it's been a few days - sorry if things below came out as a glitch. I think Stewart was right about how it happened, and thanks, m. for the remedy.
Hi leyla, I think we agree about the centrality of both Arthur's and Jake's behaviour in this part of the book, and I certainly agree with your comment (spoilered) about Jake. I was focusing more on Arthur's feelings for a moment; I didn't think that the observaton "Arthur, who has somehow managed to marry the local beauty" was adequte to the intensity of Arthur's love and his desire to save Laura's reputation, especially when Laura discovers she's pregnant.
I was just reacting to
Isn't it interesting that the "lumpen" Arthur in this book has the name of the Camelot king. The northern Ontario version defends and helps his community esp. during WW II, comes to know when an enemy is really not a willing enemy, (the young German POW boys who come to work on the farm,) defends the lady of the story, and is involved from the beginning of the book with a contests involving a knife (cf. sword).
I'm not suggesting that Arthur is altogether like Malory's idealist of the Round Table. But they both are haunted by the fear that the woman of their life may not be faithful. In Lawson's story the fear is not put to rest until Ian -the envious tale-bearer as a young man - is the doctor who can finally reassure Arthur that Laura has been a happy, loving wife.
Glad you liked the book too, leyla. So much to ponder - the meaning of the title, the ways and needs of farm folk vs. town folk, and very marginally the presence of Pete and his native peoples family. I thought it was a novel rich in both insight and technique.