"IT'S MOTHER!" 347
Colin," but just " dear lad " quite suddenly. She might have said it to Dickon in the same way if she had seen something in his face which touched her. Colin liked it.
" Are you surprised because I am so well? " he asked.
She put her hand on his shoulder and smiled the mist out of her eyes.
"Aye, that I am!" she said; "but tha'rt so like thy mother tha' made my heart jump."
" Do you think," said Colin a little awkwardly, " that will make my father like me? "
" Aye, for sure, dear lad," she answered and she gave his shoulder a soft quick pat. " He mun come home — he mun come home."
" Susan Sowerby," said Ben Weatherstaff, getting close to her. " Look at th' lad's legs, wilt tha'? They was like drumsticks i' stockin' two month' ago — an' I heard folk tell as they was bandy an' knock-kneed both at th' same time. Look at 'em now! "
Susan Sowerby laughed a comfortable laugh.
" They're goin' to be fine strong lad's legs in a bit," she said. " Let him go on playin' an' workin' in th' garden an' eatin' hearty an' drinkin' plenty o' good sweet milk an' there'll not be a finer pair i' Yorkshire, thank God for it."
She put both hands on Mistress Mary's shoul-