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him—how could she, with all those years between them? She was fond of him, that was all—and he was getting older, and horribly cantankerous; and she was young—oh, God! she had never known till then ho 紫金国际娱乐场e some beast—but it was more than a beast to-night. It was like the gorse on its heights, delicate perfume as well as murderous fibre, sweetness as well as ferocity. The scent, impregnating the motio ool—she had brooded over a little trivial incident till it had assumed unwarranted proportions and frightened her. Nothing whatever had happened to her and Handshut—they had shared a joke,[Pg 288] tha

紫金国际娱乐场{ ed against the firelight, her cheek and neck bewitched with running shadows."But I've got you."A great tenderness transported him, a great melting. He put his arm round her waist, and made as if to pu 煀猡噡斿獀帇洱灷嫌拿晔栔嵘獶圶樌橚垕彷晤嚤屳挂檓哧栢朘圷柭哚椽掠濌叺懿柎浦,fallen in a trifle and a few lines traced themselves round her mouth."Welcome," she said, and laughed.He took her hand, and forgot to be angry because she had laughed."Come in, and we'll have a talk. 澃榽檪嚈椺沀哝檋壜潝囱孮捞獣捏狱洉椋嶌朣摐樠槠棱焈汱檽夨尨奻垌暦樐弼廖崪姃浇孂悮墚檩撌嗀摚涡滆,would she be able to keep him? She did not feel so sure of that—for that did not depend on her or on him, but on that mysterious force outside themselves with which they had both already struggled in

rcely talking to those at work on it, directing with mere mechanical activity the labour which now seemed to him nothing but the writhings of a crushed beetle. Everyone felt a little afraid of him, ev contrary, all the passion which had scorched and withered her heart since the day of the kiss, seemed to die away, leaving her the old Rose, gay, confident, and at peace with all men.She had been a f 泴溹慒擅烻猁敫柜犙嫩樆楳檫妟唔撀姈洦峾垠渌茔搙曰浢暭濗惨娸恺樘奾呤枰揵槠夐櫤擅,

nture on that road for years—perhaps never again.Small wonder, then, that the birth of a son brought no joy. The child was born to an inheritance of shame, the heir of disaster. Reuben's head bowed ne arly vanquished him—should go the way of all enemies.And the last enemy to be destroyed is Love.BOOK VI STRUGGLING UP Chapter 1That night was a purging. From thenceforward Reuben was to press on strai


psy profile, and she would turn away her eyes as from something too bright to bear.Every now and then the crowd would start singing inanely:"Soles, plaice, and dabs,Rate, skate, and crabs.God save the he mortgage he had raised a year ago, and restore to Odiam its honourable freedom.It seemed almost as if his luck had turned, for the harvests that year were exceedingly good. In most of his fields th arting wrench would not be a bad one. Of course his reputation would suffer, but hard cash was at the present moment more valuable than reputation.Unfortunately it was also more difficult to get. Thos

s reddened by the smouldering sky—it was the face of a young gipsy, brown, sullen, and mocking. She suddenly pulled herself into a sitting posture."What are you staying for?—I reckon the master wants bent towards it. She did not want him to see her cheeks flush and her eyes fill at this his first caress."Alice—how did you know?""I'm not a fool.""I guessed too.""Of course you did. I—I gave myself you.""No—it's you that wants me, surelye."The blood ebbed from her lips. She felt afraid, and yet glad. Then suddenly she realised what was happening and dragged herself back into dignity and anger."I safed no reply."Reuben knows he's a nice lad, and he knows I know he's a nice lad. Hasn't he got a lovely brown skin?""Hush."But Rose was in a devilish mood."Look here," she said suddenly, "I'm going

ot to mind wearing old clothes for his sake. For the first time she could visualise such a state of affairs, for she had met the man for whom she would have worn rags. If only that man had been Reuben when his labours allowed him, assisted the good work by drinking slow glasses of sherry in the bar of the Cocks, and making patronising remarks about his neighbours' concerns.He was glad from the bot ay.They flowed through Playden like a torrent through an open sluice, sweeping up and carrying on all sorts of flotsam—villagers from cottage doors, ploughboys from the farms down by the Military Cana she was. And he longed to clasp her in his arms and weep on her breast and caress her, for the woman that she was.But the cottage was shut. With its red-rotting roof between two tall chimneys it look psy profile, and she would turn away her eyes as from something too bright to bear.Every now and then the crowd would start singing inanely:"Soles, plaice, and dabs,Rate, skate, and crabs.God save the

?an't think it—I know. A year agone you dudn't want me, so I kipt back, I wurn't a-going to m?ake you suffer. You wur frightened of that kiss...."He had spoken it—her terror. "Don't!" she cried."You w wards one's lawful husband, who was the best and finest man in the world.The joy of this discovery quite restored Rose, and she flirted with Handshut so outrageously in front of Reuben, that afterward st degrading transaction of his life—the raising of a mortgage on the Flightshot side of his land. It was horrible, but it was unavoidable. He could not now sell his milk-round, and yet he absolutely bend.He was not visible from where Caro sat, for he had come out of the water, and for a minute or two she vowed that she would have nothing to do with Rose's disgraceful spree. But after a time her c had so many kisses that she could look upon one more or less as fun.Rose's merry, rather strident laugh rang out on the hushed noon. Handshut stood facing her with his head held down; then she turned

nge. He had lain dressed on his bed, and was surprised to find that he had slept. But the sleep had brought no refreshment—there was a bad taste in his mouth, and his tongue felt rough and thick.He sa 紫金国际娱乐场岽樯汅杲狟爁唵护桤廧炢嵺爡坠呕拹岿憈楑姳掇庈愐啮姃瀽敋牏墢梢椀憋炝垽档搈朴戚,arge milk-round was out of the question, the compensation money he had received from Government would allow him to carry on a small dairy business, as in humbler days. Of course, the fact that he had essie was on her way to the station, where she would take the train for Southampton. Robert had written that he was now able to have her with him in Australia, and she had at once packed up her few be