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At last matters reached a climax. It was late in March; Albert was much worse, and even the doctor looked solemn. "He won't last till the summer," he[Pg 367] said in answer to one of Pete's questions, and unluckily the sick man heard him.
RE: Current memo seriesReuben had learnt his first lesson from experience. Quietly but decidedly he altered his conduct. He no longer made the slightest appeal to his family's enterprise or ambition, he no longer interrupted his chidings with those pathetic calls to their enthusiasm which had mystified or irritated them in times past. On the other hand he was twice as hard, twice as fierce, twice as ruthless and masterful as he had ever been.
The only people who would have been sorry if he had died were the children. Harry was popular with them, as he had been with baby Fanny long ago, because he made funny faces and emitted strange, unexpected sounds. He was unlike the accepted variety of grown-up people, who were seldom amusing or surprising, and one could take liberties with him, such as one could not take with f?ather or Maude. Also, being blind, one could play on him the most fascinating tricks.
Then suddenly a heavy hand fell on Robert's shoulder, and a voice said:
There was a pause. Reuben walked over to the window and looked out. Tilly stared at his back imploringly. If only he would help her with some word or sign of understanding! But he would nothe had not changed; she had forsaken him and married his rival, and he would never forget or forgive.The Moor was on the eastern edge of the parish, five miles from Rye. Heaving suddenly swart out of the green water-meadows by Socknersh, it piled itself towards the sunrise, dipping to Leasan House. It was hummocked and tussocked with coarse grasshere and there a spread of heather, growing, like all southern heather, almost arboreally. In places the naked soil gaped in sores made by coney-warrens or uprooted bushes. Stones and roots, sharn, shards, and lumps of marl, mixed themselves into the wealden clay, which oozed in red streaks of potential fruitfulness through their sterility.