20.Adam Visits the Hall Farm
ADAM came back from his work in the empty waggon--that was why he had
changed his clothes--and was ready to set out to the Hall Farm when it still
wanted a quarter to seven.
"What's thee got thy Sunday cloose on for?" said Lisbeth complainingly, as he
came downstairs. "Thee artna goin' to th' school i' thy best coat?"
"No, Mother," said Adam, quietly. "I'm going to the Hall Farm, but mayhap I may
go to the school after, so thee mustna wonder if I'm a bit late. Seth 'ull be at
home in half an hour--he's only gone to the village; so thee wutna mind."
"Eh, an' what's thee got thy best cloose on for to go to th' Hall Farm? The Poyser
folks see'd thee in 'em yesterday, I warrand. What dost mean by turnin' worki'day
into Sunday a-that'n? It's poor keepin' company wi' folks as donna like to see
thee i' thy workin' jacket."
"Good-bye, mother, I can't stay," said Adam, putting on his hat and going out.
But he had no sooner gone a few paces beyond the door than Lisbeth became
uneasy at the thought that she had vexed him. Of course, the secret of her
objection to the best clothes was her suspicion that they were put on for Hetty's
sake; but deeper than all her peevishness lay the need that her son should love
her. She hurried after him, and laid hold of his arm before he had got half-way
down to the brook, and said, "Nay, my lad, thee wutna go away angered wi' thy
mother, an' her got nought to do but to sit by hersen an' think on thee?"
"Nay, nay, Mother," said Adam, gravely, and standing still while he put his arm on
her shoulder, "I'm not angered. But I wish, for thy own sake, thee'dst be more
contented to let me do what I've made up my mind to do. I'll never be no other
than a good son to thee as long as we live. But a man has other feelings besides
what he owes to's father and mother, and thee oughtna to want to rule over me
body and soul. And thee must make up thy mind as I'll not give way to thee
where I've a right to do what I like. So let us have no more words about it."
"Eh," said Lisbeth, not willing to show that she felt the real bearing of Adam's
words, "and' who likes to see thee i' thy best cloose better nor thy mother? An'
when thee'st got thy face washed as clean as the smooth white pibble, an' thy
hair combed so nice, and thy eyes a-sparklin'--what else is there as thy old
mother should like to look at half so well? An' thee sha't put on thy Sunday
cloose when thee lik'st for me--I'll ne'er plague thee no moor about'n."