The eighth chapter is exceedingly brief, and relates that Gibbons, the
amateur naturalist of the district, while lying out on the spacious
open downs without a soul within a couple of miles of him, as he
thought, and almost dozing, heard close to him the sound as of a man
coughing, sneezing, and then swearing savagely to himself; and looking,
beheld nothing. Yet the voice was indisputable. It continued to swear
with that breadth and variety that distinguishes the swearing of a
cultivated man. It grew to a climax, diminished again, and died away in
the distance, going as it seemed to him in the direction of Adderdean.
It lifted to a spasmodic sneeze and ended. Gibbons had heard nothing of
the morning’s occurrences, but the phenomenon was so striking and
disturbing that his philosophical tranquillity vanished; he got up
hastily, and hurried down the steepness of the hill towards the
village, as fast as he could go.
Come back tomorrow for CHAPTER IX: MR. THOMAS MARVEL