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The Well - Beloved

A Charge
The rain fell upon the keel of the old lerret like corn thrown in handfuls by some colossal
sower, and darkness set in to its full shade.
They crouched so close to each other that he could feel her furs against him. Neither had
spoken since they left the roadway till she said, with attempted unconcern: 'This is
He admitted that it was, and found, after a few further remarks had passed, that she
certainly had been weeping, there being a suppressed gasp of passionateness in her
utterance now and then.
'It is more unfortunate for you, perhaps, than for me,' he said, 'and I am very sorry that it
should be so.'
She replied nothing to this, and he added that it was rather a desolate place for a woman,
alone and afoot. He hoped nothing serious had happened to drag her out at such an
untoward time.
At first she seemed not at all disposed to show any candour on her own affairs, and he
was left to conjecture as to her history and name, and how she could possibly have
known him. But, as the rain gave not the least sign of cessation, he observed: 'I think we
shall have to go back.'
'Never!' said she, and the firmness with which she closed her lips was audible in the
'Why not?' he inquired.
'There are good reasons.'
'I cannot understand how you should know me, while I have no knowledge of you.'
'Oh, but you know me--about me, at least.'
'Indeed I don't. How should I? You are a kimberlin.'
'I am not. I am a real islander--or was, rather. . . . Haven't you heard of the Best-Bed
Stone Company?'
'I should think so! They tried to ruin my father by getting away his trade--or, at least, the
founder of the company did--old Bencomb.'