"No. Indeed, at no hand would I have thought of it! And for you — didn't you ask me? This is not your writing?" And he held up his.
"By no means."
"And is that really so! Then it's somebody wanting to see us both. Perhaps we would do well to wait a little longer."
Acting on this consideration they lingered, Elizabeth-Jane's face being arranged to an expression of preternatural composure, and the young Scot, at every footstep in the street without, looking from under the granary to see if the passer were about to enter and declare himself their summoner. They watched individual drops of rain creeping down the thatch of the opposite rick — straw after straw — till they reached the bottom; but nobody came, and the granary roof began to drip.
"The person is not likely to be coming," said Farfrae. "It's a trick perhaps, and if so, it's a great pity to waste our time like this, and so much to be done."
"'Tis a great liberty," said Elizabeth.
"It's true, Miss Newson. We'll hear news of this some day depend on't, and who it was that did it. I wouldn't stand for it hindering myself; but you, Miss Newson — — "
"I don't mind — much,' she replied.
"Neither do I."
They lapsed again into silence. "You are anxious to get back to Scotland, I suppose, Mr. Farfrae?" she inquired.
"O no, Miss Newson. Why would I be?"
"I only supposed you might be from the song you sang at the Three Mariners — about Scotland and home, I mean — which you seemed to feel so deep down in your heart; so that we all felt for you."
"Ay — and I did sing there — I did — — But, Miss Newson" — and Donald's voice musically undulated between two semi-tones as it always did when he became earnest — "it's well you feel a song for a few minutes, and your eyes they get quite tearful; but you finish it, and for all you felt you don't mind it or think of it again for a long while. O no, I don't want to go back! Yet I'll sing the song to you wi' pleasure whenever you like. I could sing it now, and not mind at all?"
"Thank you, indeed. But I fear I must go — rain or no."
"Ay! Then, Miss Newson, ye had better say nothing about this hoax, and take no heed of it. And if the person should say anything to you, be civil to him or her, as if you did not mind it — so you'll take the clever person's laugh away." In speaking his eyes became fixed upon her dress, still sown with wheat husks. "There's husks and dust on you. Perhaps you don't know it?" he said, in tones of extreme delicacy. "And it's very bad to let rain come upon clothes when there's chaff on them. It washes in and spoils them. Let me help you — blowing is the best."
As Elizabeth neither assented nor dissented Donald Farfrae began blowing her back hair, and her side hair, and her neck, and the crown of her bonnet, and the fur of her victorine, Elizabeth saying, "O, thank you," at every puff. At last she was fairly clean, though Farfrae, having got over his first concern at the situation, seemed in no manner of hurry to be gone.
"Ah — now I'll go and get ye an umbrella," he said.
She declined the offer, stepped out and was gone. Farfrae walked slowly after, looking thoughtfully at her diminishing figure, and whistling in undertones, "As I came down through Cannobie."