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Nedra eBook

George Barr McCutcheon
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Nedra.

She still sat upon the rock and he hurried toward her.  As on his first approach, she did not move.  When he drew quite close, he discovered that she was lying limply back against the supporting boulder.  The fear that she was dead and that he was left alone almost struck him to the ground.  He reached her side, pale and panting, and then breathed a prayer of rejoicing.

Lady Tennys, her dark lashes resting tranquilly upon her cheek, was lying easily against the staunch old rock, fast asleep.

Chapter XVIII

THE WONDERFUL LAND

He did not arouse her at once, but sat below her, looking at her sweet, tired face, peaceful in the slumber that had been so long in coming, wondering what her dreams could be.  Far down the shore, near the tree under which he had found himself and to whose shelter she had dragged him,—­something told him vaguely,—­was the spar that had ridden the waves with them the night before.  Long, white and gleaming it lay in the waning sunlight.  The sight of it filled him with an enthusiasm he never had known before.  His heart swelled with homage to the strong, sturdy piece of timber.  It was like a living object to him now, a friend to whom he felt like talking, to whom he could turn for proof positive of an unparalleled experience on the deep.

His eyes grew sad and gloomy as he turned toward the setting king of day.  In his imagination, the Tempest Queen, with all on board, went down precisely at the point chosen by the sun for his disappearance.

Night coming!  Where were they?  Upon an unknown shore, Heaven alone knowing how far from habitation, from all shelter save the tree-tops, from all means of sustenance.  Night coming!  Behind them the mysterious jungle, before them the devil-brewed ocean.

A chilly perspiration broke out over him; a fear even worse than that of the night before attacked him.  How far were they from human habitation?  What manner of people dwelt in this land?  As these thoughts tumbled about in his brain, suddenly came the implacable desire for water.  It seemed days since he had tasted it.  Like a flash, nature began its demands, and he was almost overcome by the prospect of night on the rocks with no possible hope to find the food and water now so necessary.

Lady Tennys slept on, untouched by the calamities that beset him, her breast rising full and regularly.  As he looked upon her lovely face the spirit of chivalry returned.  She had thought of him in his unconsciousness and she had been brave and true.  Bound by a new determination to find food and water for her and to provide other shelter than the draughty crannies among the rocks, he painfully started up the slope toward the edge of the forest.  Soon he stood upon the broad, smooth plateau, looking into the green, sunless depths.

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