ROUND ABOUT RYE 85
red plush back, and the peg beside the coloured hunting scene was sacred to his venerable headdress. He seemed to pass his life tramping through the highways and by-ways of England, bringing to bear an aristocratic, artistic scorn on all the modern conveniences of life, which have multiplied so fast of late. To this day, therefore, he writes with a quill pen and is the possessor of a pot-bellied gold watch which winds up with a large key. He drinks no soda-water but from a round-bottomed tumbling bottle with a wired cork, and the reader will learn without surprise that motor cars are anathema to him.
I could see that the stranger was willing enough for companionship, and chance companionship having a fascination for me, I said to him : " Let us smoke and call for ale."
We lit our pipes and called each for our own drink, I for my audit ale, and the stranger (whom I shall call Balger) for a brandy. These placed before us we moved over to the tramp and labourers at the great table and saluted them. We asked them to fill their mugs at our expense. The tramp slowly filled a well-gnawed pipe, placed it beside him on the table, lifted his mug, and paused before taking a draught, to wish us health.
Myself : " That is the best wish in the world,