pleasure. And indeed I came full of some courtly tales, that would have made your hair stand up. But though not a crust have I tasted since this time yesterday, having given my meat to a widow, I will go and starve on the moor far sooner than eat the best supper that ever was cooked, in a place that has forgotten me.’ With that he fetched a heavy sigh, as if it had been for my father; and feebly got upon Winnie’s back, and she came to say farewell to me. He lifted his hat to my mother, with a glance of sorrow, but never a word; and to me he said, ‘Open the gate, Cousin John, if you please. You have beaten her so, that she cannot leap it, poor thing.’

But before he was truly gone out of our yard, my mother came softly after him, with her afternoon apron across her eyes, and one hand ready to offer him. Nevertheless, he made as if he had not seen her, though he let his horse go slowly.

‘Stop, Cousin Tom,’ my mother said, ‘a word with you, before you go.’

‘Why, bless my heart!’ Tom Faggus cried, with the form of his countenance so changed, that I verily thought another man must have leaped into his clothes—’do I see my Cousin Sarah? I thought every one was ashamed of me, and afraid to offer me shelter, since I lost my best cousin, John Ridd. ‘Come here,’ he used to say, ‘Tom, come here, when you are worried, and my wife shall take good care of you.’ ‘Yes, dear John,’ I used to answer, ‘I know she promised my mother so; but people have taken to think against me, and so might Cousin Sarah.’ Ah, he was a man, a man! If you only heard how he answered me. But let that go, I am nothing now, since the day I lost Cousin Ridd.’ And with that he began to push on again; but mother would not have it so.

‘Oh, Tom, that was a loss indeed. And I am nothing either. And you should try to allow for me; though I never found any one that did.’ And mother began to cry, though father had been dead so long; and I looked on with a stupid surprise, having stopped from crying long ago.

‘I can tell you one that will,’ cried Tom, jumping off Winnie, in a trice, and looking kindly at mother; ‘I can allow for you, Cousin Sarah, in everything but one. I am in some ways a bad man myself; but I know the value of a good one; and if you gave me orders, by God—’ And he shook his fists towards Bagworthy Wood, just heaving up black in the sundown.

‘Hush, Tom, hush, for God’s sake!’ And mother meant me, without pointing at me; at least I thought she did. For she ever had weaned me from thoughts of revenge, and even from longings for judgment. ‘God knows best, boy,’ she used to say, ‘let us wait His time, without wishing it.’ And so, to tell the truth, I did; partly through her teaching, and partly through my own mild temper, and my knowledge that father, after all, was killed because he had thrashed them.

‘Good-night, Cousin Sarah, good-night, Cousin Jack,’ cried Tom, taking to the mare again; ‘many a mile I have to ride, and not a bit inside of me. No food or shelter this side of Exeford, and the night will be black as pitch, I trow. But it serves me right for indulging the lad, being taken with his looks so.’

‘Cousin Tom,’ said mother, and trying to get so that Annie and I could not hear her; ‘it would be a sad and unkinlike thing for you to despise our dwelling-house. We cannot entertain you, as the lordly inns on the road do; and we have small change of victuals. But the men will go home, being Saturday; and so you will have the fireside all to yourself and the children. There are some few collops of red deer’s flesh, and a ham just down from the chimney, and some dried salmon from Lynmouth weir, and cold roast- pig, and some oysters. And if none of those be to your liking, we could roast two woodcocks in half an hour, and Annie would make the toast for them. And the good folk made some mistake last week, going up the country, and left a keg of old Holland cordial in the coving of the wood-rick, having borrowed our Smiler, without asking leave. I fear there is something unrighteous about it. But what can a poor widow do? John Fry would have taken it, but for our Jack. Our Jack was a little too sharp for him.’

Ay, that I was; John Fry had got it, like a billet under his apron, going away in the gray of the morning, as if to kindle his fireplace. ‘Why, John,’ I said, ‘what a heavy log! Let me have one end of it.’ ‘Thank’e,

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