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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

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      "You'd better ask somebody else."Outwardly the days passed precisely as usual. They had made their appointment, and no further allusion or reminder was necessary. Each evening brought nearer the hour of azure in that hollow among the empty downs, and he desired neither to shorten nor to lengthen out the days that separated him from it. But to him everything, except that moment, regular but rarely recurring, when her eye sought his with need and love in it,{298} seemed dream-like and unsubstantial. Nothing had power either to vex or please him. He was, as always, busy all day, and transacted his own or municipal business with all his usual thoroughness and acute judgment. But it all went on outside him; the terra-cotta cupolas which his industry had reared in the market-place were as unreal as the new system of drainage in the lower part of the town, which he had exerted all his influence to get carried through the obdurate conservatism that pointed to the low-death rate of Bracebridge under the old conditions. He got his way; all his life he had been accustomed to dominate and command and organise. Then when his days work was done, and he returned home for dinner and the ensuing hours, which lately had been so intolerable, he found they irritated him no longer, and the fatuous drip of his wifes conversation was no more to him than some gutter that discharged not into his house but into the street outside. Simply he cared nothing for it, nor, when his failure to get elected to the County Club occurred to him, did he care: it appeared to have happened, but it must have happened to some stranger. Sometimes, before the pink clock announced that it was half-past ten, he would leave the drawing-room and go to his library, to see whether in his books there was to be found anything that stimulated his reactions {299}towards life. But they had no message: they were dumb or he was deaf. Even the catalogue showed no sign of life: it was Norahs work, of course, but it was not Norah.

      Something tells me I am wanted

      "Rebellious son! Do you dare to justify your conduct? But this comes of admitting base blood to the privileges of the gentle. What better could be expected of a man who held your principles? Now hear me! You have sinned against the authority of the holy church, and violated your vow of obedience. You have also exhibited a most contumacious spirit in refusing to recant those pernicious opinions you professed, and to answer the questions I before put to you. Retire now to your cell, and there remain solitary for eight days, that grace may have power to operate on your soul; and then, if you still remain incorrigible, you shall be degraded from your order. Retire," he added, waving his hand, and pointing to the officers to lead him away.

      Reuben moved away from the crest and stood looking round him at what had once been Boarzell Moor. A clear watery light had succeeded the sunset, and he was able to see the full extent of his possessions. From the utmost limits of Grandturzel in the south, to the Glotten brook in the north, from Socknersh in the east to Cheat Land in the westall that he could see was his. Out of a small obscure farm of barely sixty acres he had raised up this splendid dominion, and he had tamed the roughest, toughest, fiercest, cruellest piece of ground in Sussex, the beast of Boarzell."Have adone do wud your preaching. I'm ashamed[Pg 380] of you, led astray by lunies as if you wur no better nor poor Harry. You're a hemmed lousy traitor, you are, the worst of 'em all."

      His vigilance increased when their first love affairs began. At first they would gabble innocently to him about pretty girls they had seen in Rye, but they soon found out such conversation was most unwelcome. Reuben looked upon love as the biggest curse and snare of life; if David and William fell in love they would lose interest in Odiam, they would do something silly like Robert, or mad like Caro, or bad like Rose. Love was the enemy of Odiam, and Reuben having trodden it down himself was not going to see it rise and stamp on his boys. He gave them the benefit of his experience in no measured terms:

      "It is a pity she should be the wife of such a carle"mused his lord.



      De Boteler and his lady, had left Sudley to be present at some festival in London, the day previous to that on which father John was degraded; but, from the firmness he had hitherto shown, the result was anticipated, and Calverley had received orders to arrest the monk on his being dismissed the abbey, and to confine him in the castle, until the baron's return.


      I enjoyed that afternoon I spent there, she said. They are kind, they are simple, and it is only simple people who count. I wonder if Lord Inverbroom gave the wing himself.