IV

SHE turned away, to go home. The afternoon was fading. It must be past four o'clock, and it would be mean of her not to be there at tea time, to drink a cup of tea with Clifford.

She went across to the spring riding, the broad green way that passed by the little icy spring where Robin Hood used to drink. Forget-me-nots and new-mown hay were going to make a foam in that riding in May. But they were not here yet. Only a few primroses, and dead leaves still, and a wind roaring in the oak twigs overhead.

She heard a light tapping on the right, and wondered if it were the woodpecker. No, it was a hammer. She remembered the little hut and the small clearing where the keeper had built a straw shelter for the pheasants. It was here he gave the birds their corn in the bad weather. A cock pheasant ran across in front of her with a squawk, the hammering ceased. The keeper was listening.

She went off down the narrow path to the hidden place where the hut was. The Yellow dog came running towards her. She saw the keeper rise suspiciously, looking cautiously and suspiciously through the trees. He was always on the watch, on the alert for poachers, trespassers, enemies. His life one silent conflict with the encroaching colliery population: and himself always alone.

He was in his shirt-sleeves, having been hammering at a chicken coop. He was preparing for the setting of the pheasants' eggs. He touched his cap and waited for her to come near.

-38-

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The First Lady Chatterley
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • A Foreword by Frieda Lawrence v
  • A Manuscript Report by Esther Forbes xv
  • I 3
  • II 17
  • III 26
  • IV 38
  • V 52
  • VI 61
  • VII 73
  • VIII 86
  • IX 108
  • X 118
  • XII 147
  • XIII 161
  • XIV 170
  • XV 189
  • XVI 196
  • XIX 231
  • XX 251
  • XXI 272
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