After half an hour Christophe began to talk to himself, and in a low voice cried out with pleasure in the delicious scent brought by the soft wind that came from a cart of strawberries. Sabine said a word or two in reply. Again they were silent. They were enjoying the charm of these indefinite silences, and trivial words.
Every now and then a star shot across the sky. The red rim of the moon rose a little higher from behind the mountains. The bush stillness, always the most mysterious of silences, seemed gradually to become charged with unvoiced passion. Soon the animals began to call around them, creeping nearer and nearer to the fire which burned at the end of the open space.
But they follow male precedents, dropping trivialities as soon as womankind is out of hearing, and preserve a discreet silence two discreet silences about their respective recencies. They depart to their rooms, Adrian risking his credit for a limited vision by committing himself to Mr. Pellew's arm and a banister.
And the next verse reiterates the prophecies of the moving waters: Like the march of doom Came those great powers of marching silences; Then fog came down, dead-cold, and hid the seas.
I was at home again, back in the plantation among my beloved birds, glad to escape from the noisy dusty city into the sweet green silences, with the great green plain glittering with the false water of the mirage spreading around our shady oasis, and the fact that war, which for the short period of my own little life and for many long years before I was born, had not visited our province, thanks to Rosas the Tyrant, the man of blood and iron, had now come to us did not make the sunshine less sweet and pleasant to behold.
Here in this book the mind turns from itself and its rest, when it has satisfied its first delight in creating the home, the setting, the scenery, so to speak, of the drama; turns to the men and women who cross the stage, surveys their gestures and glances, interprets their movements and silences; and then winds out into the further distance, the towns, the buildings, the roads, that stand for the designs and desires of pilgrims that have passed into the unknown country, leaving their provender for later hands to use.
In the afternoon Jeannette and J.W. took a ride around the neighborhood, whose every tree and culvert and rural mail-box they knew, without in the least being tired of seeing it. Their talk was on an old, old subject, and not remarkable, yet somehow it was more to them both than any poet's rhapsody. And their occasional silences were no less eloquent.
The cups were still there on the table, but turned upside down; and nothing was left for the companions but to confirm by placid silences the fact that the wine had been good. They had parted, positively, as if, on either side, primed with it primed for whatever was to be; and everything between them, as the month waned, added its touch of truth to this similitude.
Engrossed with sensual joys, they have neglected guard; and, in the midst of their festivities, they are suddenly set upon from all sides; the sharp cracking of rifles, with the quick detonation of repeating pistols, soon silences their cacchinations, scattering them like chaff. After the first fusillade, there is but little left of them.
It was that same day, toward evening, that Christopher broke one of his long silences, reverting to a subject always near to them both. "Mother, you've never told me where it is on the map, I mean." She was looking the other way. She did not turn around. "I Chris I I haven't a map in the house." He did not press the matter.