Then he went down the river to this smooth-faced whirlpool, and laid a curse on the sons of men who had taken his own from him." The twilight had deepened. The sun was lost in the cloudbank out of which a hot wind was sweeping eastward. Vic was telling the story well, and the magnetism of his voice was compelling. Elinor drew nearer to him. "What was the curse?
An hour or so later he lifted his eyes from the printed page at a distant boom of thunder. The advanced edge of a black cloudbank rolling swiftly up from the east was already dimming the brassy glare of the sun. He watched the swift oncoming of the storm. With astonishing rapidity the dark mass resolved itself into a gray, obscuring streak of rain riven by vivid flashes of lightning.
He blew through Welcome Pass at noon on the forefront of a rising gale, with the sun peeping furtively through cracks in a gathering cloudbank. As the wind freshened, the manes of the white horses curled higher and whiter. Thompson tied in his last reef in the lee of a point midway of the Pass.
"They are rich English from London," said I; for that was how we explained everything that was above our comprehension in the border counties. We stood for the best part of an hour watching the bonny craft, and then, as the sun was lying low on a cloudbank and there was a nip in the evening air, we turned back to West Inch.
"Dogs have strange senses!" quoth he. "Take the glass, Martin; your eyes are very keen; tell me if you see aught yonder in the mist against the cloudbank bearing about three points." Looking whither he directed, I made out a dim shape that loomed amid the mist. "You see it, Martin?"
He only knew that they were destructive. They were several miles from the city when he turned the projector on it, after twisting the power control up. To his amazement, he saw the entire city suddenly leap into the air and flash out into space, a howling meteor that vanished into the cloudbank overhead. Behind it was a deep hole in the planet's surface, a mighty chasm lined with dark granite.
Fifty men were pointing aloft now, all of them crying out as they pointed: "Flyer! French flyer !" I saw it. It was a monoplane. It had, I judged, just emerged from a cloudbank to the southward. It was heading directly toward our field.
Good-night." With another gentle squeeze of her hand he was gone. The day was done. The crimson sunset glow still hung over the whole world, touching the brown, parched hills with a rainbow of colors and reflecting itself in the cloudbank massed high in the eastern sky.
The sun, low in the west, was sinking behind a heavy cloudbank, which, to nautical eyes, portended fog at sea. A mariner, far out in the Channel, in a small boat, was shading his eyes with his hand and gazing towards the south-western horizon. The lad he was not more than eighteen was calculated to attract attention. He was of fine physique. His hair shone like burnished gold.
Everybody loved to have him around, too; he was sunshine most always I mean he made it seem like good weather. When he turned into a cloudbank it was awful dark for half a minute, and that was enough; there wouldn't nothing go wrong again for a week.