The Garden of Allah eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 736 pages of information about The Garden of Allah.
in its spacious power, and in its golden pride, her heart leaped up as if in answer to a deliberate appeal.  The fatigue in her died.  She responded to this reveille like a young warrior who, so soon as he is wakened, stretches out his hand for his sword.  The sunset flamed on her clear, white cheeks, giving them its hue of life.  And her nature flamed to meet it.  In the huge spaces of the Sahara her soul seemed to hear the footsteps of Freedom treading towards the south.  And all her dull perplexities, all her bitterness of ennui, all her questionings and doubts, were swept away on the keen desert wind into the endless plains.  She had come from her last confession asking herself, “What am I?” She had felt infinitely small confronted with the pettiness of modern, civilised life in a narrow, crowded world.  Now she did not torture herself with any questions, for she knew that something large, something capable, something perhaps even noble, rose up within her to greet all this nobility, all this mighty frankness and fierce, undressed sincerity of nature.  This desert and this sun would be her comrades, and she was not afraid of them.

Without being aware of it she breathed out a great sigh, feeling the necessity of liberating her joy of spirit, of letting the body, however inadequately and absurdly, make some demonstration in response to the secret stirring of the soul.  The man in the far corner of the carriage turned and looked at her.  When she heard this movement Domini remembered her irritation against him at El-Akbara.  In this splendid moment the feeling seemed to her so paltry and contemptible that she had a lively impulse to make amends for the angry look she had cast at him.  Possibly, had she been quite normal, she would have checked such an impulse.  The voice of conventionality would have made itself heard.  But Domini could act vigorously, and quite carelessly, when she was moved.  And she was deeply moved now, and longed to lavish the humanity, the sympathy and ardour that were quick in her.  In answer to the stranger’s movement she turned towards him, opening her lips to speak to him.  Afterwards she never knew what she meant to say, whether, if she had spoken, the words would have been French or English.  For she did not speak.

The man’s face was illuminated by the setting sun as he sat half round on his seat, leaning with his right hand palm downwards on the cushions.  The light glittered on his short hair.  He had pushed back his soft hat, and exposed his high, rugged forehead to the air, and his brown left hand gripped the top of the carriage door.  The large, knotted veins on it, the stretched sinews, were very perceptible.  The hand looked violent.  Domini’s eyes fell on it as she turned.  The impulse to speak began to fail, and when she glanced up at the man’s face she no longer felt it at all.  For, despite the glory of the sunset on him, there seemed to be a cold shadow in his eyes.  The faint lines near

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The Garden of Allah from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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