But the respectable landlord, the gentlemanly bar-keeper, would never put the cup to his lips, or taunt him into treating others, for the sake of the "fool's pence," as Bigby, the low tavern-keeper, would have done. There were here no hidden corners where the night's debauch might be slept off, no secret chambers where deeds of iniquity might be planned and executed.
"Well, Dan'l, how's that new clerk o' yours gettin' on?" said Mrs. Bigby a week later. "Purty fine! He's good at accounts and hez got to know the Bank's customers by this time. But I allus reckoned he'd get stuck with some o' them counterfeit notes and he hez!
Such men as the shrewd and impudent Bigby atoned for a plebeian origin by the arts of dependence and a judicious servility, and drew more of the public money from the pay-office in half a dozen quarter-days than Burke received in all his life. It was not by such arts that Burke rose.
"Who's Elmore Pond?" asked the schoolteacher. "Why, you must have seen him that great, big, red-faced, good-natured- looking man that comes through here twice a year, buying stock. He lives over Bigby way, but his wife was a Hillsboro girl, Matey Pelham an awfully nice girl she was, too.
At the two-mile post south of the town a cross-road turns westward, leading into the Mount Pleasant turnpike where it crosses Bigby Creek, three miles out from Duck River. I turned the head of column upon this road, and reached the turnpike just in time to interpose between Capron's brigade of cavalry retreating into Columbia and the Confederates under Forrest who were sharply following.
The expression of her countenance was severe and discontented. The words to which she gave utterance on seeing me, were these, 'Oh, git along with you, Sir, if YOU please; me and Mrs. Bigby don't want no male parties here! That female was Mrs. Prodgit. I immediately withdrew, of course. I was rather hurt, but I made no remark.
It is scarcely necessary for me to say, that our child had been expected. In fact, it had been expected, with comparative confidence, for some months. Mrs. Meek's mother, who resides with us of the name of Bigby had made every preparation for its admission to our circle. I hope and believe I am a quiet man. I will go farther. I KNOW I am a quiet man.
"It's too late now, I'm afraid; you'll have to keep all the doors shut for the noise," he added, going; and then he turned back to say in a whisper: "I wish I could have that Bigby in my hands for just two minutes? Eh, Dolly?" Dolly shook her head. "You might do him good," said she, gravely. "But then, again, you might not."