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      "A week!"


      Caro was not like her sister; she was of larger build, yet thinner, and much darker, inheriting her father's swarthy skin and thick black hair. She did not give Reuben the same anxiety as Tillyshe was heavy and coltish, and, he felt, would not appeal to men. But[Pg 195] Tilly, especially when the summer heats had melted together the little freckles over her nose, struck his masculine eye in a way that made him half proud, half fearful.


      They walked on down the lane. Rose's chatter had ceased, and a complete silence dropped between the hedges. The moon had risen higher, and the western hazels were bloomed with light. The moon was no longer crimson in the dark sky, but had burnt down to copper, casting a copper glow into the mists, staining all the blues that melted into one another along the hills. Only the middle of the lane was blacklike a well. Reuben[Pg 248] and Rose could see each other's faces in a kind of rusty glimmer, but their feet stumbled in the darkness, and her hand lay clutching and heavy on his arm.

      "And wot about the rootses?" asked Harry, "wull you be digging those out to-morrer? It'll be an unaccountable tough job.""Perhaps you will be out of it some day."


      "Tell his poor girl he died wudout suffering."The keeper made the deposition which the reader will have anticipated; and his men were then examined, who corroborated the statement of their master.

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      "It won't be wasting it. Why, Lord love ye, I'd rather spend it on you than anything in the world."Sometimes there would be males too, and Reuben[Pg 279] found that he could be jealous on occasion. It annoyed him to see a young counter-jumper from Rye sitting in the parlour with an unmanly tea-cup, and he would glare on such aristocracy as a bank-clerk or embryo civil servant, whose visits Rose considered lent a glamour to Odiam. Like a wise woman she used her husband's jealousy to her own advantage. She soon grew extremely skilful in manipulating it, and by its means wrung a good deal out of him which would not otherwise have been hers.

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      There was nothing remarkable about the trial, and nothing to be said against the sentence from the point of either justice or humanity. Ten years ago the boy would have been transported to Van Diemen's Land. The Bardons took it upon themselves to be outrageously sorry, and were rather mystified by Reuben's contemptuous attitude towards them and their regrets.

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      Boarzell Fair was in many ways a mark of the passage of the years and a commentary on history. Not only did the atmosphere and persons of it change very much[Pg 351] as the nineteenth century changed, but the side-shows were so many lights cast on popular opinion, politics, and progress.


      alllittle