He pressed her hand, and she was off, running like a fawn after the retreating pony carriage.
He turned away, a little dazzled and shaken. The image of her on the ridge remained; but what perhaps had struck deepest had been the sweetness of her as she hung above the injured boy. He went slowly towards the camp, conscious that the day now departing had opened a new door in the House of Life.
Ellesborough allowed a week to pass before making the call at Great End he had arranged with Rachel. But at last, when he thought that her harvesting would be really over, he set out on his motor bicycle, one fine evening, as soon as work at the camp was over. According to summer time it was about seven o’clock, and the sun was still sailing clear above the western woods.
Part of his way lay over a broad common chequered with fine trees and groups of trees, some of them of great age; for the rest he ran through a world where harvest in its latest stages was still the governing fact. In some fields the corn was being threshed on the spot, without waiting for the stacks; in others, the last loads were being led; and everywhere in the cleared fields there were scattered figures of gleaners, casting long shadows on the gold and purple carpet of the stubble. For Ellesborough the novelty of this garden England, so elaborately combed and finished in comparison with his own country, was by no means exhausted. There were times when the cottage gardens, the endless hedge-rows, and miniature plantations pleased him like the detail in those early Florentine pictures in the Metropolitan Museum, for which, business man as he was, and accustomed to the wilds, he had once or twice, on visits to New York, discovered in himself a considerable taste. He was a man, indeed, of many aptitudes, and of a loyal and affectionate temper. His father, a country doctor, now growing old, his mother, still pretty at sixty, and his two unmarried sisters were all very dear to him. He wrote to them constantly, and received many letters from them. They belonged to one of the old Unitarian stocks still common in New England; and such stocks are generally conspicuous for high standards and clean living. “Discipline” was among the chief marks of the older generation. A father or mother dreaded an “undisciplined” child, and the word was often on their lips, though in no Pharisaical way; while the fact was evident in their lives, and in those private diaries which they were apt to keep, wherein, up to old age, they jealously watched their own daily thoughts and actions from the same point of view.