a man of the soil, who scoffs at these people who " reads signs and sinnifications out o' birds flyin, stars fallin', bees hivin' and such," but who was careful not to offend the " People of the Hills n or ' Pharisees," as the rustics call the fairies.
" What do you think of it all ? " asks Tom.
" Umóum," Hobden rumbled. " A man that uses fields an' shaws after dark as much as I've done, he don't go out of his road excep' for keepers."
" But settin' that aside ? " said Tom, coaxingly. " I saw you throw the Good Piece out-at-doors just now. Do you believe oródo ye ? "
" There was a great black eye to that tater," said Hobden, indignantly.
" My little eye didn't see un, then. It looked as if you meant it, forófor Any One that might need it. D'ye believe oródo ye ? "
To this, the wary Hobden answers :
" If you was to say there was more things after dark in the shaws than men, or fur, or feather, or fin, I dunno as I'd go far about to call you a liar."
Apropos of the Sussex way of speaking of fairies as pharisees, I remember some years ago while on holiday at Pevensey, I came upon a woman in a cottage garden engaged in washing
clothes, and asked her the way.