I'm homesick, Jem; I want to smell the river again and walk in my own country."
"Go on, then; turn your back on me and start walking now.
You'll come to a road after ten miles or so that will take you to Bodmin, and from Bodmin to Truro, and from Truro to Helston.
Once in Helston you will find your friends and make a home with them until your farm is ready for you."
"You are very harsh today, and cruel."
"I'm harsh to my horses when they're obstinate and out of hand; but it doesn't mean I love them any the less."
"You've never loved anything in your life," said Mary.
"I haven't had much use for the word, that's why," he told her.
He went round to the back of the cart and kicked the stone away from the wheel.
"What are you doing?" said Mary.
"It's past noon already, and I ought to be on the road.
I've havered here long enough," he said. "If you were a man I'd ask you to come with me, and you'd fling your legs over the seat and stick your hands in your pockets and rub shoulders with me for as long as it pleased you."
"I'd do that now if you'd take me south," she said.
"Yes, but I'm bound north, and you're not a man, you're only a woman, as you'd know to your cost if you came with me.
Move off from the trace there, Mary, and don't twist the rein.
I'm going now.
He took her face in his hands and kissed it, and she saw that he was laughing.
"When you're an old maid in mittens down at Helford, you'll remember that," he said, "and it will have to last you to the end of your days.
'He stole horses,' you'll say to yourself, 'and he didn't care for women; and but for my pride I'd have been with him now.' "
He climbed into the cart and looked down upon her, flicking his whip and yawning.
I'll do fifty miles before tonight," he said, "and sleep like a puppy at the end of it, in a tent by the side of the road.
I'll kindle a fire and cook bacon for my supper.
Will you think of me or not?"
She did not listen, though; she stood with her face towards the south, hesitating and twisting her hands.
Beyond those hills the bleak moors turned to pasture, and the pasture to valleys and to streams.
The peace and quiet of Helford waited for her beside the running water.
"It's not pride," she told him; "you know that it's not pride; there's a sickness in my heart for home and all the things I've lost."
He said nothing, but drew the reins into his hands and whistled to the horse.
"Wait," said Mary, "wait, and hold him still, and give me your hand."
He laid the whip aside and reached down to her and swung her beside him on the driver's seat.
"What now?" he said. "And where do you want me to take you?
You have your back to Helford, do you know that?"
"Yes, I know," she said.
"If you come with me it will be a hard life, and a wild one at times, Mary, with no biding anywhere, and little rest and comfort.
Men are ill companions when the mood takes them, and I, God knows, the worst of them.
You'll get a poor exchange for your farm, and small prospect of the peace you crave."
"I'll take the risk, Jem, and chance your moods."
"Do you love me, Mary?"
"I believe so, Jem."
"Better than Helford?"
"I can't ever answer that."
"Why are you sitting here beside me, then?"
"Because I want to; because I must; because now and forever more this is where I belong to be," said Mary.
He laughed then and took her hand and gave her the reins; and she did not look back over her shoulder again, but set her face towards the Tamar.