THE BAKER'S WIFE. 10$
But, instead of answering, Curdie went up to the bump on the street which had repeated itself on the baker's head, and turning the hammer end of his mattock, struck it such a blow that it flew wide in pieces. Blow after blow he struck, until he had levelled it with the street.
But out flew the barber upon him in a rage.
"What do you break my window for, you rascal, with your pickaxe ? "
" I am very sorry," said Curdie. "It must have been a bit of stone that flew from my mattock. I couldn't help it, you know."
" Couldn't help it! A fine story ! What do you go breaking the rock for—the very rock upon which the city stands ? "
"Look at your friend's forehead," said Curdie. "See what a lump he has got on it with falling over that same stone."
"What's that to my window?" cried the barber. "His forehead can mend itself; my poor window can't."
"But he's the king's baker," said Curdie, more and more surprised at the man's anger.
"What's that to me ? This is a free city. Every man here takes care of himself, and the king takes care of us all. I'll have the price of my window out of you, or the exchequer shall pay for it"