A Maid of the Silver Sea eBook

John Oxenham
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 244 pages of information about A Maid of the Silver Sea.

Another day, when he was coming down by the break in the cliff, where some great winter wave had bitten out such a slice that the top had come tumbling down, he saw the monster sunning itself on the flat rock by the side of its pool, like a huge nightmare spider.

The moment he appeared its great eyes settled on his as though it had been waiting only for him.  And when he stopped, with a feeling of shuddering discomfort at its hugeness—­for its body seemed considerably over a foot in width, while its arms lounging over the rocks were each at least six feet long, and looked horribly muscular—­he could have sworn that one of the great devil-eyes winked familiarly at him, as though the beast would say, “Come on, come on!  Nice day for a bathe!  Just waiting for you!”

He could see the loathsome body move as it breathed, swinging comfortably in the support of its arms.

In a fury of repulsion he stooped to pick up a rock, but when he hurled it the last tentacle was just sliding into the pool, and it seemed to him that it waved an ironical farewell before it disappeared.

More than once fishing-boats hovered about his rock, but kept a safe distance from the boiling underfalls, and he always lay in hiding till they had gone.

But he saw more gracious and beautiful things than these.

As he lay one morning, looking over the ridge at the Sark headlands shining in the sun—­with a strong west wind driving the waves so briskly that, Sark-like, they tossed their white crests into the air in angry expostulation long before they met the rocks, and went roaring up them in dazzling spouts of foam—­his eye lighted on a gleam of unusual colour on the racing green plain.  It came again and again, and presently, as the merry dance waxed wilder still, every white-cap as it tossed into the air became a tiny rainbow, and the whole green plain was alive with magical flutterings, of colours so dazzling that it seemed bestrewn with dancing diamonds.  A sight so wonderful that he found himself holding in his! breath lest a puff should drive it all away.

That same evening, too, was a glory of colour such as he had never dreamed of.  The setting sun was ruby; red, and the cloud-bank into which he sank was all rimmed with red fire that seemed to corruscate in its burning brilliancy.

To Gard indeed, in the somewhat peculiar state of mind induced by his sudden cutting-off from his kind and flinging back upon himself, it seemed as though the blood-red sun had fallen into a vast consuming fire behind that dark, fire-rimmed cloud, and that that was the end of it, and it would never rise again.

The sky, right away into the farthest east, was flaming red with a hint of underlying smoke below the glow.  The sea was a weltering bath of blood, and the cliffs of Sark, save for the gleam of white foam at their feet, shone as red as though they had just been bodily dipped in it.

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A Maid of the Silver Sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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