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And so, whate'er they answered, she would say-
She had not wept.
And ere that week was over, came the girl
And all that year
The year passed;
A hymn came on a waft of evening wind
“Come near and bless us when we wake,
And when she passed the pink thrift by the gate,
ROBERT CORSCADDEN from their mid-day meal of an Ulster farmer who owned tea and potatoes, and preparthe farm that he strove to live ing to go back to weeding in by. There were thirty acres of the drills. They were looking it, cold sour land, and a third at three men who tramped part of the whole barren moor. along the road from which a The screen of trees which short cart - track led, through Robert had raised about the waste moor, to the house. Each row of buildings-double cot- man carried a bundle and was tage, byre, barn, and stable— dressed in dark clothes. grew starved and twisted, yet “ Yon will be some of the there was a shelter in the Glendoe fellows,” said Johnny, homestead for folk and beasts. who watched them with The beasts, for they were part curious eagerness. of the farm, were well fed Ay," his father answered, there, the folk were underfed. “they're early off. They're Yet the human beings, hardiest easy spared from the kind of of animals, lived, if they did farms they have in the low not thrive; the beasts died country. sometimes. Then the pinch Johnny did not notice the would come.
farmer's contemptuous referA year before this Robert ence to the patches of ground lost two cows, and after that, on which migratory labourers worse than all, the stout mare make their dwelling. that had stood well to him “Work should be plenty in since he reared her. Another Scotland the year, when them horse had to be bought; the ones is going now," he said. instalments of purchase-money As he spoke, he pulled a due to Government must be pipe from his pocket and paid punctually in hard cash ; began to fill it. and, as the least ruinous way His father spoke roughly. to raise it, young Johnny, a “ What matter about Scotland ? boy now man - big, who had That's a trick you got there, wrought beside his father for any way. Why must you be seven or eight years, was sent for ever with a pipe in your to the labour in Scotland. The mouth?” money was earned, the boy “I can't be wanting it," the came back, decent, quiet, in- boy answered sullenly. dustrious, but changed. That “ You can't be wanting it! was how trouble began. An' how do I do, then? I have
One cold sunless morning in no patience with you, wasting May, Robert and his son stood good money on the dirty stuff. outside the door, coming out Johnny took the pipe out of
his mouth and turned to go
“ For Scotland ! Ah, noninto the house.
sense! What notion is this you • What are you looking took ? Put back the things this now?” Robert asked sharply. minute, now.' “I was thinking I would .
over to him and write a letter to Mr Guthrie tried to snatch
the to see would he be wanting me bundle. But the boy thrust this harvest."
her aside, and, knotting the Robert swung round with ends of the handkerchief, he a gesture of angry impatience, lifted it in his hand. as if refusing to argue with a “Quit talking," he said. troublesome child.
“I'm for Scotland this day.” “Ach, go to pot!” he said; “ And did you tell Robert and with that he strode away this?” she asked, her voice still down the lane.
pitched to scolding. Johnny did not follow, but “Never mind Robert,” the paused for a space looking at boy answered, sullen as a snarthe retreating figure. His face ling dog. was dour and stubborn. Then Quickly Annie'stone changed. he turned again to enter; and, “Sure, I know all about it now. as he did, his mother came out You and your father had some of the house with food for the fall-out. Ah, be sensible now, pigs.
Johnny. You wouldn't do the “Give me the key of the like of that—to ask to go away box,” he said.
and leave us with the throng Manners are curt in Ulster; time coming. Who's to help Annie Corscadden
Robert ? Sure you know old active bustling woman, and, John can't do a hand's turn." without
words, she “ How did he do before? handed him the key of the Didn't you send me to Scotchest in which were kept all land the other time? And the household's less often used didn't I send back the money possessions.
When she came I earned?" back, after a quarter of an Johnny's eyes were flaming, hour spent in byre and pigstye, and stubborn lines showed she found Johnny dressed in about his mouth. His mother's his Sunday clothes, tying up face was written over with a a bundle in a red and green conflict of feelings. Unable handkerchief.
to command, unable to let him “Save us, Johnny, what are go, she tried persuasion, yet you doing with them on you?” with little confidence. she said.
“You did so, Johnny,” she The boy did not turn his said. “No boy could do more face to her. “I'm for Scot- than you did, when we asked land,” he answered.
you. But why would you go Annie put down suddenly the now, and vex us?” bucket which she carried, and “It's because caught her hand to her breast. there and I'm a slave here, and Then she recovered herself. that's the long and the short
of it,” he broke out. “When it you when I have it earned, did I see the colour of money and more to it.” here, and me slaving late and But at that the instinct of early? You see them clothes parental authority rose again, on me that I got in Scotland; outraged in Annie. they're all the thing I ever “Indeed, then, and I'll do bought myself, and they're all no such thing. Go back to the thing I ever had of my the field, I tell you,” she cried, own. I was never proud till breaking again into anger. the first day I put them on. “I never heard the like of it,Ach, mother, Robert's a hard you to go off and not say as master to me.”
much as goodbye to your “He's no harder on you nor father.” he is on himself," the mother Johnny's lips knit tight and answered, with a touch of his cheeks flushed. anger. " What does
Rob “If you don't give it me,” ert grudge you that he ever he said, “I'll go to the shop and got for himself ?"
borrow it off them, and tell “It's the kind of him to want them you were afraid I'd steal nothing but work,” said the it. They won't be frightened boy doggedly.
to trust me, I'm thinking. « An' isn't it for you he’s And a good name that will working, and for the rest of the leave on you in the country.” childer?” Annie cried,—"an' Annie's
filled with tears. has been working, and killing “You wouldn't do the like of himself working.
that, Johnny." " An' what has he for it?" “I would, then, if you drove Johnny answered, with con me to it, and wouldn't trust tempt. " A farm of land that me with a pound or two." the crows wouldn't pick on. “Indeed, then, it's not for Let me go where there's money the money I'm frightened," to be earned and let him stay cried Annie, breaking into here. Each of us to be where sobs. “ You may have the he wants to be,—that's all I'm money, since
but I doubt it's little good will Annie turned again to per- go with it. I wouldn't believe suasion - eager to avoid at it of you, Johnny, to go away least the worst of what she and leave your father without felt to be inevitable.
help. What way will he get “Well, and maybe you're the crops in, with wee Annie right, Johnny,” she said coax out at service and the other ingly. “But go back to the childer too young to labour?” field now, and wait till we talk “If he has more nor he can to Robert. Sure you couldn't work, let him set a field of it. go like that, in a quarrel." There's plenty would take it.
The boy's face blackened. The crops are in the ground. “I'm done with Robert. Quit Let him sell them in the talking now and give me the ground.” money for my ticket. I'll send “Well you know your father