"Well, well; good-bye, mother," said Adam, kissing her and hurrying away. He
saw there was no other means of putting an end to the dialogue. Lisbeth stood
still on the spot, shading her eyes and looking after him till he was quite out of
sight. She felt to the full all the meaning that had lain in Adam's words, and, as
she lost sight of him and turned back slowly into the house, she said aloud to
herself--for it was her way to speak her thoughts aloud in the long days when her
husband and sons were at their work--"Eh, he'll be tellin' me as he's goin' to bring
her home one o' these days; an' she'll be missis o'er me, and I mun look on,
belike, while she uses the blue-edged platters, and breaks 'em, mayhap, though
there's ne'er been one broke sin' my old man an' me bought 'em at the fair twenty
'ear come next Whis- suntide. Eh!" she went on, still louder, as she caught up her
knitting from the table, "but she'll ne'er knit the lad's stockin's, nor foot 'em
nayther, while I live; an' when I'm gone, he'll bethink him as nobody 'ull ne'er fit's
leg an' foot as his old mother did. She'll know nothin' o' narrowin' an' heelin', I
warrand, an' she'll make a long toe as he canna get's boot on. That's what comes
o' marr'in' young wenches. I war gone thirty, an' th' feyther too, afore we war
married; an' young enough too. She'll be a poor dratchell by then SHE'S thirty, a-
marr'in' a- that'n, afore her teeth's all come."
Adam walked so fast that he was at the yard-gate before seven. Martin Poyser
and the grandfather were not yet come in from the meadow: every one was in the
meadow, even to the black-and-tan terrier--no one kept watch in the yard but the
bull-dog; and when Adam reached the house-door, which stood wide open, he
saw there was no one in the bright clean house-place. But he guessed where
Mrs. Poyser and some one else would be, quite within hearing; so he knocked on
the door and said in his strong voice, "Mrs. Poyser within?"
"Come in, Mr. Bede, come in," Mrs. Poyser called out from the dairy. She always
gave Adam this title when she received him in her own house. "You may come
into the dairy if you will, for I canna justly leave the cheese."
Adam walked into the dairy, where Mrs. Poyser and Nancy were crushing the
first evening cheese.
"Why, you might think you war come to a dead-house," said Mrs. Poyser, as he
stood in the open doorway; "they're all i' the meadow; but Martin's sure to be in
afore long, for they're leaving the hay cocked to-night, ready for carrying first
thing to-morrow. I've been forced t' have Nancy in, upo' 'count as Hetty must
gether the red currants to-night; the fruit allays ripens so contrairy, just when
every hand's wanted. An' there's no trustin' the children to gether it, for they put
more into their own mouths nor into the basket; you might as well set the wasps
to gether the fruit."
Adam longed to say he would go into the garden till Mr. Poyser came in, but he
was not quite courageous enough, so he said, "I could be looking at your