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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 356MB


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      "Yesthat makes up to us a bit, but it d?an't do us any real good ... only helps us git round a man sometimes when we can't git over him."

      Chapter 14

      "O why, because sickness hath wasted my body,

      "Order from his grace," repeated Calverley, sarcastically: "Do you not know, my good friend, that your master is in disgrace with mine, and that the eloquent William of Wykeham will, ere many days pass, be high chancellor of England. Come, come, give me the writ, and don't lose time. I must not stir from my saddle this night, unless to change horses, till I reach Westminster."Naomi submitted languidly. Her days passed in a comfortable heaviness, and though she occasionally felt bored, on the whole she enjoyed being fussed over and waited on. During those months her relations with Reuben's mother became subtly changed. Before her marriage there had been a certain friendship and equality between them, but now the elder woman took more the place of a servant. It was not because she waited on Naomi, fetched and carriedReuben did that, and was her master still. It was rather something in her whole attitude. She had ceased to confide in Naomi, ceased perhaps to care for her very much, and this gave a certain menial touch to her services. It would be hard[Pg 83] to say what had separated the two womenperhaps it was because one toiled all day while the other lay idle, perhaps it was a twinge of maternal jealousy on Mrs. Backfield's part, for Reuben was beginning to notice her less and less. After a time Naomi realised this estrangement, and though at first she did not care, later on it came to distress her. Somehow she did not like the idea of being without a woman associatein spite of her love for Reuben, now more passive and more languid, like every other emotion, she craved instinctively for someone of her own sex in whom she could confide and on whom she could rely.

      "Know you why I have visited this cell?"

      "What! for Gloucester, friend? You must have been hard upon my heels the whole way for"


      "How?speak!" said Sudbury.


      At last the crisis camethrough George, the youngest, least-considered son at Odiam. He had always been a weakling, as if Naomi had passed into his body her own[Pg 221] passionate distaste for life. Also, as is common with epileptic children, his intellect was not very bright. It had been the habit to spare him, even Reuben had done so within reason. But he should not really have worked at all, or only in strict moderationcertainly he should not have been sent out that October evening to dig up the bracken roots on the new land. Tilly expostulated"Anyhow he didn't ought to work alone "but Reuben was angry with the boy, whom he had caught loafing once or twice that day, and roughly packed him off.