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PREPARING TO RECEIVE COMPANY. LEEBY was at the fire braudering a quarter of steak on the tongs, when the house was flung into consternation by Hendry's casual remark that he had seen Tibbie Mealmaker in the town with her man.
The Lord preserve's ! cried Leeby. Jess looked quickly at the clock. Half fower ! she said, excitedly. Then it canna be dune, said Leeby, falling despairingly into a chair, for they may be here ony meenute.
It's most michty, said Jess, turning on her husband, 'at ye should tak a pleasure in bringin' this hoose to disgrace. Hoo did ye no tell's suner ? I fair forgot, Hendry answered, but what's a' yer steer ?
Jess looked at me (she often did this) in a way that meant, What a man is this I'm tied toj Steer ! she exclaimed. Is't no time we was makkin' a steer ?
They'll be in for their tea ony meenute, an' the room no sae muckle as sweepit. Ay, an' me lookin' like a sweep; an' Tibbie Mealmaker'at's sae partikler genteel seein' you sic a sicht as ye are!
Jess shook Hendry out of his chair, while Leeby began to sweep with the one hand, and agitatedly to unbutton her wrapper with the other. She didna see me, said Hendry, sitting down forlornly on the table.
Get aff that table!. cried Jess. See haud o' the besom, she said to Leeby. For mercy's sake, mother, said Leeby, gie yer face a dicht, an' put on a clean mutch.
I'll open the door if they come afore you're ready, said Hendry, as Leeby pushed him against the dresser. Ye daur to speak aboot opeuin' the door, an' you sic a mess !
cried Jess, with pins in her mouth. Havers! retorted Hendry. A man canna be aye washin' at 'imsel'. Seeing that Hendry was as much in the way as myself, 1 invited ...
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