"Wilt go to Cousin Hetty, my dilling, while mother gets ready to go to bed? Then
Totty shall go into Mother's bed, and sleep there all night."
Before her mother had done speaking, Totty had given her answer in an
unmistakable manner, by knitting her brow, setting her tiny teeth against her
underlip, and leaning forward to slap Hetty on the arm with her utmost force.
Then, without speaking, she nestled to her mother again.
"Hey, hey," said Mr. Poyser, while Hetty stood without moving, "not go to Cousin
Hetty? That's like a babby. Totty's a little woman, an' not a babby."
"It's no use trying to persuade her," said Mrs. Poyser. "She allays takes against
Hetty when she isn't well. Happen she'll go to Dinah."
Dinah, having taken off her bonnet and shawl, had hitherto kept quietly seated in
the background, not liking to thrust herself between Hetty and what was
considered Hetty's proper work. But now she came forward, and, putting out her
arms, said, "Come Totty, come and let Dinah carry her upstairs along with
Mother: poor, poor Mother! she's so tired--she wants to go to bed."
Totty turned her face towards Dinah, and looked at her an instant, then lifted
herself up, put out her little arms, and let Dinah lift her from her mother's lap.
Hetty turned away without any sign of ill humour, and, taking her hat from the
table, stood waiting with an air of indifference, to see if she should be told to do
"You may make the door fast now, Poyser; Alick's been come in this long while,"
said Mrs. Poyser, rising with an appearance of relief from her low chair. "Get me
the matches down, Hetty, for I must have the rushlight burning i' my room. Come,
The heavy wooden bolts began to roll in the house doors, and old Martin
prepared to move, by gathering up his blue handkerchief, and reaching his bright
knobbed walnut-tree stick from the corner. Mrs. Poyser then led the way out of
the kitchen, followed by the gandfather, and Dinah with Totty in her arms--all
going to bed by twilight, like the birds. Mrs. Poyser, on her way, peeped into the
room where her two boys lay; just to see their ruddy round cheeks on the pillow,
and to hear for a moment their light regular breathing.
"Come, Hetty, get to bed," said Mr. Poyser, in a soothing tone, as he himself
turned to go upstairs. "You didna mean to be late, I'll be bound, but your aunt's
been worrited to-day. Good-night, my wench, good-night."