The day of the revelation announced itself as an ominous day even in the morning, for diverse rumblings sounded from Mount Sinai. Flashes of lightning, accompanied by an ever swelling peal of horns, moved the people with mighty fear and trembling. God bent the heavens, moved the earth, and shook the bounds of the world, so that the depths trembled, and the heavens grew frightened.
At the instant when the presumptuous weapon touched the holy stone the entire intervening space between the earth and the sky was filled with innumerable flashes of forked and many-tongued lightning, so that the island had the appearance of being the scene of a very extensive but somewhat badly-arranged display of costly fireworks.
'It was during one of these flashes of light that I distinctly saw Martin deliberately filling a large tin pan with sugar from one of the coolers. 'I called out to him to desist; but he never deigned to take the slightest notice of me.
The beach itself is a broad space of sand, brown and sparkling, with hardly any pebbles intermixed. Near the water's edge there is a wet margin, which glistens brightly in the sunshine, and reflects objects like a mirror; and as we tread along the glistening border, a dry spot flashes around each footstep, but grows moist again, as we lift our feet.
In the midst of these luminous sheets of water, I then glimpsed flashes of light, like those seen inside a blazing furnace from streams of molten lead or from masses of metal brought to a white heat flashes so intense that certain areas of the light became shadows by comparison, in a fiery setting from which every shadow should seemingly have been banished.
And the Paris which was thus awaking with the first flashes of the gas was already full of the gaiety of enjoyment, already yielding to an unbridled appetite for whatsoever may be purchased. However, Pierre had a narrow escape from being knocked down. A flock of newspaper hawkers came out of a side street, and darted through the crowd shouting the titles of the evening journals.
She was a whip-lash, a sting and a flame, an electric spark. Oh, believe me, at times there were flashes of will that scorched through her beauty and seduction and smote a victim into blank and shivering idiocy and fear. "And don't fail to mark, in the light of what is to come, that she was a prideful woman.
As flies gather upon a lump of sugar the famished animals now crowded and crushed and fought over the deer's body, and as they came thus together there sounded the quick sharp signal to fire from Mukoki. For five seconds the edge of the spruce was a blaze of death-dealing flashes, and the deafening reports of the two rifles and the big Colt drowned the cries and struggles of the animals.
"Let's fire a big gun, captain," said Bob; "that'll let 'em know we are all alive; and then send the boat. I'll be very careful, sir." The lieutenant hesitated as he watched the island through his glass, and could see the flashes of the pieces as they were fired. In a short time steam would be up, and the vessel could pass right round the island and engage the prahus, if there were any attacking.
Behind him the Past rolled away like a cloud vanishing, to be seen no more, before him arose the dim vista of wavering and uncertain shadows, which no matter how they shifted and changed, no matter how many flashes of sunshine flickered through them, were bound to close in the thick gloom of the inevitable end, Death.