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TIME PASSES 163wanted (glibly, jovially, with the tea hot in her, sheunwound her ball of memories, sitting in the wickerarm-chair by the nursery fender). There was alwaysplenty doing, people in the house, twenty stayingsometimes, and washing up till long past mid-night.

Mrs Bast (she had never known them; had livedin Glasgow at that time) wondered, putting her cupdown, whatever they hung that beast’s skull therefor? Shot in foreign parts no doubt.

It might well be, said Mrs McNab, wantoning onwith her memories; they had friends in easterncountries; gentlemen staying there, ladies in eveningdress; she had seen them once through the dining-room door all sitting at dinner. Twenty she daredsay in all their jewellery, and she asked to stay helpwash up, might be till after midnight.

Ah, said Mrs Bast, they’d find it changed. Sheleant out of the window. She watched her sonGeorge scything the grass. They might well ask,what had been done to it? seeing how old Kennedy

was supposed to have charge of it, and then his leggot so bad after he fell from the cart; and perhapsthen no one for a year, or the better part of one; andthen Davie Macdonald, and seeds might be sent, butwho should say if they were ever planted? They’dfind it changed.

She watched her son scything. He was a greatone for work—one of those quiet ones. Well theymust be getting along with the cupboards, she sup-posed. They hauled themselves up.

At last, after days of labour within, of cutting anddigging without, dusters were flicked from the