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Adam Bede

wants thy supper, I'll warrand. Where's Seth? Gone arter some o's chapellin', I
reckon?"
"Aye, aye, Seth's at no harm, mother, thee mayst be sure.
But where's father?" said Adam quickly, as he entered the house and glanced
into the room on the left hand, which was used as a workshop. "Hasn't he done
the coffin for Tholer? There's the stuff standing just as I left it this morning."
"Done the coffin?" said Lisbeth, following him, and knitting uninterruptedly,
though she looked at her son very anxiously. "Eh, my lad, he went aff to
Treddles'on this forenoon, an's niver come back. I doubt he's got to th' 'Waggin
Overthrow' again."
A deep flush of anger passed rapidly over Adam's face. He said nothing, but
threw off his jacket and began to roll up his shirt- sleeves again.
"What art goin' to do, Adam?" said the mother, with a tone and look of alarm.
"Thee wouldstna go to work again, wi'out ha'in thy bit o' supper?"
Adam, too angry to speak, walked into the workshop. But his mother threw down
her knitting, and, hurrying after him, took hold of his arm, and said, in a tone of
plaintive remonstrance, "Nay, my lad, my lad, thee munna go wi'out thy supper;
there's the taters wi' the gravy in 'em, just as thee lik'st 'em. I saved 'em o'
purpose for thee. Come an' ha' thy supper, come."
"Let be!" said Adam impetuously, shaking her off and seizing one of the planks
that stood against the wall. "It's fine talking about having supper when here's a
coffin promised to be ready at Brox'on by seven o'clock to-morrow morning, and
ought to ha' been there now, and not a nail struck yet. My throat's too full to
swallow victuals."
"Why, thee canstna get the coffin ready," said Lisbeth. "Thee't work thyself to
death. It 'ud take thee all night to do't."
"What signifies how long it takes me? Isn't the coffin promised? Can they bury
the man without a coffin? I'd work my right hand off sooner than deceive people
with lies i' that way. It makes me mad to think on't. I shall overrun these doings
before long. I've stood enough of 'em."
Poor Lisbeth did not hear this threat for the first time, and if she had been wise
she would have gone away quietly and said nothing for the next hour. But one of
the lessons a woman most rarely learns is never to talk to an angry or a drunken
man. Lisbeth sat down on the chopping bench and began to cry, and by the time
she had cried enough to make her voice very piteous, she burst out into words.
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