"Ye're smart, aren't yer? Think I don't know what's going on... wi' books from London and all that rot. Now you listen to me. She's mine, I tell you...mine. She's my woman, same as a hen belongs to a cock, and no one don't have her except me, ye see? She were promised to me the day she were born, by her Grandmother. I put a cross in water-vole's blood on her feedin'-bottle when she was an hour old, to mark her for mine, and held her up so's she might see it and know she was mine... And every year since then, on her birthday, I've taken her up to Ticklepenny Corner and we've hung over th' old well until we see a water-vole, and I've said to her, I've said, 'Remember.' And all she would saw was: 'What, Cousin Urk?' But she knows all right. She knows. When the water-voles mate under the may trees this summer I'll make her mine. Dick Hawk-Monitor...what's he? A bit of a boy! Playin' at horses in a red coat, like his daddy afore him.Many a time I've lay and laughed at 'em...fools. Me and the water-voles, we can afford to wait for what we want so you heed what I say, miss. Elfin's mine. I doan't mind her bein' a bit above me" (here his voice thickened in a manner which causes Mrs. Beetle to make a sound resembling 't-t-t-t-') " 'cause a man likes his piece to be a bit dainty. But she's mine--"Stella Gibbons's glorious Cold Comfort Farm is endlessly quotable, but I particularly like this bit of local color on pp.140-141.
"We heard," said Flora; "you said it before"
If you haven't read Cold Comfort Farm yet, you've missed one of the funniest books of the 20th century -- but you can fix that quickly.