Three boiled eggs, two lots of ham and one plate of pancakes later, they arrived at Mrs. Jeanie Macalister's farm in a sort of stupor. Before seeking Mrs. Macalister out in her summer quarters, Midge muttered to Susan, "I warn you, if I have to look at any more food I shan't be responsible for the consequences."
"What do you mean, I don't know what you mean, using all those big words," said Susan.
"I mean I'll be sick."
"Oh! Oh, well, I don't suppose Mrs. Macalister will give us tea, it's long past her tea-time."
"Getting on for her supper-time, I reckon," said Midge gloomily.
Near her supper-time or not, Mrs. Macalister had no sooner set her eyes on the two girls than she slapped a couple of fresh herrings into a frying-pan and was laying a table in front of the little window that looked out over the peaceful autumn fields where the corn already stood in stooks to the purple moors and the high hills beyond.
"Noo sit in and take your teas, ma lassies," she said, "I'm real glad to see you and get your crack for I've been that thrang with the cleaning after ma summer visitors that I havena' had ma nose over the door for two or three days. I hear you have the real smart young leddy biding wi' you and her making up a play or some sich thing, just as good as the television. And her wee brother too, ramping and raging over the countryside wi' a gun and him scarce nine years old. They say he shot Cap'n Dan, but I doubt that canna' be true, no sich luck, the de'il looks after his own, as the saying is. an' there's a big brother forbye, he'll be casting his e'e in Charlotte's direction, I'm thinking?"
"Well," said Midge, manfully doing her best with the herring, "sort of. Only he's inclined to cast his eye in other directions as well."
"Aye, weel, that'll no' dae wi' a bonny lassie like Charlotte. She'd best be thinking of the bird-watching gentleman who has taken sich a notion to her-"
Susan nearly choked over her herring. Mrs. Macalister had been too busy to put her nose over the door for two or three days, yet she knew things about the family that Susan scarcely knew herself.
From SUSAN MUDDLES THROUGH, Chapter 7, Gossip.