Here and there on the walls of the staircase, were reflected gigantic shadows, which trembled in the flickering light of the pine-torches till they seemed to reach to the vaulted roof above. "'Quick! said a voice at the end of the gallery.
The opposite corner holds the pine-torches and chips; they burn nothing but wood, for though coal is known, it is very little used. This is partly because it is expensive; but also because it is considered shockingly unhealthy. The smoke from wood or turf is thought very wholesome; but that from coal is just the reverse.
What she saw then, she says she shall never forget; nor I! As she was a living woman, there she saw the two dead princes, the Prince Palatine of Bohemia and the Elector of Bavaria, standing front to front at the foot of the bed, all in white armour, with drawn swords, and attendants holding pine-torches. Neither of them spoke.
And when he was come to the gates of his palace he cried, "How shall I enter thee? how shall I dwell in thee? Once I came within thy gates with many pine-torches from Pelion, and the merry noise of the marriage song, holding in my hand the hand of her that is dead; and after us followed a troop that magnified her and me, so noble a pair we were.
Then, because I next conceived it a foreign kind of place, different altogether from that home growth of ours, the Tower of London, I topped it with a multitude of domes of pumpkin or turban shape, resembling the Kremlin of Moscow, which had once leapt up in the eye of Winter, glowing like a million pine-torches, and flung shadows of stretching red horses on the black smoke-drift.
About ten o'clock we saw a light in the distance, and with much shouting woke up the inhabitants of the cottage whence it proceeded, promising to reward them liberally if they would only show us our way back. Three of them consented to do this, and provided themselves accordingly with pine-torches, wrapped round with bracken and leaves.
They had oil, and employed it for various purposes, but had no notion of using it or wax for burning. They lighted their houses with pine-torches; and in fact the Aztec name for a pine-torch ocotl was transferred to candles when they were introduced.
We waited therefore until dark, when, the main body being encamped, with sentries on the watch, my father, Tim, and I, with four of our best shots, proceeded to the edge of the hummock. We were, each of us, supplied with pine-torches secured to sticks which could be run into the ground.
Just think how they sat in the dark in the farms and cottages with pine-torches in the fireplace to cut and spin by; and there lay the lads the whole long winter through, and idled and yawned in their beds from three or four in the afternoon until they had to go out with a lantern and see to the horses for the night. But paraffine has got them out of their beds.
Now the tramp of footsteps could be heard, and clearer and thicker the grating and booming of voices, until suddenly, far up the pike, a black moving mass, with glitter and shout, swept into view. They came headlong, guided by pine-torches, which threw their white and haggard faces into wild distortion.