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expanded. What with commissioners, chief clerks, check

time:2023-12-07 05:21:59 author:love read:342次

Not one word had Margaret or Bessy spoken. They had hardly uttered the sighing, that the eyes of each called to the other to bring up from the depths of her heart. At last Bessy said,

expanded. What with commissioners, chief clerks, check

‘I never thought to hear father call on God again. But yo’ heard him say, “So help me God!”’

expanded. What with commissioners, chief clerks, check

‘Yes!’ said Margaret. ‘Let me bring you what money I can spare — let me bring you a little food for that poor man’s children. Don’t let them know it comes from any one but your father. It will be but little.’

expanded. What with commissioners, chief clerks, check

Bessy lay back without taking any notice of what Margaret said. She did not cry — she only quivered up her breath,

‘My heart’s drained dry o’ tears,’ she said. ‘Boucher’s been in these days past, a telling me of his fears and his troubles. He’s but a weak kind o’ chap, I know, but he’s a man for a’ that; and tho’ I’ve been angry, many a time afore now, wi’ him an’ his wife, as knew no more nor him how to manage, yet, yo’ see, all folks isn’t wise, yet God lets ’em live — ay, an’ gives ’em some one to love, and be loved by, just as good as Solomon. An’, if sorrow comes to them they love, it hurts ’em as sore as e’er it did Solomon. I can’t make it out. Perhaps it’s as well such a one as Boucher has th’ union to see after him. But I’d just like for to see th’ mean as make th’ union, and put ’em one by one face to face wi’ Boucher. I reckon, if they heard him, they’d tell him (if I cotched ’em one by one), he might go back and get what he could for his work, even if it weren’t so much as they ordered.’

Margaret sat utterly silent. How was she ever to go away into comfort and forget that man’s voice, with the tone of unutterable agony, telling more by far than his words of what he had to suffer? She took out her purse; she had not much in it of what she could call her own, but what she had she put into Bessy’s hand without speaking.

‘Thank yo’. There’s many on ’em gets no more, and is not so bad off — leastways does not show it as he does. But father won’t let ’em want, now he knows. Yo’ see, Boucher’s been pulled down wi’ his childer — and her being so cranky, and a’ they could pawn has gone this last twelvemonth. Yo’re not to think we’d ha’ letten ’em clem, for all we’re a bit pressed oursel’; if neighbours doesn’t see after neighbours, I dunno who will.’ Bessy seemed almost afraid lest Margaret should think they had not the will, and, to a certain degree, the power of helping one whom she evidently regarded as having a claim upon them. ‘Besides,’ she went on, ‘father is sure and positive the masters must give in within these next few days — that they canna hould on much longer. But I thank yo’ all the same — I thank yo’ for mysel’, as much as for Boucher, for it just makes my heart warm to yo’ more and more.’

Bessy seemed much quieter today, but fearfully languid a exhausted. As she finished speaking, she looked so faint and weary that Margaret became alarmed.


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