Then outside on the porch, she heard a light step; and a brisk tap on the door gave her hardly time to call out “Jah – come in!” before Harriet Whichart, smiling and rosy from the cold, came into the kitchen. She closed the door behind her “Quick! Keep in the warmth! ‘Tis cold enough to snow I believe!”

Harriet pulled off her boots, and hung her shawl on the hook behind the door. “Is that my favourite baby waking up I can hear?” she asked. “Dorcas – you have flour on your nose end! Go and scrub up now, for I’ve come to be Granny for the afternoon. I think you may like a little time to go across and listen to the choir practice.”

Dorcas burst into tears.