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The Hurly-Burly
by [?]


THE Weetmans, mother, son, and daughter, lived on a thriving farm. It was small enough, God knows, but it had always been a turbulent place of abode. For the servant it was: "Phemy, do this," or "Phemy, have you done that?" from dawn to dark, and even from dark to dawn there was a hovering of unrest. The widow Weetman, a partial invalid, was the only figure that manifested any semblance of tranquility, and it was a misleading one for she sat day after day on her large hams knitting and nodding and lifting her grey face only to grumble, her spectacled eyes transfixing the culprit with a basilisk glare. And her daughter Alice, the housekeeper, who had a large face, a dominating face, in some respects she was all face, was like a blast in a corridor with her "Maize for the hens, Phemy! — More firewood, Phemy! — Who has set the trap in the harness room? — Come along! — Have you scoured the skimming pans? — Why not! — Where are you idling? — Come along, Phemy, I have no time to waste this morning, you really must help me. " It was not only in the house that this cataract of industry flowed; outside there was activity enough for a regiment. A master-farmer’s work consists largely of a series of conversations with other master-farmers, a long-winded way of doing long-headed things, but Glastonbury Weetman, the son, was not like that at all; he was the incarnation of energy, always doing and doing, chock-full of orders, adjurations, objurgatives, blame, and blasphemy. That was the kind of place Phemy Madigan worked at. No one could rest on laurels there. The farm and the home possessed everybody, lock, stock, and barrel; work was like a tiger, it ate you up implacably. The Weetmans did not mind — they liked being eaten by such a tiger.