Cripps, The Carrier : A Woodland Tale

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Recording a highly vindictive vow, he scratched his bare head, and set forth again, being further from Beckley than at his first start. It certainly was an unlucky thing that the day of the week should be Tuesday — Tuesday, the 19th of December, For Zacchary always had to make his rounds on a Wednesday and a Saturday, and if he were to drive his poor old Dobbin into Oxford on a Tuesday evening, how could he get through his business to-morrow? For Dobbin insisted on a day in stable whenever he had been in Oxford. He was full of the air of the laziest place, and perhaps the most delightful, in the world.

He despised all the horses of low agriculture after that inspiration, and he sighed out sweet grunts at the colour of his straw, instead of getting up the next morning.

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Zacchary Cripps was a thoughtful man, as well as a very kind-hearted one. In the crown of his hat he always carried a monthly calendar gummed on cardboard, and opposite almost every day he had dots, or round O's, or crosses. Each of these to his very steady mind meant something not to be neglected; and being as time went a pretty fair scholar — ere School Boards destroyed true scholarship — with the help of his horse he could make out nearly every place he had to call at.

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So now he looked at the crumpet-boy, to receive and absorb his excitement, and then he turned to young Esther, and let her speak first, as she always liked to do. And, Crumpy, there ought to be something for you. Dear Zak, have you got twopence? Run away down the hill, my lad, and you come to me at the Golden Cross, perhaps as soon as Saturday, and I'll look in my bag for a halfpenny. Run away, boy; run away, or the bogies will be after you. The baker's boy felt that his luck was askew upon this day of his existence, for Carrier Cripps was vexed so much at this sudden demand for his sister that he never even thought of asking the boy to have a glass of home-brewed ale.

I am doiled, a do believe, sometimes. Tramp with you to the Bar mysell, I wull. Sarve me right for a-doin' of it. But if you declare to come with me one step, backward is the only step I take.

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Round these here parts none would harm 'ee. And none of they furriners be about just now. When had I best be there? It might be one o'clock, or it might be two, or it might be half-past three a'most. All you have to do is this — to leave word at the bar with Sally Brown. I shall look in the yard for the cart, brother. That much a may be cock-sure of. Nor that any one at all of the neighbourhood would hurt her; but that there had been much talk about a camp of dark-skinned people in Cowley Marsh, not long ago.

Therefore he laid his palm flat from his eyebrows, to follow the distance further; and seeing no more than the hedges of the lane now growing in the cold wind naked and the track of the lane from wet mud slaking into light-coloured crustiness , without any figures, or sound, or shadow, or sense of life moving anywhere — he made for the best side of his cottage-door, and brightened up the firelight. The weather had been for some few weeks in a good constitutional English state; that is to say, it had no settled tendency towards anything.

Or at any rate, so it seemed to people who took little heed of it. There had been a little rain, and then a little snow, and a touch of frost, and then a sample of fog, and so on: trying all varieties, to suit the British public. True Britons, however, had grumbled duly at each successive overture; so that the winter was now resolving henceforth only to please itself. And this determined will was in the wind, the air, and the earth itself, just when night began to fall on this dark day of December. As Esther turned the corner from the Beckley lane into the road, the broad coach road to Oxford, she met a wind that knew its mind coming over the crest of Shotover, a stern east wind that whistled sadly over the brown and barren fields, and bitterly piped in the roadway.

To the chill of this blast the sere oak-leaves shivered in the dusk and rattled; the grey ash saplings bent their naked length to get away from it; and the surly stubs of the hedge went to and fro to one another. The slimy dips of the path began to rib themselves, like the fronds of fern, and to shrink into wrinkles and sinewy knobs; while the broader puddles, though skirred by the breeze, found the network of ice veiling over them. This, as it crusted, began to be capable of a consistent quivering, with a frail infinitude of spikelets, crossing and yet carrying into one another.

And the cold work marred every now and then by the hurry of the wind that urged it in the main was going on so fast, that the face of the water ceased to glisten, and instead of ruffling lifted, and instead of waving wavered. So that, as the surface trembled, any level eye might see little splinters held as are the ribs and harl of feathers spreading, and rising like stems of lace, and then with a smooth, crisp jostle sinking, as the wind flew over them, into the quavering consistence of a coverlet of ice. Esther Cripps took little heed of these things, or of any other in the matter of weather, except to say to herself now and then how bitter cold the wind was, and that she feared it would turn to snow, and how she longed to be sitting with a cup of "Aunt Exie's" caudle in the snug room next to the bakehouse, or how glad she would be to get only as far as the first house of St.

Clement's, to see the lamps and the lights in the shops, and be quit of this dreary loneliness.

For now it must be three market days since fearful rumours began to stir in several neighbouring villages, which made even strong men discontent with solitude towards nightfall; and as for the women — just now poor Esther would rather not think of what they declared. It was all very well to pretend to doubt it while hanging the clothes out, or turning the mangle; but as for laughing out here in the dark, and a mile away from the nearest house — Good Lord!

How that white owl frightened her! Being a sensible and brave girl, she forced her mind as well as she could into another channel, and lifted the cover of the basket in which she had some nice things for "Aunt Exie," and then she set off for a bold little run, until she was out of breath, and trembling at the sound of her own light feet. Blackmore ] on Amazon. Blackmore , was one of the most famous English novelists of the second half of the nineteenth century.

He won acclaim for vivid descriptions and personification of the countryside.

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    Kauf Bunter! Folge Deiner Leidenschaft bei eBay! Blackmore - Schriftliche Werke. The Remarkable History Of Si …. With a single exception, this is the most sensational and the least probable of Blackmore's stories. The scene is Cripps , the Carrier: R. Skip carousel. Cripps , the Carrier A Woodland Tale. The Paperback of the Cripps the Carrier by R. Cripps the Carrier: a woodland tale ; Erema; or, my father's sin ; Mary Anerley: a Yorkshire tale Downs litt.

    With illustrations. Main Author: Blackmore , R. Language s :, English. Blackmore , was one of the most famous Category: Richard Doddridge Blackmore Cripps the Carrier 1st ed. Dariel by R D A dog used in baiting badgers.

    Catalog Record: Cripps the carrier ; a woodland tale | HathiTrust Digital Library

    Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, pg. Richard Doddridge Blackmore for free with a 30 day free trial. Volume 2 3.

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