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      Then he went out, and gave Handshut a week's notice.

      She could not tell him. If he did not understand how every note from Harry's violin would jab and tear the tortured memories she was trying to put to sleepif he did not understand that of himself, she would never be able to explain it to him.

      "You said I wur a hard man.""Come out for a walk," he said, and lifted the latch.


      Reuben had bought thirty-five more acres of Boarzell in '81, and thirty in '84. The first piece was on the Flightshot side of the Moor, by Cheat Land, the second stretched from the new ground by Totease over to Burntbarns. Now only about fifty acres, including the Fair-place and the crest, remained to be won outside the Grandturzel inclosure. Bardon publicly announced his intention never to sell the Fair-place to Backfield. Flightshot and Odiam had not been drawn together by Richard's marriage. At first Reuben had feared that the Squire might take liberties on the strength of it, and had been stiffer than ever in his unavoidable intercourse with the Manor. But Bardon had been, if anything, stiffer still. He thoroughly disapproved of Backfield as an employer of laboursome of his men were housed, with their families, in two old barns converted into cottages at the cheapest rateand as he was too hard up to refuse to sell him Boarzell, he could express his disgust only by his attitude. Fine shades of manner were apt to be lost on Reuben, but about the refusal to sell the Fair-place there could be no mistake.Reuben Backfield scowled. His thick black brows scowled easily, but the expression of his face was open and cheerful, would have been kindly even, were it not for a certain ruthlessness of the lips. There was more character in his face than is usual with a boy of fifteenotherwise he looked younger than his age, for though tall and well-knit, his limbs had all the graceful immaturity and supple clumsiness one sees in the limbs of calves and foals.


      "I don't think you understand.""Father John, know you not why I have sent for you?"


      But lo! when Calverley's prison door was opened, for the purpose of conducting him to the hall, he was not to be found! It was to no purpose that the baron stormed and threatened, no trace of Calverley could be discovered; but John Byles was brought forward, and, upon being confronted with his own servitor, and promised that if he made a full disclosure, the punishment of the crime should be remitted, he confessed all with which the reader was made acquainted in the early part of the tale. The question of poisoning was then put, but Byles had cunning enough to remember that no one was privy to this but Calverley, and as it might peril Mary's life, he stoutly denied all knowledge of the matter. Mary Byles, who had also been kept in durance, was then introduced, but she was more collected than on the preceding evening, and would admit nothing. She knew not any thing of the buckand she could say nothing more respecting the poisoning than she had already said at Gloucester, and the supposition of Edith's innocence, was compelled to rest upon the servitor's oath, who swore that he had heard Mary say, on the evening she returned from Gloucester, what Sir Robert had repeated. This, coupled with the circumstance that, together with the poisoning, Mary had denied what her husband had admitted, and what could not have happened without her knowledge, brought sufficiently conclusive evidence to convince every one that Edith had died a martyr to Mary's cruelty or carelessness.Chapter 11