She was too good for him, everybody said. Yet still she did not regret marrying him. He had come courting her when he was only nineteen, and she twenty. He was in build what they call a tight little fellow; short, dark, with a warm colour, and that upright set of the head and chest, that flaunting w...
<p>She was too good for him, everybody said. Yet still she did not regret marrying him. He had come courting her when he was only nineteen, and she twenty. He was in build what they call a tight little fellow; short, dark, with a warm colour, and that upright set of the head and chest, that flaunting way in movement recalling a mating bird, which denotes a body taut and compact with life. Being a good worker he had earned decent money in the mine, and having a good home had saved a little.</p>
<p>She was a cook at “Uplands”, a tall, fair girl, very quiet. Having seen her walk down the street, Horsepool had followed her from a distance. He was taken with her, he did not drink, and he was not lazy. So, although he seemed a bit simple, without much intelligence, but having a sort of physical brightness, she considered, and accepted him.</p>
<p>When they were married they went to live in Scargill Street, in a highly respectable six-roomed house which they had furnished between them. The street was built up the side of a long, steep hill. It was narrow and rather tunnel-like. Nevertheless, the back looked out over the adjoining pasture, across a wide valley of fields and woods, in the bottom of which the mine lay snugly.</p>
<p>He made himself gaffer in his own house. She was unacquainted with a collier’s mode of life. They were married on a Saturday. On the Sunday night he said:</p>
<p>“Set th’ table for my breakfast, an’ put my pit-things afront o’ th’ fire. I s’ll be gettin’ up at ha’ef pas’ five. Tha nedna shift thysen not till when ter likes.”</p>
<p>He showed her how to put a newspaper on the table for a cloth. When she demurred:</p>
<p>“I want none o’ your white cloths i’ th’ mornin’. I like ter be able to slobber if I feel like it,” he said.</p>
<p>He put before the fire his moleskin trousers, a clean singlet, or sleeveless vest of thick flannel, a pair of stockings and his pit boots, arranging them all to be warm and ready for morning.</p>
<p>“Now tha sees. That wants doin’ ivery night.”</p>
<p>Punctually at half past five he left her, without any form of leave-taking, going downstairs in his shirt.</p>
<p>When he arrived home at four o’clock in the afternoon his dinner was ready to be dished up. She was startled when he came in, a short, sturdy figure, with a face indescribably black an...