The villagers of Shottermill heard the wild clatter of hoofs, but ere they could swing the ox-hide curtains of their cottage doors horse and rider were lost amid the high bracken of the Haslemere Valley. On he went, and on, tossing the miles behind his flying hoofs. No marsh-land could clog him, no hill could hold him back.
Twenty miles over a narrow road winding among the hills brought us to Shottermill, where George Eliot spent much of her time after 1871 a pleasant little hamlet clinging to a steep hillside. The main street of the village runs up the hill from a clear little unbridged stream, over whose pebbly bottom our car dashed unimpeded, throwing a spray of water to either side.