Under the Greenwood Tree
PART III: 2. Further Along The Road
Dick's spirits having risen in the course of these admissions of his sweetheart, he now
touched Smart with the whip; and on Smart's neck, not far behind his ears. Smart, who
had been lost in thought for some time, never dreaming that Dick could reach so far with
a whip which, on this particular journey, had never been extended further than his flank,
tossed his head, and scampered along with exceeding briskness, which was very pleasant
to the young couple behind him till, turning a bend in the road, they came instantly upon
the farmer, farmer's man, and farmer's wife with the flapping mantle, all jogging on just
the same as ever.
"Bother those people! Here we are upon them again."
"Well, of course. They have as much right to the road as we."
"Yes, but it is provoking to be overlooked so. I like a road all to myself. Look what a
lumbering affair theirs is!" The wheels of the farmer's cart, just at that moment, jogged
into a depression running across the road, giving the cart a twist, whereupon all three
nodded to the left, and on coming out of it all three nodded to the right, and went on
jerking their backs in and out as usual. "We'll pass them when the road gets wider."
When an opportunity seemed to offer itself for carrying this intention into effect, they
heard light flying wheels behind, and on their quartering there whizzed along past them a
brand-new gig, so brightly polished that the spokes of the wheels sent forth a continual
quivering light at one point in their circle, and all the panels glared like mirrors in Dick
and Fancy's eyes. The driver, and owner as it appeared, was really a handsome man; his
companion was Shiner. Both turned round as they passed Dick and Fancy, and stared
with bold admiration in her face till they were obliged to attend to the operation of
passing the farmer. Dick glanced for an instant at Fancy while she was undergoing their
scrutiny; then returned to his driving with rather a sad countenance.
"Why are you so silent?" she said, after a while, with real concern.
"Yes, it is, Dick. I couldn't help those people passing."
"I know that."
"You look offended with me. What have I done?"
"I can't tell without offending you."