Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the Greenwood Tree
上QQ阅读APP,新人免费读10天
新人需设备和账号都为新

第56章 CHAPTER IV: THE SPELL(2)

"Only two or three little scram rabbits this last week, as I am alive--I wish I had!"

"Well, my wife said to me--(Dan! not too much, not too much on that tray at a time; better go twice)--my wife said to me as she posted up the books: she says, "Miss Day must have been summer during that hot muggy weather much for us; for depend upon't," she says, "she've been trying John Grimmett unknown to us: see her account else."

'Tis little, of course, at the best of times, being only for one, but now 'tis next kin to nothing."

"I'll inquire," said Geoffrey despondingly.

He returned by way of Mellstock, and called upon Fancy, in fulfilment of a promise. It being Saturday, the children were enjoying a holiday, and on entering the residence Fancy was nowhere to be seen. Nan, the charwoman, was sweeping the kitchen.

"Where's my da'ter?" said the keeper.

"Well, you see she was tired with the week's teaching, and this morning she said, "Nan, I sha'n't get up till the evening." You see, Mr. Day, if people don't eat, they can't work; and as she've gie'd up eating, she must gie up working."

"Have ye carried up any dinner to her?"

"No; she don't want any. There, we all know that such things don't come without good reason--not that I wish to say anything about a broken heart, or anything of the kind."

Geoffrey's own heart felt inconveniently large just then. He went to the staircase and ascended to his daughter's door.

"Fancy!"

"Come in, father."

To see a person in bed from any cause whatever, on a fine afternoon, is depressing enough; and here was his only child Fancy, not only in bed, but looking very pale. Geoffrey was visibly disturbed.

"Fancy, I didn't expect to see thee here, chiel," he said. "What's the matter?"

"I'm not well, father."

"How's that?"

"Because I think of things."

"What things can you have to think o' so mortal much?"

"You know, father."

"You think I've been cruel to thee in saying that that penniless Dick o' thine sha'n't marry thee, I suppose?"

No answer.

"Well, you know, Fancy, I do it for the best, and he isn't good enough for thee. You know that well enough." Here he again looked at her as she lay. "Well, Fancy, I can't let my only chiel die; and if you can't live without en, you must ha' en, I suppose."

"O, I don't want him like that; all against your will, and everything so disobedient!" sighed the invalid.

"No, no, 'tisn't against my will. My wish is, now I d'see how 'tis hurten thee to live without en, that he shall marry thee as soon as we've considered a little. That's my wish flat and plain, Fancy.

There, never cry, my little maid! You ought to ha' cried afore; no need o' crying now 'tis all over. Well, howsoever, try to step over and see me and mother-law to-morrow, and ha' a bit of dinner wi' us."

"And--Dick too?"

"Ay, Dick too, 'far's I know."

"And WHEN do you think you'll have considered, father, and he may marry me?" she coaxed.

"Well, there, say next Midsummer; that's not a day too long to wait."

On leaving the school Geoffrey went to the tranter's. Old William opened the door.

"Is your grandson Dick in 'ithin, William?"

"No, not just now, Mr. Day. Though he've been at home a good deal lately."

"O, how's that?"

"What wi' one thing, and what wi' t'other, he's all in a mope, as might be said. Don't seem the feller he used to. Ay, 'a will sit studding and thinking as if 'a were going to turn chapel-member, and then do nothing but traypse and wamble about. Used to be such a chatty boy, too, Dick did; and now 'a don't speak at all. But won't ye step inside? Reuben will be home soon, 'a b'lieve."

"No, thank you, I can't stay now. Will ye just ask Dick if he'll do me the kindness to step over to Yalbury to-morrow with my da'ter Fancy, if she's well enough? I don't like her to come by herself, now she's not so terrible topping in health."

"So I've heard. Ay, sure, I'll tell him without fail."

Thomas Hardy

作家的话

去QQ阅读支持我

还可在评论区与我互动

百万小说,新用户免费读

下载QQ阅读APP