They then parted; and Henry, as he returned home, thanked Bayne heartily. He said this second L15 had been a bitter pill at first; but now he was glad he had offered it. "I would not leave Hillsborough for fifteen hundred pounds."
Two days after this promising interview with Mr. Parkin, Henry received a note, the envelope of which showed him it came from Mr. Jobson. He opened it eagerly, and with a good hope that its object was to tell him he was now a member of the Edge-Tool Forgers' Union.
"DEAR SIR,--I hear, with considerable surprise, that you continue to forge blades and make handles for Mr. Cheetham. On receipt of this information I went immediately to Mr. Parkin, and he assured me that he came to the same terms with you as I did. He says he intimated politely, but plainly, that he should expect you not to make any more carving-tool handles for Mr. Cheetham, till his committee had received your proposal. He now joins me in advising you to strike work for the present. Hillsborough is surrounded by beautiful scenes, which it might gratify an educated workman to inspect, during the unavoidable delay caused by the new and very important questions your case has raised.
"P.S.--A respectable workman was with me yesterday, and objected that you receive from Mr. Cheetham a higher payment than the list price. Can you furnish me with a reply to this, as it is sure to be urged at the trade meeting."
When he read this, Little's blood boiled, especially at the cool advice to lay down his livelihood, and take up scenery: and he dashed off a letter of defiance. He showed it to Bayne, and it went into the fire directly. "That is all right," said this worthy. "You have written your mind, like a man. Now sit down, and give them treacle for their honey--or you'll catch pepper."
Henry groaned, and writhed, but obeyed.
He had written his defiance in three minutes. It took him an hour to produce the following:
"DEAR SIR,--I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I did not, for a moment, attach that meaning to any thing that fell either from you or Mr. Parkin.