"And the fire it did come and go as if hell was a blowing at it. One while the windows was a dull red like, and the next they did flare so, I thought it would all burst out in a blaze. And so 'twould, but, bless your heart, their heads ha'n't ached this hundred year and more, as lighted that there devilish fire."
He paused a moment, then said, with sudden gravity and resignation and even a sort of half business-like air, "Wife, ye may make my shroud, and sew it and all; but I wouldn't buy the stuff of Bess Crummles; she is an ill-tongued woman, and came near making mischief between you and me last Lammermas as ever was."
"Shroud!" cried Mrs. Eaves, getting seriously alarmed. "Why, Abel, what is Cairnhope old church to you? You were born in an other parish."
Abel slapped his thigh. "Ay, lass, and another county, if ye go to that." And his countenance brightened suddenly.
"And as for me," continued Janet, "I'm Cairnhope; but my mother came from Morpeth, a widdy: and she lies within a hundred yards of where I sit a talking to thee. There's none of my kin laid in old Cairnhope churchyard. Warning's not for thee, nor me, nor yet for our Jock. Eh, lad, it will be for Squire Raby. His father lies up there, and so do all his folk. Put on thy hat this minute, and I'll hood myself, and we'll go up to Raby Hall, and tell Squire."
Abel objected to that, and intimated that his own fireside was particularly inviting to a man who had seen diabolical fires that came and went, and shone through the very stones and mortar of a dead church.
"Nay, but," said Janet, "they sort o' warnings are not to be slighted neither. We must put it off on to Squire, or I shall sleep none this night."
They went up, hand in hand, and often looked askant upon the road.