Under the Greenwood Tree
PART III: 3. A Confession
It was a morning of the latter summer-time; a morning of lingering dews, when the grass
is never dry in the shade. Fuchsias and dahlias were laden till eleven o'clock with small
drops and dashes of water, changing the colour of their sparkle at every movement of the
air; and elsewhere hanging on twigs like small silver fruit. The threads of garden spiders
appeared thick and polished. In the dry and sunny places, dozens of long-legged crane-
flies whizzed off the grass at every step the passer took.
Fancy Day and her friend Susan Dewy the tranter's daughter, were in such a spot as this,
pulling down a bough laden with early apples. Three months had elapsed since Dick and
Fancy had journeyed together from Budmouth, and the course of their love had run on
vigorously during the whole time. There had been just enough difficulty attending its
development, and just enough finesse required in keeping it private, to lend the passion
an ever-increasing freshness on Fancy's part, whilst, whether from these accessories or
not, Dick's heart had been at all times as fond as could be desired. But there was a cloud
on Fancy's horizon now.
"She is so well off--better than any of us," Susan Dewy was saying. "Her father farms
five hundred acres, and she might marry a doctor or curate or anything of that kind if she
contrived a little."
"I don't think Dick ought to have gone to that gipsy-party at all when he knew I couldn't
go," replied Fancy uneasily.
"He didn't know that you would not be there till it was too late to refuse the invitation,"
"And what was she like? Tell me."
"Well, she was rather pretty, I must own."
"Tell straight on about her, can't you! Come, do, Susan. How many times did you say he
danced with her?"
"Twice, I think you said?"
"Indeed I'm sure I didn't."
"Well, and he wanted to again, I expect."