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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

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      "You have my leave," replied the boy in the consequential tone that youth generally assumes when conferring a favour. "Indeed, you don't look very fit to wander farther;Ralph, see that this knave is attended to."Its an un-Christian feeling, maybe, to have about anybody, said he, but thats your mothers affair and not mine. She may feel about me what she pleases, but I wish her to know she must speak properly to me, or not speak at all. I shouldnt have referred to it again, unless you had begun, but now that youve begun its best you should know what my opinion on the subject is. Before the children, too: I had better manners than that when I was in the fish-shop myself.

      Reuben often went to the Cocks, for he had heard it[Pg 419] said that one's beer-drinking capacities diminished with old age, and he was afraid that if he stayed away, men would think it was on that account. So he went frequently, particularly if the weather was of a kind to keep old people at home. He did not talk much, preferring to listen to what was said, sitting quietly at his table in the corner, with the quart of Barclay and Perkins's mild which had been his evening drink from a boy."No, not of theirs," eagerly interrupted Margaret, drawing a bottle from beneath her cloak, and pouring into a wooden cup, which she took from her pocket, some diluted wine; "but drink this, Stephen: do drink itit will cool your mouth."

      Mr Keeling was almost as surfeited with this conversation as was John. It appeared to him that though Mr Silverdale wished to give the impression that he was talking about his flock, he was really talking about himself, and seemed to find it an unusually engrossing topic. This notion was strongly confirmed when he found{59} himself with him afterwards over a cigarette and a glass of port, for Mr Silverdale seemed to have a never-ending fund of anecdotes about besotted wife-beaters and scoffing atheists who were really dear fellows with any quantity of good in them, as was proved from the remarkable response they invariably made to his ministrations. These stories seemed to be about them, but in each the point was that their floods of tears and subsequent baptism, confirmation, or death-bed, as the case might be, were the result of the moment when they first came across Mr Silverdale, who, as he told those edifying occurrences, had an air of boisterous jollity, cracking nuts in his teeth to impress John, and sipping his port with the air of a connoisseur to impress his host, and interspersing the conversions with knowing allusions to famous vintages. Subconsciously or consciously (probably the latter) he was living up to the idea of being all things to all men, without considering that it was possible to be the wrong thing to the wrong man.An atmosphere of gloom lay over Odiam; Reuben brought it with him wherever he went, and fogged the house with it as well as the barns. Even Rose felt an aching pity for her strong man, something quite different from the easy gushes of condolence which had used to be all she could muster in the way of sympathy.


      It was as if someone had suddenly laid a cold hand on Robert's heart. He guessed that his father suspected him. His ears turned crimson, and his hands trembled and fumbled as he opened the back of the cart and took out his string of properly skinned and gutted conies."Is he dead?" asked Reuben.



      "Oh," said the smith, again sinking upon the window frame; and then, as if perfectly comprehending what had been said, he added, as a bitter smile passed across his lips, "in prison did you say? What had he done that he should be caged? Refused to say where Stephen is hid?""Yes," replied Margaret, in delight, "and she seemed pleased with the embroidery. O, Stephen, she is so beautiful! She looks like an angel! Does she not, mother?"