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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Tom Tiddler's Ground, by Charles Dickens
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Tom Tiddler's Ground
Author: Charles Dickens
Release Date: April 3, 2005 [eBook #1413]
Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TOM TIDDLER'S GROUND***
Transcribed from the 1894 Chapman and Hall "Christmas Stories" edition by
David Price, email firstname.lastname@example.org
TOM TIDDLER'S GROUND
CHAPTER I--PICKING UP SOOT AND CINDERS
"And why Tom Tiddler's ground?" said the Traveller.
"Because he scatters halfpence to Tramps and such-like," returned the
Landlord, "and of course they pick 'em up. And this being done on his
own land (which it _is_ his own land, you observe, and were his family's
before him), why it is but regarding the halfpence as gold and silver,
and turning the ownership of the property a bit round your finger, and
there you have the name of the children's game complete. And it's
appropriate too," said the Landlord, with his favourite action of
stooping a little, to look across the table out of window at vacancy,
under the window-blind which was half drawn down. "Leastwise it has been
so considered by many gentlemen which have partook of chops and tea in
the present humble parlour."
The Traveller was partaking of chops and tea in the present humble
parlour, and the Landlord's shot was fired obliquely at him.
"And you call him a Hermit?" said the Traveller.
"They call him such," returned the Landlord, evading personal
responsibility; "he is in general so considered."
"What _is_ a Hermit?" asked the Traveller.
"What is it?" repeated the Landlord, drawing his hand across his chin.
"Yes, what is it?"
The Landlord stooped again, to get a more comprehensive view of vacancy
under the window-blind, and--with an asphyxiated appearance on him as one
unaccustomed to definition--made no answer.
"I'll tell you what I suppose it to be," said the Traveller. "An
abominably dirty thing."
"Mr. Mopes is dirty, it cannot be denied," said the Landlord.