Free Warleggan by Winston Graham

Book: Warleggan by Winston Graham Read Free Book Online
Authors: Winston Graham
Tags: Fiction, Historical, Sagas
    She always: kept him waiting, but this time less long than usual. They cantered away from the gates of Killewarren in the early sun, and she suggested they should turn south, among trees long held in bud but now a sudden full brilliant gree n. She seemed to know her way.
    When they had gone about four miles, she turned up a lane which petered out into a clearing azure with bluebells and she said : `Let's get down, shall we, Dwigh t. I want to talk, and it's not easy on a nag.'
    He dismounted at once and tried to help her, but she slid off as nimbly as a boy and laughed at him.
    `Let's sit over here. It's' good to be idle sometimes. Or I think so. Perhaps you feel always you should be tending someone.! 'Not always. Not now.'
    They sat on a green mound punctured with rabbit holes, and Caroline picked a bluebell and swung it idly to make the bells quiver.
    `I'm returning to, Oxfordshire, Dwight.'
    Something lurched inside him - `When?'
    'On Friday's coach. I shall be in Uncle William's bosom by Monday.'
    What has made you decide to go?'
    `Oh, I didn't decide. Uncle Ray is very angry with me about my treatment of Unwin, and he thinks I shall be better banished from this place altogether.'
    Dwight looked at her. Her wide eyes were contemplative, narrowed with the sunshine; the bright light brought extra colours to them, greys and flecks of hazel and deeper greens. `I don't know what to say. ' I thought - I hoped you'd bestaying.!
    'I hoped Id be staying too'
    Overhead a blackbird was chattering. `When d'you expect to come again?',
    `At Uncle Ray's invitation? Oh,, that's very doubtful. He no longer approves of me or of my doings. And I suspect that someone has told him of my morning rides with his physician.'
    `It's understandable then that he wants to send you away.' `Why?' she asked, provokingly.
    'If you lower yourself by being seen about with Dr. Enys, and not even a groom in attendance, it will be Mr. Penvenen's first duty to come between you and your indiscretion.'
    Caroline threw away her bluebells. `So you agree with Uncle Ray. You think I should better be kept out of harm's way until I am safely marrie d ! ’
    'If I were your uncle’
    `But since you're not my uncle?'
    Dwight got up. `What do you expect me to say?'
    She leaned back on her elbows. `I should have expected you to say no.'
    `And so should I like to. You know, Caroline, without the - need of words to colour it o r make, it more explicit, that I – that ..’
    After a minute Caroline said: `Sit down, Dwight. We can't talk if you stride about'
    He stopped and sat again, his knees in his hands, a little away from her, frowning, ill at ease, deliberately not looking at her.
    She said: `Tell me, Dwight, I never know; there are two men in you: the strong, confident, imp atient one, that so often goes with you in a sickroo m; and the oh-so-much younger, nervous, susceptible one that often rides with me. Which of them is it, do you suppose, that cares for Caroline Penvenen and grieves she goes and thinks of her in her absence?'
    A rabbit scampered across the greensward and ducked qu ickly into a hole. Dwight said : `Questions are alway s directed at me. Perhaps I'll face yours if you face mine. How much are you concerned for the answer?'
    `You ask a great deal.'
    `No more than you ask of me.'
    `Oh, yes, I think it is.
    Dwight watched her fingers stroking the fold of her skirt. `Very well, then. I'll answer yours first. There are no t two men in me but only one - and that one thinks of you continuously so that the image of you is never absent. But .. what you complain of is not to be wondered at. Money was never plentiful for me, and studying took all I had. There was no time for drawing-rooms or polite talk. I was not brought up; to know the right addresses to pay beautiful women. I hardly ever met women - except as cases. As cases I know them well. So when I have dealings with people now, I differ with the dealings. If you c ome to me with a sore throat or a

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