“Barney, why don’t you make up with her?”
Barney stood still.
“Barney, she feels awfully because you didn’t come back when she called you last night.”
Barney made no reply. He and the white horse stood like statues.
“Barney, why don’t you make up with her? I wish you would.” Rose’s voice was full of tender inflections; it might have been that of an angel peace-making.
Barney turned around between the handles of the plough, and looked at her steadily. “You don’t know anything about it, Rose,” he said.
Rose looked up in his face, and her own was full of fine pleading. “Oh, Barney,” she said, “poor Charlotte does feel so bad! I know that anyhow.”
“You don’t know how I am situated. I can’t—”
“Do go and see her, Barney.”
“Do you think I’m going into Cephas Barnard’s house after he’s ordered me out?”
“Go up the road a little way, and she’ll come and meet you. I’ll run ahead and tell her.”
Barney shook his head. “I can’t; you don’t know anything about it, Rose.” He looked into Rose’s eyes. “You’re real good, Rose,” he said, as if with a sudden recognition of her presence.
Rose blushed softly, a new look came into her eyes, she smiled up at him, and her face was all pink and sweet and fully set towards him, like a rose for which he was a sun.
“No, I ain’t good,” she whispered.
“Yes, you are; but I can’t. You don’t know anything about it.” He swung about and grasped his plough-handles again.
“Barney, do stop a minute,” Rose pleaded.
“I can’t stop any longer; there’s no use talking,” Barney said; and he went on remorselessly through the opening furrow. Just before he turned the corner Rose made a little run forward and caught his arm.
“You don’t think I’ve done anything out of the way speaking to you about it, do you, Barney?” she said, and she was half crying.
“I don’t know why I should think you had; I suppose you meant all right,” Barney said. He pulled his arm away softly, and jerked the right rein to turn the horse. “G’lang!” he cried out, and strode forward with a conclusive air.
Rose stood looking after him a minute; then she struck off across the field. Her knees trembled as she stepped over the soft plough-ridges.
When she was out on the road again she went along quickly until she came to the Thayer house. She was going past that when she heard some one calling her name, and turned to see who it was.
Rebecca Thayer came hurrying out of the yard with a basket on her arm. “Wait a minute,” she called, “and I’ll go along with you.”
Rebecca, walking beside Rose, looked like a woman of another race. She was much taller, and her full, luxuriant young figure looked tropical beside Rose’s slender one. Her body undulated as she walked, but Rose moved only with forward flings of delicate limbs.