‘It always agrees with me to be doing my duty; and in this case my duty is a thorough pleasure. To hunt down vermin is a noble occupation—fit for an archbishop.’

‘Fit for ye, at ony rate; but where’s t’ curate? He’s happen gone to visit some poor body in a sick gird, or he’s happen hunting down vermin in another direction.’

‘He is doing garrison-duty at Hollow’s Mill.’

‘You left him a sup o’ wine, I hope, Bob’ (turning to Mr. Moore), ‘to keep his courage up?’ He did not pause for an answer, but continued quickly, still addressing Moore, who had thrown himself into an old- fashioned chair by the fireside: ‘Move it, Robert! Get up, my lad! That place is mine. Take the sofa or three other chairs, if you will, but not this; it belangs to me, and nob’dy else.’

‘Why are you so particular to that chair, Mr. Yorke?’ asked Moore, lazily vacating the place in obedience to orders.

‘My father war afore me, and that’s all t’ answer I sall gie thee; and it’s as good a reason as Mr. Helstone can give for the main feck o’ his notions.’

‘Moore, are you ready to go?’ inquired the Rector.

‘Nay; Robert’s not ready; or rather, I’m not ready to part wi’ him: he’s an ill lad, and wants correcting.’

‘Why, sir? What have I done?’

‘Made thyself enemies on every hand.’

‘What do I care for that? What difference does it make to me whether your Yorkshire louts hate me or like me?’

‘Ay, there it is. The lad is a mak’ of an alien amang us; his father would never have talked i’ that way. Go back to Antwerp, where you were born and bred, mauvaise t\ec\te!’

‘Mauvaise t\ec\te vous-m\ec\me; je ne fais que mon devoir: quant \dg\a vos lourdauds de paysans, je m’en moque!’

‘En ravanche, mon gar\cd\on, nos lourdauds de paysans se moqueront de toi; sois en certain,’ replied Yorke, speaking with nearly as pure a French accent as G\da\erard Moore.

‘C’est bon! c’est bon! Et puisque cela m’est \da\egal, que mes amis ne s’en inqui\dg\etent pas.’

‘Tes amis! O\dg\u sont-ils, tes amis?’

‘Je fais \da\echo, o\dg\u sont-ils? et je suis fort aise que l’\da\echo seul y r\da\epond. Au diable les amis! Je me souviens encore du moment o\dg\u mon p\dg\ere et mes oncles G\da\erard appell\dg\erent autour d’eux leurs amis, et Dieu sait si les amis se sont empress\da\es d’accourir \dg\a leur secours! Tenez, M. Yorke, ce mot, ami, m’irrite trop; ne m’en parlez plus.’

‘Comme tu voudras.’

And here Mr. Yorke held his peace; and while he sits leaning back in his three-cornered, carved-oak chair, I will snatch my opportunity to sketch the portrait of this French-speaking Yorkshire gentleman.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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