and in the intensity of his indignation against Pivart, his contempt for a baffled adversary like Dix began to wear the air of a friendly attachment. He had no male audience to-day except Mr Moss, who knew nothing, as he said, of the `natur' o'mills,' and could only assent to Mr Tulliver's arguments on the a priori ground of family relationship and monetary obligation; but Mr Tulliver did not talk with the futile intention of convincing his audience - he talked to relieve himself: while good Mr Moss made strong efforts to keep his eyes wide open, in spite of the sleepiness which an unusually good dinner produced in his hard- worked frame. Mrs Moss, more alive to the subject, and interested in everything that affected her brother, listened and put in a word as often as maternal preoccupations allowed.

`Why, Pivart's new name hereabout, brother, isn't it?' she said. `He didn't own the land in father's time, nor yours either, before I was married.'

`New name? Yes - I should think it is a new name,' said Mr Tulliver, with angry emphasis. `Dorlcote Mill's been in our family a hundred year and better, and nobody ever heard of a Pivart meddling with the river, till this fellow came and bought Bincome's farm out of hand, before anybody else could so much as say "snap." But I'll pivart him!' added Mr Tulliver, lifting his glass with a sense that he had defined his resolution in an unmistakable manner.

`You won't be forced to go to law with him, I hope, brother?' said Mrs Moss, with some anxiety.

`I don't know what I shall be forced to - but I know what I shall force him to - with his dykes and erigations - if there's any law to be brought to bear o' the right side. I know well enough who's at the bottom of it: he's got Wakem to back him and egg him on. I know Wakem tells him the law can't touch him for it: but there's folks can handle the law besides Wakem. It takes a big raskil to beat him: but there's bigger to be found, as know more o' th' ins and outs o' the law, else how came Wakem to lose Brumley's suit for him?'

Mr Tulliver was a strictly honest man, and proud of being honest, but he considered that in law the ends of justice could only be achieved by employing a stronger knave to frustrate a weaker. Law was a sort of cock-fight in which it was the business of injured honesty to get a game bird with the best pluck and the strongest spurs.

`Gore's no fool - you needn't tell me that,' he observed presently, in a pugnacious tone, as if poor Gritty had been urging that lawyer's capabilities, `but, you see, he isn't up to the law as Wakem is. And water's a very particular thing - you can't pick it up with a pitchfork. That's why it's been nuts to Old Harry and the lawyers. It's plain enough what's the rights and the wrongs of water, if you look at it straight forrard; for a river's a river, and if you've got a mill, you must have water to turn it; and it's no use telling me, Pivart's erigation and nonsense won't stop my wheel: I know what belongs to water better than that. Talk to me o'what th' engineers say! I say it's common sense, as Pivart's dykes must do me an injury. But if that's their engineering, I'll put Tom to it by and by, and he shall see if he can't find a bit more sense in th' engineering business than what that comes to.'

Tom, looking round with some anxiety, at this announcement of his prospects, unthinkingly withdrew a small rattle he was amusing Baby Moss with, whereupon she, being a baby that knew her own mind with remarkable clearness, instantaneously expressed her sentiments in a piercing yell, and was not to be appeased even by the restoration of the rattle, feeling apparently that the original wrong of having it taken from her remained in all its force. Mrs Moss hurried away with her into another room, and expressed to Mrs Tulliver who accompanied her, the conviction that the dear child had good reasons for crying, implying that if it was supposed to be the rattle that baby clamoured for - she was a misunderstood baby. The thoroughly justifiable yell being quieted, Mrs Moss looked at her sister-in-law and said,

`I'm sorry to see brother so put out about this water work.'

`It's your brother's way, Mrs Moss: I'd never anything o'that sort before I was married,' said Mrs Tulliver, with a half-implied reproach. She always spoke of her husband as `your brother' to Mrs Moss, in any

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