Joanna Godden eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 334 pages of information about Joanna Godden.
mysteriously-started rumour that he was not so easy to get on with as you’d think ... after all, it’s never a safe thing for a girl to marry her sister’s sweetheart ... probably Alce had been hankering after his old love and Ellen resented it ... the Woolpack suddenly discovered that Alce was leaving not so much on Ellen’s account as on Joanna’s—­he’d been unable to get off with the old love, even when he’d got on with the new, and now that the new was off too ... well, there was nothing for it but for Arthur Alce to be off.  He was going to his brother, who had a big farm in the shires—­a proper farm, with great fields each of which was nearly as big as a marsh farm, fifty, seventy, a hundred acres even.

Sec.34

Joanna bitterly resented Arthur’s going, but she could not prevent it, for if he stayed Ellen threatened to go herself.

“I’ll get a post as lady’s-maid sooner than stay on here with you and Arthur.  Have you absolutely no delicacy, Jo?—­Can’t you see how awkward it’ll be for me if everywhere I go I run the risk of meeting him?  Besides, you’ll be always plaguing me to go back to him, and I tell you I’ll never do that—­never.”

Arthur, too, did not seem anxious to stay.  He saw that if Ellen was at Ansdore he could not be continually running to and fro on his errands for Joanna.  That tranquil life of service was gone, and he did not care for the thought of exile at Donkey Street, a shutting of himself into his parish of Old Romney, with the Kent Ditch between him and Joanna like a prison wall.

When Joanna told him what Ellen had said, he accepted it meekly—­

“That’s right, Joanna—­I must go.”

“But that ull be terrible hard for you, Arthur.”

He looked at her.

“Reckon it will.”

“Where ull you go?”

“Oh, I can go to Tom’s.”

“That’s right away in the shires, ain’t it?”

“Yes—­beyond Leicester.”

“Where they do the hunting.”

“Surelye.”

“What’s the farm?”

“Grain mostly—­and he’s done well with his sheep.  He’d be glad to have me for a bit.”

“What’ll you do with Donkey Street?”

“Let it off for a bit.”

“Don’t you sell!”

“Not I!”

“You’ll be meaning to come back?”

“I’ll be hoping.”

Joanna gazed at him for a few moments in silence, and a change came into her voice—­

“Arthur, you’re doing all this because of me.”

“I’m doing it for you, Joanna.”

“Well—­I don’t feel I’ve any call—­I haven’t any right....  I mean, if Ellen don’t like you here, she must go herself ... it ain’t fair on you—­you at Donkey Street for more’n twenty year ...”

“Don’t you trouble about that.  A change won’t hurt me.  Reckon either Ellen or me ull have to go and it ud break your heart if it was Ellen.”

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Project Gutenberg
Joanna Godden from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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