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    Software name: appdown
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      "But in time the whole Moor will fall into his handssee if it doesn't. And he's a Tory, a reactionary. It would be a dreadful thing for the parish if he became a big landowner."

      "I'll try to"

      "That act," replied Horton, hastily, "relates to local magistrates."That evening Caro remembered her own counsels and did not draw back from his love. She let him kiss her as much as he chose, though he saw with amusement that he frightened her sometimes. They wandered on Boarzell through webs of star-fretted mist, they drank the night together, and sacramental silences. It was only when she realised that her father would be shutting[Pg 348] up the house that Caro was able to tear herself away, and this time they parted with many kisses and vows to meet again.

      The sound of voices came from the passage outside the kitchen. Reuben was talking to the girl. A word or two reached them.

      "How much? why, two shillings a pound," said Mrs. Backfield, rather surprised.


      "Yes," said the galleyman; "I knew you were a freeman, and I heard you were a yeoman."


      Like Holgrave, Margaret was the offspring of the bond and the free. Her father had been a bondman attached to the manor of Sudley; and her mother a poor friendless orphan, with no patrimony save her freedom. Such marriages were certainly of rare occurrence, because women naturally felt a repugnance to become the mother of serfs; but still, that they did occur, is evidenced by the law of villeinage, ordaining that the children of a bondman and free woman should in no wise partake of their mother's freedom.


      He was right. Realf accepted his offer, partly persuaded by Tilly. His mortgage foreclosed in a couple of months, and he had no hopes of renewing it. If he rejected Reuben's terms, he would probably soon find himself worse off than everhis farm gone with nothing to show for it, and himself a penniless exile. On the other hand, his position as bailiff, though ignominious, would at least leave him Grandturzel as his home and a certain share in its management. He might be able to save some money, and perhaps at last buy a small place of his own, and start afresh.... He primed himself with such ideas to help drug his pride. After all, he could not sacrifice his wife and children to make a holiday for his self-respect. Tilly was past her prime, and not able for much hard work, and though his eldest boys had enlisted, like Reuben's, and were thus no longer on his mind, he had two marriageable girls at home besides his youngest boy of ten. One's wife and children were more to one than one's farm or one's position as a farmerand if they were not, they ought to be.