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Lawyer Quince
by [?]

Lawyer Quince, so called by his neighbours in Little Haven from his readiness at all times to place at their disposal the legal lore he had acquired from a few old books while following his useful occupation of making boots, sat in a kind of wooden hutch at the side of his cottage plying his trade. The London coach had gone by in a cloud of dust some three hours before, and since then the wide village street had slumbered almost undisturbed in the sunshine.

Miss Rose trembled.

“I–I went there,” she sobbed. “I didn’t want to go away.”

“Well, you’d better stay there,” shouted the over-wrought Mr. Rose. “I’ve done with you. A girl that ‘ud turn against her own father I–I–“

He drove his right fist into his left palm and stamped out into the road. Lawyer Quince and Mr. Hogg, after a moment’s hesitation, followed.

“The laugh’s agin you, farmer,” said the latter gentleman, taking his arm.

Mr. Rose shook him off.

“Better make the best of it,” continued the peace-maker.

“She’s a girl to be proud of,” said Lawyer Quince, keeping pace with the farmer on the other side. “She’s got a head that’s worth yours and mine put together, with Hogg’s thrown in as a little makeweight.”

“And here’s the White Swan,” said Mr. Hogg, who had a hazy idea of a compliment, “and all of us as dry as a bone. Why not all go in and have a glass to shut folks’ mouths?”

“And cry quits,” said the shoemaker.

“And let bygones be bygones,” said Mr. Hogg, taking the farmer’s arm again.

Mr. Rose stopped and shook his head obstinately, and then, under the skilful pilotage of Mr. Hogg, was steered in the direction of the hospitable doors of the White Swan. He made a last bid for liberty on the step and then disappeared inside. Lawyer Quince brought up the rear.