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The Jervaise Comedy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 196 pages of information about The Jervaise Comedy.

“There is a quality about these Bankses,” I thought, and then corrected the statement by adding, “about the children, at least.”  From what Arthur Banks had said, I gathered that his father conformed to the faith of the estate, both in act and spirit.

I stared at the Farm for a few minutes, wondering what that French wife might be like.  I found it difficult to picture the ci-devant governess in those surroundings, and more particularly as the mother of these two fascinating children.  They, like their home, produced an effect of being different from the common average....

I became aware that the green of woods and grass had leapt to attention, and that sprawling shadows had suddenly come into being and were giving a new solidity to the landscape.  Also, I felt a touch of unexpected warmth on my right cheek.

I returned to the place where Banks and I had talked, and sat down again facing the glorious light of the delivered sun.  And almost at once I was overcome by an intense desire to sleep.  My purpose of walking back to the Hall, undressing and going to bed had become impossible.  I stretched myself full length on the turf, and surrendered myself, exquisitely, to the care of the sunlight.

VI

MORNING

I awoke suddenly to the realisation of sound.  The world about me was alive with a murmurous humming.  It was as if in passing through the silent aisles of sleep, some door had been unexpectedly thrown open and let in the tumultuous roar of life from without—­or as if after a brief absence I had returned and with one movement had re-established all the communications of my body.

All sense of tiredness had left me.  I opened my eyes and saw that the sun had leapt far up into the sky.  The whole population of Jervaise Clump was plunged into the full bustle of its daily business.  Industrious bees were methodically visiting the buttercups; their bustling, commercial eagerness in marked contrast to the bluebottles and flies that seemed to choose their point of alighting with a sham intentness which did not disguise their lack of any definite purpose.  Now and again a feral, domineering wasp would join the crowd, coming up with the air of a fussy, inquisitive overseer.

I looked at my watch and found that the time was a quarter past eight.  I had been asleep for nearly three hours.  I had no idea what time the Jervaises had breakfast, but I knew that it was high time I got back to the Hall and changed my clothes.

I unbuttoned my coat and looked down at my shirt front and thought how incongruous and silly that absurd garb of evening dress appeared in those surroundings.

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