Florent was suffering keenly. He fancied that all this was some supernatural temptation, and, unwilling to look at the markets any longer, turned towards Saint Eustache, a side view of which he obtained from the spot where he now stood. With its roses, and broad arched windows, its bell-turret, and roofs of slate, it looked as though painted in sepia against the blue of the sky.
At this moment a voice cried from the street: "Inspector, they are escaping over the roofs." It was Simon, the worthy steward of the Marquis of Fougereuse, who assisted the police to-day. He had stationed himself, with several officers, in front of the house, and had noticed two shadows gliding over the roofs. "Forward, men," cried the inspector. "We must catch them, dead or alive."
As they walked home, the boy, holding the Sicilian by his robe and Benvenuto by his mantle, told them that he still saw giants leaping with fantastic gestures on their path, now running along the house roofs, and now dancing on the earth. Each one of them that night dreamed in his bed of devils. The interest of this incident is almost wholly picturesque.
Up by five o'clock; and, blessed be God! find all well, and by water to Paul's Wharfe. Walked thence, and saw, all the towne burned, and a miserable sight of Paul's church; with all the roofs fallen, and the body of the quire fallen into St. Fayth's; Paul's school also, Ludgate, and Fleet-street, my father's house, and the church, and a good part of the Temple the like.
According to the old regulations, they were without roofs, but as many deaths and much sickness had occurred among the workmen in consequence of the cold nights, they had been slightly sheltered with palm-branches brought from the oasis of the Alnalckites, at no great distance.
I confess that such isolated life, which is found here and there in small towns, under a thousand unknown roofs, had always had on me the effect of stagnant pools of water; the air does not seem respirable: in everything on earth that is forgotten, there is something of death. On Madame Pierson's table were some papers and new books; they appeared as if they had not been more than touched.
The colonel never dreamed of the comfort his words gave Alice, or how they changed her feelings with regard to one whom she had so dreaded to meet. "There 'tis; we're almost there," the colonel said at last, as they turned off from the highway, and leaning forward Alice caught sight of the roofs and dilapidated chimneys of Spring Bank.
There stands his bust; but the remembrance of himself, his home, his own little garden where is it most vivid? Lead us thither. On yonder side of Fyri's rivulet, where the street forms a declivity, where red-painted, wooden houses boast their living grass roofs, as fresh as if they were planted terraces, lies Linnaeus's garden. We stand within it. How solitary! how overgrown!
The English church, we afterwards heard, was first fired, then the Roman Catholic chapel, our mess-house, and nineteen other bungalows. The sepoys, mostly of the 45th Native Infantry, attended by dozens of badmashes, marched unchallenged through the station with lighted torches fixed on long bamboo poles, with which they set fire to the thatched roofs of the various houses.
But even in that hour of the papacy's passing triumph he already felt that the giant of gold and marble on which he stood was oscillating, even as totter all old and rotten societies. At last he took his way down again, and a fresh shock of emotion came to him as he reached the roofs, that sunlit expanse of lead and zinc, large enough for the site of a town.