Strangway. [In a loco voice] Yes! I’m glad. Is Jarland there?
Freman. He’s ’ere-no thanks to yu! Hsss!
[The hiss breaks out again, then dies away.]
Jarland’s voice. [Threatening] Try if yu can du it again.
Strangway. No, Jarland, no! I ask you to forgive me. Humbly!
[A hesitating silence, broken by muttering.]
Clyst’s voice. Bravo!
A voice. That’s vair.
A voice. ‘E’s afraid o’ the sack—that’s what ’tis.
A voice. [Groaning] ’E’s a praaper coward.
A voice. Whu funked the doctor?
Clyst’s voice. Shame on ’ee, therr!
Strangway. You’re right—all of you! I’m not fit! An uneasy and excited mustering and whispering dies away into renewed silence.
Strangway. What I did to Tam Jarland is not the real cause of what you’re doing, is it? I understand. But don’t be troubled. It’s all over. I’m going—you’ll get some one better. Forgive me, Jarland. I can’t see your face—it’s very dark.
FREMAN’S Voice. [Mocking] Wait for the full mune.
Godleigh. [Very low] “My ’eart ’E lighted not!”
Strangway. [starting at the sound of his own words thus mysteriously given him out of the darkness] Whoever found that, please tear it up! [After a moment’s silence] Many of you have been very kind to me. You won’t see me again—Good-bye, all!
[He stands for a second
motionless, then moves resolutely down
into the darkness so peopled with shadows.]
Uncertain voices as he passes.
Good luck, zurr! [He has gone.]
Clyst’s voice. Three cheers for Mr. Strangway!
[And a queer, strangled
cheer, with groans still threading it,
In the BURLACOMBES’ hall-sitting-room the curtains are drawn, a lamp burns, and the door stands open. Burlacombe and his wife are hovering there, listening to the sound of mingled cheers and groaning.
Mrs. Burlacombe. Aw! my gudeness—what a thing t’appen! I’d saner ’a lost all me ducks. [She makes towards the inner door] I can’t never face ’im.
Burlacombe. ‘E can’t expect nothin’ else, if ’e act like that.
Mrs. Burlacombe. ‘Tes only duin’ as ’e’d be done by.