"'What! screamed old Mrs. Cobley, 'close the pit, ye dog, and my boys down there?

She told her aunt, and they talked a bit and come to a conclusion afore they asked him in to have a bite of breakfast. "'Tis clear he's jobbing for the owner," said Jane Pedlar. "No doubt he'll very soon put a different face on the ground, such an orderly man as him, and such a lover of the soil; but I'm sorry in a way." "Why for?" asked her niece. "A nicer man than Mr. Cobley don't walk."

At forty you might say Jack Cobley couldn't be beat for plainness; and yet, after all, I've seen better-looking men that was uglier, if you understand me, because, though his countenance put you in mind of an old church gargoyle, yet it was kindly and benevolent in its hideousness, and he had good, trustful eyes; and, to the thinking mind, a man's expression matters more than the shape of his mouth or the cut of his nose.

Jack looked as if he'd been struck by lightning and his pipe fell out of his mouth and broke on the hearth. "'Tis most any odds you're mistook," he said, with a voice that showed what a shock he'd suffered. "Such things be contrary to nature." "Nought's contrary to nature where a woman's concerned," answered Mrs. Cobley as one who knew.

Four hundred and seventy-five pounds he paid, and as Nicholas Bewes confessed to Jack, 'twas only the money in his pocket put enough iron into him to stand up to his son, afterwards. But what Nicholas might have to say to Richard didn't trouble Cobley over much. He got his receipt and Bewes promised the deed should be drawn when he saw his lawyer to Moreton next market-day.

For he was a clever man and had been taught knowledge at a Secondary School. So things stood when Mary Cobley broke her sad tale to her son, while he sat and sucked his pipe and listened on a winter evening, with the wind puffing the peat smoke from the fire into the room off and again. "'Tis like this," she said. "Farmer's hard up, or so he says, and wants to sell Mrs.

"You do see that point, master," answered Cobley, "because you're clever and straight, else you wouldn't stand where you do. When you was young, you wouldn't have drove no woman into a corner for love, nor yet married her on a sacrifice. And I dare swear, if Dicky saw it like that, he'd be a lot too proud to carry on, but start again and start fair.

Cobley; "and however you had the wits to win a fortune and make hard-headed men in the West Indies believe in you, I'm gormed if I know, Jack!" He was put about at that. "Would you say as I didn't ought to meddle in her affairs no more?" he asked.

Pedlar and bade her be gone, and during them days two men were very busy one for himself and t'other for other people. Dicky Bewes, he fought to wear down Milly and bring her into his arms, and Jack Cobley, he went into calculations and took stock of the cottage in dispute and finally came to conclusions with himself on the subject.

He'd felt surprised to hear Jack was a moneyed man, for the general conclusion ran that he'd come back with nought; then, being hopeful, Mr. Bewes jumped to the other extreme and guessed perhaps that Cobley was rich after all and keeping his savings hid. "Of course," he said, "I've thought of that, and there's more than one would make me a price to-morrow if I felt minded to sell."