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Then came the sound of a basket of corncobs being emptied on the smoldering blaze and then the snapping and crackling of the reanimated fire. Hiram thought nothing of all this, excepting, in a dim sort of way, that it was Bob, the negro mill hand, or old black Dinah, the housekeeper, and so went on with his calculations.

Slowly she moved along the passage. It was deserted, but the sound of laughing voices and the tuning of violins floated up from below. Again that feeling that was akin to physical sickness assailed Dinah. Down there he was waiting for her, waiting to be intoxicated into headlong, devouring passion by her dancing.

"'You may laugh as you please, mother, said she, the very day before she died, 'but I feel this pain will be the death of me and I so unfit to die, she added, with a deep sigh. "'Nonsense! returned Dinah, 'you will wear your wedding clothes a second time, before we put on your shroud. "My mother only answered with another deep-drawn sigh.

When Cedric checkmated her twice, she only rose with an air of relief, as though she had finished a wearisome task, and came towards them. "I am cold," she said simply, as Dinah made room for her; "we nearly let the fire out between us." But as she sat in her snug corner warming her hands, she did not attempt to join in the conversation.

Her mother had not been particularly steady in the days of her wild youth. And anyhow he was sure her mother would speedily break her in again. She had a will of iron before which Dinah was always forced to bend. He rode on along the highroad. It was not more than half a mile farther to his home on the outskirts of the village. Somewhere in the gloom ahead of him church-bells were pealing.

Inside the chall the only sounds were the slow chewing of the cows, the rattle of a tethering-block, now and then, or a moan from Dinah.

He spoke again, the sneering note gone from his voice though it still held a faint inflection of sardonic humour. "You needn't be anxious, most worthy Scott. Leave her to me for five minutes, and I will undertake to return her to Isabel in good condition! You're not wanted for the moment, man. Can't you see it?" That moved Dinah. She lifted her head from its shelter, and found her voice.

A faint, faint smile was in their depths. "Are we strangers, child?" the low voice asked. "I feel as if we had met before. Why do you look at me so kindly? Most people only stare." Dinah was suddenly conscious of a hot sensation at the throat that made her want to cry. "It is you who have been kind," she said, and her little hand closed with confidence upon the limp, cold fingers.

"Be be cause," said Freddie slowly, "I wanted to see if it would work. I'm going to take it on the houseboat with me." "Well, I guess it WORKED all right," Bert said, as he looked around at the wet kitchen. Luckily there was oil cloth on the floor, and the walls were painted, so the water really did no harm. Dinah slowly opened the door of the dish-closet, and peered out.

Bobbsey, come heah quick! It's squirtin' all ober!" "Oh! Something has happened!" exclaimed Mrs. Bobbsey, starting toward the kitchen. "Maybe a water pipe has burst," suggested Mr. Bobbsey, dropping his paper and making a jump toward the kitchen. As he did so, he heard Dinah cry again: "Oh, yo' am all wet, honey lamb! Yo' is all soakin' wet! Oh, now it's comin' fo' me ag'in! Oh, stop it, Freddie!

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