The little man restrained his tongue, but his eyes gleamed like a ferret's; and the Master continued his speech.
He spoke briefly and to the point, in short phrases. And all the while M'Adam kept up a low-voiced, running commentary. At length he could control himself no longer. Half rising from his chair, he leant forward with hot face and burning eyes, and cried: "Sit doon, James Moore! Hoo daur ye stan' there like an honest man, ye whitewashed sepulchre? Sit doon, I say, or' '--threateningly--" wad ye hae me come to ye?"
At that the Dalesmen laughed uproariously, and even the Master's grim face relaxed. But the squire's voice rang out sharp and stern.
"Keep silence and sit down, Mr. M'Adam! D'you hear me, sir? If I have to speak to you again it will be to order you to leave the room."
The little man obeyed, sullen and vengeful, like a beaten cat.
The Master concluded his speech by calling on all present to give three cheers for the squire, her ladyship, and the young ladies.
The call was responded to enthusiastically, every man standing. Just as the noise was at its zenith, Lady Eleanour herself, with her two fair daughters, glided into the gallery at the end of the hall; whereat the cheering became deafening.
Slowly the clamor subsided. One by one the tenants sat down. At length there was left standing only one solitary figure-- M 'Adam.