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    Software name: appdown
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      Reuben grumbled and muttered to himself as he crossed the thresholdsmall fry like these Jurys must[Pg 211] not be allowed to think that he had any time to spare. The young woman led him into the kitchen and offered him a seat. Reuben took it and crossed his legs, looking appraisingly round the room, which was poorly furnished, but beautifully kept, with some attempts at decoration. There was a print of Rossetti's "Annunciation" above the meal-chest, and a shelf of books by the fireplace. It all struck him as strange and rather contemptible. He remembered what he had been told about the Jurys, who had only just come to Cheat Land. Tom Jury had, so rumour said, kept a bookshop in Hastings, but trade had gone badly, and as his health demanded an outdoor life and country air, charitable friends had established him on a small holding. He had an invalid wife, and one daughter, who was not very strong eitheran ignoble family.

      "I'll see about it."A machine could have done the job very easily, but machines were expensive. An Albert could be taught in a week.

      "I guessed too."

      She'd never a horse to ride;


      "Well, I for one am goin' through, and I'm goin' to take Pete and Sandy with me," said Shorty, in a loud, confident tone, to brace up the others. "I've always gone through every one o' them things I've struck yit, and this ain't no worse'n the others. But we ought to jump 'em at once, while they're shiverin' over the shelling' we give 'em. They must be shakin' up there yit like a dog on a January mornin'. Why don't we start, I wonder?"


      Reuben was present at the trial, and sitting erect, in his good town clothes, drew the public glance away both from the prisoner and the Recorder. Feeling was against him, and when in his summing-up Mr. Reeve remarked on the strangeness of a young man of Backfield's age having no money and being compelled to work without wages, a low murmur went round the court, which Reuben did not seem to hear. He sat very stiffly while the sentence was pronounced, and afterwards refused to see his son before he was taken away to Lewes.


      "He would, if it hadn't been for you, Si. He got in one slash on me, but it ain't much, I think. But Shorty helped you out of a tight box."