"But, I say, Bob," said Tom, in a tone of deliberation, "ferrets are nasty biting things,--they'll bite a fellow without being set on."
It was the plunging of some small body in the water from among the neighboring bulrushes; if it was not a water-rat, Bob intimated that he was ready to undergo the most unpleasant consequences.
Bob abstained from remark and passed on, choosing, however, to walk in the shallow edge of the overflowing river by way of change.
'Can't, indeed,' rejoined Bob Sawyer, 'I wouldn't mind a brain, but I couldn't stand a whole head.'
Bob Sawyer glanced mutual distrust out of the corners of their eyes.
Bob Sawyer; who, enlivened with the brandy, and the breakfast, and the talking, gradually ripened into a state of extreme facetiousness, and related with much glee an agreeable anecdote, about the removal of a tumour on some gentleman's head, which he illustrated by means of an oyster-knife and a half-quartern loaf, to the great edification of the assembled company.
'And a very good 'un it is, gentlemen,' said Bob
, receiving his fee, and drawing a bow out of his head with his right hand, very much as he would have drawn a pint of beer out of the beer engine.
Bob's voice was tremulous when he told them this, and trembled more when he said that Tiny Tim was growing strong and hearty.
His active little crutch was heard upon the floor, and back came Tiny Tim before another word was spoken, escorted by his brother and sister to his stool before the fire; and while Bob, turning up his cuffs -- as if, poor fellow, they were capable of being made more shabby -- compounded some hot mixture in a jug with gin and lemons, and stirred it round and round and put it on the hob to simmer; Master Peter, and the two ubiquitous young Cratchits went to fetch the goose, with which they soon returned in high procession.
Mrs Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot; Master Peter mashed the potatoes with incredible vigour; Miss Belinda sweetened up the apple-sauce; Martha dusted the hot plates; Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table; the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody, not forgetting themselves, and mounting guard upon their posts, crammed spoons into their mouths, lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped.
But when Daylight pulls out, the very same day, who drifts in, down river, on a raft-load of supplies, but Bob Henderson.
'Come along with me, Carmack, and get staked,' says Bob Henderson to me.