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CHAPTER III PRIORY FARM From Dene a mighty hill climbs southward to Cornworthy village. " The Corkscrew " it is called, and men merciful to their beasts choose a longer and more gradual ascent. But not a few of the workers engaged at the paper mill tramped this zig-zag steep six days out of every seven, and among these Lydia Trivett, the mother of Medora, could boast twenty years of regular perambulation. Only on rare occasions, when " Corkscrew " was coated with ice, did she take the long detour by the little lake above the works. She had lived at Ashprington until her husband died; then she and her daughter came to live with her brother, Thomas Dolbear, of Priory Farm. He was a bachelor then; but at forty he wedded; and now Medora had her own home, while her mother still dwelt with Mr. Dolbear, his wife, Mary, and their increasing family. Lydia was a little brisk woman of fifty the mistress of the rag house at the mills. She was still comely and trim, for hard work agreed with her. A very feminine air marked her, and Medora had won her good looks from her mother, though not her affectation, for Mrs. Trivett was a straightforward and unassuming soul. She had much to pride herself upon, but never claimed credit in any direction. Priory Farm stood under a great slope of orchard and meadow, upon the crown of which the priory ruins ascended. The farm was at the bottom of a hill, and immediately opposite climbed the solitary street of Cornworthy village capped by the church. The church and the oldCistercean ruin looked across the dip in the land at each other. Now, on Sunday afternoon, Lydia, at the garden gate of her brother's house, started off six children to Sunday school. Fivewere girls and one was a boy. They ranged from twelve years old to three; while at h...