When the love-led man had ceased from his labours Bathsheba came and looked him in the face.

‘Gabriel, will you you stay on with me?’ she said, smiling winningly, and not troubling to bring her lips quite together again at the end, because there was going to be another smile soon.

‘I will,’ said Gabriel.

And she smiled on him again.

Now mind, you have a mistress instead of a master. I don’t yet know my powers or my talents in farming; but I shall do my best, and if you serve me well, so shall I serve you. Don’t any unfair ones among you (if there are any such, but I hope not) suppose that because I’m a woman I don’t understand the difference between bad goings-on and good.”   (All.)

for unfortunately the person most dogged in the belief in a false reputation is always that one, the possessor, who has the best means of knowing that it is not true.

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