ear to the wall, while Elzevir sat back against the inside of the buttress with a spy-glass in his hand, smoking and looking out to sea.

Now, I had as much right to be in the churchyard as Ratsey or Elzevir, and yet I felt a sudden shame as if I had been caught in some bad act, and knew the blood was running to my cheeks. At first I had it in my mind to turn tail and make off, but concluded to stand my ground since they had seen me, and so bade them "Good morning". Master Ratsey jumped to his feet as nimbly as a cat; and if he had not been a man, I should have thought he was blushing too, for his face was very red, though that came perhaps from lying on the ground. I could see he was a little put about, and out of countenance, though he tried to say "Good morning, John", in an easy tone, as if it was a common thing for him to be lying in the churchyard, with his ear to the wall, on a winter's morning.

"Good morning, John," he said; "and what might you be doing in the churchyard this fine day?"

I answered that I was come to listen if the Mohunes were still moving.

"Well, that I can't tell you," returned Ratsey, "not wishing to waste thought on such idle matters, and having to examine this wall whether the floods have not so damaged it as to need under-pinning; so if you have time to gad about of a morning, get you back to my workshop and fetch me a plasterer's hammer which I have left behind, so that I can try this mortar."

I knew that he was making excuses about underpinning, for the wall was sound as a rock, but was glad enough to take him at his word and beat a retreat from where I was not wanted. Indeed, I soon saw how he was mocking me, for the men did not even wait for me to come back with the hammer, but I met them returning in the first meadow. Master Ratsey made another excuse that he did not need the hammer now, as he had found out that all that was wanted was a little pointing with new mortar. "But if you have such time to waste, John," he added, "you can come tomorrow and help me to get new thwarts in the Petrel, which she badly wants."

So we three came back to the village together; but looking up at Elzevir once while Master Ratsey was making these pretences, I saw his eyes twinkle under their heavy brows, as if be was amused at the other's embarrassment.

The next Sunday, when we went to church, all was quiet as usual, there was no Elzevir, and no more noises, and I never had the Mohunes move again.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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