Page:That Lass o' Lowrie's.djvu/98

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CHAPTER IX.
THE NEWS AT THE RECTORY.


If she did not hear of the incident from Grace, Anice heard of it from another quarter.

The day following, the village was ringing with the particulars of "th' feight betwix' th' Lunnon chap an' Dan Lowrie."

Having occasion to go out in the morning, Mr. Barholm returned to luncheon in a state of great excitement.

"Dear me!" he began, almost as soon as he entered the room. "Bless my life! what ill-conditioned animals these colliers are!"

Anice and her mother regarded him questionably.

"What do you suppose I have just heard;" he went on. "Mr. Derrick has had a very unpleasant affair with one of the men who work under him—no other than that Lowrie—the young woman's father. They are a bad lot it seems, and Lowrie had a spite against Derrick, and attacked him openly, and in the most brutal manner, as he was going through the village yesterday evening."

"Are you sure?" cried Anice. "Oh! papa," and she put her hand upon the table as if she needed support.

"There is not the slightest doubt," was the answer, "everybody is talking about it. It appears that it is one of the strictest rules of the mine that the men shall keep their Davy lamps locked while they are in the pit—indeed