St Swithin's Day - 15 July 1858

If it rains on St Swithin's Day, it rains for the next forty. 
So they say, and if 'tis so then it bodes badly for us now.
Miserable blooming day. The only note of happiness is that the hay's mostly in.

That Gabriel Oak's been round again, looking at the ricks in that sinister way of his. I've been straight with him.
"Oak," I said, "I've no evidence. So I'm not going any further with this now. But just remember that arson, like sheep-stealing, murder, treason and for all I know crossing the road without looking both ways, is a capital offence. If you don't want a short drop in the Prison Yard, that rick won't catch fire."
I think he got my message. At least, he seemed speechless when I told him. Obviously couldn't believe I could read his character so well. Or maybe he was just reflecting that the ricks being damp won't help him when he gets to work with the old matches.

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