The Rainbow
    "Oh, ay?"
    "I want her to go away."
    "Then want's your portion," he replied laconically.
    So they drew nearer together. He would take her with him when he went out in the trap. The horse ready at the gate, he came noisily into the house, which seemed quiet and peaceful till he appeared to set everything awake.
    "Now then, Topsy, pop into thy bonnet."
    The child drew herself up, resenting the indignity of the address.
    "I can't fasten my bonnet myself," she said haughtily.
    "Not man enough yet," he said, tying the ribbons under her chin with clumsy fingers.
    She held up her face to him. Her little bright-red lips moved as he fumbled under her chin.
    "You talk-nonsents," she said, re-echoing one of his phrases.
    "That face shouts for th' pump," he said, and taking out a big red handkerchief, that smelled of strong tobacco, began wiping round her mouth.
    "Is Kitty waiting for me?" she asked.
    "Ay," he said. "Let's finish wiping your face-it'll pass wi' a cat-lick."
    She submitted prettily. Then, when he let her go, she began to skip, with a curious flicking up of one leg behind her.
    "Now my young buck-rabbit," he said. "Slippy!"
    She came and was shaken into her coat, and the two set off. She sat very close beside him in the gig, tucked tightly, feeling his big body sway, against her, very splendid. She loved the rocking of the gig, when his big, live body swayed upon her, against her. She laughed, a poignant little shrill laugh, and her black eyes glowed.
    She was curiously hard, and then passionately tenderhearted. Her mother was ill, the child stole about on tip-toe in the bedroom for hours, being nurse, and doing the thing thoughtfully and diligently. Another day, her mother was unhappy. Anna would stand with her legs apart, glowering, balancing on the sides of her slippers. She laughed when the goslings wriggled in Tilly's hand, as the pellets of food were rammed down their throats with a skewer, she laughed nervously. She was hard and imperious with the animals, squandering no love, running about amongst them like a cruel mistress.
    Summer came, and hay-harvest, Anna was a brown elfish mite dancing about. Tilly always marvelled over her, more than she loved her.
    But always in the child was some anxious connection with the mother. So long as Mrs. Brangwen was all right, the little girl played about and took very little notice of her. But corn-harvest went by, the autumn drew on, and the mother, the later months of her pregnancy beginning, was strange and detached, Brangwen began to knit his brows, the old, unhealthy uneasiness, the unskinned susceptibility came on the child again. If she went to the fields with her father, then, instead of playing about carelessly, it was:
    "I want to go home."
    "Home, why tha's nobbut this minute come."
    "I want to go home."
    "What for? What ails thee?"
    "I want my mother."
    "Thy mother! Thy mother none wants thee."
    "I want to go home."
    There would be tears in a moment.
    "Can ter find t'road, then?"
    And he watched her scudding, silent and intent, along the hedge-bottom, at a steady, anxious pace, till she turned and was gone through the gateway. Then he saw her two fields off, still pressing forward, small and urgent. His face was clouded as he turned to plough up the stubble.
    The year drew on, in the hedges the berries shone red and twinkling above bare twigs, robins were seen, great droves of birds dashed like spray from the fallow, rooks appeared, black and flapping down to earth, the ground was cold as he pulled the turnips, the roads were churned deep in mud. Then the turnips were pitted and work was slack.
    Inside the house it was dark, and quiet. The child flitted uneasily round, and now and again came her plaintive, startled cry:
    Mrs. Brangwen was heavy and unresponsive, tired, lapsed back. Brangwen went on working out of doors.
    At evening, when he came in to milk, the child would run behind him. Then, in the cosy cow-sheds, with the doors shut and the air

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