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    Software name: appdown
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      Norma went to the desk, leaned over it, looking down into the still, blank face. "It's too soon to give up," she said tensely. "You're just backing down, and there's no need for that yet"Of course, there was Marvor. Later in the night, while Cadnan still lay awake trying to put thoughts and words together in his mind, Marvor moved closer to him.

      She said that she must leave directly after supper. Alice fetched her hat, which was not the kind that Reuben had ever seen on country girls, being of the fashionable pork-pie shape. All her clothes were obviously town-made; she wore a blue stuff dress, tight-fitting round her bust and shoulders, full and flounced in the skirtafterwards he heard that Rose had spent some years with relations in London before coming to live at Starvecrow.Now they were dry and dressed once more, all except their stockings, for Rose loved to splash her bare feet in the watershe adored the caress of water on her skin. It was a hot day, the sun blinked through the heavy green of the sallows, dabbling the stream with spots and ripples of light. June had come, with a thick swarthiness in the fields, and the scent of hayseed scorching into ripeness.

      Cadnan stared. "I do not understand," he said slowly.

      "ThereI knew as there wur reason in you, Pete. You w?an't go and leave your f?ather lik the rest, all fur a hemmed Methody."From thenceforward there was no looking back. Preparations for the wedding began at once. Old Gasson was delighted, and dowered his girl generously. As for Naomi, she gave herself up to the joys of bride-elect. Her position as Reuben's betrothed was much more important than as Harry's. It was more definite, more exalted, the ultimate marriage loomed more largely and more closely in it. She and Reuben were not so much sweethearts as husband and wife to be. Their present semi-attached state scarcely counted, it was just an unavoidable interval of preparation for a more definite relationship.


      "So it is," she said. Her face was a mask: and then it lightened. "What do you work at, Johnny?"


      Richard flushed with pleasure. After all he was not acquitting himself so badly with this fine lady. They talked together for a few more minutes, the boy trying to clip his speech like hers. He noticed how much shorter and crisper it was than hiswhile he said "d?an't," she could say "don't" twice.


      Towards the end of February there was a period of intense cold, and some heavy falls of snow. Snow was rare in that south-east corner, and all farm-work was to a certain extent dislocated. Reuben would have liked to spread blankets over his corn-fields and put shirts on his cattle. Adverse weather conditions never failed to stir up his inborn combativeness to its fiercest. His sons trembled as his brain raged with body-racking plans for fighting this new move of nature's. Richard was glad to be away from farmyard exertions, most of which struck him as absurd. He was now busy with the last of his lambing, the snow blew against the hut from the north-east, piling itself till nothing was to be seen from that quarter but a white lump. Inside was a crimson stuffiness, as the fumes of the brazier found their way slowly out of the little tin chimney. Sometimes before the brazier a motherless lamb would lie."Well," the girl said, "you've met somebody. And now what?"