Poor little Retty, though by far the lightest weight, was the most troublesome of Clare's burdens. Marian had been like a sack of meal, a dead weight of plumpness under which he had literally staggered. Izz had ridden sensibly and calmly. Retty was a bunch of hysterics.

However, he got through with the disquieted creature, deposited her, and returned. Tess could see over the hedge the distant three in a group, standing as he had placed them on the next rising ground. It was now her turn. She was embarrassed to discover that excitement at the proximity of Mr Clare's breath and eyes, which she had contemned in her companions, was intensified in herself; and as if fearful of betraying her secret she pattered with him at the last moment.

'I may be able to clim' along the bank perhaps - I can clim' better than they. You must be so tired, Mr Clare!'

'No, no, Tess,' said he quickly. And almost before she was aware she was seated in his arms and resting against his shoulder.

'Three Leahs to get one Rachel,' he whispered.

'They are better women than I,' she replied, magnanimously sticking to her resolve.

'Not to me,' said Angel.

He saw her grow warm at this; and they went some steps in silence.

①《旧约·创世纪》第二十八章说,以撒吩咐雅各到外祖家去,在拉班的三个女儿中娶一个为妻。第二十九章接着说,雅各为拉班工作了七年,拉班把大女儿利亚(Leah)和使女兹尔巴许配给他,但雅各为了得到拉班的 小女儿拉结(Rachel),又为拉班工作了七年。