'Now take up that basket, and goo
on to Marlott, and when you've come to The Pure Drop Inn, tell 'em to send a horse and carriage to me immediately, to carry me hwome. And in the bottom o' the carriage they be to put a noggin o' rum in a small bottle, and chalk it up to my account. And when you've done that goo on to my house with the basket, and tell my wife to put away that washing, because she needn't finish it, and wait till I come hwome, as I've news to tell her.'
As the lad stood in a dubious
attitude, Durbeyfield put his hand in his pocket, and produced a shilling, one of the chronically
few that he possessed.
'Here's for your labour, lad.'
This made a difference in the young man's estimate of the position.
'Yes, Sir John. Thank 'ee. Anything else I can do for 'ee, Sir John?'
'Tell 'em at hwome that I should like for supper, - well, lamb's fry if they can get it; and if they can't, black-pot; and if they can't get that, well, chitterlings
'Yes, Sir John.'
The boy took up the basket, and as he set out the notes of a brass band were heard from the direction of the village.
'What's that?' said Durbeyfield. 'Not on account o' I?'
''Tis the women's club-walking, Sir John. Why, your dater is one o' the members.'
'To be sure - I'd quite forgot it in my thoughts of greater things! Well, vamp
on to Marlott, will ye, and order that carriage, and maybe I'll drive round and inspect the club.'
The lad departed, and Durbeyfield lay waiting on the grass and daisies in the evening sun. Not a soul passed that way for a long while, and the faint notes of the band were the only human sounds audible within the rim
of blue hills.