To the day of her death she never so much :rs (rifled
with a pair of spectacles. But she was still \vry much
alive when I saw her at the Flower Show Match.
Sitting bolt upright in a wicker-chair, she scrutinized
me keenly and then favoured me with a friendly little
nod without losing touch with what my aunt was
engaged in telling her by "finger-talk".
"What is it the man has been doing, Evelyn?" she
asked, her queer, uncontrolled voice quavering up to
a bird-like shrillness. There was something rather
frightening about her defective intonation.
"Write it down; write it down/' she screeched,
clawing a tablet and pencil out of her lap and con-
signing them to Aunt Evelyn, who hurriedly scribbled
two or three lines and returned the tablet for her to
read aloud, "such a dreadful thing, the judges have
found out that Bath wick has been cheating with his
prize vegetables". She passed it back with a tremu-
"How did he do it?" More scribbling, and then
she read out, "He bought all the vegetables at Ash-
bridge. The judges suspected him, so they went to
his garden in a pony trap and found that he has no
glass—not even a cucumber frame." Miss Maskall
chuckled delightedly at this, and said that he ought
to be given a special prize.
"I call it downright dishonest. Almost as bad as
embezzlement,," wrote Aunt Evelyn who, as one of
the judges, could scarcely be expected to treat the
offence in a spirit of levity.
Miss Clara now insisted that she must herself
inspect the fraudulent vegetables. Rising energetic-
ally from her chair, she grasped her ebony stick with
an ivory knuckled hand, and shaped an uncompromis-
ing course for the Horticultural Tent with Aunt