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At length, growing worse, he had to take to his bed, when the distemper shewed itself; and as he lay in the same room with me, and the house could not afford me another, I was forced to take refuge in a hovel where some cows were kept at night; and as the Armenian refused to allow Maffeo to remain in his house, I was constrained to take him into the same place with myself, where Stephen took care of him, till God pleased to take him out of the world.

"I rather expected to find you on the land." The man mumbled something and threw open the door of the sitting room. "Won't you come in?" he invited. "There's just Mr. Pettigrew here the vet from Barnstaple. He's come over to look at one of my cows." Mr. Pettigrew, also flushed, rose to his feet. Jane acknowledged his greeting and glanced around the room.

Having prepared his kite, he sent it up in the field opposite his father’s door, and bringing the wire, insulated by means of a few feet of silk cord, over the backs of some of Farmer Wigham’s cows, he soon had them skipping about the field in all directions with their tails up.

All had the free homely air of plenty and hospitality the open doors, the numerous well-fed men and maids, the hosts of live creatures horses, cows, dogs, pigs, poultry, each looking like a prize animal boasting of its own size and beauty and a dreadful terror to Johnnie. He, poor little boy, was the only person to whom Lassonthwayte was not a paradise.

Anyhow, I think Aileen was about the best of the lot of us at that, as in everything else. Well, for a bit all went on pretty well at home. Jim and I worked away steady, got in a tidy bit of crop, and did everything that lay in our way right and regular. We milked the cows in the morning, and brought in a big stack of firewood and chopped as much as would last for a month or two.

Then the hours of the day began, each more lovely than the last, and Mux could not tell which was the best. As the boy spent most of the day in the stable, the hayloft, and the barn, his mother had been obliged to make him a special stable costume. The little boy loved to watch the milking of the cows, and he never tired of admiring the horses and the goat. Matthew had become his best friend.

By the middle of January it had grown so unbearably cold that snow had to be banked around all the little huts in the Ashdales as a protection against the elements, and every night the cows had to be covered with straw, to keep them from freezing to death. It was so cold that the bread froze; the cheese froze, and even the butter turned to ice. The fire itself seemed unable to hold its warmth.

"Oh, no; Silvine is out at the barn, feeding the cows. Would you like to see her?" Goliah laughed. "Well, yes. To be quite frank with you, it was on Silvine's account that I came." Old Fouchard felt as if a great load had been taken off his mind; he went to the door and shouted at the top of his voice: "Silvine! Silvine! There's someone here to see you."

It was not often that she was completely free to wander at will; and the fresh breezy fields, the sweet scents of the clover and the pines, the blue rippling river, and the cows that looked calmly at her with their patient, wistful eyes, were all novelties to the town child, whose first summer it was in the country.

His voice was even and his manner cheerful as ever. Only Mrs. Cameron, who held the key to his heart, suspected the agony through which he was passing during the tea-hour. And it was to secure respite for him that the tea was hurried and the doctor packed off to saddle Pepper and round up the cows for the milking.