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By Stephanie Barron

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Mr. Cooper exclaimed, with a look of consternation. "Not again, Jane! " BUT I WAS SAVED THE NECESSITY OF UNPLEASANT explanation some hours more. Mr. Hemming conveyed me to the relative comfort of the miller's cottage, where I was seated in a hard wooden chair by an ancient woman of obscure dialect. There I sipped some water from a chipped earthenware mug, and gazed out of the unglazed window, and felt my terror ease with the water slipping noisily over the mill-wheel's vanes. It should have been the perfect pastoral scene, of a kind beloved of my favoured poets, but for the preparations undergone a few moments before: the miller's waggon readied, and his sole draught horse lured from the fields; a pallet laid out between two poles, and secured with a length of rope; the miller's wife dispensing a spare sheet, worn quite through in places by time and the marriage bed.

A look of the most extreme mortification clouded Mr. Cooper's countenance. " "I am not convinced that ears are entirely necessary. The ... vigour of your performance--" "Perhaps the fish do not approve of Donne," I suggested. Mr. Hemming threw a glance my way. "It must be said that there are many who do not," he observed. My cousin looked from my serene countenance to the blacker one of his friend. "If I have offended you in anyway, George, I humbly beg leave to apologise--" "Pray do not mention it," Mr.

Cooper conceded heavily, "and, indeed, it will be on every tradesman's lips by morning. " We waited in some suspense. His eyes came up to meet my own, with a look of profound confusion. " I enquired. " "And delicacy," Mr. Cooper added. " I stood up abruptly and thrust back my chair. "Would you tell me that the young man so savagely murdered this morning--" "Was, in fact, a woman," my cousin said. Against Disorders of the Head Chop two ounces of wild Valerian Root, and add to it an ounce of freshly-gathered Sage.

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