The Country House
Part 6 out of 6
she paused a minute to gather her skirts more firmly. It was a home-
field she was in now, and right before her lay the country house.
Long and low and white it stood in the glamourous evening haze, with
two bright panes, where the sunlight fell, watching, like eyes, the
confines of its acres; and behind it, to the left, broad, square, and
grey among its elms, the village church. Around, above, beyond, was
peace--the sleepy, misty peace of the English afternoon.
Mrs. Pendyce walked towards her garden. When she was near it, away
to the right, she saw the Squire and Mr. Barter. They were standing
together looking at a tree and--symbol of a subservient under-world--
the spaniel John was seated on his tail, and he, too, was looking at
the tree. The faces of the Rector and Mr. Pendyce were turned up at
the same angle, and different as those faces and figures were in
their eternal rivalry of type, a sort of essential likeness struck
her with a feeling of surprise. It was as though a single spirit
seeking for a body had met with these two shapes, and becoming
confused, decided to inhabit both.
Mrs. Pendyce did not wave to them, but passed quickly, between the
yew-trees, through the wicket-gate....
In her garden bright drops were falling one by one from every rose-
leaf, and in the petals of each rose were jewels of water. A little
down the path a weed caught her eye; she looked closer, and saw that
there were several.
'Oh,' she thought, 'how dreadfully they've let the weeds I must
really speak to Jackman!'
A rose-tree, that she herself had planted, rustled close by, letting
fall a shower of drops.
Mrs. Pendyce bent down, and took a white rose in her fingers. With
her smiling lips she kissed its face.
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