“It’s not that,” explained Mrs. Postwhistle. “If a Saturday morning ’appened to come round as ’e didn’t pay up without me asking, I should know I’d made a mistake—that it must be Friday. If I don’t ’appen to be in at ’alf-past ten, ’e puts it in an envelope and leaves it on the table.”

“Wonder if his mother has got any more like him?” mused Mr. Clodd. “Could do with a few about this neighbourhood. What is it you want to say about him, then? Merely to brag about him?”

“I wanted to ask you,” continued Mrs. Postwhistle, “’ow I could get rid of ’im. It was rather a curious agreement.”

“Why do you want to get rid of him? Too noisy?”

“Noisy! Why, the cat makes more noise about the ’ouse than ’e does. ’E’d make ’is fortune as a burglar.”

“Come home late?”

“Never known ’im out after the shutters are up.”

“Gives you too much trouble then?”

“I can’t say that of ’im. Never know whether ’e’s in the ’ouse or isn’t, without going upstairs and knocking at the door.”

“Here, you tell it your own way,” suggested the bewildered Clodd. “If it was anyone else but you, I should say you didn’t know your own business.”

“’E gets on my nerves,” said Mrs. Postwhistle. “You ain’t in a ’urry for five minutes?”

Mr. Clodd was always in a hurry. “But I can forget it talking to you,” added the gallant Mr. Clodd.

Mrs. Postwhistle led the way into the little parlour.

“Just the name of it,” consented Mr. Clodd. “Cheerfulness combined with temperance; that’s the ideal.”

“I’ll tell you what ’appened only last night,” commenced Mrs. Postwhistle, seating herself the opposite side of the loo-table. “A letter came for ’im by the seven o’clock post. I’d seen ’im go out two hours before, and though I’d been sitting in the shop the whole blessed time, I never saw or ’eard ’im pass through. E’s like that. It’s like ’aving a ghost for a lodger. I opened ’is door without knocking and went in. If you’ll believe me, ’e was clinging with ’is arms and legs to the top of the bedstead—it’s one of those old-fashioned, four-post things—’is ’ead touching the ceiling. ’E ’adn’t got too much clothes on, and was cracking nuts with ’is teeth and eating ’em. ’E threw a ’andful of shells at me, and making the most awful faces at me, started off gibbering softly to himself.”

“All play, I suppose? No real vice?” commented the interested Mr. Clodd.

“It will go on for a week, that will,” continued Mrs. Postwhistle—“’e fancying ’imself a monkey. Last week he was a tortoise, and was crawling about on his stomach with a tea-tray tied on to ’is back. ’E’s as sensible as most men, if that’s saying much, the moment ’e’s outside the front door; but in the ’ouse—well, I suppose the fact is that ’e’s a lunatic.”

“Don’t seem no hiding anything from you, Mrs. Postwhistle,” remarked Mr. Clodd in tones of admiration. “Does he ever get violent?”

“Don’t know what ’e would be like if ’e ’appened to fancy ’imself something really dangerous,” answered Mrs. Postwhistle. “I am a bit nervous of this new monkey game, I don’t mind confessing to you—the things that they do according to the picture-books. Up to now, except for imagining ’imself a mole, and

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