"SIR,--We beg respectfully to draw your attention to a matter, which is of a nature to cause unpleasantness between you and the Trades. We allude to your bringing a workman in from another town to do work that we are informed can be done on the premises by your own hands.
"We assure you it would be more to your interest to work in harmony with the smiths and the handle-makers in your employ, and the trade generally. Yours respectfully,
"THE COMMITTEE OF THE EDGE-TOOL FORGERS' UNION."
Henry colored up at this, and looked grieved; but he said, "I am sorry to be the cause of any unpleasantness. But what can I do?"
"Oh," said Bayne, with a sardonic grin, "they are sure to tell you that, soon or late. Read this:"
No. 2 was dated a week later, and ran thus:
"MR. CHEETHAM: SIR,--I think you do very ill to annoy a many craftsmen for one. Remember, you have suffered loss and inconvenience whenever you have gone against Trades. We had to visit you last year, and when we came your bands went and your bellows gaped. We have no wish to come again this year, if you will be reasonable. But, sir, you must part with London hand, or take consequences.
Henry looked grave. "Can I see a copy of Mr. Cheetham's reply?"