Phase the Fifth: The Woman Pays
40. CHAPTER XL (continued)
Hearing a footstep below he rose and went to the top of
the stairs. At the bottom of the flight he saw a woman
standing, and on her turning up her face recognized the
pale, dark-eyed Izz Huett.
"Mr Clare," she said, "I've called to see you and Mrs
Clare, and to inquire if ye be well. I thought you
might be back here again."
This was a girl whose secret he had guessed, but who
had not yet guessed his; an honest girl who loved
him--one who would have made as good, or nearly as
good, a practical farmer's wife as Tess.
"I am here alone," he said; "we are not living here
now." Explaining why he had come, he asked, "Which way
are you going home, Izz?"
"I have no home at Talbothays Dairy now, sir," she
"Why is that?"
Izz looked down.
"It was so dismal there that I left! I am staying out
this way." She pointed in a contrary direction, the
direction in which he was journeying.
"Well--are you going there now? I can take you if you
wish for a lift." Her olive complexion grew richer in
"Thank 'ee, Mr Clare," she said.
He soon found the farmer, and settled the account for
his rent and the few other items which had to be
considered by reason of the sudden abandonment of the
lodgings. On Clare's return to his horse and gig Izz
jumped up beside him.
"I am going to leave England, Izz," he said, as they
drove on. "Going to Brazil."
"And do Mrs Clare like the notion of such a journey?"