- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 506MB
"I was going to say, my Lord, that poor Stephen here has called nobody to speak to his good character, but may be it isn't wanting, for every man here, except one would go a hundred miles to say a good word for himBut my Lord, I was thinking how much money that house of Holgrave's cost in buildingLet me seeabout twenty florences, and then at a shilling a head from all of us here," looking round upon the yeomen, "would just build it up againI for one would not care about doing the smith's work at half price, and there's Denby the mason, and Cosgrave the carpenter, say they would do their work at the same rateBy St. Nicholas! (using his favorite oath) twelve florences would be more than enoughWell then my Lord, the business might be settled,"and he paused as if debating whether he should go farther.
Then the two women fairly stormed at Reuben. They told him he was a money-grubber, an unnatural father, that he had been drinking, that he ought to be ashamed of himself, that he had only got what he deserved. Reuben tried to stand up to them, but Rose had an amazing power of invective, and her friend, who was a spinster, but sometimes forgot it, filled in the few available pauses so effectively that in the end the wretched husband was driven from the room, feeling that the world held even worse things than wealthy and perfidious libertines.
Margaret then threw herself at the feet of Edith, and besought her, in the most earnest and pathetic manner, to take refuge at Hailes Abbey, in which she was seconded by Holgrave. The old woman remained silent; but there was a brightnessa glistening in her eyes as if a tear had started;but if a tear did start, it did not fall. At length, recovering her composure, she rose firmly from her seat
"Kip calm, ladkip calm. There's naun there, naun, I tell you."After a time they began to notice a convergence in these independent ways. It seemed as if only by running apart had they learned at last to run together. A certain friendliness and comradery began to establish itself between them. Reuben began to talk to Naomi[Pg 110] about politics and agricultural doings, and gradually her character underwent a strange blossoming. She became far more adult in her opinions; she took interest in matters outside her household and immediate surroundings. He never spoke to her of his plans for Boarzell, for that would have brought them back into the old antagonism and unrest; but when she read the papers to him he would discuss them with her, occasionally interrupt her with comments, and otherwise show that he had to do with an intelligent being. She in her turn would enquire into the progress of the hops or the oats, ask him if his new insect-killer was successful, or whether Ditch had done well with his harvest, or how much Realf's had fetched at the corn-market.
"Hush," she said gently"that's still in the futureand remember not to say 'sarve.'"Turner thus far complied with the baron's orderbut not a foot would he step beyond the court-yard. He had vowed, he said, when Holgrave's freedom had been denied him, never to cross the threshold of the hall again; and without being absolved by a priest, he would not break his vow, even at King Edward's bidding. De Boteler, accustomed to implicit obedience, was much provoked at this obstinacy, and, as was natural, his first orders were to use force; but it instantly occurred, that no force could compel the smith to speak, and it would be to little purpose to have the man before him, if he refused to answer his interrogatories. The compulsory orders were therefore countermanded, and Calverley was desired to try what persuasion might effect; but De Boteler could not have chosen one less likely to influence the smith. The instant that Calverley strove to induce a compliance, Turner might be compared to a man who buttons up his pocket when some unprincipled applicant commences his petition for a loanfor not only was his resolution strengthened not to enter the hall, but he also determined not to answer any question that might be put to him, even should De Boteler condescend, like Edward to Llewellin, to come over to him. But De Boteler was so incensed that the stubborn artizan should presume to hold out even against solicitation, that, in all probability, he would not have troubled himself farther with one from whom there was so little satisfaction to be expected, had it not been for the remonstrances of the lady, who was instigated by Calverley to have him interrogated respecting Holgrave's flight. In compliance, therefore, with her earnest desire, he condescended so far to humour the smith, as to retire into the adjoining apartment; and as Turner's vow had not extended beyond the hall, he had no longer a pretext for refusing to attend.