时间：<2020-07-06 07:41:53 作者：Oz欧乐瑞士8kt 浏览量：9777
"Wot's Odiam to you?—It ?un't yours, it's mine, and if I d?an't care about the land, why[Pg 20] shud you go disgracing yourself and us all because of it?"
The girls cried a great deal at their grandmother's death—she had never taken up enough room in the boys' lives for them to miss her much. As for Reuben,[Pg 203] though he had been fond of her, he could not sincerely regret her, since for the last few months she had, so to speak, been carried on entirely at a loss.Towards two in the afternoon he came in, tired and puff-eyed with misery, his brain all of a jangle. "Why don't you keep bees, Reuben? Why don't you keep bees?"
Therefore the confessions of a man like Albert came upon him as a revelation. Indeed, at first he scarcely understood them. They disquieted him and sometimes made him nervous and miserable, not because he had any very definite moral recoil, but because they forced him to think. Few can gauge the tragedy of thinking when it visits an unthinking soul. For the first time in his life Pete found himself confused, questioning, lying awake of nights and asking "why?" The world suddenly showed itself to him as a place which he could not understand. It frightened him to think about it. Sometimes he was acutely miserable, but he would not betray his misery to Albert, as the poor fellow seemed to find relief in his confidences. And on and on the stream flowed, swifter and muddier every day."Nonsense! What's more natural that one of my servants should come with me, since my husband can't?"
"Oh, Joe!"Caro looked gloomily at the water. She did not like being told she would be shocked, though she knew she would be.
July passed. Odiam was no longer cut off from the rest of the world by lime. Reuben with the courage of despair began to organise his shattered strength. He discharged Piper—now that his cows were gone he could easily do with a hand less. He sometimes wondered why he had not discharged Handshut, but the answer was always ready—Handshut was far the better workman, and Odiam now came easily before Rose. Not that Reuben's jealousies had left him—they still persisted, though in a different form. The difference lay in the fact that now he would not sacrifice to them the smallest scrap of Odiam's welfare.
Chapter 7"No you aren't—because you want a thing, and I want nothing."She could not take much interest in Reuben's ambitions, indeed she only partly understood them. What did he want Boarzell for?—it was so rough and dreary, she was sure nothing would grow there. She loved the farm, with the dear faces of the cows, and the horses, and the poultry, and even the pigs, but talk of crops and acres only bored her. Sometimes Reuben's enthusiasm would spill over, and sitting by the fire with her in the evening, he would enlarge on all he was going to do with Boarzell—this year, next year, ten years hence. Then she would nestle close to him, and murmur—"Yes, dear" ... "yes, dear" ... "that will be glorious"—while all the time she was thinking of his long lashes, his strong brown neck, the clear weight of his arm on her shoulder, and the kiss that would be hers when he took his pipe out of his mouth.
Reuben mumbled something inarticulate, and Beatup took himself off. His master's head fell between his clenched hands, and as the cow gave a sudden slavering cough in the straw, a shudder passed over his skin, and he hunched himself more despairingly."Yes—we must," he said shortly."Ben, don't drive me away. I've been true to you, indeed I have, and Handshut's going to-morrow. Let me in—please let me in. I swear I've been true."
That night he thought it out."W?an't you be never coming here no more?" whispered Bessie in the next pause.
That night Reuben came to supper as hungry as a wolf. He was in a fine good humour, for his body, pleasantly tired, glowing, aching, tickled with the smell of food, was giving him a dozen agreeable sensations.