The chickens for which Tess was responsible lived in an old cottage on Mrs d’Urberville's land．On her first day Tess had to take some of the chickens to show to their owner．She immediately realized the old lady was blind．Mrs d’Urberville held each bird and felt it carefully to see that it was in good health．At the end she suddenly asked Tess a question．
eg: A friend of mine bought a cottage last year.
‘Can you whistle？’
解析：whistle 可作名词意为口哨、汽笛；作动词意为吹口哨、鸣汽笛 文中的“whistle”是动词
eg: The boy whistled happily when he walked along.
‘Yes，whistle tunes．I want you to practise and whistle to my birds every day．’
eg: The violinist tuned the violin.
Tess was not surprised at Mrs d’Urberville's cold manner，and did not expect any more of such a great lady．However，she did not realize that the old lady had never even heard about the family connection．
解析：be surprised at 对……感到惊讶
eg: I am surprised at the news.
eg: His illness had some connection with his diet.