WILLIAM AND THE PRIZE PIG 248
to contend with. You know how little minded people are where pigs are concerned. I once grew marrows, and it was just the same with those. Cucumbers, too. There's something about pigs and marrows and cucumbers that seems to bring ou the worst in people, seems to paralyse their sense of truth. You'd be surprised if you knew the people that have told me that Eglantine is nothing to pigs they've had. Just the same as people did with marrows. Fortunately I've got a check on most of the people that have kept pigs about here, because I managed to get snapshots of most of them, and when they begin to talk about it I just bring them out and show them the photograph of their pig beside the snapshot I've got of Eglantine taken at just the same distance. Even the Vicaróhe's not kept them for a few years nowóbut even the Vicar started the other day saying that his prize pig was quite as big as Eglantine I took out the photograph to show him. He didn't like it at all. Ordinarily he's a perfectly truthful man, of course. It's amazing
to me-----" He crossed over to a bureau and took out
a snapshot album and pointed at it at the first page. " That's the Vicar's," he said ; " I took it about two years ago."
William had just crept with elaborate secrecy to the drawing-room window and was crouching beneath it to listen to whatever was going on inside. This was the first and only sentence he heard. No sooner had he heard it than Mr. Ballater accidentally knocked over an occasional table and William, startled by the noise, fled. But he did not regret his departure. He had heard enough to settle all his doubts. He reached the road and uttered the low, clear whistle with which he summoned his hand. They assembled with eager haste.
" He is one," said William triumphantly. " When I got there he'd got someone in with him and he was showing whoever it was the things he'd stole. He was