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" You must change, miss," Mrs.
Harries went on. " Or you can pack
your box and go on the streets. Must
not think because you are Welsh you can
do as you like here."

On a sudden Winnie spoke and charged
her mistress with a want of virtue.

" Is that the kind of miss you are ! >:
Mrs. Harries shouted. " Where did you
get those shoes from ? ' :

" You yourself gave them to me."

"You thief! You know I didn't.
They are far too small for your big feet.
Come along let's see what you've got
upstairs."

202



UNANSWERED PRAYERS



That hour Mrs. Harries summoned a
policeman, and in due time Winnie was
put in prison.

Tim and Martha did not speak to any
one of this that had been done to their
daughter.

" Punished must a thief be," said Tim.
" Bad is the wench."

" Bad is our little daughter," answered
Martha.

Sabbath morning came and she wept.

" Showing your lament you are, old
fool," cried Tim.

" For sure, no. But the mother am I."

Tim said : " My inside shivers oddly.
Girl fach too young to be in jail."

A fire was set in the preacher's parlour
and the doors of the Tabernacle were
opened. Tim, the Bible in his hands,
stepped up to the pulpit his eyes closed
in prayer, and as he passed up he stumbled.

Eylwin Jones heard the noise of his fall
and ran into the chapel.
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MY NEIGHBOURS



" What's the matter ? " he cried.
" Comic you look on your stomach.
Great one am I for to see jokes."

" An old rod did catch my toe," Tim
explained.

Eylwin changed the cast of his counte-
nance. " Awful you are," he reproved
Tim. " Suppose that was me. Examine
you the stairs. Now indeed forget a
handkerchief have I for to wipe the flow
of the nose. Order Winnie to give me one
of Enoch Harries. Handkerchiefs white
and smelly he has."

" 111 is Winnie fach," said Martha.

" Gone she has for brief weeks to Wales,"
Tim added.

In the morning Eylwin came to the
Tabernacle.

" Not healthy am I," he said. " Shock
I had yesterday. Fancy I do a rabbit
from Wales for the goitre."

" Tasty are rabbits," Tim uttered.

" Clap up, indeed," said Martha. " Too
204



UNANSWERED PRAYERS



young they are to eat and are they not
breeding ? ' :

" Rabbits very young don't breed,"
remarked Eylwin.

" They do," Martha avowed. " Some-
times, iss ; sometimes, no. Poison they
are when they breed."

" Not talking properly you are," said
Eylwin. " Why for you palaver about
breeding to the preacher ? Cross I will
be."

" Be you quiet now, Martha," said Tim.
" Lock your tongue."

" Send a letter to Winnie for a rabbit ;
two rabbits if she is small," ordered
Eylwin. " And not see your faults will I."

Tim and Martha were perplexed and
communed with each other ; and Tim
walked to Wimbledon where he was not
known and so have his errand guessed.
He bought a rabbit and carried it to the
door of the minister's house. " A rabbit
from Winnie fach in Wales," he said.
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MY NEIGHBOURS



" Eat her I will before I judge her,"
replied Eylwin ; and after he had eaten it
he said : " Quite fair was the animal.
Serious dirty is the capel. As I flap my
hand on the cushion Bible in my eloquence,
like chimney smoke is the dust. Clean
you at once. For are not the anniversary
meetings on the sixth Sabbath ? All the
rich Welsh will be there, and Enoch
Harries and the wife of him."

He came often to view Tim and Martha
at their labour.

14 Fortunate is your wench to have
holiday," he said one day. " Hard have
preachers to do in the vineyard."

" Hear we did this morning," Tim began
to speak.

11 In a hurry am I," Eylwin interrupted.
" Fancy I do butter from Wales with one
pinch of salt in him. Tell Winnie to send
butter that is salted."

Martha bought two pounds of butter.

" Mean is his size," Tim grieved.
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UNANSWERED PRAYERS



" Much is his cost," Martha whined.

" Get you one pound of marsheiin and
make him one and put him on a wetted
cabbage leaf."

The fifth Sunday dawned.

" Next to-morrow," said Martha, " the
daughter will be home. Go you to the
jail and fetch her, and take you for her a
big hat for old jailers cut the hair very
short."

"No-no," Tim replied. "Better she
returns and speak nothing. With no
questions shall we question her."

Monday opened and closed.

" Mistake is in your count," Martha
hinted.

" Slow scolar am I," said Tim. " Count
will I once more."

" Don't you, boy bach," Martha has-
tened to say. " Come she will."

At the dusk of Friday Eylwin Jones, his
goitred chin shivering, ran furiously and
angrily into the Tabernacle. " Ho-ho,"
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MY NEIGHBOURS



he cried. " In jail is Winnie. A scampess
is she and a whore. Here's scandal.
Mother and father of a thief in the house
of the capel bach of Jesus Christ. Robbed
Mistress Harries she did. Broke is the
health of the woman nice as a consequent.
She will not be at the anniversary meetings
because the place is contaminated by you
pair. And her husband won't. Five shill-
ings each they give to the collection. The
capel wants the half soferen. Out you go.
Now at once."

Tim and Martha were sorely troubled
that Winnie would come to the Chapel
House and not finding them, would go
away.

" Loiter will I near by," said Tim.

" Say we rent a room and peer for her,"
said Martha.

Thereon from dusk to day either Tim or

Martha sat at the window of their room

and watched. The year died and spring

and summer declined into autumn, when

208



UNANSWERED PRAYERS



on a moon-lit night men flew in machines
over London and loosened bombs upon
the people thereof.

" Feared am I," said Martha, " that
our daughter is not in the shelter." She
screamed : " Don't stand there like a mule.
Pray, Tim man."

Remembering how that he had prayed,
Tim answered : " Try a prayer will I near
the capel."

So Martha watched at her window and
Tim prayed at the door of the Tabernacle.



209



LOST TREASURE



211



XII
LOST TREASURE

HERE is the tale that is told about Hugh
Evans, who was a commercial traveller in
drapery wares, going forth on his journeys
on Mondays and coming home on Fridays.
The tale tells how on a Friday night Hugh
sat at the table in the kitchen of his house,
which is in Parson's Green. He had
before him coins of gold, silver, and copper,
and also bills of his debts ; and upon each
bill he placed certain monies in accordance
with the sum marked thereon. Having
fixed the residue of his coins and having
seen that he held ten pounds, his mind
was filled with such bliss that he said within
himself: "A nice little amount indeed.
Brisk are affairs."

" Millie," he addressed his wife, " look
over them and add them together."
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MY NEIGHBOURS



" Wait till I'm done," was the answer.
" The irons are all hotted up."

Hugh chided her. " You are not in-
terested in my saving. You don't care.
It's nothing to you. Forward, as I call."

" If I sit down," Millie offered, " I feel
I shall never get up again and the irons
are hotted and what I think is a shame
to waste gas like this the price it is."

" Why didn't you say so at the first
opportunity ? Be quick then. I shan't
allow the cash to lay here."

Duly Millie observed her husband's
order, and what time she proved that
which Hugh had done, she was admonished
that she had spent too much on this and
that.

" I'm doing all I can not to be extra-
vagant," she whimpered. " I don't buy
a thing for my back." Her short upper
lip curled above her broken teeth and
trembled ; she wept.

"But whatever," said Hugh softening
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LOST TREASURE



his spirit, " I got ten soferens in hand.
Next quarter less you need and more you
have. Less gass and* electric. You don't
gobble food so ravishingly in warm weather.
The more I save."

Having exchanged the ten pounds for a
ten-pound note, remorse seized Hugh.
" A son of a mule am I," he said. " Dan-
gerous is paper as he blows. If he blows !
Bulky are soferens and shillings. If you
lose two, you got the remnants. But they
are showy and tempting." He laid the
note under his pillow and slept, and he
took it with him, secreted on his person,
to Kingsend Chapel, where every Sunday
morning and evening he sang hymns,
bowed under prayer, and entertained his
soul with sermons.

Just before departing on Monday he
gave the note to Millie. "Keep him
securely," he counselled her. " Tell
nobody we stock so much cash."

Millie put the note between the folds of a
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MY NEIGHBOURS



Paisley shawl, which was precious to her
inasmuch as it had been her mother's,
and she wrapped a blanket over the shawl
and placed it in a cupboard. But on
Friday she could not remember where she
had hidden the note ; " never mind," she
consoled herself, " it will occur to me all
of a sudden."

As that night Hugh cast off his silk hat
and his frock coat, he shouted : ' Got the
money all tightly ? "

" Yes," replied Millie quickly. " As safe
as in the Bank of England."

" Can't be safer than that. Keep him
close to you and tell no one. Paper
money has funny ways." Hugh then
prophesied that in a year his wealth in a
mass would be fifty pounds.

44 With ordinary luck, and I'm sure you
deserve it because you're always at it, it
will," Millie agreed.

" No luck about it. No stop to me.
We've nothing to purchase. And you
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LOST TREASURE



don't. At home you are, with food and
clothes and a ceyling above you. Kings
don't want many more."

" Yes," said Millie. " No."

Weeks passed and Millie was concerned
that she could not find the note, tried she
never so hard. At the side of her bed
she entreated to be led to it, and in the
day she often paused and closing her eyes
prayed : " Almighty Father, bring it to
me."

The last Friday of the quarter Hugh
divided his money in lots, and it was that
he had eleven pounds over his debts.
4 Eleven soferens now," he cried to his
wife. " That's grand ! Makes twenty-
one the first six months of the wedded
life."

" It reflects great credit on you," said
Millie, concealing her unhappiness.

" Another eighty and I'd have an agency.
Start a factory, p'raps. There's John
Daniel. He purchases an house. Ten
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MY NEIGHBOURS



hands he has working gents' shirts for
him."

Millie turned away her face and demanded
from God strength with which to acquaint
her husband of her misfortune. What
she asked for was granted unto her at her
husband's amorous moment of the Sabbath
morning.

Hugh's passion deadened, and in his
agony he sweated.

" They're gone ! Every soferen," he
cried. " They can't all have gone. The
whole ten." He opened his eyes widely.
" Woe is me. Dear me. Dear me."

Until day dimmed and night greyed
did they two search, neither of them eat-
ing and neither of them discovering the
treasure.

Therefore Hugh had not peace nor quiet-
ness. Grief he uttered with his tongue,
arms, and feet, and it was in the crease of
his garments. He sought sympathy and
instruction from those with whom he
218



LOST TREASURE



traded. " All the steam is gone out of
me," he wailed. One shopkeeper advised
him : " Has it slipped under the lino ? "
Another said : " Any mice in the house ?
Money has been found in their holes."
The third said : " Sure the wife hasn't
spent it on dress. You know what ladies
are." These hints and more Hugh wrote
down on paper, and he mused in this
wise : " An old liar is the wench. For
why I wedded the English ? Right was
mam fach ; senseless they are. Crying
she has lost the yellow gold, the bitch.
What blockhead lost one penny ? What
is in the stomach of my purse this one
minute ? Three shillings soferen five
pennies half a penny ticket railway.
Hie backwards will I on Thursday on the
surprise. No comfort is mine before I
peep once again."

He pried in every drawer and cupboard,
and in the night he arose and inquired into
the clothes his wife had left off ; and he
219



MY NEIGHBOURS



pushed his fingers into the holes of mice
and under the floor coverings, and groped
in the fireplaces ; and he put subtle
questions to Millie.

" If you'd done like this in a shop you'd
be sacked without a ref," he said when his
search was over. " We must have him
back. It's a sin to let him go. Reduce
expenses at once."

Millie disrobed herself by the light of a
street lamp, and she ate little of such foods
as are cheapest, whereat her white cheeks
sunk and there was no more lustre in her
brown hair ; and her larder was as though
there was a famine in the country. If she
said to Hugh : " Your boots are leaking,"
she was told : " Had I the soferens I would
get a pair " ; or if she said : " We haven't
a towel in the place," the reply was :
" Find the soferens and buy one or two."

The more Hugh sorrowed and scrimped,
the more he gained ; and word of his
fellows' hardships struck hisgbroad, loose
220



LOST TREASURE



ears with a pleasant tinkle. While on his
journeys he stayed at common lodging-
houses, and he did not give back to his
employers any of the money which was
allowed him to stay at hotels. Some folk
despised him, some mocked him, and many
nicknamed him " the ten-pound traveller."
To the shopkeeper who hesitated to deal
with him he whined his loss, making it
greater than it was, and expressing : " The
interest alone is very big."

By such methods he came to possess
one hundred and twenty pounds in two
years. His employers had knowledge of
his deeds, and they summoned him to
them and said to him that because of the
drab shabbiness of his clothes and his
dishonest acts they had appointed another
in his stead.

" You started this," he admonished
Millie. " Bring light upon mattar."

"What can I do?" Millie replied. "Shall
I go back to the dressmaking as I was ? "
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MY NEIGHBOURS



Hugh was not mollified. By means of
such women man is brought to a penny.
He felt dishonoured and wounded. Of the
London Welsh he was the least. Look at
Enos-Harries and Ben Lloyd and Eynon
Davies. There's boys for you. And look at
the black John Daniel, who was a prentice
with him at Carmarthen. Hark him order-
ing preacher Kingsend. Watch him on
the platform on the Day of David the
Saint. And all, dear me, out of J.D.'s Ritfit
three-and-sixpence gents' tunic shirts.

He considered a way, of which he spoke
darkly to Millie, lest she might cry out his
intention.

" No use troubling," he said in a
changed manner. " Come West and see
the shops."

Westward they two went, pausing at
windows behind which were displayed
costly blouses.

" That's plenty at two guineas," Hugh
said of one.

222



LOST TREASURE



" It's a Paris model," said Millie.

" Nothing in her. Nothing."

" Not much material, I grant," Millie
observed. " The style is fashionable and
they charge a lot."

" I like to see you in her," said Hugh.
' Take in the points and make her with
an odd length of silk."

When the blouse was finished, Hugh
took it to a man at whose shop trade
the poorest sort of middle-class women,
saying : "I can let you have a line like
this at thirty-five and six a dozen."

" I'll try three twelves," said the man.

Then Hugh went into the City and
fetched up Japanese silk, and lace, and
large white buttons ; and Millie sewed
with her might.

Hugh thrived, and his success was noised
among the London Welsh. The preacher
of Kingsend Chapel visited him.

" Not been in the Temple you have,
Mistar Eevanss, almost since you were
223



MY NEIGHBOURS



spliced," he said. " Don't say the wife

makes you go to the capel of the English."

" Busy am I making money."

" News that is to me, Mistar Eevanss.

Much welcome there is for you with



us."



In four years Hugh had eighteen
machines, at each of which a skilled
woman sat ; and he hired young girls to
sew through buttons and hook-and-eyes
and to make button-holes. These women
and girls were under the hand of Millie,
who kept count of their comings and
goings and the work they performed,
holding from their wages the value of
the material they spoilt and of the
minutes they were not at their task.
Millie laboured faithfully, her heart be-
ing perfect with her husband's. She and
Hugh slept in the kitchen, for all the
other rooms were stockrooms or work-
rooms ; and the name by which the
concern was called was " The French
224



LOST TREASURE



Model Blouse Co. Manageress Mme.
Zetta, the notorious French Modiste."

Howsoever bitterly people were pressed,
Hugh did not cease to prosper. In riches,
honour, and respect he passed many of
the London Welsh.

For that he could not provide all the
blouses that were requested of him, he
rented a big house. That hour men
were arrived to take thereto his belong-
ings, Millie said : " I'll throw the Paisley
shawl over my arm. I wouldn't lose it
for anything " ; and as she moved away
the ten-pound note fell on the ground.
" Well, I never ! " she cried in her
dismay. " It was there all the time."

Hugh seized the note from her hand.

" You've the head of a sieve," he said.
Also he lamented : " All these years we
had no interest in him."



225



PROFIT AND GLORY



227



XIII
PROFIT AND GLORY

BY serving in shops, by drinking himself
drunk, and by shamming good fortune,
Jacob Griffiths gave testimony to the
miseries and joys of life, and at the age
of fifty-six he fell back in his bed at his
lodging-house in Clapham, suffered, drew
up his crippled knees and died. On the
morrow his brother Simon hastened to
the house ; and as he neared the place
he looked up and beheld his sisters Annie
and Jane fach also hurrying thither.
Presently they three saw one another as
with a single eye, wherefore they slackened
their pace and walked with seemliness to
the door. Jacob's body was on a narrow,
disordered bed, and in the state of its
deliverance : its eyes were aghast and its
hands were clenched in deathful pangs.
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MY NEIGHBOURS



Then Simon bowed his trunk and lifted
his silk hat and his umbrella in the manner
of a preacher giving a blessing.

" Of us family can be claimed," he pro-
nounced, " that even the Angel do not break
us. We must all cross Jordan. Some go
with boats and bridges. Some swim. Some
bridges charge a toll one penny and two
pennies. A toll there is to cross Jordan."

" He'll be better when he's washed and
laid out proper," remarked the woman of
the lodging-house.

" Let down your apron from your
head," Simon said to her. " We are
mourning for our brother, the son of the
similar father and mother. You don't
think me insulting if I was alone with the
corpse. I shan't be long at my religious
performance. I am a busy man like you."

The woman having gone, he spoke at

Jacob : " Perished you are now, Shacob.

You have unravelled the tangled skein

of eternal life. Pray I do you will find

230



PROFIT AND GLORY



rest with the restless of big London.
Annie and Jane fach, sorrowful you are ;
wet are your tears. Go you and drink a
nice cup of tea in the cafe. Most eloquent
I shall be in a minute and there's hysterics
you'll get. Arrive will I after you. Don't
pay for tea ; that will I do."

" Iss, indeed," said Annie. " Off you,
Jane fach. You, Simon, with her, for
fear she is slayed in the street. Sit here
will I and speak to the spirit of Shacob."

" The pant of my breath is not back "
Jane fach's voice was shrill. " Did I
not muster on reading the death letter ?
Witness the mud sprinkled on my gown."

" Why should you muster, little sister ? "
inquired Simon.

" Right that I reach him in respectable
time, was the think inside me," Jane fach
answered. " What other design have I ?
Stay here I will. A boy, dear me, for a joke
was Shacob with me. Heaps of gifts he
made me ; enough to fill a yellow tin box."
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MY NEIGHBOURS



" Generous he was," Simon said.
" Hap he parted with all. Full of feel-
ing you are. But useless that we loll
here. No odds for me ; this is my day
in the City. How will your boss treat
you, Annie, for being away without a
pass ? Angry will your buyer be, I would
be in a temper with my young ladies. Hie
to the office, Jane. Don't you borrow
borrowings from me if you are sacked."

" You are as sly as the cow that steals
into clover," Annie cried out. She re-
moved her large hat and set upright the
osprey feathers thereon, puffed out her
hair which was fashioned in a high pile,
and whitened with powder the birth-stain
on her cheek. " They daren't discharge
me. I'd carry the costume trade with
me. Each second you hear, ' Miss Witton-
Griffiths, forward,' and 'Miss Witton-
Griffiths, her heinness is waiting for you.
In favour am I with the buyer."

" Whisper to me your average takings
232



PROFIT AND GLORY



per week," Simon craved. " Not repeat
will I."

After exaggerating her report, Annie
said : ' You are going now, then."

Jane fach took from a chair a cup that
had tea in it, a candlestick the candle in
which died before Jacob and a teapot,
and she sat in the chair. " Oo-oo," she
squeaked. " Sorry am I you are flown."

i4 Stupid wenches you are," Simon
admonished his sisters. " And curious.
Scandalous you are to pry into the leav-
ings of the perished dead."

Jane fach, whose shoulders were crumped
and whose nose was as the beak of a
parrot, put forth her head. "The reins
of a flaming chariot can't drag me from
him. Was he not father to me ? Much
he handed and more he promised."

" Great is your avarice," Simon de-
clared.

" Fonder he was of me than any
one," Annie cried. " The birthdays he
233



MY NEIGHBOURS



it

M



presented me with dresses until he was
sacked. While I was cribbing, did he not
speak well to my buyer ? Fitting I stay
with him this day."

I was his chief friend," said Simon.

We were closer than brothers. So grand
was he to me that I could howl once more.
Iss, I could preach a funeral sermon on
my brother Shacob."

Jacob's virtues were truly related.
Much had the man done for his younger
brother and sisters ; albeit his behaviour
was vain, ornamenting his person garishly
and cheaply, and comporting himself
foolishly. Summer by summer he went
to Wales and remained there two weeks ;
and he gave a packet of tea or coffee
to every widow who worshipped in the
capel, and a feast of tea and currant
bread and carraway-seed cake to the little
children of the capel.

Wheedlers nattered him for gain : " The
watch of a nobleman you carry " and
234



PROFIT AND GLORY



4 The ring would buy a field," said those
about Sion ; ' Never seen a more exact
fact simily of King George in my life than
you," cried spongers in London public-
houses. All grasped whatever gifts they
could and turned from him laughing :
" The watch of the fob is brass " ; "No
more worth than a play marble is the
ring " ; " Old Griffiths is the bloomin'
limit." Yet Jacob had delight in the
thought that folk passed him rich for his
apparel and acts.

" Waste of hours verv awful is this,"

*/

Simon uttered by and by. He brought
out his order book and a blacklead pencil.
" Take stock will I now and put
down."

He searched the pockets of Jacob's
garments and the drawers in the chest,
and knelt on his knees and peered under
Jacob's bed ; and all that he found were
trashy clothes and boots. His sisters tore
open the seams of the garments and
235



MY NEIGHBOURS



spread their fingers in the hollow places,
and they did not find anything.

" Jewellary he had," exclaimed Annie.
" Much was the value of his diamond
ring. ' This I will to you,' he said to me.
Champion she would seem on my finger.
Half a hundred guineas was her worth."

44 Where is the watch and chain ? '
Jane fach demanded. " Gold they were.
Link like the fingers of feet the chain
had. These I have."

" Lovely were his solitaires," cried
Annie. " They are mine."

" Liar of a bitch," said Jane fach.
" ' All is yours,' mouthed Shacob my
brother, who hears me in the Palace."

Simon answered neither yea nor no.
He stepped down to the woman of the
house. tc I have a little list here of the
things my brother left in your keep-
ing," he began. ' Number wan, gold
watch "

The woman opened her lips and spoke :
236



PROFIT AND GLORY



" Godstruth, he didn't have a bean to
his name. Gold watch ! I had to call
him in the mornings. What with blacking
his whiskers and being tender on his feet,
which didn't allow of him to run to say
the least of it, I was about pretty early.
Else he'd never get to Ward's at all.
And Balham is a long run from here."

ic I will come back and see you later,"
Simon replied, and he returned to his
sisters. " Hope I do," he said to them.
" You discover his affairs. All belong to


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