"He said that all the other boys were regular gipsies. He should not have said that. My aunt laughed, but she didn't like it, of course, and my cousins were angry. Uncle was a farmer--farmers are not gipsies. It is wrong to hurt people."
Ashurst wanted to take her hand and give it a squeeze, but he only answered:
"Quite right, Megan. By the way, I heard you putting the little ones to bed last night."
She flushed a little. "Please to drink your tea--it is getting cold. Shall I get you some fresh?"
"Do you ever have time to do anything for yourself?"
"I've been watching, but I haven't seen it yet.
She wrinkled her brows in a puzzled frown, and her colour deepened.
When she was gone, Ashurst thought: 'Did she think I was chaffing her? I wouldn't for the world!' He was at that age when to some men "Beauty's a flower," as the poet says, and inspires in them the thoughts of chivalry. Never very conscious of his surroundings, it was some time before he was aware that the youth whom Garton had called "a Saxon type" was standing outside the stable door; and a fine bit of colour he made in his soiled brown velvet-cords, muddy gaiters, and blue shirt; red-armed, red-faced, the sun turning his hair from tow to flax; immovably stolid, persistent, unsmiling he stood. Then, seeing Ashurst looking at him, he crossed the yard at that gait of the young countryman always ashamed not to be slow and heavy-dwelling on each leg, and disappeared round the end of the house towards the kitchen entrance. A chill came over Ashurst's mood. Clods? With all the good will in the world, how impossible to get on terms with them! And yet--see that girl! Her shoes were split, her hands rough; but--what was it? Was it really her Celtic blood, as Garton had said?--she was a lady born, a jewel, though probably she could do no more than just read and write!