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But there's the bakehus, if you could make up your mind to spend a twopence on the oven now and then,--not every week, in course--I shouldn't like to do that myself,--you might carry your bit o' dinner there, for it's nothing but right to have a bit o' summat hot of a Sunday, and not to make it as you can't know your dinner from Saturday.
We asked him if he had ever tried washing flannels in the river, and he replied: "No, not exactly himself like; but he knew some fellows who had, and it was easy enough;" and Harris and I were weak enough to fancy he knew what he was talking about, and that three respectable young men, without position or influence, and with no experience in washing, could really clean their own shirts and trousers in the river Thames with a bit of soap.
Otherwise, I must expect the crushing criticism, "Well, I dare say it 's all very prim and proper, but it is n't a bit like us," and never hope to arrive at the distinction of finding the covers of "An Old-Fashioned Girl" the dirtiest in the library.
He said nought; but he listened to me as steady an' patient as could be, an' never a bit o' scorn about him; so I went on, an' telled him all, just as I've telled you--an' more too.
I've spent a good few years trying to put a bit together, and this is the first chance I've had," he said; "I'm going to have you back me as a British subject on that concession.
They just used to skedaddle off to work--I've seen hundreds of 'em, bit of breakfast in hand, running wild and shining to catch their little season-ticket train, for fear they'd get dismissed if they didn't; working at businesses they were afraid to take the trouble to under- stand; skedaddling back for fear they wouldn't be in time for dinner; keeping indoors after dinner for fear of the back streets, and sleeping with the wives they married, not be- cause they wanted them, but because they had a bit of money that would make for safety in their one little mis- erable skedaddle through the world.
And as his stomach kept grumbling more than ever and he had nothing to quiet it with, he thought of going out for a walk to the near-by village, in the hope of finding some charitable person who might give him a bit of bread.
Didn't she strike you as a girl who would like a man with a bit of devil in him, a man with some go in him, a you-be-darned kind of man?
He'd be a bit surly sometimes, but when we hadn't had a bite since morning, and we hadn't even got the price of a lie down at the Chink's, he'd be as lively as a cricket.
No, no; but it's a fine thing to come to a man when he's seen into the nature of business: to have the chance of getting a bit of the country into good fettle, as they say, and putting men into the right way with their farming, and getting a bit of good contriving and solid building done--that those who are living and those who come after will be the better for.