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"Deed, mem, I canna tell you; and if you would be guided by me you wouldna wail and cry for Kirsteen, night and day. You're getting into real ill habits with her to do everything for you. And the poor lassie has not a meenit to hersel'. She's on the run from morning to night. Bring me this, and get me that. I ken you're very weakly and life's a great trouble, but I would fain have ye take a little thought for her too."
Mrs. Douglas looked as if she might cry under Marg'ret's reproof. She was a pale pink woman seated in a large high easy-chair, so called, something like a porter's chair. It was not particularly easy, but it was filled with pillows, and was the best that the locality and the time could supply. Her voice had a sound of tears in it as she replied:
"If you were as weak as I am, Marg'ret, and pains from head to foot, you would know better - and not grudge me the only comfort I have."
"Me grudge ye ainything no for the world except just that bairn's time and a' her life that might be at its brightest; but poor thing, poor thing!" said Marg'ret, shaking her head.
The scene was the parlour at Drumcarro, in the wilds of Argyllshire, the speakers the mistress of the house de jure, and she who was at the head of affairs de facto, Marg'ret the housekeeper, cook, lady's maid, and general manager of everything.