She went with him to the door. A great lump of phlox grew on either side of it. She stood between them, and suddenly pointed out over Jury's miserable little root-patch towards Boarzell, heaving its great hummocks against the east."I d?an't care two straws about that. Albert wur born and christened Church, and he's not going to die chapel because a lousy Methody sings hymns over him when he's sick and d?an't know better. If I find that feller on my pl?ace again, I'll break every bone in his body."His return had created a mild stir in the neighbourhood, and in Reuben's breast, despite circumstances and appearances, many thrills of gratification. Albert's penniless and broken condition was but another instance of the folly of those who deserted Odiam. None of the renegades, Reuben told himself, had prospered. Here was Albert come home to die; Robert, after a prelude in gaol, had exiled himself to Australia, where the droughts lasted twenty years; Richard, in spite of studyings and strivings and spendings, had only an occasional brief, and was unable to support himself at thirty-five; Tilly was living on a second-rate farm instead of a first-rate one; Caro was living in sin; Benjamin was probably not living at all. There was no denying it—they had all done badly away from Odiam.It was all a return to Albert's childhood. In spite of fifteen years in London, of a man's work and a man's love and a man's faith, he had gone back completely to the work and love and faith of his childhood. Odiam had swallowed him up, it had swallowed him up completely, his very hell was bounded by it. He spoke with a Sussex accent; he forgot the names of the women he had loved, and cried instead the names of places, and he forgot that he did not believe in hell, but thought of it as Boarzell Moor punctured by queer singing flames.So here's unto our maiden's health, pc28加拿大买法 "Father," she said as Reuben came into the room.For some months the antagonism between Odiam and Grandturzel remained in this polite state, most of the fighting being done by their champions. The landlord of the Cocks grew quite tired of chucking out Odiamites and Grandturzelites who could not, like their leaders, confine their war to words. But it only wanted some cause, however trivial, to make the principals show their fists. The time that Reuben would stay in the bar after Realf had entered it grew shorter and shorter, and his pretexts for leaving more and more flimsy. Realf himself, though a genial, good-tempered young man, could not help resenting the scorn with which he was treated. He once told Ginner that Backfield was an uncivilised[Pg 204] brute, and Ginner took care to forward this remark to the proper quarter.A little hope sustained him till the Inspector's visit—the vet. might have been mistaken, the Inspector might not order a wholesale destruction. But these faint sparks were soon extinguished. The loathed epidemic had undoubtedly lifted up its head at Odiam, and Reuben's entire herd of Jersey, Welsh, and Sussex cattle was doomed to slaughter. Reuben's teeth were chattering.They could afford to be generous now they were free, so they sent him long letters, carefully printed out, as he could not read running hand. They told him wonderful stories of camps and bivouacs, of skirmishes and snipings. They enlarged on the grilling fierceness of the December sun which had burnt their faces brick-red and peeled their noses—on the flies which swarmed thicker by far than over Odiam midden—on the awful dysentery that grabbed at half their pals—on the hypocritical Boers, who read the Bible and used dum-dum bullets."'The blackbird flew out from the eaves of the Manor, Then misery turned to rage. It was Reuben who had brought her to this, who had stolen her from Harry, forced her into marrying him, and exposed her to this anguish. She hated Reuben. She hated him. With all the fierceness of her conquered soul and yielded body she hated him. She would have nothing more to do with him, she would be revenged on him, punish him ... a little hoarse scream of rage burst from her lips, and she turned suddenly and ran out of that dreadful room. Odiam's strict rule had been relaxed in honour of the wedding, and a lavish, not to say luxurious, meal covered two long tables laid end to end across the kitchen. There was beef and mutton, there was stew, there were apple and gooseberry pies, and a few cone-shaped puddings, pink and white and brown, giving an aristocratic finish to the supper."I'm not a fool.""She'll never come back," said Pete that evening—"you t?ake my word fur it." pc28加拿大买法 The rest of the family had gone to bed, though scarcely to sleep. Reuben had washed the blood and filth off his face, and had stripped to his shirt, but he felt too sick and restless to lie down. He sat at his window, staring out into the dark gulf of the night."That's a strange thing to see in a shepherd's hand."When the shearing was done there was supper in the kitchen at Odiam, with huge drinks of "black ram," and sheep-shearing songs such as "Come, all my jolly[Pg 132] boys," and "Here the rose-buds in June." Also the Sussex Whistling Song: He started up in bed and gripped his brother's hand. He thrust his head forward, his eyeballs straining.Bessie had, however, already taken the matter out of his hands by saying—"Thank you kindly, sir."BOOK V ALMOST UNDER Chapter 1But Tilly interrupted him. Putting her arm round the terrified boy's shoulders, she led him through the door. Reuben tore the posters down whenever he found them, but this kind of attack did not humiliate him as the old pitying curiosity had done. He was not lowered in his own esteem. On the contrary, he enjoyed the fame which Radical hate conferred on him. There was no doubt about Odiam's importance now."You finish your tea," he said to George, "and bring some more, Maudie, for these gentlemen," nodding kindly to the two young men, who stared at him as if they thought he had taken leave of his senses."At Santiago love is kind,"He's dead," said Realf. "You might have found out, and not let me in fur all this. Here I've bin and gone and spent all your settlements on a milk-round, which I'd never have done if I hadn't thought summat more 'ud be coming in later."Rose used often to come to Odiam, where she was at first rather shy of Reuben's children, all of whom were older than herself. In time, however, she outgrew her shyness, and became of an exceedingly mad and romping disposition. She ran about the house like a wild thing, she dropped blackberries into Caro's cream, she tickled Pete's neck with wisps of hay, she danced in the yard with Jemmy. Reuben grew desperate—he felt the hopelessness of capturing this baby who played games with his children; and yet Rose was in some ways so much older than they—she loved to say risky things in front of the innocent Caro, and howled with laughter when she could not understand—she loved to prod and baffle the two boys, who in this respect were nearly as inexperienced as their sister. Then, on the walk home with Reuben, over Boarzell, she would retail these feats[Pg 255] of hers with gusto, she would invite his kisses, sting up his passion—she tormented him with her extraordinary combinations of childishness and experience, shyness and abandonment, innocence and corruption. pc28加拿大买法 "Who's Rose?""You must come away with me," he said abruptly.Her voice was submissive—or indifferent. Have pity, my true love, have pity on me!"All's well ... it's a boy."