Sergeant Troy's Affairs Thicken - 5 July 1858

A bright day of azure skies, when the gorse blooms gorgeous on the heath, young ladies wilt in the afternoon sun and the dew hangs heavy on the forehead of the haymakers until well after nammit-time.

Sergeant Troy's still locked, in best Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley tradition, in the cellar. But young Mercy Onmey wandered in earlier to get herself a drop of milk - we let her come up to the house and grab bits of pieces, she needs the help. We told her she could nip down and grab a bottle of wine, to cheer up the humble abode. Mercy sees Troy, tied as he is to an old armoir down there, and it turns out he's the father of two of her children - little Arthur the new one, and another although she can't remember which. Of course, she didn't tell us that straight away.  We drew that information out of her after we wondered what the noise was in the cellar, and caught her kicking Troy in the regimentals.
So now we're wondering whether Troy should make an honest woman of Mercy.  But we've already got Troy lined up to do the right thing by Fanny Robin. I've sent Carl the ostler off with a spring cart to bring Fanny back from Mid Wessex so we can get the shotgun out to celebrate the forthcoming nuptials. What a problem. Maybe one of them will prefer to be single after all?

Meanwhile Miss Bathsheba Everdene's not happy with me. She's heard that I've got Troy held in durance vile, and she's concerned that with the dashing Sergeant out of the way, that drip Mr Boldwood may be round for another bash at claiming her hand in deadly wedlock. It's a web we weave, I tell you.

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