Andrew was fully convinced in his own mind that his injuries would ultimately prove fatal, and his feelings alternated between vengeance on the one who had proved too strong for him and an uneasy apprehension of dissolution.
It was evident to all in the family circle that Abbie had become a changed girl since her stay in Quebec. Cheerfulness had always been her chief characteristic. Peals of laughter and French and English songs, with choruses, could be heard wherever she presided. Even in the poultry yard her rich fund of humor manifested itself in the naming of her feathered flock. A bronze turkey, stately and dignified, was addressed as Chief Machecawa; a big Brahma cock, who held his head above the others, she called "Harold the Great;" while another cock, almost as gay and proud in appearance, and who manifested a decided antipathy to the Brahma, was designated as "Thomas à Becket;" while still another was "William the Conqueror." All these creatures had distinct personalities and dispositions of their own, and were called after noted historical characters whose first names corresponded to those of her numerous suitors whom they were supposed to resemble. Like Bearie, her stories of bygone days were the product of a shrewd mind, a keen sense of humor, and a clear memory. She disliked housework and fancy-work, and all kinds of systematic work except weaving. When set to tease wool, every hard and knotty tuft was tossed into the fire. When stockings were given her to darn, she ran a gathering string round each hole and drew it together regardless of the discomfort of the wearer. She liked weaving. It was the only work she did like, and it fell to her lot consequently to supply the house with flannel and linen. The coarse but snowy table covers Abbie had spun and woven with her own hands from flax grown on the farm. The boys' shirts were made by her from the wool of their own sheep. Few women of the settlement could outrival her in the lost art, for she could make between forty and fifty yards of flannel in a week.