The poor creature looked wonderingly
round at the night, at the lantern, at their two figures, as if he could not believe that at that hour, when every living thing was intended to be in shelter and at rest, he was called upon to go out and labour
. They put a stock of candle
ends into the lantern, hung the latter to the off side of the load, and directed the horse onward, walking at his shoulder at first during the uphill parts of the way, in order not to overload an animal of so little vigour
. To cheer themselves as well as they could, they made an artificial morning with the lantern, some bread and butter, and their own conversation, the real morning being far from come. Abraham, as he more fully awoke (for he had moved in a sort of trance so far), began to talk of the strange shapes assumed by the various dark objects against the sky; of this tree that looked like a raging tiger springing from a lair; of that which resembled a giant's head.
When they had passed the little town of Stourcastle, dumbly somnolent
under its thick brown thatch, they reached higher ground. Still higher, on their left, the elevation
called Bulbarrow or Bealbarrow, well-nigh the highest in South Wessex, swelled into the sky, engirdled by its earthen trenches. From hereabout the long road was fairly level for some distance onward. They mounted in front of the waggon, and Abraham grew reflective
'Tess!' he said in a preparatory
tone, after a silence.
'Bain't you glad that we've become gentlefolk?'
'Not particular glad.'