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Kit Nubbles
by [?]

“Why, bless me,” cried the old gentleman, “the lad is here! My dear, do you see?”

“I said I’d be here, sir,” said Kit, patting Whisker’s neck. “I hope you’ve had a pleasant ride, sir. He’s a very nice little pony.”

“My dear,” said the old gentleman. “This is an uncommon lad; a good lad, I’m sure.”

“I’m sure he is,” rejoined the old lady, “A very good lad, and I am sure he is a good son.”

Kit acknowledged these expressions of confidence by touching his hat again and blushing very much. Then the old gentleman helped the old lady out, and they went into the office–talking about him as they went, Kit could not help feeling, and a few minutes later he was called in.

Kit entered in a great tremor, for he was not used to going among strange ladies and gentlemen, and the tin boxes and bundles of dusty papers had in his eyes an awful and a venerable air. Mr. Witherden, the notary, was a bustling gentleman, who talked loud and fast.

“Well, boy,” said Mr. Witherden, “you came to work out that shilling,–not to get another, hey?”

“No indeed, sir,” replied Kit, taking courage to look up. “I never thought of such a thing.”

“Now,” said the old gentleman, Mr. Garland, when they had asked some further questions of Kit, “I am not going to give you anything.” “But,” he added, “perhaps I may want to know something more about you, so tell me where you live.”

Kit told him, and the old gentleman wrote down the address with his pencil. He had scarcely done so, than there was a great uproar in the street, and the old lady, hurrying to the window, cried that Whisker had run away, upon which Kit darted out to the rescue, and the others followed. Even in running away, however, Whisker was perverse, for he had not gone far when he suddenly stopped. The old lady then stepped into her seat, and Mr. Abel, her son, whom they had come to fetch, into his. The old gentleman took his place also, and they drove away, more than once turning to nod kindly to Kit, as he watched them from the road.

When Kit reached home, to his amazement he found the pony and his owners there too.

“We are here before you, you see, Christopher,” said Mr. Garland, smiling.

“Yes, sir,” said Kit, and as he said it, he looked towards his mother for an explanation of the visit.

“The gentleman’s been kind enough, my dear,” said she, “to ask me whether you were in a good place, or in any place at all, and when I told him no, he was so good as to say that—-“

“That we wanted a good lad in our house,” said the old lady and the old gentleman both together, “and that perhaps we might think of it, if we found everything as we would wish it to be.”

As this thinking of it plainly meant the thinking of engaging Kit, he immediately fell into a great flutter; for the little old couple were very methodical and cautious, and asked so many questions that he began to be afraid there was no chance of his success; but to his surprise at last he found himself formally hired at an annual income of Six Pounds, over and above his board and lodging, by Mr. and Mrs. Garland, of Abel Cottage, Finchley; and it was settled that he should repair to his new abode on the next day but one.

“Well, mother,” said Kit, hurrying back into the house, after he had seen the old people to their carriage, “I think my fortune’s about made now.”

“I should think it was indeed, Kit!” rejoined his mother. “Six pound a year! Only think!”

“Ah!” said Kit, trying to maintain the gravity which the consideration of such a sum demanded, but grinning with delight in spite of himself. “There’s a property! Please God, we’ll make such a lady of you for Sundays, mother! such a scholar of Jacob, such a child of the baby, such a room of the one upstairs! Six pound a year!”