Something blithe and enchanting about this description of the man she loves, before she realises that he loves her.  He is resilient, upstanding, independent, kind, and merry.  She loves him from the get-go, as he does her, though her belief in that takes some time. 

And I could hear him laughing in the wood.  

And here is how she views love.

Source: Mary Webb, Precious Bane (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981), p. 186

Photo credit: jplenio at pixabay

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