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

When Clym was gone Thomasin crept upstairs in the dark, and, just listening by the cot, to assure herself that the child was asleep, she went to the window, gently lifted the corner of the white curtain, and looked out.  Venn was still there.  She watched the growth of the faint radiance appearing in the sky by the eastern hill, till presently the edge of the moon burst upwards and flooded the valley with light.  Diggory’s form was now distinct on the green; he was moving about in a bowed attitude, evidently scanning the grass for the precious missing article, walking in zigzags right and left till he should have passed over every foot of the ground.

“How very ridiculous!” Thomasin murmured to herself, in a tone which was intended to be satirical.  “To think that a man should be so silly as to go mooning about like that for a girl’s glove!  A respectable dairyman, too, and a man of money as he is now.  What a pity!”

At last Venn appeared to find it; whereupon he stood up and raised it to his lips.  Then placing it in his breast-pocket—­the nearest receptacle to a man’s heart permitted by modern raiment—­he ascended the valley in a mathematically direct line towards his distant home in the meadows.

II

Thomasin Walks in a Green Place by the Roman Road

Clym saw little of Thomasin for several days after this; and when they met she was more silent than usual.  At length he asked her what she was thinking of so intently.

“I am thoroughly perplexed,” she said candidly.  “I cannot for my life think who it is that Diggory Venn is so much in love with.  None of the girls at the Maypole were good enough for him, and yet she must have been there.”

Clym tried to imagine Venn’s choice for a moment; but ceasing to be interested in the question he went on again with his gardening.

No clearing up of the mystery was granted her for some time.  But one afternoon Thomasin was upstairs getting ready for a walk, when she had occasion to come to the landing and call “Rachel.”  Rachel was a girl about thirteen, who carried the baby out for airings; and she came upstairs at the call.

“Have you seen one of my last new gloves about the house, Rachel?” inquired Thomasin.  “It is the fellow to this one.”

Rachel did not reply.

“Why don’t you answer?” said her mistress.

“I think it is lost, ma’am.”

“Lost?  Who lost it?  I have never worn them but once.”

Rachel appeared as one dreadfully troubled, and at last began to cry.  “Please, ma’am, on the day of the Maypole I had none to wear, and I seed yours on the table, and I thought I would borrow ’em.  I did not mean to hurt ’em at all, but one of them got lost.  Somebody gave me some money to buy another pair for you, but I have not been able to go anywhere to get ’em.”

“Who’s somebody?”

“Mr. Venn.”

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