The Call of the North eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about The Call of the North.

Virginia leaned against the railing and looked upon it all.  Her heart was big with emotions, many of which she could not name; her eyes were full of tears.  Something had changed in her since yesterday, but she did not know what it was.  The faint wise stars, the pale moon just sinking, the gentle south breeze could have told her, for they are old, old in the world’s affairs.  Occasionally a flash more than ordinarily brilliant would glint one of the bronze guns beneath the flag-staff.  Then Virginia’s heart would glint too.  She imagined the reflection startled her.

She stretched her arms out to the night, embracing its glories, sighing in sympathy with its meaning, which she did not know.  She felt the desire of restlessness; yet she could not bear to go.  But no thought of the stranger touched her, for you see as yet she did not understand.

Then, quite naturally, she heard his voice in the darkness close to her knee.  It seemed inevitable that he should be there; part of the restless, glorious night, part of her mood.  She gave no start of surprise, but half closed her eyes and leaned her fair head against a pillar of the veranda.  He sang in a sweet undertone an old chanson of voyage.

  “Par derrier ches man pere,
  Vole, mon coeur, vole! 
  Par derrier’ chez mon pere
  Li-ya-t-un, pommier doux.”

“Ah lady, lady mine,” broke in the voice softly, “the night too is sweet, soft as thine eyes.  Will you not greet me?”

The girl made no sign.  After a moment the song went on,

  “Trois filles d’un prince,
  Vole, mon coeur, vole! 
  Trois filles d’un prince
  Sont endormies dessous.”

“Will not the princess leave her sisters of dreams?” whispered the voice, fantastically, “Will she not come?”

Virginia shivered, and half-opened her eyes, but did not stir.  It seemed that the darkness sighed, then became musical again.

  “La plus jeun’ se reveille,
  Vole, mon coeur, vole! 
  La plus jeun’ se reveille
  —­Ma Soeur, voila le jour!

The song broke this time without a word of pleading.  The girl opened her eyes wide and stared breathlessly straight before her at the singer.

“—­Non, ce n’est qu’une etoile, Vole, mon coeur, vole!  Non, ce n’est qu’une etoile Qu’ eclaire nos amours!”

The last word rolled out through its passionate throat tones and died into silence.

“Come!” repeated the man again, this time almost in the accents of command.

She turned slowly and went to him, her eyes childlike and frightened, her lips wide, her face pale.  When she stood face to face with him she swayed and almost fell.

“What do you want with me?” she faltered, with a little sob.

The man looked at her keenly, laughed, and exclaimed in an every-day, matter-of-fact voice: 

“Why, I really believe my song frightened you.  It is only a boating song.  Come, let us go and sit on the gun-carriages and talk.”

Project Gutenberg
The Call of the North from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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