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Jude the Obscure (Paperback)
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The schoolmaster was leaving the village, and everybody seemed sorry. The miller atCresscombe lent him the small white tilted cart and horse to carry his goods to the city ofhis destination, about twenty miles off, such a vehicle proving of quite sufficient size for thedeparting teacher's effects. For the schoolhouse had been partly furnished by themanagers, and the only cumbersome article possessed by the master, in addition to thepacking-case of books, was a cottage piano that he had bought at an auction during the yearin which he thought of learning instrumental music. But the enthusiasm having waned hehad never acquired any skill in playing, and the purchased article had been a perpetualtrouble to him ever since in moving house.The rector had gone away for the day, being a man who disliked the sight of changes. Hedid not mean to return till the evening, when the new school-teacher would have arrivedand settled in, and everything would be smooth again.The blacksmith, the farm bailiff, and the schoolmaster himself were standing inperplexed attitudes in the parlour before the instrument. The master had remarked thateven if he got it into the cart he should not know what to do with it on his arrival atChristminster, the city he was bound for, since he was only going into temporary lodgingsjust at first.A little boy of eleven, who had been thoughtfully assisting in the packing, joined thegroup of men, and as they rubbed their chins he spoke up, blushing at the sound of his ownvoice: "Aunt have got a great fuel-house, and it could be put there, perhaps, till you've founda place to settle in, sir.""A proper good notion," said the blacksmith.