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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

the field-gate and ushered Aunt Evelyn into the large,
tropical-temperatured tent where the judges had
already begun their expert scrutiny of the competing
vegetables.

In the minds of most of the inhabitants of Butley
William Dodd was an immemorial institution, and no
village affairs could properly be transacted without
his sanction and assistance. As a churchwarden on
Sundays his impressive demeanour led us to suppose
that, if he was not yet on hat-raising terms with the
Almighty, he at any moment expected to be. During
aParliamentaryElectionhewasequallyindispcnsable,
as he supervised the balloting in the village school-
room; and the sanguine solemnity with which he
welcomed the Conservative candidate left no doubt
at all as to his own political opinions. He was a man
much respected by the local gentry, and was on free
and easy terms with the farmers of the neighbourhood.
In fact, he was a sort of unofficial mayor of the village,
and would have worn his robes, had they existed, with
dignity and decorum. Though nearer fifty than forty,
he was still one of the most vigorous run-getters in the
Butley eleven, and his crafty underarm bowling
worked havoc with the tail-end of many an opposing
team. On Flower Show day he was in all his glory as
captain of the cricket team and secretary and treasurer
of the Horticultural Society, and his manner of re-
ceiving my aunt and myself was an epitome of his
urbane and appreciative attitude toward the universe
with which the parish of Butley was discreetly associ-
ated. Waggish persons in the village had given him
the nickname "Did-I-say-Myself". Anyone who
wanted to discover the origin of this witticism could
do so by stopping outside the saddler's shop on a
summer morning for a few minutes of gentle gossip.

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