This hour of coming home from market was the happy one, if not the happiest, of the week for them. Snugly ensconced under the tilt, they could forget the sorrows of the world without, and survey life and recapitulate the incidents of the day with placid smiles.
The passengers in the back part formed a group to themselves, and while the new-comer spoke to the proprietress, they indulged in a confidential chat about him as about other people, which the noise of the van rendered inaudible to himself and Mrs. Dollery, sitting forward.
"'Tis Barber Percombe--he that's got the waxen woman in his window at the top of Abbey Street," said one. "What business can bring him from his shop out here at this time and not a journeyman hair- cutter, but a master-barber that's left off his pole because 'tis not genteel!"
They listened to his conversation, but Mr. Percombe, though he had nodded and spoken gen