“He persuaded ‘er at last, and, in a fit o’ generosity, gave ‘er three shillings to go shopping with, and as soon as she was out o’ sight he went off with a crutch and a stick, smiling all over ‘is face. He met Dick Weed in the road and they shook ‘ands quite friendly, and Job asked ‘im to ‘ave a drink. Then Henery White and some more chaps came along, and by the time they got to the Cauliflower they was as merry a party as you’d wish to see.
“Every man ‘ad a pint o’ beer, which Job paid for, not forgetting Smith ‘isself, and Job closed ‘is eyes with pleasure as ‘e took his. Then they began to talk about ‘is accident, and Job showed ‘em is leg and described wot it felt like to be a teetotaler for seven weeks.
“‘And I’ll trouble you for that five pounds, Smith,’ ‘e ses, smiling. ‘I’ve been without anything stronger than milk for seven weeks. I never thought when I wrote that paper I was going to earn my own money.’
“‘None of us did, Job,’ ses Smith. ‘D’ye think that leg’ll be all right agin? As good as the other, I mean?’
“‘Doctor ses so,’ ses Job.
“‘It’s wonderful wot they can do nowadays,’ ses Smith, shaking ‘is ‘ead.
“”Strordinary,’ ses Job; ‘where’s that five pounds, Smith?’
“‘You don’t want to put any sudden weight or anything like that on it for a time, Job,’ ses Smith; ‘don’t get struggling or fighting, whatever you do, Job.’
“”Taint so likely,’ ses Job; ‘d’ye think I’m a fool? Where’s that five pounds, Smith?’
“‘Ah, yes,’ ses Smith, looking as though ‘e’d just remembered something. ‘I wanted to tell you about that, to see if I’ve done right. I’m glad you’ve come in.’
“‘Eh?’ ses Job Brown, staring at ‘im.
“‘Has your wife gone shopping to-day?’ ses Smith, looking at ‘im very solemn.
“Job Brown put ‘is mug down on the table and turned as pale as ashes. Then ‘e got up and limped over to the bar.
“‘Wot d’yer mean’ he ses, choking.
“‘She said she thought o’ doing so,’ ses Smith, wiping a glass; ’she came in yesterday and asked for that five pounds she’d won. The doctor came in with ‘er and said she’d kept you from licker for seven weeks, let alone a month; so, according to the paper, I ‘ad to give it to ‘er. I ‘ope I done right, Job?’
“Job didn’t answer ‘im a word, good or bad. He just turned ‘is back on him, and, picking up ‘is crutch and ‘is stick, hobbled off ‘ome. Henery White tried to make ‘im stop and ‘ave another pint, but he wouldn’t. He said he didn’t want ‘is wife to find ‘im out when she returned.”