Caro and Tilly did not rebel. Somehow or other their young backs did not break under the load of household toil, nor, more strangely, did their young hearts, in the loneliness of their hard, uncared-for lives."You must—it's right in your eyes.""A girl—— Oh, no! I want another boy." 一分快三破解器免费 "I reckon I cud, for f?ather ?un't going this year, he's got an auction at Appledore."Those who brothers' blood have shed,Then winter came, with carol-singing, and the choristers tramped round, lantern-led, from farm to farm. There in the fluttering light outside Kitchenhour, Old Turk, Ellenwhorne, or Edzell, Robert would watch Bessie's chicory-flower eyes under her hood, while the steam of their breath mingled in the frosty air, and they drooped their heads together, singing to each other, only to each other, "Good King Wenceslas," "As Joseph was a-walking," or "In the Fields with their Flocks."One evening when Reuben was out inspecting a sick cow, Rose lay on the sofa languidly shelling peas. Once more it was June, and a rusty heat was outside blurring the orchard. Her fingers often lay idle in the bowl of peas, for though her task relieved the sweltering boredom which had weighed on her all day, every now and then a great lassitude would sweep over her, slacking her muscles, slacking her thoughts, till she drooped into a vague stagnation of sorrow. His headache had passed off, and he felt a man again; so he sought the woman. She lived in a small old house wedged tight between two new ones; her window was dark, and her threshold silent, though he knocked again and again. He walked up and down once or twice in front of the cottage whistling "Ropes and Rum"—perhaps she had gone to do some shopping; he saw himself sitting down to a feast of pickled herrings in her kitchen."'One day when your pride shall have brought you to sorrow,"Why?" The sound of voices came from the passage outside the kitchen. Reuben was talking to the girl. A word or two reached them."I'll soon be able to have Richard on, and then there's still Jemmy to foller—and George." "I've been so wicked—I daren't die. I've been the lowest scum. I'm lost. Pete, I'm damned—I shall go to hell."Reuben's oats were a dismal failure. All the warm thrilling hopes which he had put into the ground with the seed and the rape cake, all the watching and expectation which had imparted as many delights as Naomi to the first weeks of his married life—all had ended in a few rows of scraggy, scabrous murrainous little shoots, most of which wilted as if with shame directly they appeared above the ground, while the others, after showing him and a derisive neighbourhood all that oats could do in the way of tulip-roots, sedge-leaves, and dropsical husk, shed their seeds in the first summer gale, and started July as stubble. 一分快三破解器免费 "Wot else am I to do?" he exclaimed wretchedly; "'t?un't even as if I cud go on seeing you here. Oh, Bessie! I can't even t?ake you to the Fair on Thursday!"Reuben slunk away, angry and miserable. Mrs. Backfield poured the water into a basin, and Naomi lifted Miss Fanny to put her into the steaming bath."Why not?"He dipped his finger into the pan, and sucked it. Those who brothers' blood have shed,Pete angrily defended the minister, which caused Reuben fresh alarm; for in the old days when his father abused Ades he had tried to conciliate him by laying stress on the latter's prowess as a bruiser, but now he never once mentioned his fists, enlarging instead on his qualities of soul and on the fact that he had found Christ. The two theologians carried on their argument till well past bedtime, and at last separated in a great state of dogma and indignation.Her first words startled him."Down wud Bardon!""You've no call to be ashamed of me," said Caro rather irritably.Nearly as bad as her indifference to the children she had already borne, was her indifference to the child she was about to bear. She was expecting her confinement in the spring, but she did not seem to take the slightest interest in it or the slightest care of herself. Again and again she would start up from the sofa where she had[Pg 93] lain down by his orders, because she heard Fanny crying upstairs. She risked injuring herself by continually carrying her about or by stooping over her as she rolled on the floor. "I'll have wheat growing here in a twelvemonth!" he shouted.The boy shrugged and frowned. 一分快三破解器免费 "Of course I know the Fair has no legal title to this ground, but one must respect public feeling. I will sell you the forty acres adjoining the crest with pleasure, Mr. Backfield, they are no use to me, and you certainly seem to do wonders with the land when you get it—but[Pg 396] the Place itself must be preserved for the people. I'm sure you understand.""Valiant—my n?um wur sixteen times in the p?aper this mornun.""But in time the whole Moor will fall into his hands—see if it doesn't. And he's a Tory, a reactionary. It would be a dreadful thing for the parish if he became a big landowner.""I can't foller you," said Reuben gruffly. "Thanks, but I d?an't t?ake tea—I've never held wud it."