Jim thought Mam had sent her, but Jim is always wrong when he imagines anything about Minkie. The fact was, as she told me afterwards, she had heard a lot of talk about this Schwartz, and she felt that it would be good for all parties if she took his measure a few minutes ahead of the rest of the family; so she jammed on a pirate cap and Dorothy?s fur coat, and slid across the lawn without any one?s being the wiser, except Dan, and he was sore with her on account of the escape of the telegraph boy. ???? He tried to take it out of Tibbie, but she nipped up a tree, and the [Pg 7]parrot, who was watching him head downwards through the drawing-room window, yelled ?Yah!? at him. That settled it. He came after me and jumped up at my bit.

?Race you to the station,? he said, pretending he hadn?t seen Minkie.

?Right,? said I; ?but, to make a match of it, you ought to get Mole to harness you to his little girl?s toy pram.?

This remark seemed to hurt his feelings, but I didn?t know then about the rat-tatling messenger boy. Anyhow, he met the doctor?s poodle in the village, so he joined us at the station in a good temper.