'"Is there anything more you want, Sir?" inquired the widow, rather puzzled by Tom's manner.
'"Why, yes," said Tom. "My dear ma'am, will you have the kindness to sit down for one moment?"
Tulliver stood with her arms open; Maggie jumped first on one leg and then on the other; while Tom descended from the gig, and said, with masculine reticence as to the tender emotions, "Hallo!
"Maggie," said Tom, confidentially, taking her into a corner, as soon as his mother was gone out to examine his box and the warm parlor had taken off the chill he had felt from the long drive, "you don't know what I've got in my pockets," nodding his head up and down as a means of rousing her sense of mystery.
'What a comical brother-in-law old Bounderby is, I think you mean,' said Tom.
'My sister Loo?' said Tom. 'She never cared for old Bounderby.'
"Now I call that a delicate compliment!" And Tom, who had not lost his early relish for this sort of refreshment, though he seldom indulged his passion nowadays, because peanuts are considered vulgar, fell to cracking and munching with great satisfaction.
"Of course I do, and how we coasted one day," answered Tom, laughing.
He might be a year older than Tom, but was very little bigger, and he was the Crichton of our village boys.
Now that Benjy was laid on the shelf, and his young brothers were still under petticoat government, Tom, in search of companions, began to cultivate the village boys generally more and more.
"Tom" was a bad baby, from the very beginning of his usurpation.
In babyhood Tom cuffed and banged and scratched Chambers unrebuked, and Chambers early learned that between meekly bearing it and resenting it, the advantage all lay with the former policy.
Then as Tom motioned to him to remain, he murmured: "He may have something to say to me later.
There was no way of finding out, however, until Tom had a chance to talk to Ned, and at present the young scientist was eagerly listening to what came over the wire.
's bosom friend sat next him, suffering just as Tom
had been, and now he was deeply and grate- fully interested in this entertainment in an instant.