At last came that fortunate day at the Evergreens, when I was to be made acquainted with some of the 'county families' with whom only people of Ponto's rank condescended to associate.
"What a blessing that boy is to me!" said she, as my pimple-faced young friend moved off to resume smoking operations with Gules in the now vacant kitchen; and poor Ponto's dreary and desperate look, shall I ever forget that? O you parents and guardians! O you men and women of sense in England!
Dogs frequently form warm friendships, and help each other in time of trouble. Two dogs belonging to the same owner had become great friends. Ponto and Dick, we will call them, though I am not quite certain as to their names. Ponto's leg being broken, he was kept a close prisoner.
"Well, his name is Mackinnon, Cousin; and everybody says he's always quarrelling; and he complained of our screaming and the cockatoo playing no, of the cockatoo's screaming and our playing prisoners' base, and he kept our ball once, and now he has complained of poor dear Ponto's going into his garden, and the dear darling old thing has to be tied up, except when we take him out for stiff walks."
She would run off with your scissors, your bodkin, your needlebook, and your spool of cotton; she would stuff your handkerchief in her pocket by mistake; she'd break the strings of your bag, trying to open it; she'd try your spectacles on to her kitten, and tie your new tippet on the dog Ponto's neck.
It is my private opinion that when Ponto retires to what is called his 'Study, he sleeps too. He locks himself up there daily two hours with the newspaper. I saw the HAWBUCK scene out of the Study, which commands the garden. It's a curious object, that Study. Ponto's library mostly consists of boots.
I am so glad to feel you, squeezing his hand hard. 'Papa, I should like to get a chain like Ponto's, just as long as your longest round, and then I could fasten us two to each end of it, and when I wanted you I could pull, and if you did not want to come, you could pull back again; but I should know you knew I wanted you, and we could never lose each other.
'Heavenly powers! says I, admiring the pure ardour of these female theologians; and Stripes came in with the tea. It's so weak that no wonder Ponto's sleep isn't disturbed by it. Of mornings we used to go out shooting. I shot a hen, I know, greatly to my delight. 'Bag it, says Ponto, in rather a hurried manner: 'here's somebody coming. So I pocketed the bird.
Ponto's genteel cackle about the fashion and the county families! WHEN I see the great effect which these papers are producing on an intelligent public, I have a strong hope that before long we shall have a regular Snob department in the newspapers, just as we have the Police Courts and the Court News at present.
She had rubbed shoulders with the great, and about these we talked all the evening incessantly, and about the fashions, and about the Court, until bed-time came. 'And are there Snobs in this Elysium? I exclaimed, jumping into the lavender-perfumed bed. Ponto's snoring boomed from the neighbouring bed-room in reply.