APPLE-TIME, AND THE big winds would soon be up the valley to deal with the leaves. I was stripping the dry kidney-bean runners from the bamboo trellis. Looked round the way one unaccountably does to find Stephen standing in the track beside my patch, come to see if there was grass enough still growing for his few sheep up in the little plat. He nodded, glanced back over his shoulder vaguely, the way drinking cattle do, and nodded again. I stretched my back and said through gritted teeth, “Not so young as I was yesterday.” You get to know from the set of a man when the time is right for a yarn, ...


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