Page:That Lass o' Lowrie's.djvu/217

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Liz crept close to the window and looked down the road. At this time of the year it was not often that the sum set in as fair a sky. In October, Riggan generally shut its doors against damps and mist, and turned toward its fire when it had one. And yet Liz had hardly seen that the sun had shone at all to-day. Still, seeing her face, a passer-by would not have fancied that she was chilled. There was a flush upon her cheeks, and her eyes were more than usually bright. She was watching for Joan with a restless eagerness.

"She's late," she said. "I mought ha' knowed she'd be late. I wisht she'd coom—I do. An' yet—an' yet I'm feart. I wisht it wur over;" and she twisted her fingers together nervously.

She had laid the child upon the bed, and presently it roused her with a cry. She went to it, took it up into her arms, and, carrying it to the fire, sat down.

"Why couldn't tha stay asleep?" she said. "I nivver seed a choild loike thee."

But the next minute, the little creature whimpering, she bent down in impatient repentance and kissed it, whimpering too.

"Dunnot," she said. "I conna bear to hear thee. Hush, thee! tha goes on as if tha knew. Eh! but I mun be a bad lass. Ay, I'm bad through an' through, an' I conna be no worse nor I am."