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.

It is to be supposed that Thomasin was convinced; for a few days after this, when Clym strayed into a part of the heath that he had not lately visited, Humphrey, who was at work there, said to him, “I am glad to see that Mrs. Wildeve and Venn have made it up again, seemingly.”

“Have they?” said Clym abstractedly.

“Yes; and he do contrive to stumble upon her whenever she walks out on fine days with the chiel.  But, Mr. Yeobright, I can’t help feeling that your cousin ought to have married you.  ’Tis a pity to make two chimley-corners where there need be only one.  You could get her away from him now, ’tis my belief, if you were only to set about it.”

“How can I have the conscience to marry after having driven two women to their deaths?  Don’t think such a thing, Humphrey.  After my experience I should consider it too much of a burlesque to go to church and take a wife.  In the words of Job, ’I have made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?’”

“No, Mr. Clym, don’t fancy that about driving two women to their deaths.  You shouldn’t say it.”

“Well, we’ll leave that out,” said Yeobright.  “But anyhow God has set a mark upon me which wouldn’t look well in a lovemaking scene.  I have two ideas in my head, and no others.  I am going to keep a night-school; and I am going to turn preacher.  What have you got to say to that, Humphrey?”

“I’ll come and hear ’ee with all my heart.”

“Thanks.  ’Tis all I wish.”

As Clym descended into the valley Thomasin came down by the other path, and met him at the gate.  “What do you think I have to tell you, Clym?” she said, looking archly over her shoulder at him.

“I can guess,” he replied.

She scrutinized his face.  “Yes, you guess right.  It is going to be after all.  He thinks I may as well make up my mind, and I have got to think so too.  It is to be on the twenty-fifth of next month, if you don’t object.”

“Do what you think right, dear.  I am only too glad that you see your way clear to happiness again.  My sex owes you every amends for the treatment you received in days gone by.”

IV

Cheerfulness Again Asserts Itself at Blooms-End, and Clym Finds His Vocation

Anybody who had passed through Blooms-End about eleven o’clock on the morning fixed for the wedding would have found that, while Yeobright’s house was comparatively quiet, sounds denoting great activity came from the dwelling of his nearest neighbour, Timothy Fairway.  It was chiefly a noise of feet, briskly crunching hither and thither over the sanded floor within.  One man only was visible outside, and he seemed to be later at an appointment than he had intended to be, for he hastened up to the door, lifted the latch, and walked in without ceremony.

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