"painter chaps from London." From his point of view they were oil a par with " strolling players " or something equally undesirable. A glance at certain credentials from the Lord of the Manor, however, smoothed over these initial difficulties, and there followed days of work amidst delightful scenery, and evenings of good fellowship, with the host beaming and shaking his portly sides at the wit and versatility of his guests; evenings that are even now looked back upon by those who took part in them as having been "right good times." It chanced that one of the artists could sing a rattling good song as well as wield his brush with rare power, and the former accomplishment appealed strongly to our genial Boniface.
This artist, moreover, had a keen eye for old furniture, and had taken more than a passing fancy to an old Stuart chair that stood in the roomy and comfortable kitchen—the only remaining one of a number, and the particular coign of vantage on which the dog snoozed lazily, and blinked his approval of the evening's harmony. But all attempts to secure that chair had proved vain. Generous offers were made— and refused ; equitable exchange was suggested, but the suggestion was always dismissed with a joke; all cajolery proved equally futile. No; the dog had appropriated the chair for years back as his own particular and favourite resting-place ; it had become his by right of usage, and was not to go.
The case appeared to be hopeless; but the determination of our ardent young collector was not to be baffled; like Brer Fox, he "lay low" and bided his time. It came at last, and happened on the eventful evening in question. The final libations were mixed, and the host called upon our friend for "Just one more song before we part, lad." But the " lad " was obdurate; possibly he scented an opportunity to gain the desired end. He had gone through his stock more than once ; the company knew his songs by heart; he was tired, and " off to bed" ; had to be " away
Reference in Text. See pages 66, 67
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