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"Stephen Holgrave, my lord, has not yet finished his fealty."
All through the sermon he sat with his eyes fixed on Realf's profile. There was his rival, the man with whom he would have to reckon most during the difficult future, with whom he was fighting for Boarzell. He looked marvellously young and comely as he sat there in the fretted light, and suddenly for the first time Reuben realised that he was not as young as he had been. He was forty-sixhe was getting old.
"Is he not engaged as a fixture?" asked Harvey, with some disappointment.She wished, with all the wormwood that lies in useless regrets, that she had never married. Then, paradoxically, she would not have been so utterly alone. She would have had at least the help of sweet memories undefiled. She could have taken refuge in them from her sorrow, built them perhaps at last into hope. Now she had to thrust them from her, for they were one and all soiled by her unfaithfulness.
"Yes, I am."
"I'll have a good grain growing there in five yeard?an't you go doubting it. The ground wants working, that's all. And as fur not wanting the farm no bigger, that wur f?ather's ideaOdiam's mine now."So he tramped off towards the Rectory, wondering a little what he should say when he got there, but leaving it to the inspiration of the moment. He warmed his honest heart with thoughts of Albert sleeping peacefully and dying beautifully, though it chilled him a little to think of death. Why could not Albert live?Pete would have liked to think of him lying for years and years in that big untidy bed, pathetic and feeble, and always claiming by his weakness the whole strength that a day of unresting toil had left his brother.
When Calverley saw his lord after this transaction, the scene, much to the amazement of the former, partook more of comedy than tragedy, for De Boteler, when he saw the head of his esquire minus the ear, could not refrain from laughter.