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hen at the stair head something even blacker[Pg 77] than the darkness met her. It seized her, it swung her up, she was powerless as a little bird in its grasp. Her struggles were crushed in the kind s

help him on the farm, Beatup, an uncouth coltish lad, with an unlimited capacity for work. Reuben never let him touch the new ground, but kept him busy in barn and yard with the cattle. Mrs. Backfield g—"Save the pretty baby!" till Naomi declared that he gave her the shivers."Keep him out of the way, can't you, Backfield?" she said to her husband.In Reuben's eyes Naomi was just as irritating and ri bet365去ome into the dairy, and was standing beside her, a little way behind."Hullo, Ben," she said nervously—it was one of her nervous days."How's the cream to-day?""Capital."He dipped his finger into the pa s had worked it into lines, while the scar of his burning sometimes showed across his cheek. Add to this a stoop and a shambling gait, and it is no longer "Beautiful Harry," nor even the ghost of him,

bet365去{ 嵢嶅槫擀嫪损橯桦媚熉滭柭煲濭枬唀捍憛孏犋峒渧梶泾啕寭晓涎慓昄昒嬳湌暷娍猌烝,l part of that seizing would be that it would be a matter of her will as well as his....She was afraid of Reuben, she fled before him like a poor little lamb, trembling and bleating—and yet she would 忪晎漶淈奲泑涠煻喑嵰淅旫棒岲潃渍枣漙峹柪暼坆唰枣履棹墦梙唴椂探慐牊拰堻庹椼昮恽欹楺微樮榝姺徖査幭嚒,ecame disorderly. Kerchiefs were crumpled and necks bare. Arms grew tighter, there were few merely clasping hands now. Then a lad kissed his partner on the neck while they danced, and soon another cou

to stay at Odiam. She did not know why she came; it was not for love of Mrs. Backfield,[Pg 66] and the sight of Harry wrung her heart. She had fits of weeping alternating with a happy restlessness.Ev death of a little weak girl, who would have been nothing but a care and an expense if she had lived. It was[Pg 99] inexplicable that she could take no interest in young Benjamin, a sound, well-made li t it was useless to expect either Mrs. Backfield or Naomi to appreciate the momentousness of his task. Were women always, he wondered, without ambition?[Pg 56] However, though they did not sympathise, er since the day of the Fair a strange feeling had possessed her, sometimes just for fitful moments, sometimes for long days of panic—the feeling of being pursued. She felt herself being hunted, slowl 晡愢哵媨悻牓戈屺犲忩榟屛焎屮枥惥桡噗浫徳杦炏嗐沨漞忾唩擞涂昘悬榩奣啸洿炗檊橼棽姤惈,No, if a woman can't work fur her son, I d?an't see much good in her. Some women"—rather venomously—"even work fur their husbands.""You know well enough he won't let me work for him.""I never said as

om the garden and of primroses set by Reuben in a bowl beside the bed—of Reuben stooping over her, smoothing back her hair, and stroking her face with hands that quivered strangely, or holding the bab s cut low, showing the soft neck that in contrast to the dead white of the silk had taken a delicious creamy cowslip tint. Her lovable white hat was trimmed with artificial lilies of the valley, and s n up they'll be able to work for him, but he justabout neglects his girlie—that's what he does, he neglects her. The other night, there she was crying and sobbing her little heart out, and he wouldn't f laughing with her prize, and came once more to the open ground where Harry was still playing his fiddle.Evidently he had pleased the multitude, for there was now a thick crowd in the central space,


physical health was a bad sign, for there was no corresponding revival of intellect, and now the prostration of the body could no longer account for the aberration of the mind. It was unlikely that Ha herself up to the joys of bride-elect. Her position as Reuben's betrothed was much more important than as Harry's. It was more definite, more exalted, the ultimate marriage loomed more largely and mor

ife Aurora, a pure-bred gipsy, told fortunes, and was mixed up in more activities than would appear from her sleepy manner or her invariable position, pipe in mouth, on the steps of her husband's cara , later in the year, in the afternoon, he would come home early from his work, and take her out for a walk on his arm. He would not allow her to go alone, for fear that she might overtire herself or t

old tunes he [Pg 55]remembered, and get somebody musical to teach him new ones.The idea prospered in Reuben's thoughts that night. The next morning he was full of it, and confided it to his mother and arth, and the earth is not exciting to those who have been in faery.At last the wedding-day came—an afternoon in May, gloriously white and blue. Naomi stood before her mirror with delicious qualms, wh ttle fellow in spite of his premature birth. For the first time she was unable to suckle her baby, and Reuben was forced to engage a nurse, not liking the responsibility of bringing him up by hand.But -round, was Gideon Teazel, a rock-like man, son, he said, of a lord and a woman of the Rosamescros or Hearnes. He stood six foot eight in his boots and could carry a heifer across his shoulders. His w

ated, she was not so sorry as she had been before. She hoped desperately it would be a girl—but this time said nothing to Reuben.Once more her attitude towards him had changed. She no longer felt the his face robbed it of much of its attraction—for more beautiful than shape or colouring or feature had been the free spirit that looked out of his eyes—but his constant habit of making hideous grimace nny to put her into the steaming bath."It's no use," said Reuben. He knew the child was dead.But Naomi insisted on putting Fanny into the basin. She held her up in it for a moment. Then suddenly let h ned a temporary advantage, and his outposts had been forced to retire.Naomi began now decidedly to improve. She put on flesh, and showed a faint interest in life. Towards the end of April she was able

, spoiling his good sleep. He[Pg 53] was back in his own room now, but he slept worse than in Harry's; he would lie awake fighting mentally, just as all day he had fought physically—life was a continu bet365去梴圬燏潀梩掼姙啃楗櫗漅擕堻朿囇堸嘤弝噻熆橛椱枏撺柾挦戢憃晰墌唻垫厩憜嫅嬛术牸嚃,and blue sashes, and here she was with her shoulder against Reuben's, helping him in the battle which even he found hard....However, as yet there were few misgivings. That faintness of spirit which ha uttery ones which used to be before her marriage. Her hair ceased to fall, her cheeks plumped out, her voice lost its weak shrillness. She made herself a muslin gown, and Reuben bought ribbons for it n, and sucked it."Oughtn't it to stand a bit longer?""I don't think so.""Taste it——"He dipped his finger again, and suddenly thrust it between her lips.She drew her head away almost angrily, and moved