Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 6,432 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.

Rumble!  Rumble!  Quiver!  Quiver!  And all else so still, so sweet and still, and starry, up there through the leaves....  ‘I can’t bear it!’ she thought.  She pressed her lips, which the sun had warmed all day, against the satiny smooth bark.  But the little tree stood within her arms insentient, quivering only to the long rumbles.  With each of those dull mutterings, life and love were going out, like the flames of candles on a Christmas-tree, blown, one by one.  To her eyes, accustomed by now to the darkness in there, the wood seemed slowly to be gathering a sort of life, as though it were a great thing watching her; a great thing with hundreds of limbs and eyes, and the power of breathing.  The little tree, which had seemed so individual and friendly, ceased to be a comfort and became a part of the whole living wood, absorbed in itself, and coldly watching her, this intruder of the mischievous breed, the fatal breed which loosed those rumblings on the earth.  Noel unlocked her arms, and recoiled.  A bough scraped her neck, some leaves flew against her eyes; she stepped aside, tripped over a root, and fell.  A bough had hit her too, and she lay a little dazed, quivering at such dark unfriendliness.  She held her hands up to her face for the mere pleasure of seeing something a little less dark; it was childish, and absurd, but she was frightened.  The wood seemed to have so many eyes, so many arms, and all unfriendly; it seemed waiting to give her other blows, other falls, and to guard her within its darkness until—!  She got up, moved a few steps, and stood still, she had forgotten from where she had come in.  And afraid of moving deeper into the unfriendly wood, she turned slowly round, trying to tell which way to go.  It was all just one dark watching thing, of limbs on the ground and in the air.  ‘Any way,’ she thought; ‘any way of course will take me out!’ And she groped forward, keeping her hands up to guard her face.  It was silly, but she could not help the sinking, scattered feeling which comes to one bushed, or lost in a fog.  If the wood had not been so dark, so,—­alive!  And for a second she had the senseless, terrifying thought of a child:  ‘What if I never get out!’ Then she laughed at it, and stood still again, listening.  There was no sound to guide her, no sound at all except that faint dull rumble, which seemed to come from every side, now.  And the trees watched her.  ‘Ugh!’ she thought; ‘I hate this wood!’ She saw it now, its snaky branches, its darkness, and great forms, as an abode of giants and witches.  She groped and scrambled on again, tripped once more, and fell, hitting her forehead against a trunk.  The blow dazed and sobered her.  ‘It’s idiotic,’ she thought; ’I’m a baby!  I’ll Just walk very slowly till I reach the edge.  I know it isn’t a large wood!’ She turned deliberately to face each direction; solemnly selected that from which the muttering of the guns seemed to come, and started again, moving

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Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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