Adam Bede HTML version

those strangers some of the clothes in her basket? It was then she thought of her
locket and ear-rings, and seeing her pocket lie near, she reached it and spread
the contents on the bed before her. There were the locket and ear-rings in the
little velvet-lined boxes, and with them there was a beautiful silver thimble which
Adam had bought her, the words "Remember me" making the ornament of the
border; a steel purse, with her one shilling in it;and a small red-leather case,
fastening with a strap. Those beautiful little ear-rings, with their delicate pearls
and garnet, that she had tried in her ears with such longing in the bright sunshine
on the 30th of July! She had no longing to put them in her ears now: her head
with its dark rings of hair lay back languidly on the pillow, and the sadness that
rested about her brow and eyes was something too hard for regretful memory.
Yet she put her hands up to her ears: it was because there were some thin gold
rings in them, which were also worth a little money. Yes, she could surely get
some money for her ornaments: those Arthur had given her must have cost a
great deal of money. The landlord and landlady had been good to her; perhaps
they would help her to get the money for these things.
But this money would not keep her long. What should she do when it was gone?
Where should she go? The horrible thought of want and beggary drove her once
to think she would go back to her uncle and aunt and ask them to forgive her and
have pity on her. But she shrank from that idea again, as she might have shrunk
from scorching metal. She could never endure that shame before her uncle and
aunt, before Mary Burge, and the servants at the Chase, and the people at
Broxton, and everybody who knew her. They should never know what had
happened to her. What could she do? She would go away from Windsor--travel
again as she had done the last week, and get among the flat green fields with the
high hedges round them, where nobody could see her or know her; and there,
perhaps, when there was nothing else she could do, she should get courage to
drown herself in some pond like that in the Scantlands. Yes, she would get away
from Windsor as soon as possible: she didn't like these people at the inn to know
about her, to know that she had come to look for Captain Donnithorne. She must
think of some reason to tell them why she had asked for him.
With this thought she began to put the things back into her pocket, meaning to
get up and dress before the landlady came to her. She had her hand on the red-
leather case, when it occurred to her that there might be something in this case
which she had forgotten--something worth selling; for without knowing what she
should do with her life, she craved the means of living as long as possible; and
when we desire eagerly to find something, we are apt to search for it in hopeless
places. No, there was nothing but common needles and pins, and dried tulip-
petals between the paper leaves where she had written down her little money-
accounts. But on one of these leaves there was a name, which, often as she had
seen it before, now flashed on Hetty's mind like a newly discovered message.
The name was--Dinah Morris, Snowfield. There was a text above it, written, as
well as the name, by Dinah's own hand with a little pencil, one evening that they
were sitting together and Hetty happened to have the red case lying open before