[from 'The Manxman' 1894]



IN the mists of morning, Grannie had awakened in her bed with the turfy scraas of the thatch just visible above her, and the window-blind like a hazy moon floating on the wall at her side. And, fixing her nightcap, she had sighed and said, " I can't close my eyes for dreaming that the poor lad has come to his end untimeously." Csar yawned, and asked, " What lad ?"

"Young Pete, of course," said Grannie. Csar umpht and grunted.

" We were poor ourselves when we began, father."

Grannie felt the glare of the old man's eye on her in the darkness. "'Deed, we were; but people forget things. We had to borrow to buy our big overshot wheel; we had, though. And when ould Parson Harrison sent us the first boll of oats, we couldn't grind it for want of-"

Csar tugged at the counterpane and said, "'Will you lie quiet, woman, and let a hard-working man sleep ?"

" Then don't be the young man's destruction, Csar."

Csar made a contemptuous snort, and pulled the bed-clothes about his head.

"Aw,'deed, father, but the girl might do worse. A fine, strapping lad. And, dear heart, the cheerful face at him ! It's taking joy to look at it-like drawing water from a well ! And the laugh at the boy, too-that joyful, it's as good to hear in the morning as six pigs at a lit-"

"Then marry the lad yourself, woman, and have done with it," cried Caesar, and, so saying, he kicked out his leg, turned over to the wall, and began to snore with great vigour.

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