The Woodlanders HTML version

Chapter 9
"I heard the bushes move long before I saw you," she began. "I said first, 'it is
some terrible beast;' next, 'it is a poacher;' next, 'it is a friend!'"
He regarded her with a slight smile, weighing, not her speech, but the question
whether he should tell her that she had been watched. He decided in the
"You have been to the house?" he said. "But I need not ask." The fact was that
there shone upon Miss Melbury's face a species of exaltation, which saw no
environing details nor his own occupation; nothing more than his bare presence.
"Why need you not ask?"
"Your face is like the face of Moses when he came down from the Mount."
She reddened a little and said, "How can you be so profane, Giles Winterborne?"
"How can you think so much of that class of people? Well, I beg pardon; I didn't
mean to speak so freely. How do you like her house and her?"
"Exceedingly. I had not been inside the walls since I was a child, when it used to
be let to strangers, before Mrs. Charmond's late husband bought the property.
She is SO nice!" And Grace fell into such an abstracted gaze at the imaginary
image of Mrs. Charmond and her niceness that it almost conjured up a vision of
that lady in mid-air before them.
"She has only been here a month or two, it seems, and cannot stay much longer,
because she finds it so lonely and damp in winter. She is going abroad. Only
think, she would like me to go with her."
Giles's features stiffened a little at the news. "Indeed; what for? But I won't keep
you standing here. Hoi, Robert!" he cried to a swaying collection of clothes in the
distance, which was the figure of Creedle his man. "Go on filling in there till I
come back."
"I'm a-coming, sir; I'm a-coming."
"Well, the reason is this," continued she, as they went on together--" Mrs.
Charmond has a delightful side to her character-- a desire to record her
impressions of travel, like Alexandre Dumas, and Mery, and Sterne, and others.
But she cannot find energy enough to do it herself." And Grace proceeded to
explain Mrs. Charmond's proposal at large. "My notion is that Mery's style will suit