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A Bit O' Love

In the BURLACOMBES' hall-sitting-room the curtains are drawn, a lamp burns,
and the door stands open. BURLACOMBE and his wife are hovering there,
listening to the sound of mingled cheers and groaning.
MRS. BURLACOMBE. Aw! my gudeness--what a thing t'appen! I'd saner 'a lost
all me ducks. [She makes towards the inner door] I can't never face 'im.
BURLACOMBE. 'E can't expect nothin' else, if 'e act like that.
MRS. BURLACOMBE. 'Tes only duin' as 'e'd be done by.
BURLACOMBE. Aw! Yu can't go on forgivin' 'ere, an' forgivin' there. 'Tesn't
MRS. BURLACOMBE. 'Tes the mischief 'e'm a parson. 'Tes 'im bein' a lamb o'
God--or 'twidden be so quare for 'im to be forgivin'.
BURLACOMBE. Yu goo an' make un a gude 'ot drink.
MRS. BURLACOMBE. Poor soul! What'll 'e du now, I wonder? [Under her
breath] 'E's cumin'!
[She goes hurriedly. BURLACOMBE, with a startled look back, wavers and
makes to follow her, but stops undecided in the inner doorway. STRANGWAY
comes in from the darkness. He turns to the window and drops overcoat and hat
and the church key on the windowseat, looking about him as men do when too
hard driven, and never fixing his eyes long enough on anything to see it.
BURLACOMBE, closing the door into the house, advances a step. At the sound
STRANGWAY faces round.]
BURLACOMBE. I wanted for yu to know, zurr, that me an' mine 'adn't nothin' to
du wi' that darned fulishness, just now.
STRANGWAY. [With a ghost of a smile] Thank you, Burlacombe. It doesn't
matter. It doesn't matter a bit.
BURLACOMBE. I 'ope yu won't take no notice of it. Like a lot o' silly bees they
get. [After an uneasy pause] Yu'll excuse me spakin' of this mornin', an' what
'appened. 'Tes a brave pity it cam' on yu so sudden-like before yu 'ad time to
think. 'Tes a sort o' thing a man shude zet an' chew upon. Certainly 'tes not a bit
o' yuse goin' against human nature. Ef yu don't stand up for yureself there's no