And just as the shahin flew straight to the sun in answer, perhaps, to his master’s voice, she raised the spear and drove it through the corner of the tent into the sand, so as to let those who passed know that the owner was absent upon a long journey.
“But in the night of Death Hope
sees a star
and listening Love can hear the rustling of a
ROBERT G. INGERSOLL.
The south wind shouted with joy at the glory of the new day; the sky hung like a canopy of radiant colours, with little clouds of pink dropping like rose-leaves towards the sands which stretched, as a golden carpet, from east to west and north to south.
The south wind shouted far above Ben Kelham’s head, it chuckled like a laughing child at his elbow, and buffeted his sad face gently until it saw a ray of light spring up in the steady eyes; then it ran laughing away—you could hear it distinctly on all sides of you—like water singing in a barren place.
The sun is the lamp of the world, and night is its cloak; but the wind is the voice of its heart and you have only to listen to catch its message, and to watch even in the beat and burden of the day, to see the leaves move as its sweet breath touches them.
Take your burdens to the rock in the storm; take them to the depths of the pine forest, and open your heart to the wind.
You will learn many things before you reach home, and amongst them how to loosen the straps which gall your shoulders.
Big Ben Kelham walked slowly, with his eyes upon the faint track of little feet which had moved in a circle, and not once did he look behind, else would he have seen the smoke of the burning tents. He moved slowly, not because he feared or because he did not want to run, but because he knew, and wanted time in which to reason with himself, to decide if he had the right to take the joy which was waiting for him.
He stood for a moment with his hands in his pockets, the strong, silent, lovable man that he was, and shook himself just as a spaniel does when it comes out of the water. He had been nigh to drowning in the depths, and out of his pocket, to be lost for ever, had fallen the jewel of youth; but somehow he had managed to scramble to the bank and to pull himself out, and he made a step forward and swept the horizon to see if his journey was at an end; then hesitated—remembering.
He stood quite still and looked at a slender figure wrapt about in a mantle of gold which stood some distance off, with hands outstretched toward him and with beckoning finger. And the wind, with a laugh, lifted the veil from her face, and dropped it, and lifted it again, and swept the mantle so that it clung to the slender, supple figure, then spread it out behind like gleaming wings.
She put one finger to her mouth, and opened wide her eyes of knowledge shaded with the fringe of tears, which come from pain, and just as much from joy.