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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

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      "We're no worser off than we wur before," Joseph Backfield had said a day or two ago to his complaining boy"we've our own meadows for the cows't?un't as if we were poor people."It never occurred to her to throw these young people together, and give the girl a chance of fighting her father and satisfying the vague longings for adventure and romance which had begun to put torment into her late twenties. She often told her it was a scandal that she had never been allowed to know men, but her own were too few and useful to be sacrificed to the forlorn. Besides, Caro had an odd shy way with men which sometimes made them laugh at her. She had little charm, and though not bad-looking in a heavy black-browed style, she had no feminine arts, and always appeared to the very worst advantage.

      So it was throughout the crowd. Some said "poor man," others muttered "his own fault." But all words, either of pity or blame, were silenced when Backfield came out of the Court-house and walked through the people, his head high, his step firm, his back straight.Chapter 14

      "But it's important" he began, and stopped. He looked at his glass, still empty. He took a breath, began again. "I work with them. I'm part of it. It's important to me."Similarly, the Sergeants stood behind their sections, except that one after another they stepped forward to the guns to take the places of men who had fallen and could not be replaced. At the guns the men were working with the swiftness of light flashes, and the unerring certainty of machines. To the watchers at the base of the slope they seemed to weave back and forth like some gigantic, demoniac loom, as they sprang at their guns, loaded them, "broke away" as they fired, leaped back again, caught the gun in its recoil, hurled it forward, again reloaded, "broke away" and fired, all quicker than thought. A shell took off a sponger's head, but the sponge-staff was caught by another before it fell, and the gun fired again without a pause. A shrapnel swept away every man about one gun. The Lieutenant looked inquiringly at the Sergeant, and in an instant another squad seemed to spring up from the ground to continue the firing without missing a note in the battery's rhythm.

      "Wot does a liddle thing lik that count when it's all so miserable?""You only reacted the way a good Psychological Division worker is supposed to react, I imagine." The eyes closed for a second, opened again. "You know, Norma, I could have dictated this to a tape and had it sent out automatically. Did you stop to think why I wanted to talk it out to you?"

      "If I could only see a parson," sobbed Albert at last.

      She was glad in a way that everything was so different, glad that Reuben's love-making was so utterly unlike Harry's. Otherwise she could never have plunged herself so deep into forgetfulness. She was quite without regretsshe could never have imagined she could be so free of them. She lived for the present, and for the future which was not her own. She was at rest. No longer the pursuing feet came after her, making her life a nightmare of long flightsshe was safe in her captor's grasp, borne homeward on his shoulder.

      "The machines are under obedience to us while we obey the masters."Then"


      The next five years were comparatively uneventful. All that stood out of them was the steady progress of the farm. It fattened, it grew, it crept up Boarzell as the slow tides softly flood a rock.