Under the Greenwood Tree HTML version

PART III: 1. Driving Out Of Budmouth
An easy bend of neck and graceful set of head; full and wavy bundles of dark-brown hair;
light fall of little feet; pretty devices on the skirt of the dress; clear deep eyes; in short, a
bunch of sweets: it was Fancy! Dick's heart went round to her with a rush.
The scene was the corner of Mary Street in Budmouth-Regis, near the King's statue, at
which point the white angle of the last house in the row cut perpendicularly an embayed
and nearly motionless expanse of salt water projected from the outer ocean--to-day lit in
bright tones of green and opal. Dick and Smart had just emerged from the street, and
there on the right, against the brilliant sheet of liquid colour, stood Fancy Day; and she
turned and recognized him.
Dick suspended his thoughts of the letter and wonder at how she came there by driving
close to the chains of the Esplanade--incontinently displacing two chairmen, who had just
come to life for the summer in new clean shirts and revivified clothes, and being almost
displaced in turn by a rigid boy rattling along with a baker's cart, and looking neither to
the right nor the left. He asked if she were going to Mellstock that night.
"Yes, I'm waiting for the carrier," she replied, seeming, too, to suspend thoughts of the
"Now I can drive you home nicely, and you save half an hour. Will ye come with me?"
As Fancy's power to will anything seemed to have departed in some mysterious manner
at that moment, Dick settled the matter by getting out and assisting her into the vehicle
without another word.
The temporary flush upon her cheek changed to a lesser hue, which was permanent, and
at length their eyes met; there was present between them a certain feeling of
embarrassment, which arises at such moments when all the instinctive acts dictated by the
position have been performed. Dick, being engaged with the reins, thought less of this
awkwardness than did Fancy, who had nothing to do but to feel his presence, and to be
more and more conscious of the fact, that by accepting a seat beside him in this way she
succumbed to the tone of his note. Smart jogged along, and Dick jogged, and the helpless
Fancy necessarily jogged, too; and she felt that she was in a measure capture I and made
a prisoner.
"I am so much obliged to you for your company, Miss Day," he observed, as they drove
past the two semicircular bays of the Old Royal Hotel, where His Majesty King George
the Third had many a time attended the balls of the burgesses.