Phase the Sixth: The Convert
49. CHAPTER XLIX (continued)
"What is the matter at home?"
"Mother is took very bad, and the doctor says she's
dying, and as father is not very well neither, and says
'tis wrong for a man of such a high family as his to
slave and drave at common labouring work, we don't know
what to do."
Tess stood in reverie a long time before she thought of
asking 'Liza-Lu to come in and sit down. When she had
done so, and 'Liza-Lu was having some tea, she came to
a decision. It was imperative that she should go home.
Her agreement did not end till Old Lady-Day, the sixth
of April, but as the interval thereto was not a long
one she resolved to run the risk of starting at once.
To go that night would be a gain of twelve-hours; but
her sister was too tired to undertake such a distance
till the morrow. Tess ran down to where Marian and Izz
lived, informed them of what had happened, and begged
them to make the best of her case to the farmer.
Returning, she got Lu a supper, and after that, having
tucked the younger into her own bed, packed up as many
of her belongings as would go into a withy basket, and
started, directing Lu to follow her next morning.