Chapter 2 Godfrey and Dunstan Cass(2)
‘Where can I get the money from?’ cried Godfrey. ‘I tell you, I haven't got any!’
‘You could borrow it.’ said Dunstan carelessly. ‘Or wait- I’ve had a better idea. You could sell your horse.’
‘Sell Wildfire! You know how much I love that horse!’
‘Well, you could ride him to the hunt tomorrow. I know two or three men who'd be interested in buying him and they’ll be at the hunt, I’m sure. It’d be easy.’
‘No, I haven’t got time to go hunting tomorrow. I-I'm going to Mrs Osgood's birthday dance.’
‘Aha!’ said Dunstan, laughing. ‘And perhaps you'II see sweet Miss Nancy there-and you'll dance with her - and you'll talk of love....’
‘Be quiet!’shouted Godfrey, his face turning red. ‘Don’t speak of Miss Nancy like that, or I’ll kill you!’
‘Don't get so angry, brother,’ answered Dunstan calmly. ‘You've got a very good chance with her. In fact, I advise you to be nice to her. You and I know that Molly’s started drinking. Well, if she drinks too much one day and dies, then you could marry Nancy. She wouldn’t mind being a second wife. if she didn't know there was a first. And luckily you've got a kind brother who’ll keep your secret well.’
Godfrey's face was white now, and he was trembling. ‘Look, Dunstan, I've nearly had enough of this. You can push a man too far, you know. Perhaps I'll go to the Squire now and confess everything to him. He’ll discover the truth one day, because Molly says she'll come and tell him. She wants everyone to know we’re married. When the Squire knows the truth, you won't get any more money from me!’
Dunstan replied lightly, ‘Do what you like, brother.’
Godfrey hesitated. He knew he had fallen into Dunstan’s trap, when he made the mistake of marrying Molly. It was Dunstan who had introduced his brother to Molly, hoping that Godfrey would fall in love and marry her. Dunstan was clearly delighted that his evil plan had succeeded. Godfrey was now in a difficult situation. He no longer loved his young wife, and could not stop thinking of Nancy Lammeter. He felt sure that with Nancy as his wife he would not need to have secrets, and could be open and honest with everybody. But for the moment he had to give Dunstan whatever he wanted, keep Molly happy, and lie to his father and his friends. If he told his father the truth, the situation would become impossible. The Squire would disinherit him and he would be just a poor working man for the rest of his life. And far worse than that, he would lose any hope of marrying Nancy. No! He could not accept that. He would find the money for Dunstan, and wait for the situation to get better. Living with fear in his heart, the fear of being discovered, was better than living without Nancy's love.
He turned to Dunstan. 'It's just like you to talk of selling Wildfire - the best horse I've ever had.’
‘Let me sell him for you - you know I'm good at buying and selling. I can ride him to the hunt for you tomorrow, and bring you back the money. But you must decide. You lent me that money, and you’ll have to pay it back to the Squire. So it's your problem, not mine!’
Godfrey thought for a moment. ‘All right,’ he said. ‘But make sure you bring me back all the money, Dunstan!’
The next morning, as Dunstan was riding Wildfire out of Raveloe, he passed the old quarry. All the stone had been taken out of it and it was no longer used; now all that was left was a deep hole full of reddish water. Opposite the quarry was Silas Marner's cottage. Dunstan suddenly had an idea. ‘Everybody in Raveloe talks of the weaver’s money - he must have a lot hidden away in that cottage! Why doesn't Godfrey borrow some money from him, and pay him back when he becomes the Squire?’ He wondered whether to go back to the Red House at once, to tell Godfrey about this wonderful idea of his, but he did not want to miss the hunt, so he decided to continue on his way.