the houses themselves were fallen to decay, yet the little hall in which the inmates had once dined was still maintained, and served for our schoolroom. It was a long and lofty room, with a high wainscot all round it, a carved oak screen at one end, and a broad window at the other. A very heavy table, polished by use, and sadly besmirched with ink, ran down the middle of the hall with benches on either side of it for us to use; and a high desk for Mr Glennie stood under the window at the end of the room. Thus we were sitting one morning with our summing-slates and grammars before us when the door in the screen opens and Mr Maskew enters.

I have told you already of the verses which Mr Glennie wrote for David Block's grave; and when the floods had gone down Ratsey set up the headstone with the poetry carved on it. But Maskew, through not going to church, never saw the stone for weeks, until one morning, walking through the churchyard, he lighted on it, and knew the verses for Mr Glennie's. So 'twas to have it out with the parson that he had come to school this day; and though we did not know so much then, yet guessed from his presence that something was in the wind, and could read in his face that he was very angry. Now, for all that we hated Maskew, yet were we glad enough to see him there, as hoping for something strange to vary the sameness of school, and scenting a disturbance in the air. Only Grace was ill at ease for fear her father should say something unseemly, and kept her head down with shocks of hair falling over her book, though I could see her blushing between them. So in vapours Maskew, and with an angry glance about him makes straight for the desk where our master sits at the top of the room.

For a moment Mr Glennie, being shortsighted, did not see who 'twas ; but as his visitor drew near, rose courteously to greet him.

"Good day to you, Mister Maskew," says he, holding out his band.

But Maskew puts his arms behind his back and bubbles out, "Hold not out your hand to me lest I spit on it. 'tis like your snivelling cant to write sweet psalms for smuggling rogues and try to frighten honest men with your judgements."

At first Mr Glennie did not know what the other would be at, and afterwards understanding, turned very pale; but said as a minister he would never be backward in reproving those whom he considered in the wrong, whether from the pulpit or from the gravestone.

Then Maskew flies into a great passion, and pours out many vile and insolent words, saying Mr Glennie is in league with the smugglers and fattens on their crimes; that the poetry is a libel; and that he, Maskew, will have the law of him for calumny.

After that he took Grace by the arm, and bade her get hat and cape and come with him. "For", says he, "I will not have thee taught any more by a psalm-singing hypocrite that calls thy father murderer." And all the while he kept drawing up closer to Mr Glennie, until the two stood very near each other.

There was a great difference between them; the one short and blustering, with a red face turned up; the other tall and craning down, ill-clad, ill-fed, and pale. Maskew had in his left hand a basket, with which he went marketing of mornings, for he made his own purchases, and liked fish, as being cheaper than meat. He had been chaffering with the fishwives this very day, and was bringing back his provend with him when he visited our school.

Then he said to Mr Glennie: "Now, Sir Parson, the law has given into your fool's hands a power over this churchyard, and 'tis your trade to stop unseemly headlines from being set up within its walls, or once set up, to turn them out forthwith. So I give you a week's grace, and if tomorrow sennight yon stone be not gone, I will have it up and flung in pieces outside the wall."

Mr Glennie answered him in a low voice, but quite clear, so that we could hear where we sat: "I can neither turn the stone out myself nor stop you from turning it out if you so mind; but if you do this thing, and dishonour the graveyard, there is One stronger than either you or I that must be reckoned with."

  By PanEris using Melati.

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