Then came the hunt for Lycett's Farm, where Collins's people now lived, of which they knew no more than that Lechlade was the postal address. It might be this side of Lechlade, and it might be far on the other. Collins had had the map placed before her, but could make nothing of it. After about two miles out of Fairford Robert began to ask.
"Collins?" said a third. "There's a stone-mason of that name over at Highworth; but I don't know of no farmer." "Maybe you're thinking of Sadler's," another suggested. Robert, who was getting testy, asked why. "Sadler's doesn't sound a bit either like Collins or Lycett's," he said. "No," the man agreed, "it doesn't." But at last a butcher's boy on a bicycle came along, and Janet stopped him.
We've been looking out for you for a long time. My missis never hears wheels nowadays but what she runs to the door to see if it's you." Lycett's farm was a long, low, white house with a yew hedge leading from the garden gate to the front door.
"Lycett's?" he said. Then he brightened. "Lickets, perhaps you mean. That's up the next turning to the left. I don't know who's got it, because I'm a stranger here, but I've heard that Lickets lies that way." So Robert was recalled from a distant meadow where he had seen a man working, and they hurried on.
At Paddington they found Collins and Eliza Pollard, with a station omnibus, and they rattled down to Chiswick, pouring out the news, especially that from Lycett's farm. And so, after dropping Mary and Jack and Horace at their homes, they came once again to "The Gables." A cold supper was waiting for them one of those nice late meals after a journey and Mrs.
There were no people on the road indeed, one of the things that they had noticed throughout their travels was how few persons were to be met; and they had therefore to knock at a door here and there, or approach labourers in the fields. Their ignorance of the name either of Lycett's or of Collins was amazing. "Never heard tell of such a place," said one. "Not hereabouts," said another.