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.
Burlacombe. Aw! Yu can’t go
on forgivin’ ‘ere, an’ forgivin’
Mrs. Burlacombe. ’Tes the mischief ’e’m a parson. ’Tes ‘im bein’ a lamb o’ God—or ’twidden be so quare for ‘im to be forgivin’.
Burlacombe. Yu goo an’ make un a gude ’ot drink.
Mrs. Burlacombe. Poor soul! What’ll ’e du now, I wonder? [Under her breath] ‘E’s cumin’!
[She goes hurriedly. Burlacombe, with a startled look back, wavers and makes to follow her, but stops undecided in the inner doorway. Strangway comes in from the darkness. He turns to the window and drops overcoat and hat and the church key on the windowseat, looking about him as men do when too hard driven, and never fixing his eyes long enough on anything to see it. Burlacombe, closing the door into the house, advances a step. At the sound Strangway faces round.]
Burlacombe. I wanted for yu to know, zurr, that me an’ mine ’adn’t nothin’ to du wi’ that darned fulishness, just now.
Strangway. [With a ghost of a smile] Thank you, Burlacombe. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter a bit.