Now that writing was just over six feet from the ground. It was child's play." "And his age?" I asked. "Well, if a man can stride four and a-half feet without the smallest effort, he can't be quite in the sere and yellow. That was the breadth of a puddle on the garden walk which he had evidently walked across. Patent-leather boots had gone round, and Square-toes had hopped over.

The method employed was that of cruelly chipping at my toes with naked cutlasses, shouting at the same time "Square-Toes"; and though they did me no bodily mischief, I was none the less deplorably affected, and was indeed for several days confined to my bed: a scandal on the state of Scotland on which no comment is required.

"At one bell in the first dog watch, Boyle, the ship's cook, reported the tea-water ready, and after this came the inevitable evening-quarters and some old man-of-war's men would think the country was going to 'Jemmy Square-toes' stern first if they didn't have quarters then down hammocks for the night at six bells, and after that just as much of fun, frolic, dance, song and yarn spinning as all hands wanted until eight bells, when the watch was called.

And he aimed a blow with the flat of his sword, which Ringan easily parried. "I had thought thee a pirate," said the mild Quaker, "but thee tells me thee is a gentleman." "Hold your peace, Square-Toes," cried the leader, "and let's get to business." "But if ye be gentlefolk," pleaded Ringan, "ye will grant a fair field. I am no fighter, but I will stand by my friend."

"I believe," Colonel John said, gazing solemnly at him, "that we shall meet again." And he went out. Payton turned to the table, and, with an unsteady hand, filled a glass. He read disapprobation in the eyes about him, but he had shaken the momentary chill from his own spirits, and he stared them down. "Sink the old Square-Toes!" he cried. "He got what he deserved! Who'll throw a main with me?"

I heard that Nan was there, with that young man of hers who performs good works. So unlike Nan herself! I hope she isn't going to be so silly as to let it come to anything; they'd both be miserable. But I should think Nan knows better than to marry a square-toes. I daresay he knows better too, really.... And how's poor old Neville?

But he had not got to "strive with pride" before the dear lady caught him in her arms, exclaiming, "Bless my dear son! how he has grown!" and the fine gentleman thumped him on the back, and bade him "bear himself like a gentleman's son, and not like a queasy square-toes."

Several times he faltered, for the devil showed him, first, all his old friends calling him "Saint" and "Square-toes," and a dozen hard names, and whispered to him that his motives would be misunderstood, and he would only be left alone with the new boy; whereas it was his duty to keep all means of influence, that he might do good to the largest number.

"Patent leathers and Square-toes came in the same cab, and they walked down the pathway together as friendly as possible arm-in-arm, in all probability. When they got inside they walked up and down the room or rather, Patent-leathers stood still while Square-toes walked up and down. I could read all that in the dust; and I could read that as he walked he grew more and more excited.

He learned that a hundred and odd workmen were engaged, and he pictured them as a set of square-toes whose talk would be guarded and pious and narrow, for in his innocence he imagined the men who translated good books into type were necessarily good, and the men who translated into type the goody-goody were of that spiritual complexion.