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‘Her folk come out of the ground here, neither chalk nor forest, but wildishers. They sailed over to America – I’ve got it all writ down by my uncle’s woman – in eighteen hundred an’ nothing. My uncle says they’re all slow-begetters like.’
‘Would they be gentry yonder now?’ Skim asked.
‘Nah – there’s no gentry in America, no matter how long you’re there. It’s against their law.’


This is from “An Habitation Enforced” in Actions and Reactions.

An American businessman, struck down by overwork, takes refuge with his wife in deep Sussex countryside. They find a beautiful old house, which they buy on an impulse, and find themselves slipping into the duties and habits of English country squires, settling down. But the locals already know that the wife has ancestral roots there.