WILLIAM AND THE PRIZE PIG 251
from his hands and gazing through him with the fatuous smile. " A' right."
William and his band hastily departed.
" She's balmy," said Ginger.
" Let's go back and see if we c'n see him doin' anythin' else," said William.
They returned to Mr. Ballater s house and met him issuing from his front gate in hat and overcoat.
" He's fleein'," exclaimed Ginger. " He's found the letter an' he's fleein'."
" Well, as long as he's not written to my father
first," said William.
Then they went home to tea.
Mr. Ballater was having tea with the Vicar. Mr. Ballater generally went to have tea with the Vicar when the Vicar's wife was away. They discussed on these occasions pigs and cucumbers and marrows. The Vicar's wife never allowed the Vicar to ask him to tea while she was at home, because she said that he wasn't a spiritual man. She said that no man who thought so much about the size of pigs and cucumbers and marrows could possibly be a spiritual man. But in her absence they always forgathered and enjoyed a chat. The Vicar had just finished " terithly and lastly" as Mr. Ballater was announced, and so he could give a free mind to the proportions of Eglantine. Mr. Ballater was as usual waxing lyrical over the proportions of Eglantine. He was feeling much happier about her because she'd had a nice little nap in the afternoon, and he felt that with a lot of food and rest she'd soon make up that pound or so she'd lost that day. Still, he told the Vicar the whole story.
" Fortunately," he ended, " I know the boy, so I can complain of his conduct to his father, and I hope he will take active measures. A valuable animal like that . . . pounds it must have lost."
" I remember," put in the Vicar, " in the case of that