And when the tenth chime of the distant village clock is floating on the breeze, though it reaches not your cabin when the falling dew, now almost a shower, has bathed the leaves, with rain chilling their fibres when the bluebells and the foxgloves and all the wood-flowers rest upon their stems when the songsters of the grove, with heads comfortably tucked under their warm wings, sleep soundly in their nests, or in the angles of the branches when the young fawns, lost in some wild ravine, bleat for their mothers whom they never will see more; and the gorged wolves, their muzzles red with blood, are stretched snoring in their dens and lurking-places then it is the heavy boars, shaking off their laziness, leave their sombre retreats take to the open country, and trotting, grunting, and with hesitating footsteps, come and plunge their awkward and heavy bodies in the marshy waters, and wallow in the soft mud.
But she would not confess the failure of her expectations even to herself, and as Beatrice was evidently looking for some expressions of admiration, she said the road must be very pretty in summer. "Especially when this bank is one forest of foxgloves," said Queen Bee. "Only think!
Anyone with the real gardening instinct appears to have no difficulty in distinguishing between weeds and otherwise, even on their first appearance in shape of a microscopic green shoot; but flowers are not weeds, and Mary had a good deal of trouble to distinguish between the self-planted growths of nasturtiums, foxgloves, marigolds, forget-me-nots, and other flowers, and the more prosaic but useful carrots and spring onions which Mary had introduced.
The ground opens, and there springs up, on all sides, a veritable sea of vivid, variegated colour, scarlet, pink, and white geraniums; red, white and yellow roses; golden honeysuckle; bright-hued marigolds; purple pansies; pale forget-me-nots; wallflowers; sweet peas; many-tinted azaleas; showy hydrangeas; giant rhododendrons; foxgloves, buttercups, daisies, hollyhocks, and heliotropes; a floral host too varied to enumerate.
It was the same with Norman, and bashfulness making a sudden prey of both on they went under its dominion, in a condition partaking equally of discomfort and felicity; dreading the sound of their own voices, afraid of each other's faces, feeling they were treating each other very strangely and ungratefully, yet without an idea what to say next, or the power of speaking first; and therefore pacing onwards, looking gravely straight along the path, as if to prevent the rabbits and foxgloves from guessing that anything had been passing between them.
He was pulling some of her cherished foxgloves through the picket fence, and eagerly devouring their flowery stalks. "How well you rache through an honest fince, you black pirate!" she shouted; but finding that harsh words had no effect, she took a convenient broom, and advanced to strike a gallant blow upon the creature's back.
"Wisha, the poor thing is mad at me yet, I know that from the sounds of her iron; 't was a shame for her to go picking a quarrel with the likes of me," and Mrs. Dunleavy sighed heavily and stepped down into her flower-plot to pull the distressed foxgloves back into their places inside the fence.
It was a country of green valleys unfolding to the ocean, and of small farms fertile enough when they were sheltered from the prevailing wind; but on the southern confines of the parish the soil became shallow and stony, the arable fields degenerated into a rough open pasturage full of gorse and foxgloves and gradually widening patches of heather, until finally the level monochrome of the Rhos absorbed the last vestiges of cultivation, and the parish came to an end.
One of them, over which she lingered, was of a charming, old-fashioned garden spattered with sunlight, and shut out from the world by a high brick wall. Behind the wall, again, were the dense masses of the trees, and at the end of a path between nodding foxgloves and Canterbury bells, in a curved recess, a stone seat. She turned her face. His was at her shoulder.
There was only one pair of eyes in the whole world that tried that night to trace in the air the shape of a drowned house. There was only one shadow by the quarry for the moon to cast upon the thyme. There was no voice but the voice of the sea. No passing but the peaceful passing of the lambs disturbed the thistles and the foxgloves.