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Watch-Dogs - Ship's Company, Part 5. by W. W. Jacobs
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By W.W. Jacobs

[Illustration: "As I was a-saying, kindness to animals is all very well"]


"It's a'most the only enj'yment I've got left," said the oldest
inhabitant, taking a long, slow draught of beer, "that and a pipe o'
baccy. Neither of 'em wants chewing, and that's a great thing when you
ain't got anything worth speaking about left to chew with."

He put his mug on the table and, ignoring the stillness of the summer
air, sheltered the flame of a match between his cupped hands and conveyed
it with infinite care to the bowl of his pipe. A dull but crafty old eye
squinting down the stem assured itself that the tobacco was well alight
before the match was thrown away.

"As I was a-saying, kindness to animals is all very well," he said to the
wayfarer who sat opposite him in the shade of the "Cauliflower" elms;
"but kindness to your feller-creeturs is more. The pint wot you give me
is gone, but I'm just as thankful to you as if it wasn't."

He half closed his eyes and, gazing on to the fields beyond, fell into a
reverie so deep that he failed to observe the landlord come for his mug
and return with it filled. A little start attested his surprise, and,