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      "LittlePeteandSandyBakerisoverhere," came back upon the bright Spring air.

      He came nearly every night. If she was not at the gate he would whistle a few bars of "Rio Bay," and she would steal out as soon as she could do so without rousing suspicion. Boarzell became theirs, their accomplice in some subtle, beautiful way. There was a little hollow on the western slope where they would crouch together and sniff the apricot scent of the gorse, which was ever afterwards to be the remembrancer of their love, and watch the farmhouse lights at Castweasel gleam and gutter beside Ramstile woods.

      "Well, le's have a song, then," said Shorty, as Si was looking around. "Where's Alf Russell?"Evidently he had pleased the multitude, for there was now a thick crowd in the central space, and already dancing had begun. Farm-hands in clean smocks, with bright-coloured handkerchiefs round their necks, gambolled uncouthly with farm-girls in spotted and striped muslins. Young farmers' wives, stiff with the sedateness of their bridehead, were drawn into reluctant capers. Despairing virgins renewed their hope, and tried wives their liveliness in unaccustomed arms. Even the elders danced, stumping together on the outskirts of the whirl as long as their breath allowed them.

      That autumn he had sown catch-crops of Italian rye grass, which gave the stock a good early winter feed. He had grown sharper in his dealings with the land, he knew how to take it at a disadvantage, snatch out a few roots. Every inch of the farm was now at work, for every blade of grass now counted. He had even dug up the garden, casting aside rose-bushes, sweet-peas, and dahlias for dull rows of drum-head cabbages, potatoes, kale, and beans. And manure ... there was manure everywhere, lying under the very parlour windows, sending up its effluvium on the foggy winter air till it crept into even the close-shut bedroom, making Naomi conscious of Reuben in her dreams.

      "Training is to do what a master says. Training"

      "I w?an't have no hemmed poetry in my family!" stormed Reuben, for Albert had as usual stage-managed a "scene." "You've got your work to do, and you'll justabout do it."


      He took off his coat again, growling, and for the first time Reuben felt shame. It was such a different matter, this, from being beaten by somebody who was angry with one and with whom one was angry. He saw now that a beating was one of the many things which are all right as long as they are hot, but damnable when they are cold. He hunched his shoulders, and felt his ears burn, and just the slightest stickiness on his forehead.Until, of course, the end.


      "Yet I do not know," Marvor said. "This training is a hard thing, and the work is also hard when it comes.""Well, good-by, if you must be going. You done well. You ought to belong to the artillery. You're too good for a dough-boy. I'm going to ask the Captain to have you detailed to us."


      Rose felt Handshut's arm clinging more tenderly about her, and she knew that he wanted to lead her[Pg 312] away from the noise and glare, to the coolness and loneliness of the waterside. She wanted to goher head ached, her nostrils tingled, and her eyes were sore with the fumes of tar, her ears wearied with the din.