Far from the Maddening Crows - 28 June 1858

A man in a fever of busy-ness may be suffering from a surfeit of zeal, a restless nature, or a stirring in the loins.
And far be it from me to cast aspersions.

I'm sure that Hnaef's sudden interest in the village of Weatherbury is entirely due to his love of riding across the Heath, the bucolic beauty of the place, and his desire once again to thank young Gabriel Oak for saving our hay rick.

I'm sure that his seeing young Bathsheba Everdene yesterday, when he went over there to say thanks to Gabriel, wasn't instrumental in his setting out for the place again this morning. And again after lunch. And after dinner. In fact, frankly he's legging it about the place on that horse of his at all hours.

I'm trying to keep it quiet from Daphne. But there's no doubt about it. The fertility of the soil, the sap of the trees, the sheer pagan fecundity of the landscape - it's got deep into Hnaef's soul. I'm going to have to find some bromide to slip in his tea.

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