At the beginning of the next month Owen's annual holiday arrived.
Owen spent his boyhood in the Shropshire village of which his father had been rector, and thither he went when his holiday came round, to the farm of one Dorman.
Except for these, Owen had fancied that he was alone in the house.
Owen could not recollect having come across any work by anyone of that name; but he was not a wide reader; and, whether the man above was a celebrity or not, he was entitled to quiet.
Nor, until the last day of his visit, did Owen see old Mrs Dorman.
A boyhood spent in the place, added to this ten days' stay, had made Owen something of a linguist.
"For Heaven's sake," screamed Owen Warland, springing up with wonderful energy, "as you would not drive me mad, do not touch it!
"I should hardly dare touch it, sir," replied Owen, in a depressed tone; for he was weighed down by his old master's presence.
"What can Owen Warland be about?" muttered old Peter Hovenden, himself a retired watchmaker, and the former master of this same young man whose occupation he was now wondering at.
"Perhaps, father," said Annie, without showing much interest in the question, "Owen is inventing a new kind of timekeeper.
He has not the sort of ingenuity to invent anything better than a Dutch toy," answered her father, who had formerly been put to much vexation by Owen Warland's irregular genius.
Did you ever hear of a blacksmith being such a fool as Owen Warland yonder?"