The Return of the Native eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 427 pages of information about The Return of the Native.

But, being a mother, it was inevitable that she should soon cease to ruminate upon her own condition.  Had the track of her next thought been marked by a streak in the air, like the path of a meteor, it would have shown a direction contrary to the heron’s, and have descended to the eastward upon the roof of Clym’s house.

VII

The Tragic Meeting of Two Old Friends

He in the meantime had aroused himself from sleep, sat up, and looked around.  Eustacia was sitting in a chair hard by him, and though she held a book in her hand she had not looked into it for some time.

“Well, indeed!” said Clym, brushing his eyes with his hands.  “How soundly I have slept!  I have had such a tremendous dream, too:  one I shall never forget.”

“I thought you had been dreaming,” said she.

“Yes.  It was about my mother.  I dreamt that I took you to her house to make up differences, and when we got there we couldn’t get in, though she kept on crying to us for help.  However, dreams are dreams.  What o’clock is it, Eustacia?”

“Half-past two.”

“So late, is it?  I didn’t mean to stay so long.  By the time I have had something to eat it will be after three.”

“Ann is not come back from the village, and I thought I would let you sleep on till she returned.”

Clym went to the window and looked out.  Presently he said, musingly, “Week after week passes, and yet mother does not come.  I thought I should have heard something from her long before this.”

Misgiving, regret, fear, resolution, ran their swift course of expression in Eustacia’s dark eyes.  She was face to face with a monstrous difficulty, and she resolved to get free of it by postponement.

“I must certainly go to Blooms-End soon,” he continued, “and I think I had better go alone.”  He picked up his leggings and gloves, threw them down again, and added, “As dinner will be so late today I will not go back to the heath, but work in the garden till the evening, and then, when it will be cooler, I will walk to Blooms-End.  I am quite sure that if I make a little advance mother will be willing to forget all.  It will be rather late before I can get home, as I shall not be able to do the distance either way in less than an hour and a half.  But you will not mind for one evening, dear?  What are you thinking of to make you look so abstracted?”

“I cannot tell you,” she said heavily.  “I wish we didn’t live here, Clym.  The world seems all wrong in this place.”

“Well—­if we make it so.  I wonder if Thomasin has been to Blooms-End lately.  I hope so.  But probably not, as she is, I believe, expecting to be confined in a month or so.  I wish I had thought of that before.  Poor mother must indeed be very lonely.”

“I don’t like you going tonight.”

“Why not tonight?”

“Something may be said which will terribly injure me.”

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The Return of the Native from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.