"I鈥擨 must be gitting back home."He was soon confirmed in his idea that the birth had brought him luck. Before little David was a week old, the welcome news came that Lardner had died. For[Pg 273] some time he had been able to swallow only milk food, and his speech had been reduced to a confused roaring, but his death at this juncture seemed to Reuben a happy coincidence, an omen of good fortune for himself and his son."He's a tedious contradictious old feller鈥攈e desarves all he's got. Let's git up a subscription fur him鈥攖hat ud cut him to the heart, and he wudn't t?ake it, so it ud cost us naun, nuther."
"Some," said Reuben, "but I like 'em coloured best."
"Odiam!" shrieked Albert.
"He did not, miss鈥攜ou're impudent!""I hear as how it's a liddle son...."
But Rose was in a devilish mood."Half an hour agone. He'd bin dead for hours, m?aster. He must have choked in the ditch鈥攕ee, his mouth is full of mud."... A shudder passed through Reuben, a long shudder of his flesh, for in at the open window had drifted the scent of the gorse on Boarzell. It came on no wind, the night was windless as before. It just seemed to creep to him over the fields, to hang on the air like a reproach. It was the scent of peaches and apricots, of sunshine caught and distilled. He leaned forward out of the window, and thought he could see the glimmer of the gorse-clumps under the stars.
"We are mortgaged鈥攖he last foot"鈥攁nd she burst into tears again.She found herself bending to the rhythm of the music, swaying in Reuben's arms. He held her lightly, and it was wonderful how clever he was in avoiding concussion with the other dancers, most of whom bumped about regardless of anybody else.
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