"Why, what else should I be?" was the answer, given rather brusquely.
"A great many gentlefolks comes here as is no better dressed nor you be."
"Dress is no rule. Don't you go and take me for a gentleman, or we sha'n't agree. Wait till I'm as arrogant, and empty, and lazy as they are. I am a workman, and proud of it."
"It's naught to be ashamed on, that's certain," said Jael. "I've carried many a sack of grain up into our granary, and made a few hundred-weight of cheese and butter, besides house-work and farm- work. Bless your heart, I bayn't idle when I be at home."
"And pray where is your home?" asked Henry, looking up a moment, not that he cared one straw.
"If you please, sir, I do come from Cairnhope village. I'm old Nat Dence's daughter. There's two of us, and I'm the youngest. Squire sent me in here, because miss said Hillsborough girls wasn't altogether honest. She is a dear kind young lady; but I do pine for home and the farm at times; and frets about the young calves: they want so much looking after. And sister, she's a-courting, and can't give her mind to 'em as should be. I'll carry the board for you, sir."
"All right," said Henry carelessly; but, as they went along, he thought to himself, "So a skilled workman passes for a gentleman with rustics: fancy that!"
On their return to the drawing-room, Henry asked for a high wooden stool, or chair, and said it would be as well to pin some newspapers over the carpet. A high stool was soon got from the kitchen, and Jael went promptly down on her knees, and crawled about, pinning the newspapers in a large square.