Words for the story:
- trial — наказание
- tuck away — прятаться
- husk — скорлупа
- proffer = offer
- squalor — бедность, убогость
- quaint — причудливый
Mrs. Tilley was standing in the doorway when the trio came into view. The cow gave a loud moo by way of explanation.
«Yes, you’d better speak up for yourself, you old trial! Where’d she tucked herself away this time, Sylvy?» But Sylvia kept an awed silence; she knew by instinct that her grandmother did not comprehend the gravity of the situation. She must be mistaking the stranger for one of the farmer-lads of the region.
The young man stood his gun beside the door, and dropped a lumpy game-bag beside it; then he bade Mrs. Tilley good-evening, and repeated his wayfarer’s story, and asked if he could have a night’s lodging.
«Put me anywhere you like,» he said. «I must be off early in the morning, before day; but I am very hungry, indeed. You can give me some milk at any rate, that’s plain.»
«Dear sakes, yes,» responded the hostess, whose long slumbering hospitality seemed to be easily awakened. «You might fare better if you went out to the main road a mile or so, but you’re welcome to what we’ve got. I’ll milk right off, and you make yourself at home. You can sleep on husks or feathers,» she proffered graciously. «I raised them all myself. There’s good pasturing for geese just below here towards the ma’sh. Now step round and set a plate for the gentleman, Sylvy!» And Sylvia promptly stepped. She was glad to have something to do, and she was hungry herself.
It was a surprise to find so clean and comfortable a little dwelling in this New England wilderness. The young man had known the horrors of its most primitive housekeeping, and the dreary squalor of that level of society which does not rebel at the companionship of hens. This was the best thrift of an old-fashioned farmstead, though on such a small scale that it seemed like a hermitage. He listened eagerly to the old woman’s quaint talk, he watched Sylvia’s pale face and shining gray eyes with ever growing enthusiasm, and insisted that this was the best supper he had eaten for a month, and afterward the new-made friends sat down in the door-way together while the moon came up.