Oh, I hold my end up, I guess." "I should think you'd be so worn out and sleepy you couldn't hold your head up!" "Who? ME? Not t'-night, m'little friend. I tuk MY sleep's aft'noon and let Rameau do the Sherlock a little while." She gazed upon him with unconcealed admiration.