voice shaking with passion was carried by the wind to the listening girl.
"When I need a blithering, no-'count upstart to teach me my business, I'll call on you and not before," a deeper, harsh voice snarled. "When you're farming for yourself you can feed the neighbors' critters on your corn all you've a mind to!"
"Oh, dear!" Betty scrambled to her feet, forgetting the bouquet so carefully culled, and darted in the direction of the willow hedge. "I do hope Mr. Peabody hasn't been cruel to an animal. Bob is always so furious when he catches him at that!"
She crossed the puttering little brook by the simple expedient of jumping from one bank to the other and scrambled through the willow trees, emerging, flushed and anxious-eyed, to confront a boy about fourteen years old in a torn straw hat and faded overalls and a tall, lean middle-aged man with a pitchfork in his hands.
"Well?" the latter grunted, as Betty glanced fearfully at him. "What did you come for? I suppose you think two rows of corn down flat is something to snicker at?"
They stood on the edge of a flourishing field of corn, and, following the direction of Mr. Peabody's accusing finger, Betty Gordon saw that two fine rows had been partially eaten and trampled.