The Garden of Allah eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 583 pages of information about The Garden of Allah.

She opened them to a flood of gold, out of which the face of a man looked, like a face looking out of the heart of the sun.

CHAPTER III

It flashed upon her with the desert, with the burning heaps of carnation and orange-coloured rocks, with the first sand wilderness, the first brown villages glowing in the late radiance of the afternoon like carven things of bronze, the first oasis of palms, deep green as a wave of the sea and moving like a wave, the first wonder of Sahara warmth and Sahara distance.  She passed through the golden door into the blue country, and saw this face, and, for a moment, moved by the exalted sensation of a magical change in all her world, she looked at it simply as a new sight presented, with the sun, the mighty rocks, the hard, blind villages, and the dense trees, to her eyes, and connected it with nothing.  It was part of this strange and glorious desert region to her.  That was all, for a moment.

In the play of untempered golden light the face seemed pale.  It was narrow, rather long, with marked and prominent features, a nose with a high bridge, a mouth with straight, red lips, and a powerful chin.  The eyes were hazel, almost yellow, with curious markings of a darker shade in the yellow, dark centres that looked black, and dark outer circles.  The eyelashes were very long, the eyebrows thick and strongly curved.  The forehead was high, and swelled out slightly above the temples.  There was no hair on the face, which was closely shaved.  Near the mouth were two faint lines that made Domini think of physical suffering, and also of mediaeval knights.  Despite the glory of the sunshine there seemed to be a shadow falling across the face.

This was all that Domini noticed before the spell of change and the abrupt glory was broken, and she knew that she was staring into the face of the man who had behaved so rudely at the station of El-Akbara.  The knowledge gave her a definite shock, and she thought that her expression must have changed abruptly, for a dull flush rose on the stranger’s thin cheeks and mounted to his rugged forehead.  He glanced out of the window and moved his hands uneasily.  Domini noticed that they scarcely tallied with his face.  Though scrupulously clean, they looked like the hands of a labourer, hard, broad, and brown.  Even his wrists, and a small section of his left forearm, which showed as he lifted his left hand from one knee to the other, were heavily tinted by the sun.  The spaces between the fingers were wide, as they usually are in hands accustomed to grasping implements, but the fingers themselves were rather delicate and artistic.

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The Garden of Allah from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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