She thought how strange and lonesome it must be out at Thornwood with the lights all out and the windows nailed up. The little night things were singing in the garden by this time, and the cool breezes were beginning to stir the treetops. She wondered how Mike was getting along without her, and a lump rose in her throat. She swallowed resolutely, and smiled confidently up at the stars.
In a moment we were at the place, and I walked to one side while the seconds conferred together. The full moon had risen above the treetops and flooded the clearing with still radiance. The tall, coarse grass waved slowly to and fro in the faint breeze, and away off in the forest I heard a wolf howling. The note, long and clear, rose and quivered in the air, faint and far away.
Against this the hills and rugged treetops stood out redly dark.
At the bend of the Danube, vessels, an island, and a castle with a park surrounded by the waters of the confluence of the Enns and the Danube became visible, and the rocky left bank of the Danube covered with pine forests, with a mystic background of green treetops and bluish gorges.
Plaintive bird songs were heard from the treetops, and among them those of the mourning dove, whose solemn, funereal note sent shudders through the heart of the trembling fugitive. But all had gone successfully so far, and he actually began to cherish hope that he would escape detection. There still remained, however, the uneasy fear that Pepeeta herself had been a witness of the deed.
On another occasion, not long afterward, I was hurriedly loading my gun in the October woods in hopes of overtaking a gray squirrel that was fast escaping through the treetops, when one of these lilliput frogs, the color of the fast-yellowing leaves, leaped near me. I saw him only out of the corner of my eye and yet bagged him, because I had already made him my own.
The night was clear but cold, the ground frozen hard; a northwest wind roared in the pines along the highroad and bent the bare treetops on the mountain side. From time to time Octavius heard the woman beside him sigh heavily as from physical exhaustion. When, at last, he felt that she was shivering, he spoke: "Are you cold, Aurora? I've got something extra under the seat."
The western sky was touched with a soft rose-color, which quickly became a warm glow, fluctuated, and, in the instant, shot up like the coming of a full Aurora. Then through the broken foliage of the treetops could be seen the orange curls of flames, three-quarters of a mile away though they were. People, calling loudly that "it was Carewe's warehouses," were running down the street.
I give her a turn with the paddle and brung her nose to shore; then I got my gun and slipped out and into the edge of the woods. I sat down there on a log, and looked out through the leaves. I see the moon go off watch, and the darkness begin to blanket the river. But in a little while I see a pale streak over the treetops, and knowed the day was coming.
And so it came that one night, finding the door of his stable unlocked, he ran out into the open world a free man. A soft wind breathed at large, and swung slowly in the black-silver treetops. Over them Little Toonie could see the quiet slopes of Drundle Head, asleep in the moonlight. Before long, following the lead of his eyes, he had come to the bottom of the ascent.