As things were, the little man spent all his spare moments with the Cup between his knees, burnishing it and crooning to Wullie:
"I never saw a fairer, I never lo'ed a dearer, And neist my heart I'll wear her, For fear my jewel tine."
There, Wullie! look at her! is she no bonthe? She shines like a twinkle--twinkle in the sky." And he would hold it out at arm's length, his head cocked sideways the better to scan its bright beauties.
The little man was very jealous for his treasure. David might not touch it; might not smoke in the kitchen lest the fumes should tarnish its glory; while if he approached too closely he was ordered abruptly away.
"As if I wanted to touch his nasty Cup!" he complained to Maggie. "I'd sooner ony day--"
"Hands aff, Mr. David, immediate! ' she cried indignantly. "'Pertinence, indeed!" as she tossed her head clear of the big fingers that were fondling her pretty hair.
So it was that M'Adam, on coming quietly-into the kitchen one day, was consumed with angry resentment to find David actually handling the object of his reverence; and the manner of his doing it added a thousandfold to the offence.
The boy was lolling indolently against the mantelpiece, his fair head shoved right into the Cup, his breath dimming its lustre, and his two hands, big and dirty, slowly revolving it before his eyes.