Page:An Old English Home and Its Dependencies.djvu/16

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But access to this bedroom became difficult, as the stairs, exposed to rain, rotted, and she was compelled to ascend and descend by an improvised ladder.

After a while the ladder collapsed.

Then the old lady descended for good and all, and took up her abode on the ground floor—kitchen, and parlour, and dining-room, and bedroom all in one.

"And terr'ble warm and comfortable it be," said she, when the roof fell in bodily, and covered the floor overhead.

But when the walls were exposed, rain and frost told on them, and also on the beam ends sustaining the floor, and the next stage was that one side of the floor gave way wholly.

"Tes best as it be," said the old woman; "now the rain runs off more suant."

But in falling the floor blocked the fireplace and the doorway. The consequences are—now we come to the present condition of affairs—that the old lady has had to do without a fire for certainly three winters, amongst others that bitter one of 1893-4, and her only means of egress and ingress is through the