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THE dog-cart, with Mr. Thomas Idle and
his ankle on the hanging seat behind, Mr.
Francis Goodchild and the Innkeeper in
front, and the rain in spouts and splashes

everywhere, made the best of its way back
to the little Inn; the broken moor country
looking like miles upon miles of Pre-Adamite
sop, or the ruins of some enormous jorum
of antediluvian toast-and-water. The trees
dripped;the eaves of the scattered cottages
dripped; the barren stone-walls dividing
the land, dripped; the yelping dogs dripped;
carts and waggons under ill-roofed penthouses,
dripped; melancholy cocks and hens perching
on their shafts, or seeking shelter underneath
them, dripped; Mr. Goodchild dripped;
Francis Idle dripped; the Innkeeper
dripped; the mare dripped; the vast curtains
of mist and cloud that passed before the
shadowy forms of the hills, streamed water
as they were drawn across the landscape.
Down such steep pitches that the mare
seemed to be trotting on her head, and
up such steep pitches that she seemed to
have a supplementary leg in her tail, the
dog-cart jolted and tilted back to the village
It was too wet for the women to look out, it
was too wet even for the children to look
out; all the doors and windows were closed,
and the only sign of life or motion was in
the rain-punctured puddles.

Whisky and oil to Thomas Idle's ankle,
and whisky without oil to Francis
Goodchild's stomach, produced an agreeable
change in the systems of both: soothing Mr.
Idle's pain, which was sharp before, and
sweetening Mr. Goodchild's temper, which
was sweet before. Portmanteaus being then
opened and clothes changed, Mr. Goodchild,
through having no change of outer garments
but broadcloth and velvet, suddenly became
a magnificent portent in the Innkeeper's
house, a shining frontispiece to the Fashions
for the month, and a frightful anomaly in the
Cumberland village.

Greatly ashamed of his splendid appearance,
the conscious Goodchild quenched it as
much as possible, in the shadow of Thomas
Idle's ankle, and in a corner of the little
covered carriage that started with them for
Wigton-  a most desirable carriage for any
country, except for its having a flat roof and
no sides; which caused the plumps of rain
accumulating on the roof to play vigorous
games of bagatelle into the interior all the
way, and to score immensely. It was
comfortable to see how the people coming back
in open carts from Wigton market made no
more of the rain than if it were sunshine;
how the Wigton policeman taking a country
walk of half-a-dozen miles (apparently for
pleasure), in resplendent uniform, accepted
saturation as his normal state; how clerks
and schoolmasters in black, loitered along the
road without umbrellas, getting varnished
at every step; how the Cumberland girls,
coming out to look after the Cumberland
cows, shook the rain from their eyelashes
and laughed it away; and how the rain
continued to fall upon all, as it only does fall
in hill countries.

Wigton market was over, and its bare
booths were smoking with rain all down the
street. Mr. Thomas Idle, melo-dramatically
carried to the Inn's first floor, and laid upon
three chairs (he should have had the sofa, if
there had been one), Mr. Goodchild went to
the window to take an observation of Wigton,
and report what he saw to his disabled

"Brother Francis, brother Francis," cried
Thomas Idle. "What do you see from the

"I see," said Brother Francis, "what I
hope and believe to be one of the most dismal
places ever seen by eyes. I see the houses
with their roofs of dull black, their stained
fronts, and their dark-rimmed windows,
looking as if they were all in mourning. As
every little puff of wind comes down the
street, I see a perfect train of rain let off
along the wooden stalls in the market-place
and exploded against me. I see a very big
gas-lamp in the centre which I know, by a
secret instinct, will not be lighted to-night.
I see a pump, with a trivet underneath its
spout whereon to stand the vessels that are
brought to be filled with water. I see a man
come to pump, and he pumps very hard, but
no water follows, and he strolls empty away."

"Brother Francis, brother Francis," cried
Thomas Idle, "what more do you see from