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Chapter 27: Hiving the Bees (continued)
"How fortunate I am to have dropped in at this moment!" exclaimed the sergeant.
She found her voice in a minute. "What! and will you shake them in for me?" she asked, in what, for a defiant girl, was a faltering way; though, for a timid girl, it would have seemed a brave way enough.
"Will I!" said Troy. "Why, of course I will. How blooming you are to-day!" Troy flung down his cane and put his foot on the ladder to ascend.
"But you must have on the veil and gloves, or you'll be stung fearfully!"
"Ah, yes. I must put on the veil and gloves. Will you kindly show me how to fix them properly?"
"And you must have the broad-brimmed hat, too, for your cap has no brim to keep the veil off, and they'd reach your face."
"The broad-brimmed hat, too, by all means."
So a whimsical fate ordered that her hat should be taken off--veil and all attached--and placed upon his head, Troy tossing his own into a gooseberry bush. Then the veil had to be tied at its lower edge round his collar and the gloves put on him.
He looked such an extraordinary object in this guise that, flurried as she was, she could not avoid laughing outright. It was the removal of yet another stake from the palisade of cold manners which had kept him off.
Bathsheba looked on from the ground whilst he was busy sweeping and shaking the bees from the tree, holding up the hive with the other hand for them to fall into. She made use of an unobserved minute whilst his attention was absorbed in the operation to arrange her plumes a little. He came down holding the hive at arm's length, behind which trailed a cloud of bees.
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