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Thus, in one Gaelic version of this diverting story in which our old friends the Gothamites reappear on the scene to enact their unconscious drolleries a lad marries a farmer's daughter, and one day while they are all busily engaged in peat-cutting, she is sent to the house to fetch the dinner.

Hour after hour they crouched in the peat-cutting, listening to the noisy songs of the revelers within, some French, some English, and all growing fouler and less articulate as the night wore on. Once a quarrel broke out and the clamor was like a cageful of wild beasts at feeding-time. Then a health was drunk and there was much stamping and cheering. Only once was the long vigil broken.

Her husband, turning to the upper farm-servant, expounded his plans: how he would begin peat-cutting on a large scale; cutting and pressing machines were also on the way, and to-morrow, early, work could begin. Then he gave him orders to go to the village to engage the necessary workmen. Ten men would suffice for the beginning, but he hoped soon to need as many as twenty or thirty.

He had discovered that the turf moor which surrounded the farm in a wide circle was in a condition to afford a sure profit. Already, twice or thrice, when need had been sorest, he had, to make shift, ordered peat to be cut, and sent five cart-loads to the town. Secretly, quite secretly for he was too proud to be considered as nothing better than a common peat-cutting farmer.

"I told her all about it, of course, sir, and her master was there having his breakfast before he went out peat-cutting, and if you'll believe me, sir, he did nothing but laugh, and said he knew it was the prisoners, sure enough, and he had the impudence to say that it was a great blessing that they came to my cottage instead of to his, and lucky for the prisoners too, for they'd got a better fit."

Railton was his neighbor, but, except for this, Kit had no particular grounds for helping him; he had obviously nothing to gain. Then, the peat-cutting was his plan; he had, without altogether meaning to do so, allowed himself to become the leader of the revolt against Osborn.

The peat-cutting had increased the difficulty of reaching the central fastness of the Wild, for the ink-black tarns had been cunningly united, and the wide morass in front, where from black pools great bubbles for ever rose and lazily burst, had been dammed till it overflowed the meadows and lapped the sand-dunes behind the house of Abbey Burnfoot.

A fierce burst of laughter came out of the darkness, followed by a long cry of pain. "All-hallows be with us!" cried Aylward. "What is that?" "As like as not some poor devil has fallen into their clutches, even as I did. Come this way, Samkin, for there is a peat-cutting where we may hide. Aye, here it is, but deeper and broader than of old.

The moon and ragged skyline swam about him; the blood drummed deafeningly in his ears, and his eyeballs felt as if they would burst from their sockets. He had nearly bitten his swollen tongue in two falling over an unseen peat-cutting, and blood-flecked foam gathered on his lips. God, how he ran! But he was no longer among bog and heather. He was running shambling now along a road.

He knew their cautious reserve; they were obstinate and slow to move, and if he tried to hurry them might take alarm. By and by one knocked out his pipe. "How are you getting forrad with t' peat-cutting?" he asked. "We have cut enough to last for three or four months." "You'll need it aw. Coal's a terrible price," another remarked. "It will be dearer soon," said Peter.

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