TOM TIDDLER'S GROUND
CHAPTER I--PICKING UP SOOT AND CINDERS
"And why Tom Tiddler's ground?" said the Traveller.
"Because he scatters halfpence to Tramps and such-like," returned
the Landlord, "and of course they pick 'em up. And this being done
on his own land (which it IS his own land, you observe, and were his
family's before him), why it is but regarding the halfpence as gold
and silver, and turning the ownership of the property a bit round
your finger, and there you have the name of the children's game
complete. And it's appropriate too," said the Landlord, with his
favourite action of stooping a little, to look across the table out
of window at vacancy, under the window-blind which was half drawn
down. "Leastwise it has been so considered by many gentlemen which
have partook of chops and tea in the present humble parlour."
The Traveller was partaking of chops and tea in the present humble
parlour, and the Landlord's shot was fired obliquely at him.
"And you call him a Hermit?" said the Traveller.
"They call him such," returned the Landlord, evading personal