Totty seems a strange name for an old man, but it was given to Toby Veck because of his always going at a trot to do his errands; for he was a porter, and carried letters and messages for people who were in too great a hurry to send them by the post. He did not earn very much, and had to be out in all weathers and all day long. But Toby was of a cheerful disposition, and looked on the bright side of everything. His greatest joy was his dear daughter Meg, who loved him dearly.
One cold day Toby had been trotting up and down in his usual place before the church, when the bells chimed twelve o'clock, which made Toby think of dinner.