A great crowd of natives were gathered about the hut attempting
"What, without the needle not go to the justice of the peace?"
"No; for only see this hole which Gib, the cat, tore in my prettiest cap awhile ago, as I took the cap out of the box and laid it on the table. Indeed I cannot go to the justice of the peace with such a hole in my cap! Search then, Hodge, search, so that I can mend my cap, and go with you to the justice of the peace!"
"Lord God, where in the world can it be, the unlucky needle? I must have it, I must find it, so that Gammer Gurton may take her will to the justice of the peace!"
And in frantic desperation, Hodge searched all about on the floor for the lost needle, and Gammer Gurton stuck her large spectacles on her flaming red nose and peered about on the table. So eager was she in the search, that she even let her tongue rest a little, and deep silence reigned in the room.
Suddenly this silence was broken by a voice; which seemed to come from the courtyard. It was a soft, sweet voice that cried: "Hodge, dear Hodge, are you there? Come to me in the court, only for a few minutes! I want to have a bit of a laugh with you!"
It was as though an electric shock had passed through the room with that voice, and struck at the same time both Gammer Gurton and Hodge.
Both startled, and discontinuing the search, stood there wholly immovable, as if petrified. Hodge especially, poor Hodge, was as if struck by lightning. His great bluish-white eyes appeared to be coming out of their sockets; his long arms hung down, flapping and dangling about like a flail; his knees, half bent, seemed already to be giving way in expectation of the approaching storm.
This storm did not in fact make him wait long. "That is Tib!" screamed Gammer Gurton, springing like a lioness upon Hodge and seizing him by the shoulders with both her hands. "That is Tib, you thread-like, pitiful greyhound! Well, was I not right, now, when I called you a faithless, good-for-nothing scamp, that spares not innocence, and breaks the hearts of the women as he would a cracker, which he swallows at his pleasure? Was I not right, in saying that you were only watching for me to go out in order to go and sport with Tib?"
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