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last three weeks?" I inquired, innocently,
knowing no better.

"One farmer!" said Bucks, contemptuously;
"why I washed for half the county, so much the
score. Tell you how I did it. I stood up to
my lines in water, ready to take the ship; then
my mate passes me the ship, and I takes him
head and tail, rubs him well all over, back and
belly; then ducks him, and pass out to the mill tail.
All the wool as comes off in my hands goes to me
for parquisitesit did, true as I sit here, gen'lemen.
Terrible hard work, cramping work too,
worse than salmon-fishing. Of course you come
out now and then for a drop to mix with all the
water you've sopped up," he said, sympathisingly.
Bucks winked, clenched his teeth, and rubbed
his eyes, like the maddened gambler in Hogarth:
"I tell you what, muster, I've drunk as much as
nine or ten quarts of strong ale a day, besides
spirits, and it had no more effect on me at the
time than mere water, believe me; but afterwards
I had a raging, burning fever, as they
called the deliddleum trimmings, orful bad it
was no,—that worn't the name, it was something
like deleerium treamens, I know there was rum
in it. But now, thank God (God be thanked!),
I have not touched ale or spirits for these six
months; and look here" (tremendous energy;
invites me to pinch him; and pinches the frosty
healthy reds and purples of his cheek)—"you'd
think I'd been just flushed with gin, wouldn't
you? Didn't you?"

"I confess I thought you had been taking
a farewell glass," said I.

"No, not a drop," said Bucks, evidently
exhilarated. "Feel this arm: this colour is all nateral
colour, and if it wasn't for a little ailment
and sourment occasionally, I don't know now,
at seventy, whether I was ever better in my
life."

"So you have been up, I suppose, to have a
day's holiday in Londonto see Saint Paul's, the
British Museum, and Madame Tussaud's
waxworks?" said I.

Bucks whispered, putting his face close to
mine, "I'll tell you all about it, for you and I
put our horses together very well, and I feel
quite neighbourly towards you, though you're a
gentleman and I a poor working man."

Guard cries, "Stafford! Stafford!" Bing, bang,
goes the bell.

"Here's how it is: Georgemy son Georgeis
in London, and his going came about thus: he
had been a long time without work, and he and
his wife were living on me, and that preyed on
George, and he got silent and moody-like, and
sat alone and said nothing, and mumped so
that one would have thought he had fallen out
with me (my missis, poor dear old 'oman, you
must know, has been dead these five year).
Well, one morning, a year ago, long afore it was
light, I was awoke by something pulling the
clothes, and I says, says I, 'Who's there? what's
up?' and somebody says, 'It's I, father.' 'Who's
I?' 'Why George; l am going up to London to
try and get work, for it breaks my heart to prey
upon your little means like this. Good-by, father.'
Then I sat up, and tried to reason with the
lad; but, lor', there!—it wor no use. 'So,' said
George, 'don't waken my wife, but make it up
for me when I'm gone; and pawn this watch of
mine for her; and as soon as I can hear of
anything I will return, but not a moment before.
Don't say anything, father; there's the watch.
Good-by!' And George went. We never heard
of him for nearly a long twelvemonth arter, till
last Monday was six weeks, when down comes a
letter, sealed with a brave man's thumbno bad
seal neithertelling us as George was doing
well, had got regular work in a London brickyard,
and was very much respected by all as
knew him, and by his employer. Says he in the
letter, 'Come up, father, directly, and come and
arrange about bringing up Mary, and letting us live
all together, comfortable like; and here's money
to get my silver watch out of pawn,' says he, in
the letter. Well, we were glad, I believe you,
and so, off I went. I didn't know George at first,
with his Crimean beard. 'That isn't George,'
said I, to the woman of the house. 'It is
George,' said he himself, with his own voice.
And so it was.

"Well, the next morning when I awoke, I looks
around and wondered where I was. 'What's
up,' says I, 'where am I?' 'With George,
your own son George,' says he, from the other
bed; and so I was. And now I'm going down to
Olney, to have a sale, give and sell all my things,
send up my bedding by waggonbecause George
has got only one bedand going to settle in
London, convenient to the brick-yard, seeing as
how I'm getting a trifle old and don't like living
all alone. Olney is not what it was."

"I know how it is," said I; "all your old
friends have died off, and you feel in the way
among the young folks who jostle for the new
paths."

Bucks replied approvingly, "Yes. Well, I
suppose that's about the size of it. But here's
my station; so good morning to you, sur! I wish
you a pleasant journey and every excess."

So the Buckinghamshire man and I, parted.

                           Now ready, price 1s.,
Uniform with PICKWICK, DAVID COPPERFIELD, BLEAK
                                 HOUSE, &c.,
                     The Fourth Monthly Part of
                       A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
                       BY CHARLES DICKENS.
        With Two Illustrations on Steel by HABLOT K.
                                   BROWNE.
             To be completed in Eight Monthly Parts.
       CHAPMAN and HALL, 193, Piccadilly, W., AND
"ALL THE YEAE ROUND" Office, 11, Wellington-street
                          North, London, W.C.

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