电影摘要：Rose noticed this difference, and it piqued her. She began to miss his continual protestations. Sometimes she tried to stir them up again, but her bafflings had reacted on herself; she handled him clumsily, he was too mazed to respond to her flicks. Then she became sulky, irritable, slightly tyrannous—even stinting her kisses.
Reuben started, and Pete awoke noisily. Harry was frightened and dropped his string, crying because he could not find it. The knock came again, and this time Pete crossed the room yawning, and opened the door.
He managed to slip over to Eggs Hole that evening. Albert, whom his father had not treated gently on the day of the choir practice, refused to be his accomplice a second time, but Reuben, thinking his rebellion crushed, kept a less strict watch over him, and took himself off after supper to the Cocks, where he had weighty matters of politics and agriculture to discuss. Robert seized his opportunity, and ran the whole way to Eggs Hole—laid his plans before Bessie—and ran the whole way back again.In a flash Naomi knew who had put them there. No sane mind could have conceived such a decoration or seeing eyes directed it. Harry, exiled from church and feast, had spent his time in a crazy effort to honour the happy pair. He knew she was to marry Reuben, but had not seemed to take much interest. Doubtless the general atmosphere of festivity and adornment had urged him to this."We're no worser off than we wur before," Joseph Backfield had said a day or two ago to his complaining boy—"we've our own meadows for the cows—'t?un't as if we were poor people."The proceedings before the Rye magistrates had been brief, and ended in Robert's committal for trial at Quarter Sessions. He had made no attempt to deny his guilt—it would have been useless. He was almost dumb in the dock, for his soul was struck with wonder at the cruel circumstances which had betrayed him."You mustn't fret, Reuben."The stars winked on the black zenith, while troubled winds sped and throbbed over the fields that huddled in mystery and silence on either side of the road—where noise and skirmish and darting lights, with the odours of warm human bodies, and the thudding and scrabbling of a thousand feet, proclaimed the People's holiday.
What could she do? Caro slept at the back of the house, and it struck her that she had better go round, and throw up some earth at her window. Perhaps Caro would let her in. She stepped back from the door, and was just turning the corner of the house when a window suddenly shot open above her, and Reuben's tousled head looked out.Of mantling Cups, Bright Eyes, or deeds of Might—"I wur passing this way, so thought I'd call in on the chance," said Reuben guiltily—"I d?an't mind waiting."He had trouble, too, with his new grass. One of his Jersey cows suddenly died, and it turned out that it[Pg 94] had eaten some poisonous plant which had insinuated itself into the pasture. It was as if Boarzell fought treacherously—with stabbings in the dark as well as blastings in the open. The night the Jersey died, Reuben sat with his head buried in his arms on the kitchen table, while Naomi carried her Miss Fanny about the room, and told her about the beautiful silk gowns she would wear when she grew up."Most likely."
As for Albert and Richard, they did not even work well, and they grumbled and shirked as much as they dared. They had ambitions, but so utterly at variance with Odiam's as to be worse than none. Albert wanted to be a poet and Richard to be a gentleman.Next spring the news came to Odiam that Benjamin had run away to sea.He also gave news of Albert, but not good news. He had kept more or less in touch with his brother, and had done what he could to help him, yet Albert had made a mess of his literary life, partly through incapacity, partly through dissipation. He had wasted his money and neglected his chances, and his friends could do little for him. Richard had come more than once to the rescue, but it was impossible to give real help to one of his weak nature—also Richard was still poor, and anxious to pay off his debts to Anne Bardon.