Certainly Barnes had reason to lament the coincidence which brought players and lecturer into town at the same time, especially as the latter was heralded under the auspices of the Band of Hope. The temperance lectures and a heavy rain combined to the undoing of the strollers. Majestically the dark clouds rolled up, outspread like a pall, and the land lay beneath the ban of a persistent downpour.
When he came to his pack, he paused long over the squat moose-hide sack, but in the end it went with him. The snow had melted under the rain, and only the hilltops showed white. The sun came out, and he succeeded in locating the points of the compass, though he knew now that he was lost. Perhaps, in his previous days' wanderings, he had edged away too far to the left.
"I remember a boy and girl who once used to go hand in hand over yonder shore, and " He stopped suddenly, and then hastily added, "and now it would be very sad, and therefore very absurd, in one of them to bring up old memories." Mrs. Thornton suddenly rose, and, walking to the window, looked out. "I wonder if it will rain to-day!" she said, in a sweet voice, full of a tremulous melancholy.
This was especially the case when they left the grassy and flowery prairie and entered upon an arid plain, on which for months of the year no drop of rain or dew fell, while the whitened bones of men and beasts told of former havoc of starvation and drouth. The heated surface was in places incrusted with alkaline earth worn into ash-like dust, or paved with pebbles blistering hot to the feet.
This went on for hours and hours. Paris was slowly waning on the horizon, like some phantom city; heaven and earth mingled together in an indistinguishable jumble; and still and ever with unflagging persistency did the grey rain fall. Night had long gathered in when Helene returned. From her umbrella the water dripped on step after step, whilst clinging to the balusters she ascended the staircase.
We may, perhaps, explain the complete absence from Chaldæa of a system of construction that was so universal in Egypt by the differences of climate and of the materials used. Doubtless it rains less in Mesopotamia than even in Italy or Greece. But rain is not, as in Upper Egypt, an almost unknown phenomenon.
A thunderbolt fell, shivering one of the neighbouring trees, as though with the stroke of a giant axe, amidst a great crash of twisted and broken branches. Pierre had rushed after Madame Vincent, eager to guide and help her. But he was unable to follow her, for he at once lost sight of her behind the blurring curtain of rain.
The morning remained squally, and the streets were miserably muddy, but no rain fell as they walked towards the Iron Bridge. The little creature seemed so young in his eyes, that there were moments when he found himself thinking of her, if not speaking to her, as if she were a child. Perhaps he seemed as old in her eyes as she seemed young in his.
He leaned with his elbow on the table; he moved as if his position were uncomfortable; he got up, went to the window, looked out, came back, resumed his seat and after looking at the floor for a few moments said that he thought that it must be going to rain. "Perhaps so," I replied, "but that's not what you wanted to say." He gave me a sharp glance, looked down and then asked: "How do you know?"
But Antilochus noted a narrow gully, where the rain had collected and had carried away a part of the course. There Menelaus was driving, when Antilochus turned his horses out of the way, and followed him at one side.