Some years before this time, when Susan was a very little girl and could scarcely speak, as she was eating a basin of bread and milk for supper at the cottage door, a great pig came up and put his nose into the basin. Susan was willing that the pig should have some share of the bread and milk, but as she ate with a spoon and he with his large mouth, she soon found that he was likely to have more than his share; and she said to him, “Take a poon, pig.” The saying became a proverb in the village, and Susan’s little companions quoted it when any one claimed more than his share of anything good. Barbara, who was then not Miss Barbara, but plain Bab, and who played with all the poor children in the village, was often reproved by Susan’s proverb. Susan, as she grew up, forgot the childish saying, but Barbara remembered it, and it was this that she thought was in Susan’s mind when she asked her to take a spoon.
“Indeed, miss,” said Betty, when she found Barbara in a passion upon her return from the cottage, “indeed I wonder you set your foot within the door. Your own papa has been at the Abbey all morning, and you can hear all you wish to know from him.”
Barbara at once ran to her father’s parlor, but saw at a glance that he was in no mood to answer questions. Instead of leaving him alone, she did all in her power to find out why he had been at the Abbey, and what he had seen and heard there. And when she found that her father would tell her nothing, she ran back to her maid, saying, “Papa is so cross! I cannot put up with him.”
SUSAN’S PET LAMB
It is true that Attorney Case was not in a happy mood. His visit to the Abbey had made him feel sure that Sir Arthur and he would not agree about the treatment of the farmers who lived on the estate. One matter they had talked about was Sir Arthur’s wish to enlarge his grounds and make a drive round them. A map of the estate lay upon the table and they looked at it together.
“Ah! but I see this new road for the drive would run through Farmer Price’s garden,” said Sir Arthur. “That would never do.”
“It need not trouble you,” said Attorney Case, “you may do as you like with Price’s land.”
“How so?” asked Sir Arthur. “His lease will not be out for ten years, I believe.”
“True, that would have been the case had there not been a mistake in it. I have the lease and can show you.” The heartless man then went on to explain to Sir Arthur what the mistake was.
Sir Arthur remained silent.
“Oh! I see,” said the Attorney. “You do not wish to annoy Farmer Price. But just put the matter into my hands and I will manage it for you.”
“You seem to forget that to take the farm out of this poor man’s hands would be to ruin him,” replied Sir Arthur, quietly.
“Indeed,” said the wicked Attorney, “indeed I should be sorry for that, if it were not that Farmer Price is such an unruly, stubborn man.”