Far from the madding crowd  远离尘嚣

The day before,on Monday,he had waited for Fanny,as arranged,on the bridge just outside Casterbridge,for over an hour. He had Bathsheba's twenty pounds and seven pounds of his own to give Fanny. When she did not come,he became angry,remembering the last time she had failed to arrive,on her wedding day. In fact she was at that moment being put in her coffin at the workhouse,but he did not know that. He rode straight to the races at Budmouth and stayed there all afternoon. But he was still thinking of Fanny,and he did not risk any money on the horses. Only on his way home did he suddenly realize that illness could have prevented her from meeting him,and only when he entered the farmhouse that evening did he discover that she was dead.


On Tuesday morning Troy got up and,without even thinking about Bathsheba,went straight to the churchyard to find the position of Fanny's grave. He continued on foot to Casterbridge to order the best gravestone available for twenty-seven pounds,which was all the money he had. Having ar-ranged for it to be put on the grave that afternoon,he returned to Weatherbury in the evening,with a basket of flowering plants. The new gravestone was already in place,and he worked solidly for several hours in the churchyard,putting the plants carefully into the soft earth of her grave. When it start- ed raining,however,he decided to spend the rest of the night in the shelter of the church,and finish his planting in the morning.


The rain that night was unusually heavy,and water began to pour from a broken pipe on the church roof straight on to Fanny's grave. As the earth there had only recently been dug,the grave became a kind of muddy pool. Soon the plants were floating on top of the grave,and then were washed away in the stream of water flowing through the churchyard.


When Troy woke up,stiff and still tired,he went out of the church to finish work on the grave. The rain had stopped,and the sun was shining through the red and gold autumn leaves. The air was warm and clear. As Troy walked along the path,he noticed it was very muddy,and covered with plants. Surely these could not be the ones he had planted?He turned the corner and saw the damage the heavy rain had done.


The new gravestone was stained with mud,and there was a shallow hole in the grave,where the water had poured in. Nearly all the plants had been washed out of the grave.


This strange accident had a worse effect on Troy than any of his troubles,worse even than Fanny's death. He had tried to show his love for her,knowing that he had failed to do so when she was alive. Planting the flowers was also a way of softening his feelings of sadness and guilt at her death. And now his work had been destroyed!He was too depressed to start work on the grave again. He left it as it was,and went silently out of the churchyard A minute later he had left the village.


Meanwhile Bathsheba had spent a day and a night as a willing prisoner in a small bedroom in her house. Except when Liddy brought her food or messages,she kept the bedroom door locked so that her husband could not come in Liddy knew there was trouble between husband and wife,but did not know the reason. On Wednesday morning she brought breakfast up to Bathsheba.


‘What heavy rain we had in the night,ma'am!’she said.


‘Yes,and there was a strange noise from the churchyard. ’


‘Gabriel thinks it was water from a broken pipe on the church roof,and he's gone there to see. Are you going to the churchyard,ma'am,to look at Fanny's grave?’


‘Did Mr Troy come in last night?’Bathsheba asked anxiously.


‘No,ma'am,he didn't. And Laban Tall says he saw Mr Troy walking out of the village towards Budmouth,’replied Liddy.


Budmouth,thirteen miles away!At once Bathsheba's heart felt lighter. ‘Yes,Liddy,I need some fresh air. I'll go to see Fanny's grave,’she said,and after breakfast she walked almost cheerfully to the churchyard.


She saw the hole in the grave and the expensive new grave-stone,but did not think it could be Fanny's. She looked round for a plain grave. Then she noticed Gabriel reading the words on the gravestone,and her eyes followed his:


This stone was put up by Francis Troy in loving memory


of Fanny Robin,who died on October 9,1866,aged 20


Gabriel looked anxiously at her to see if she was upset,but she remained calm. She asked him to fill in the hole,and have the broken water pipe repaired. Finally,to show she did not hate the woman who had caused her such bitterness,she replanted the flowers herself,and cleaned the muddy grave-stone,so that the words could be read clearly. Then she went home.


Troy,meanwhile,was walking towards the south. He could not decide what to do next. All he knew was that he had to get away from Weatherbury. At the top of a hill he saw the sea,stretching for miles in front of him. Now he felt more cheerful,and decided to swim. So he climbed down the cliffs,undressed on the beach and jumped into the sea. The water was so smooth that he swam confidently out to where it was very deep. Here he was surprised and a little frightened to find that he was being carried further out to sea. He suddenly remembered that the Budmouth coast was famous for the num-ber of swimmers drowned there every year,and he began to be afraid that he would soon be one of them. However strongly he swam,the sea pulled him further away from the coast,and he was already beginning to feel tired and breathless. Just then he saw a small boat moving out to sea,towards a ship. With his right arm he swam,and with his left he waved wildly,shouting as loudly as he could. The sailors saw him at once,and rowed over to rescue him.