时间：<2020-08-04 13:10:06 作者：tB广场舞大风歌vb0 浏览量：9777
"Save yourself, f?ather," continued the evangelist, "and give up all the vain desires of the flesh. Is this a time to buy olive-yards and vineyards? Beware lest there c?ame upon you as it did to him wot purchaised a field, the reward of inquiety, and falling headlong he bust asunder in the midst and his bowels goshed out——"
Farewell to Jane and Caroline!"
"Nonsense—it's only fun—we'll make a bet on it. If I fail, I'll give you my new white petticoat with the lace edging. And I'll allow myself ten minutes to do it in; that's quite fair, for it usually takes me longer."
Albert slept in one of the attics with Jemmy and Pete. Reuben had no intention of meeting him till he had something to confront him with, for he was pretty sure that the boy would lie to him. He began turning the room topsy-turvy, and had soon found in a drawer a[Pg 186] heap of papers scrawled over with writing. It was unlucky that he could not read, for he could not even tell whether the handwriting were Albert's—these might be some letters he had received. Suddenly, however, a word caught his eye which he had seen a hundred times on hoardings, letters, bills, and other documents—MacKinnon. He could trace it out quite clearly. What had Albert to do with MacKinnon? Reuben clenched the papers together in his fist, and went downstairs to the kitchen.
"Of course I know the Fair has no legal title to this ground, but one must respect public feeling. I will sell you the forty acres adjoining the crest with pleasure, Mr. Backfield, they are no use to me, and you certainly seem to do wonders with the land when you get it—but[Pg 396] the Place itself must be preserved for the people. I'm sure you understand."
"You know. I asked you that question the first or second time I saw you. No one had ever asked it you before, and you would have liked to beat me."In the course of time he heard that Caro was living with Joe Dansay down at the Camber, but he made no effort to bring her back. "I'm shut of her," he told everyone angrily. If Caro preferred a common sailor and loose living to the dignity and usefulness of her position at Odiam, he was not going to interfere. Besides, she had disgraced his farm, and he would never forgive that.
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.He would wake during the night after cruel dreams of Boarzell stripped of its tilth, relapsed into wildness; for a few agonised moments he would wonder if the dream were true, and if he had not indeed failed. Sometimes he had to get out of bed and steal to the window, to reassure himself with the sight of his diggings and fencings. Then a horrible thought would attack him, that though he had not yet actually failed, he was bound to fail soon, that his task was too much for him, and only one end possible. He would creep back into bed, and lie awake till dawn and the restarting of the wheel.
"Remember your wife's delicate," said the lady friend.She shuddered.Rate, skate, and crabs.
Reuben looked after her as she went out of the room, then he took a couple of strides and caught her up in the passage.She rose the next morning with a bad headache and her eyes staring rather plaintively out of black saucers. None the less she was happy, even in spite of her[Pg 344] regrets. She loved and had been loved, so she told herself over and over again as she dressed David and Bill and prepared the breakfast. Why, even if, when he got home, Joe Dansay discovered that he did not really love her, she would still have had his love, and as for herself, she would go on loving him for ever—"for ever and ever and ever," she repeated in a low, trembling voice as she cut her father's bacon.Reuben did not go back to Cheat Land for several weeks. Those five minutes had been too much for him. He would never again risk putting himself in the power of things he did not understand. Besides, he felt vaguely that after what had happened Alice would not want to see him. She had humiliated herself, or rather he had humiliated her—for she had put out in one swift dark minute all the powers of her nature to bind him, and she had failed. He remembered her voice when she whispered, "But not too late," and her eyes afterwards, smouldering in shadow, and her little hands held out to him.... There had been nothing definite, obvious, or masterful, yet in those few words and actions her whole self had pleaded on its knees—and he had turned away.