"Certainly not," said Horace, sharply, by no means anxious for the Rapkins to discover the real nature of his treasures. "Don't touch them, either of you. Leave them exactly as they are, do you understand?" "As you please, Mr. Ventimore, sir; only, if they're not to be interfered with, I don't see myself how you're going to set your friends down to dinner to-morrow, that's all."
He felt sincerely thankful to have got out of it so easily, for it was impossible to say what gossip might not have been set on foot if the Rapkins had not been brought to see the advisability of reticence on the subject. "There's one more thing, sir, I wished for to speak to you about," said Mrs. Rapkin; "that great brass vawse as you bought at an oction some time back.