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A Sheaf of Corn   By: (-1929)

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A SHEAF OF CORN

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

ROSE AT HONEYPOT THE PATTEN EXPERIMENT OLIVIA'S SUMMER A LOST ESTATE THE PARISH OF HILBY THE PARISH NURSE GRAN'MA'S JANE MRS. PETER HOWARD A WINTER'S TALE ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS THERE WAS ONCE A PRINCE WHEN ARNOLD COMES HOME MOONLIGHT THE MATING OF A DOVE THE FIELDS OF DULDITCH AMONG THE SYRINGAS SUSANNAH THE EGLAMORE PORTRAITS THE MEMORIES OF RONALD LOVE

A SHEAF OF CORN

BY

MARY E. MANN

"I WENT A PILGRIM THROUGH THE UNIVERSE, AND COMMUNED OFT WITH STRANGERS AS I STRAYED, IN EVERY CORNER SOME ADVANTAGE FOUND, AND FROM EACH SHEAF OF CORN I DREW A BLADE."

METHUEN & CO. 36 ESSEX STREET W.C. LONDON

First Published in 1908

CONTENTS

PAGE

WOMEN O' DULDITCH 1

CLOMAYNE'S CLERK 15

IN A TEA SHOP 33

A CHALK MARK ON A GATE Part I 51

A CHALK MARK ON A GATE Part II 63

"AS 'TWAS TOLD TO ME" 77

FREDDY'S SHIP 91

A NERVE CURE 109

THE PRIVATE WARD 135

DORA OF THE RINGOLETS 153

PINK CARNATIONS 167

A LITTLE WHITE DOG 183

IT ANSWERED 195

TO BERTHA IN BOMBAY 209

AUNTIE 223

WILLY AND I 243

A BROKEN BOOT 255

WHEN DEEP SLEEP FALLETH 267

THE EXCELLENT JOYS OF YOUTH 283

CARES OF A CURATE 297

A SHEAF OF CORN

WOMEN O' DULDITCH

Dinah Brome stood in the village shop, watching, with eyes keen to detect the slightest discrepancy in the operation, the weighing of her weekly parcels of grocery.

She was a strong, wholesome looking woman of three or four and forty, with a clean, red skin, clear eyes, dark hair, crinkling crisply beneath her sober, respectable hat. All her clothes were sober and respectable, and her whole mien. No one would have guessed from it that she had not a shred of character to her back.

The knowledge of this incontrovertible fact did not influence the demeanour of the shop woman towards her. There was not better pay in the village, nor a more constant customer than Dinah Brome. In such circumstances, Mrs Littleproud was not the woman to throw stones.

"They tell me as how Depper's wife ain't a goin' to get over this here sickness she've got," she said, tucking in the edges of the whitey brown paper upon the half pound of moist sugar taken from the scales. "The doctor, he ha'n't put a name to her illness, but 'tis one as'll carry her off, he say."

"A quarter pound o' butter," Dinah unmovedly said. "The best, please. I don't fancy none o' that that ha' got the taste o' the shop in it."

"Doctor, he put his hid in at the door this afternoon," Mrs Littleproud went on; "he'd got his monkey up, the old doctor had! ''Tis a rank shame,' he say, 'there ain't none o' these here lazy women o' Dulditch with heart enough to go to help that poor critter in her necessity,' he say."

"Ler'm help her hisself," said Mrs Brome, strong in her indifference. "A couple o' boxes o' matches, Mrs Littleproud; and you can gi' me the odd ha'penny in clo' balls for the disgestion."

"You should ha' heered 'm run on! 'Where be that Dinah Brome?' he say, 'that ha' showed herself helpful in other folks' houses. Wha's she a doin' of, that she can't do a neighbour's part here?'"

"And you telled 'm she was a mindin' of 'er own business, I hope?" Mrs Brome suggested, in calmest unconcern... Continue reading book >>




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