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freely ; but he told her the cause of his misery, asking her most piteously if she thought his father could be prevailed on to let him have that-to the boy—vast sum of sixpence, and allow him to go to see the show.
“ I'll ask yer father, Den," she replied ; “I don't know what he may say to it—but if he says Yes, I'll not say No.”
The mother did not gain her point very easily, and it was only on the morning of the day of the show that the sixpence was forthcoming and the permission he craved granted.
Those two good-looking young scamps Scoot and Winder were quickly informed of Den’s good fortune, and they called for him, wearing their best clothes, and having the bearing of patriarchs, as they told Mrs Magnier that they “wud look after Denzil, an' see as nuthin' happined tu him : an' they'd take pertickler care as he didn't lose that there sixpence, for they'd tie his pocket up like a purse till he got thear, an' then git it out fur him agin.”
After a few more sage and valuable remarks, the trio started on their way, Scoot again reassuring the mother as to “thet sixpence,"
It was a long tramp to the town where Wombwell was exhibiting, but the three happy boys thought nothing of it; and when at last they stood in front of the huge vans, looking at the pictures, they were lost in speechless wonder for some time.
Presently Scoot, in a very subdued voice for him, said, “ This is wuth walkin' a good pair o' shoes off yer feet tu cum an' see. The picturs is wuth the money ef there wus nuthin' else."
Winder made the original and true remark that “ he'd niver sin sich a thing in all his life afore.”
Den could say nothing. He wanted to tarry a long time enjoying the painted animals before going inside; but the practical Scoot observed that “arter he'd got Den's precious sixpence out o' thet pocket, whear it wus wedged in so tight, they'd best go inside the show; the picturs 'ud be thear when they cum out agin.”
It would be impossible to describe the boy's delight when they were actually face to face with the wild animals they had only read about before. Den was in a state not easy to describe, and difficult for any who are not born naturalists to form any idea of. It was the happiest day he had ever spent; the way home seemed short as they discussed all the wonders they had seen.
WITH THE SHORE-SHOOTERS.
“That old voice of waters, of birds, and of breeze,
The dip of the wild-fowl, the rustling of trees.”
It was due to the influence of his mother's relatives that Den was allowed to roam so freely over the wild marshes, in the company of Scoot and Winder. He had also family connections who were shore-shooters, besides others on his father's side who farmed their own land as graziers ; so that he learned the ways and habits of the wild-fowl, whilst becoming familiar with their outward appearance, and the changes in their plumage in the different seasons.
To most, the marshes round about his home would have seemed a dreary wilderness; but the birds were there, and that was enough for him. In the spring