Phase the Fifth: The Woman Pays
35. CHAPTER XXXV (continued)
They wandered on again in silence. It was said
afterwards that a cottager of Wellbridge, who went out
late that night for a doctor, met two lovers in the
pastures, walking very slowly, without converse, one
behind the other, as in a funeral procession, and the
glimpse that he obtained of their faces seemed to
denote that they were anxious and sad. Returning later,
he passed them again in the same field, progressing
just as slowly, and as regardless of the hour and of
the cheerless night as before. It was only on account
of his preoccupation with his own affairs, and the
illness in his house, that he did not bear in mind the
curious incident, which, however, he recalled a long
During the interval of the cottager's going and coming,
she had said to her husband----
"I don't see how I can help being the cause of much
misery to you all your life. The river is down there.
I can put an end to myself in it. I am not afraid."
"I don't wish to add murder to my other follies," he
"I will leave something to show that I did it
myself--on account of my shame. They will not blame
"Don't speak so absurdly--I wish not to hear it. It is
nonsense to have such thoughts in this kind of case,
which is rather one for satirical laughter than for
tragedy. You don't in the least understand the quality
of the mishap. It would be viewed in the light of a
joke by nine-tenths of the world if it were known.
Please oblige me by returning to the house, and going
"I will," said she dutifully.