Mr. Deane, who had heard from his wife what had passed the day before, thought Tom was come to appeal to him for some means of averting the sale.
But all this while Mrs. Tulliver was brooding over a scheme by which she, and no one else, would avert the result most to be dreaded, and prevent Wakem from entertaining the purpose of bidding for the mill.
He listened to their admonitory talk, when they came to urge on him what he was bound to do for poor Bessy’s sake, with averted eyes, that every now and then flashed on them furtively when their backs were turned.
Maggie was not conscious of a decision as she turned away from that gloomy averted face, and walked out of the room; it was like an automatic action that fulfils a forgotten intention.
The breath of the young, unwearied day, the delicious rhythmic dip of the oars, the fragmentary song of a passing bird heard now and then, as if it were only the overflowing of brimful gladness, the sweet solitude of a twofold consciousness that was mingled into one by that grave, untiring gaze which need not be averted,—what else could there be in their minds for the first hour?