Thomas Hardy.

The trumpet-major : a tale (Volume 2) online

. (page 10 of 10)
Online LibraryThomas HardyThe trumpet-major : a tale (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


up to the front door that his spurs rang
through the court.

They had all reached home, but before
any of them could speak he cried gaily, ' Ah,
Bob, I have been thinking of you ! By gad,
how are you, my boy ? No French cut-



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. 273

throats after all, you see. Here we are, well
and happy together again.'

* A ofood Providence has watched over

o

us,' said Mrs. Loveday cheerfully. ' Yes, in
all times and places we are in God's hand.'

' So we be, so we be ! ' said the miller,
who still shone in all the fierceness of uni-
form. ' Well, now we'll ha'e a drop o'
drink.'

' There's none,' said David, coming for-
ward with a drawn face.

' What ! ' said the miller.

' Afore I went to church for a pike to
defend my country from Boney, I pulled out
the spigots of all the barrels, maister ; for,
thinks I — hang him ! — since we can't drink it
ourselves, he shan't have it, nor none of his
men.'

' But you shouldn't have done it till you
was sure he'd come,' said the miller aghast.

VOL. II. T



2 74 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

' Chok' it all, I was sure ! ' said David.
* rd sooner see churches fall than good drink
wasted ; but how was I to know better ? '

* Well, well ; what with one thing and
another this day will cost me a pretty penny ! '
said Loved ay, bustling off to the cellar, which
he found to be several inches deep in stag-
nant liquor. ' John, how can I welcome
ye ? ' he continued, hopelessly, on his return
to the room. ' Only go and see what he's
done ! '

' I've ladled up a drap wl' a spoon, trum-
pet-major,' said David. ''Tisn't bad drink-
ing, though it do taste a little of the floor,
that's true.'

John said that he did not require anything
at all ; and then they all sat down to supper,
and were very temperately gay with a drop
of mild elder-wine which Mrs. Loveday found
in the bottom of a jar. The trumpet-major.



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. 275

adhering to the part he meant to play, gave
humorous accounts of his adventures since he
had last sat there. He told them that the
season was to be a very lively one — that the
royal family was coming, as usual, and many
other interesting things ; so that when he left
them to return to Radipole few would have
supposed the British army to contain a lighter-
hearted man.

Anne was the only one who doubted the
reality of this behaviour. When she had
gone up to her bedroom she stood for some
time looking at the wick of the candle as if it
were a painful object, the expression of her
face being shaped by the conviction that
John's afternoon words when he helped her
out of the way of Champion were not In ac-
cordance with his words to-night, and that
the dimly-realised kiss during her falntness
was no Imaginary one. But In the blissful



276 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

circumstances of having Bob at hand again
she took optimist views, and persuaded her-
self that John would soon begin to see her in
the Yicrht of a sister.



END OF THE SECOND VOLUME.



LONDON : PRINTED BY

SHOTTISWOODE AND CO., NKW-STREET SQUAKR

AND PARLIAMENT STREET



4





1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10

Online LibraryThomas HardyThe trumpet-major : a tale (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 10)