346 THE BROWNIE OF THE LAKE
And all the payment the brownie ever asked for was a bowl of broth.
From the very day of her marriage Barbaik had noted with surprise and rage that things ceased to be done for her as they had been done all the weeks and months before. She complained to Jegu of his laziness, and he only stared at her, not understanding what she was talking about. But the brownie, who was standing by, burst out laughing, and confessed that all the good offices she spoke of had been performed by him, for the sake of Jegu, but that now he had other business to do, and it was high time that she looked after her house herself.
Bar balk was furious. Each morning when she was obliged to get up before dawn to milk the cows and go to market, and each evening when she had to sit up till midnight in order to churn the butter, her heart was filled with rage against the brownie who had caused her to expect a life of ease and pleasure. But when she looked at Jegu and beheld his red face, squinting eyes, and untidy hair, her anger was doubled.
' If it had not been for you, you miserable dwarf !' she would say between her teeth, ' if it had not been for you I should never have married that man, and I should still have been going to dances, where the young men would have brought me presents of nuts and cherries, and told me that I was the prettiest girl in the parish. While now I can receive no presents except from my husband. I can never dance, except with my husband. Oh, you wretched dwarf, I will never, never forgive you! '
In spite of her fierce words, no one knew better than Barbai'k how to put her pride in her pocket when it suited her, and after receiving an invitation to a wedding, she begged the brownie to get her a horse to ride there.