Heart-break Farm

From The Library at Hurtfew
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This little property lies somewhat close to the lands at Ashfair, and was at one time in the possession of a Mr Wyvern. During the period when Laurence Strange was master of the Ashfair estate he conceived a strong desire to own some land of Mr. Wyvern's in the valley, but the latter positively declined to sell. Now, Laurence Strange was a man whose whims were, in his own mind, as good as holy writ. He would not take Wyvern's refusal. First he hired villains to trespass on Mr Wyvern's property and destroy his crops, and later he introduced vexatious suits at law against him. Wyvern was so worn down by these misfortunes that when in or about the year 1803 he died, it was, according to his neighbours, as a consequence of such sustained harassment.

Whether Wyvern's farm was actually called 'Heart-break', or whether the name was a malicious invention of Laurence Strange's peculiar humour we cannot be sure: the response of Farmer Bullbridge on hearing Jeremy Johns' use the appellation suggests the latter. At any rate, by the time Johns reaches the place it is all over with Mr Wyvern, and his farmhouse stands a mere weed-grown ruin[14].