"M'Adam," he said gruffly, holding out a sinewy hand, "I'd like to say--"
The little man knocked aside the token of friendship.
"Na, na. No cant, if ye please, James Moore. That'll aiblins go doon wi' the parsons, but not wi' me. I ken you and you ken me, and all the whitewash i' th' wand '11 no deceive us."
The Master turned away, and his face was hard as the nether millstone. But the little man pursued him.
I was nigh forgettin'," he said. "I've a surprise for ye, James Moore. But I hear it's yer birthday on Sunday, and I'll keep it till then--he! he!"
"Ye'il see me before Sunday, M'Adam," the other answered. "On Saturday, as I told yo', I'm comin' to see if yo've done yer duty."
"Whether ye come, James Moore, is your business. Whether ye'll iver go, once there, I'll mak' mine. I've warned ye twice noo and the little man laughed that harsh, cackling laugh of his.
At the door of the hall the Master met David. "Noo, lad, yo're comin' along wi' Andrew and me," he said; "Maggie'll niver forgie us if we dinna bring yo' home wi' us."