He smirked painfully. "How did ye guess her?" he asked.
"Are ye simple, .Fergus? Sure you're never away from about the
"Well then, it's her" he replied in an offended tone.
"And what's wrong between her and you?" persisted the old woman, the
click of her needles never ceasing.
Pentland seemed at a loss to reply. "Well, there's nothing wrong
between me and her" he commenced at last "but 3he seems to be changing
every day she's up there. 3he's changed a lot since the day ould Andrew
was drownded, I can tell ye."
"That’s no to be wondered at, considering where she sprung from"
said Agnes. "It's wonderful what happens tae black-clocks when they
get intae long grass" she added with malice.
"Ah, there’s nothing wrong wi' the girl!" declared Fergus, stung
into defence of his sweetheart.
"No, no - there's no a ha'porth wrong wi' her agreed Agnes soothingly.
"And her mother’s as honest a women as ye'd find in a day's walk. Tell me
then, what's got intae ye?"
Pentland stood up and threw the hair back out of his eyes. "I can't
abide her being near that crature, Frank Echlin!” he burst out. "Sitting
there wi’ that sneer on his face when I come ini I declare to m'God I
could lift the throat out of him for it!”
Agnes stiffened. Fond as she vas of Fergus, she had always been
fonder and closer to the Echlin brothers and -'rank had been her special
favourite, Petie and she, getting old, were now dependent on the Echlins
for their livelihood and the cottage in which she sat was owned by the