“But–but you ain’t fifty-five,” ses Ginger.
“I’m twenty-one,” ses the nevy, “but my case is different. There isn’t another young lady like mine in the world. She’s different to all the others, and it ain’t likely I’m going to let ‘er be snapped up by somebody else. Fifty-five! Why, ‘ow I’m to wait till Christmas I don’t know. She’s the prettiest and handsomest gal in the world; and she’s the cleverest one I ever met. You ought to hear ‘er laugh. Like music it is. You’d never forget it.”
“Twenty-one is young,” ses Ginger, shaking his ‘ead. “‘Ave you known ‘er long?”
“Three months,” ses the nevy. “She lives in the same street as I do. ‘Ow it is she ain’t been snapped up before, I can’t think, but she told me that she didn’t care for men till she saw me.”
“They all say that,” ses Ginger.
“If I’ve ‘ad it said to me once, I’ve ‘ad it said twenty times,” ses Peter, nodding.
“They do it to flatter,” ses old Sam, looking as if ‘e knew all about it. “You wait till you are my age, Joe; then you’ll know; why I should ha’ been married dozens o’ times if I ‘adn’t been careful.”
“P’r'aps it was a bit on both sides,” ses Joe, looking at ‘is uncle. “P’r'aps they was careful too. If you only saw my young lady, you wouldn’t talk like that. She’s got the truthfullest eyes in the world. Large grey eyes like a child’s, leastways sometimes they are grey and sometimes they are blue. It seems to depend on the light somehow; I ‘ave seen them when they was a brown-brownish-gold. And she smiles with ‘er eyes.”
“Hasn’t she got a mouth?” ses Ginger, wot was getting a bit tired of it.
“You’ve been crossed in love,” ses the nevy, staring at ‘im. “That’s wot’s the matter with you. And looking at you, I don’t wonder at it.”
Ginger ‘arf got up, but Sam gave him a look and ‘e sat down agin, and then they all sat quiet while the nevy went on telling them about ‘is gal.
“I should like to see ‘er,” ses his uncle at last.
“Call round for me at seven to-morrow night,” ses the young ‘un, “and I’ll introduce you.”
“We might look in on our way,” ses Sam, arter Ginger and Peter ‘ad both made eyes at ‘im. “We’re going out to spend the evening.”
“The more the merrier,” ses his nevy. “Well, so long; I expect she’s waiting for me.”
He got up and said good-bye, and arter he ‘ad gorn, Sam and the other two shook their leads together and said what a pity it was to be twenty- one. Ginger said it made ‘im sad to think of it, and Peter said ‘ow any gal could look at a man under thirty, ‘e couldn’t think.
They all went round to the nevy’s the next evening. They was a little bit early owing to Ginger’s watch ‘aving been set right by guess-work, and they ‘ad to sit in a row on the nevy’s bed waiting while ‘e cleaned ‘imself, and changed his clothes. Although it was only Wednesday ‘e changed his collar, and he was so long making up ‘is mind about his necktie that ‘is uncle tried to make it up for him. By the time he ‘ad finished Sam said it made ‘im think it was Sunday.
Miss Gill was at ‘ome when they got there, and all three of ‘em was very much surprised that such a good-looking gal should take up with Sam’s nevy. Ginger nearly said so, but Peter gave ‘im a dig in the back just in time and ‘e called him something under ‘is breath instead.
“Why shouldn’t we all make an evening of it?” ses Ginger, arter they ‘ad been talking for about ten minutes, and the nevy ‘ad looked at the clock three or four times.
“Because two’s company,” ses Mrs. Gill. “Why you was young yourself once. Can’t you remember?”