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13. CHAPTER XIII: MR WILLIAM BELTON TAKES A WALK IN THE COUNTRY (continued)
'I wish it wasn't Sunday,' he said at last, 'because then I could go and do something. If I thought that no one would see me, I'd fill a dung-cart or two, even though it is Sunday. I'll tell you what I'll go and take a walk as far as Denvir Sluice; and I'll be hack to tea. You won't mind?'
'Denvir Sluice is eight miles off.'
'Exactly I'll be there and back in something over three hours.'
'But, Will there's a broiling sun.'
'It will do me good. Anything that will take something out of me is what I want. I know I ought to stay and read to you; but I couldn't do it. I've got the fidgets inside, if you know what that means. To have the big hay-rick on fire, or something of that sort, is what would do me most good.'
Then he started, and did walk to Denvir Sluice and back in three hours. The road from Plaistow Hall to Denvir Sluice was not in itself interesting. It ran through a perfectly flat country, without a tree. For the greater part of the way it was constructed on the top of a great bank by the side of a broad dike, and for five miles its course was straight as a line. A country walk less picturesque could hardly be found in England. The road, too, was very dusty, and the sun was hot above Belton's head as he walked. But nevertheless, he persevered, going on till he struck his stick against the waterfall which was called Denvir Sluice, and then returned not once slackening his pace, and doing the whole distance at a rate somewhat above five miles an hour. They used to say in the nursery that cold pudding is good to settle a man's love; but the receipt which Belton tried was a walk of sixteen miles, along a dusty road, after dinner, in the middle of an August day.
I think it did him some good. When he got back he took a long draught of home-brewed beer, and then went upstairs to dress himself.
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