Inn of Tranquillity eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 63 pages of information about Inn of Tranquillity.
And the mist darkened.  The mare reached her head down and walked on, smelling at the heather; every time she sniffed, one’s heart quivered, hoping she had found the way.  She threw up her head, snorted, and stood still; and there passed just in front of us a pony and her foal, shapes of scampering dusk, whisked like blurred shadows across a sheet.  Hoof-silent in the long heather—­as ever were visiting ghosts—­they were gone in a flash.  The mare plunged forward, following.  But, in the feel of her gallop, and the feel of my heart, there was no more that ecstasy of facing the unknown; there was only the cold, hasty dread of loneliness.  Far asunder as the poles were those two sensations, evoked by this same motion.  The mare swerved violently and stopped.  There, passing within three yards, from the same direction as before, the soundless shapes of the pony and her foal flew by again, more intangible, less dusky now against the darker screen.  Were we, then, to be haunted by those bewildering uncanny ones, flitting past ever from the same direction?  This time the mare did not follow, but stood still; knowing as well as I that direction was quite lost.  Soon, with a whimper, she picked her way on again, smelling at the heather.  And the mist darkened!

Then, out of the heart of that dusky whiteness, came a tiny sound; we stood, not breathing, turning our heads.  I could see the mare’s eye fixed and straining at the vapour.  The tiny sound grew till it became the muttering of wheels.  The mare dashed forward.  The muttering ceased untimely; but she did not stop; turning abruptly to the left, she slid, scrambled, and dropped into a trot.  The mist seemed whiter below us; we were on the road.  And involuntarily there came from me a sound, not quite a shout, not quite an oath.  I saw the mare’s eye turn back, faintly derisive, as who should say:  Alone I did it!  Then slowly, comfortably, a little ashamed, we jogged on, in the mood of men and horses when danger is over.  So pleasant it seemed now, in one short half-hour, to have passed through the circle-swing of the emotions, from the ecstasy of hot recklessness to the clutching of chill fear.  But the meeting-point of those two sensations we had left out there on the mysterious moor!  Why, at one moment, had we thought it finer than anything on earth to risk the breaking of our necks; and the next, shuddered at being lost in the darkening mist with winter night fast coming on?

And very luxuriously we turned once more into the lanes, enjoying the past, scenting the future.  Close to home, the first little eddy of wind stirred, and the song of dripping twigs began; an owl hooted, honey-soft, in the fog.  We came on two farm hands mending the lane at the turn of the avenue, and, curled on the top of the bank, their cosy red collie pup, waiting for them to finish work for the day.  He raised his sharp nose and looked at us dewily.  We turned down, padding softly in the wet fox-red drifts under the beechtrees, whereon the last leaves still flickered out in the darkening whiteness, that now seemed so little eerie.  We passed the grey-green skeleton of the farm-yard gate.  A hen ran across us, clucking, into the dusk.  The maze drew her long, home-coming snuffle, and stood still. 1910.

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Inn of Tranquillity from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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