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of the house to the bottom, in all the col- I 'd worked myself up into a pretty good ors of the rainbow,” he said. “Her pride heat over the job, you understand, and goeth before a fall, as I 've often told her. now Noah noticed it. Pride, pride-curse her pride! She 's "Pour innkeeper a glass of beer, Mehouse-proud and haveage-proud and clothes- lindy,” he says; "he 's sweating like a pig. proud and hair-proud and teeth-proud and And then pour yourself one, and let 's see voice-proud, and everything but husband- you drink it. You don't drink enough to proud. Good Lord, that woman! Every keep a mouse alive." word-every little word I say—she fastens She was surprised at this remark. She on it like a hawk, and mangles it and gived a ghost of a smile and obeyed him; turns it inside out, till I very near dance but she did n't speak. However, Noah's sometimes to see how an innocent speech tongue was now unloosed and he started. can be twisted into an ugly one. And I “Me and Mr. Rowland here have been stick up for her in season and out, and you talking very wise about life in general, can bear me witness that I do; but when and yours and mine in particular. He 's do she say a good word for me and my so kind as to be interested in our private parts? Her point of view --"

affairs,- very good of such a busy man, There I cut him short.

I 'm sure, -and he's pointed out to me "The very word!" I said. “And well what I never seed for myself, of course, I knew, if we had a good tell about it, Melindy,-- namely, that you ban't the that word would presently jump to your every-day kind of wife, and that I 've been lips. The point of view is everything, and short-sighted and a selfish beast to you. in that lies the great hope for you and And in his judgment I did ought to wash Melinda; for you 're both so chock full oftener, and not come in the house from of cleverness as an egg of meat, and once the stable through the parlor winder, and you can see from her point of view,-how so on. All sound sense and solemn truth; life strikes upon her and what her ambi- and I thank him for it.” tions are,—and once she can do the like, His wife looked awful' queer, and her and put herself in your place, and view voice was strange to me when she anyour manly outlook, and see your great swered: skill with hard wood, and so on, then And I 've heard tell from him what a you 'll lift her eyes, and she 'll clear yours, clever man you are, Noah,-a thing I 'd and all will be well."

never thought of myself, more shame to He was walking up and down, but now me,- in fact, a genius of a man; and such he went into the scullery and I after him. men must n't be judged like common, Then he drawed a jug of beer and took every-day husbands. I 'm going to try and two glasses off the kitchen dresser.

look out at life from your point of view, "Fetch a third, my son," I said, "for Noah, and say my prayers to you in fuyour missis will join us again presently, ture; because that 's the backbone of marand 't would be a clever thing to let her ried life, and Mr. Rowland thinks I 'm know you was expecting her."

clever enough to do it." He did as I told him, and I went fur- “And I know you are,” he said. “Good ther, and said as we would n't drink until powers! What is there you ban't clever she came.

“And, meantime, let me im- enough to do, if you want to? And witty prove the shining hour," I said. Then though I may be, and a master carpenter, went on at him in my best manner for a and all the rest, of course where my

love good bit longer till my throat was dry. and pride and hope and joy be set I 've

He stared at my fine flow of words. failed-failed, and well I know it."

“Lord!” he declared, "you ought to “You have n't failed," she answered. have been a hedge-preacher, John Row- 'T is only now and again, I 'm sure, we land."

don't see alike; and then, no doubt, I 'm Then his wife came down house again far too quick to put my own point of view and joined us in the parlor. And she was first. I blush for myself when I think of perfectly calm. She had cried a bit after it now." she 'd left me, as I could see; but the “Not at all," he said — "not at all, Memarks were very near gone. In fact, the lindy. Good powers! And why should n't only warm member present was myself. you have your own point of view—a

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clever, well-educated woman as took the “Don't go on like that, dear Noah," prizes you took at school ? Your point of she said, “because I 'm only flesh and view be worth that of any ten men every blood, and I can't stand it. I 've cried time, and 't is always dead right, as I 've to-night-cried cruel tears to think of my told the people more than once."

mistakes and how little worth I. was to "And so 's yours. You 've got a man's win such a wonder as you. I won't hear mind and you


your mind up to the big you run yourself down afore me, and no things.”

proper wife would. 'T is all nonsense, "And the first big thing be you," he and if you think 't is my point of view told her, “and all else is trash and dross that you ban't all you should be, clean or to me. Look there at thicky broken pot - dirty, and if you think I 'd change a hair my wicked work! I 've been so wrong as on your head, -unless 't is some gray ones to come in through the winder. Shame brought by my evil, scolding tongue, upon me! What the devil is the front then


wrong." door for?"

Say no more, or I shall get angered “Come in how you please, so long as with somebody," he answered her. “Good you do come," she said. “God knows powers, Melindy! You make a lump Í 've often done enough to keep you away. come in my throat- to see a proud piece 'T is I that have been wrong-wrong to like you eating humble pie to me!'T is do a score of silly, headstrong things and horrid, and contrary to nature, for you be fret you with my fidgets. What matter worth a million of me, and your precious for the flower-pot? Ban't there another little finger 's of more account than my in the world ? D' you think I don't see whole carcass-or any other man's; and my sins clear enough? D' you think I if there 's them about think they 've got wanted Mr. Rowland here, or anybody the wit to teach you your duty to me,” else, to tell me all my countless faults ? He broke off there, and looked over my No, I did n't. Too well I knew 'em, and way again. too well I knew you knew 'em, too; but Then she went on: you was too generous and manly to name "And if there 's any man or woman them, though an outsider could."

think to tell you what I want of you, Bassett cast an unfriendly glance at me. well, all I want is your love; and I 've

“I won't have you sing small- a woman got it, and, please God, always shall with your family's blood in your veins, have.” and a woman of your great renown,

and Her voice was broken. with such a house and all," he said. “Have done,” he said, “or I 'll – 't is “Good powers! Who am I that my wife all in a nutshell-a very stupid, needless, should say I know her faults, when I cry impertinent piece of work, and-certain out at the cross-roads every day that she people, with a name for sense, ought to have n't got none? 'T is all the other have known better. To make a woman way, as Rowland have made me see very cry ban't no part of a man's duty at no clear, though I knew it too well without time; and if that woman be another man's his telling. 'T is all the other way, and wife, and the best wife on God's earth at I 'm a common, unclean thing, far below that-well, it is better in my opinion if you in all my thoughts and deeds. I 'm we all stuck to our own job, and the puba master carpenter, 't is true; but what 's licans kept behind their own bars and left th if I 'm a reless, dirty man, and the sinners to mind their own blessed busimess the house and break my wife's heart ness." and don't value her wonderful character ? Then she takes it up again. And what if I do save money for you “Ban't I your wife? Have we got a and work early and late for you and feel secret from each other? No, we have n't, my heart-strings tight about you whenever and never shall have. And I don't want your name comes in my mind? That 's all any man to tell me your virtues, and you nought against the countless wicked, nasty, don't want any man to tell you mine." shameful things I 've done, as John here And then I spoke; for I began to feel be good enough to point out so bitter' that if Noah had come in at the winder, clear. But God 's my judge I did n't I might find myself going out the same know what a sinner I was!”



“Not so fast," I said — “not so fast, “When I come in here," he said, "that young people. Just you hear me

man instantly told me I was ruining your But they would n't.

life and a few other things; and how I 'm “We have heard you,” answered Bas- to behave, and how I 'm not to do this sett. “We 've heard you together and and not to do that. And never even inapart, and in my opinion we 've heard a vited here- unless you asked him?" darned sight too much of you. There 's "No," she answered; “I did n't ask things a man can do, and there 's things a him, and I did n't want him. He came in man can't do," he said, "and, for my part, and was at my throat before I knew what it looks to me terrible much as if you 'd had happened. You might have knocked done a thing a man can't do."

me down with a feather.” “You 're a bachelor, and you seem to “The indecency of it!" cried Noah. forget what a married man is, Mr. Row- “And a man who could do a thing like land," declared Melinda, rather scornful that to pride himself on his good sense and her nose cocked.

“I dare say you

and judgment! Why, if it was n't so meant well. You be so great on the point shameful, John Rowland, 't would be a of view that Noah and me will grant that trick to laugh at. But it ban't that by from your bachelor point of view, you long chalks: 't is a beastly, pushing, indid n't mean all or half you said; but delicate thing, thrusting into a happy home there 't is: your point of view be cruel, with all your dangerous opinions. You narrow, and one-sided, and ungentle- come in here by night-by night you come manly, too, and you ought n't to have --and poke your nose into my private afthought that I—"

fairs, and talk a lot of anointed twaddle "I'll go further," interrupted Bassett. to this woman behind my back; and then “A woman 's that tender that even under you send her out of the room when I come insult she 'll often be patient and not an- in, and begin upon me to the same tune. swer back. And Melindy here--as be And do you know what you might have patience made alive-- is a lot too kind to done ? D' you know what might have say what she really thinks. But I ban’t so happened, you headlong, rash man, if you particular, and I tell you, Johnny Row- had n't been dealing with the likes of us?" land, that there's a place for everything, I did n't answer, but Melinda did. and everything in its place; and it was n't "You might have separated two people your place to wait till I 'd gone down to forever-a faithful, loving husband and your public house and then sneak up here wife.” to bully my wife.”

'T is properly shameful,” went on Bas"Or sit and spit out through that win- sett, “and no smaller word 's big enough. dow on my geraniums," said Melinda. If you 'd go to your good books and better

"Good powers! You to lecture her, a your own foolish ideas, 't would be wiser, Westaway, and above you by birth and I should think. 'Those that God have everything! A proud, sensitive creature joined together let no man put asunder:like her!”

there 's holy words for you, you wretched “And to tell my husband he was n't creature! And yet you try--you come tidy,” she said. “And you sitting there creeping in here- by night, too-to try in the window-blowing your smoke into and put asunder this woman and me! And my curtains as if 't was your tap-room!” you ban't ashamed of your devil's work

“ 'T is a very great pity you can't see seemingly.' yourself to-night as other people see you, Ashamed, no; he's smiling at it,” said Rowland,” went on the man; “because, if Melinda. And ’t was true. I could n't for you could, you 'd see a very silly creature, the life of me help showing just a twinkle, as wants all the sense he's got and a bit though I tried to look so solemn as an owl. more for his own needs. None to spare But the young couple was working up for me and my wife, I assure you.”

into a proper fury now, and Noah's voice “And you a bachelor, too,” she said had got out of hand afore he let fly again. again. 'T was that she found hardest to “I'll l’arn him to smile, a insolent forgive, seemingly.

hound; I 'll make him smile wrong side Then Noah got telling Melinda more of his ugly, fat face in a minute! Drinkof my faults.

ing my beer and all! And thinks that

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how you

we 're a pair of born fools to be preached “But you 've failed, and I hope you 'll at by him. But 't is he that 's the fool, smart to your dying day when you see and I 'll show him he is.”

've failed,” he went on. “You ’ve Then she cut in.

failed, and if anything could make me “And now he 'll go babbling through love this woman more fierce and faithful the village, no doubt, saying that you and than what I do, 't would be your mean me be cat and dog, and turning the people trick to try and put me against her. from us and telling wicked lies and—” Henceforth she'll be more - far more to

“Let him dare!” shouts Noah, standing me than ever she was in her life. So now, still and banging the table with his fist. then!" “Let me hear as he 's once had your name “And the same here,” cries t' other. “I or mine on his lips, and I'll horsewhip love the ground my Noah walks on, and him fust, and have him up afore the court ever shall. And I hate the ground you for libel after! A man like you," he went walk on; and I 'll spit at your shadow on, turning to me where I sat in a corner- every time you pass me—same as you spat "a man like you be a canker in any town, on my geraniums. And now you go out and the smaller the place, the more dan- of this or I 'll ask my husband to put you gerous 't is to have such a creature in it. out." And, mark me, I'll set the world So I bent to the blast, and did n't even against you, and tell every man and wo- try to right myself, for that might have man what a malicious, scandal-mongering been fatal. I just rose up and crept away dog you are. I 'll fright all your friends like a suspicious character when he catches away from you, and tell the customers the policeman's eye.

the policeman's eye. I sneaked out of the what they may expect, and warn the mar- house in dead silence and went off with ried men that when they be drinking your my head down, to let 'em see how propbeer, so like as not you be trying to ruin erly crushed I felt; and at the door I 'em with their wives.”

turned half a second and just said: “Well, "And the next thing will be you 'll try well, good night, my dears. And if I'd to ruin the wives themselves, I should n't got a tail, I 'm sure I 'd put it between wonder,” says the woman. “A cunning, my legs." underhand, hooken-snivey thing like you They came to the ope-way and cussed -Lord knows what I should have heard so long as I was in ear-shot, and then I next if my husband had n't come home !" looked back and saw them in each other's

“If I thought that,” roars Noah, blaz- arms, like them old pictures of folk cut ing like a bonfire, "I'd wallop you here on black paper-lined out black against and now, John Rowland. I'd thrash you the light in the passage behind 'em. to the truth of music, and cry you through Not a word did I ever speak about it the length and breadth of the land as a after; but be sure they did. A terrible damned, scoundrelly love-hunter, not to character I got for a season, and Noah be trusted with any honest woman!" Bassett would never know me again or

Well, that let me out. I'd heard come across the threshold of my public enough, and wanted change of air.

house. And Melinda she cut me dead “I'll be off," I said, “and then you can and made her family do the like. But clean your house, and fumigate it also.” what mattered was that something new

“No, you 've done that,” she answered, took shape and sprang up and grew bequick as lightning. “All we need be a gale twixt 'em from that hour. Whether 't was of wind in the house to blow your hateful the point of view, or the joyful feeling of ideas out of it. You 've tried your wicked being in such close and loving sympathy best to make an everlasting quarrel be- against me, I can't say; but it went pretty tween my husband and me, and I 'll never well for 'em from that day, and a lot of forgive you for it. I'd be ashamed to nice, little, red-headed childer come in due forgive you. And now you 'd better go.” course; and they was all so happy as life

"And quick!" said Noah. "And I allows sensible folk to be. won't forgive you neither, and no man Peacemaking be noble work for a man, with any self-respect would do so.” but you must always expect, when you

“The first that ever tried to come be start stopping blows, to find the last and tween us !" she said reproachfully.

heaviest of 'em fall on your own shoulders.

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