had ensued from Joan, who had independently offered to leave at once; she had been taken at her word; and here was the result.
`I ought never to have come home,' said Tess to herself, bitterly.
She was so intent upon these thoughts that she hardly at first took note of a man in a white mackintosh whom she saw riding down the street. Possibly it was owing to her face being near to the pane that he saw her so quickly, and directed his horse so close to the cottage-front that his hoofs were almost upon the narrow border for plants growing under the wall. It was not till he touched the window with his riding- crop that she observed him. The rain had nearly ceased, and she opened the casement in obedience to his gesture.
`Didn't you see me?' asked d'Urberville.
`I was not attending,' she said. `I heard you, I believe, though I fancied it was a carriage and horses. I was in a sort of dream.'
`Ah! you heard the d'Urberville Coach, perhaps. You know the legend, I suppose?'
`No. My - somebody was going to tell it me once, but didn't.'
`If you are a genuine d'Urberville I ought not to tell you either, I suppose. As for me, I'm a sham one, so it doesn't matter. It is rather dismal. It is that this sound of a non-existent coach can only be heard by one of d'Urberville blood, and it is held to be of ill-omen to the one who hears it. It has to do with a murder, committed by one of the family, centuries ago.'
`Now you have begun it finish it.'
`Very well. One of the family is said to have abducted some beautiful woman, who tried to escape from the coach in which he was carrying her off, and in the struggle he killed her - or she killed him - I forget which. Such is one version of the tale... . I see that your tubs and buckets are packed. Going away, aren't you?'
`Yes, to-morrow - Old Lady-Day.'
`I heard you were, but could hardly believe it; it seems so sudden. Why is it?'
`Father's was the last life on the property, and when that dropped we had no further right to stay. Though we might, perhaps,have stayed as weekly tenants-if it had not been for me.'
`What about you?'
`I am not a - proper woman.'
D'Urberville's face flushed.
`What a blasted shame! Miserable snobs! May their dirty souls be burnt to cinders!' he exclaimed in tones of ironic resentment. `That's why you are going, is it? Turned out?'
`We are not turned out exactly; but as they said we should have to go soon, it was best to go now everybody was moving, because there are better chances.'
`Where are you going to?'
`Kingsbere. We have taken rooms there. Mother is so foolish about father's people that she will go there.'
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