Spring had advanced until the prairies were swarded with grass and flowers, while water, though scarcer, was to be had at least once daily. We passed to the west of San Antonio an outfitting point which all herds touched in passing northward and Flood and our cook took the wagon and went in for supplies.
The white-painted, red-roofed dwelling, with its green-latticed shutters, tasteful scroll work and ample, if indifferently swarded, lawns, was pleasant to look upon, but Thurston found more pleasure in the sight of its young mistress, who awaited him in a great cool room that was hung with deer-head trophies and floored with parquetry of native timber.
And the intricate ground-plan of the district must be long studied before you can always feel sure whether the low-shelving swarded edges by which you are walking frame salt or fresh water. Mick was bound eventually for one of those ravines which cleave the cliffs' precipitous wall and give access to the shore, generally by a deep-sunken sandy boreen.
The valley looked even lovelier by morning; and soon the road descended to the level of the river. Here, in a place where many straight and prosperous chestnuts stood together, making an aisle upon a swarded terrace, I made my morning toilette in the water of the Tarn.
Hence she called loudly upon her uncle, and he was seen to issue, lantern in hand, from the tower door, and, where the ruins did not intervene, to pick his way over the swarded courtyard, avoiding treacherous cellars and winding among blocks of fallen masonry.
What we looked down upon was not inaptly pictured out by Ephraim Yeates's Scripture phrase, the abomination of desolation. Every vestige of the camp save the glowing skeletons of the troop shelters had disappeared, and the swarded savanna was become a blackened chaos-blot on the fair woodland scene.
Then, with less than his usual judgment, he put his two chariot horses to the plough, and ran a great risk of spoiling them, in giving his new invention a trial over ground thickly swarded.
At the distance of a few miles from Samarah stood a high mountain, whose sides were swarded with wild thyme and basil, and its summit overspread with so delightful a plain, that it might be taken for the paradise destined for the faithful.
High overhead, the tall trees made a continuous roof of foliage. It was a pillared grove, as high as a cathedral, and except for the hollies among which the lads were struggling, open and smoothly swarded. On the other side, pushing through the last fringe of evergreen, they blundered forth again into the open twilight of the grove. "Stand!" cried a voice.
Close adjoining, if you are in the south, an olive-yard, if in the north, a swarded apple-orchard reaching to the stream, completes your miniature domain; but this is perhaps best entered through a door in the high fruit-wall; so that you close the door behind you on your sunny plots, your hedges and evergreen jungle, when you go down to watch the apples falling in the pool.