ecessary I should take up my abode in the country--it was to you and to this room that my thoughts were at once directed. I wrote you I was coming--didn't even say by your leave--and planted myself, as it were, down on you, without inquiring whether or not it was agreeable and convenient to you. Now, believe me, Betty, I acted thus without a thought of your free tenancy of this my old home.'
'I ken that fine, Weelum,' she quickly said, and she looked thoughtfully towards me.
'Well, you see, Betty, if you won't allow me to contribute to my living here, you give me reason to assume that you consider you are in your own way working off an obligation; else why should I live on your--forgive the word, Betty--on your charity?'
'But then, Maister Weelum, you forget that I'm sittin' here rent free.'
'Now, Betty, there you go again. Was not that my mother's request?'
'Well, she imposed no obligation on you?'
'Then, Betty, none exists between us; and,