MY FRIEND, THE TRAMP, 79
At seven the next morning he started in cheer¬
fully to work. At nine, a.m., he had placed three
large stones on the first course in position, an hour
having been spent in looking for a pick and ham¬
mer, and in the incidental " chaffing " with Bridget.
At ten o'clock I went to overlook his work; it was
a rash action, as it caused him to respectfully doff
his hat, discontinue his labours, and lean back
against the fence in cheerful and easy conversation.
" Are you fond uv blackberries. Captain ?" I told
him that the children were in the habit of getting
them from the meadow beyond, hoping to stop the
suggestion I knew was coming. " Ah, but. Captain,
it's meself that with wanderin' and havin' nothin'
to pass me lips but the berries I'd pick from the
hedges,— it's meself knows where to find thim.
Sure it's yer childer, and foin boys they are. Captain,
that's besaching me to go wid 'em to the place,
known'st only to meself." It is unnecessary to say
that he triumphed. After the manner of vagabonds
of all degrees, he had enlisted the women and chil¬
dren on his side—and my friend, the Tramp, had
his own way. He departed at eleven, and returned
at four p.m., with a tin dinner-pail half filled. On
interrogating the boys it appeared that they had
had a " bully time," but on cross-examination it
came out that they had picked the berries. From
four to six, three more stones were laid, and the