‘Funny,’ he said, as Brat plunged the shoe into the water, ‘if any Ashby was to earn his living at this job it ought to have been your brother.’
‘You never showed much interest.’
‘And did Simon?’
‘There was a time when I couldn’t keep him out of this place. There wasn’t anything he wasn’t going to make, from a candlestick to gates for the avenue at Latchetts. Far as I remember, all he ever made was a sheep-crook, and that not over-well. But he was always round the place. It was a craze of his for the whole of a summer.’
‘Which summer was that?’
‘Summer you left us, it was. I’d misremember about it, only he was here seeing us put an iron on a cartwheel the day you ran away. I had to shoo him home for his supper.’
I suppose the last line was the author saving a discrepancy here. I just can't get my head around that "Patrick", i.e. Brat, has only been gone for 7 years but people seem to allow for him forgetting an awful lot about his life before that. It does not add up.
Also, Simon is very suspicious and I would have expected him to be able to tell if Brat is his brother or not. It's not like they were separated at a young age.
And why does no-one ask Simon why he thinks that Brat isn't/couldn't be his brother when he first hears about him?