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

“Tell all, and I will pity you.  Was the man in the house with you Wildeve?”

“I cannot tell,” she said desperately through her sobbing.  “Don’t insist further—­I cannot tell.  I am going from this house.  We cannot both stay here.”

“You need not go:  I will go.  You can stay here.”

“No, I will dress, and then I will go.”

“Where?”

“Where I came from, or ELSEwhere.”

She hastily dressed herself, Yeobright moodily walking up and down the room the whole of the time.  At last all her things were on.  Her little hands quivered so violently as she held them to her chin to fasten her bonnet that she could not tie the strings, and after a few moments she relinquished the attempt.  Seeing this he moved forward and said, “Let me tie them.”

She assented in silence, and lifted her chin.  For once at least in her life she was totally oblivious of the charm of her attitude.  But he was not, and he turned his eyes aside, that he might not be tempted to softness.

The strings were tied; she turned from him.  “Do you still prefer going away yourself to my leaving you?” he inquired again.

“I do.”

“Very well—­let it be.  And when you will confess to the man I may pity you.”

She flung her shawl about her and went downstairs, leaving him standing in the room.

Eustacia had not long been gone when there came a knock at the door of the bedroom; and Yeobright said, “Well?”

It was the servant; and she replied, “Somebody from Mrs. Wildeve’s have called to tell ’ee that the mis’ess and the baby are getting on wonderful well, and the baby’s name is to be Eustacia Clementine.”  And the girl retired.

“What a mockery!” said Clym.  “This unhappy marriage of mine to be perpetuated in that child’s name!”

IV

The Ministrations of a Half-forgotten One

Eustacia’s journey was at first as vague in direction as that of thistledown on the wind.  She did not know what to do.  She wished it had been night instead of morning, that she might at least have borne her misery without the possibility of being seen.  Tracing mile after mile along between the dying ferns and the wet white spiders’ webs, she at length turned her steps towards her grandfather’s house.  She found the front door closed and locked.  Mechanically she went round to the end where the stable was, and on looking in at the stable-door she saw Charley standing within.

“Captain Vye is not at home?” she said.

“No, ma’am,” said the lad in a flutter of feeling; “he’s gone to Weatherbury, and won’t be home till night.  And the servant is gone home for a holiday.  So the house is locked up.”

Eustacia’s face was not visible to Charley as she stood at the doorway, her back being to the sky, and the stable but indifferently lighted; but the wildness of her manner arrested his attention.  She turned and walked away across the enclosure to the gate, and was hidden by the bank.

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