The Adventures Harry Richmond — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 638 pages of information about The Adventures Harry Richmond Complete.
of the rivers.  One would thrust his square-nailed finger to the name of a city and pronounce it; one gave us lessons in the expression of the vowels, with the softening of three of them, which seemed like a regulation drill movement for taking an egg into the mouth, and showing repentance of the act.  ‘Sarkeld,’ we exclaimed mutually, and they made a galloping motion of their hands, pointing beyond the hills.  Sarkeld was to the right, Sarkeld to the left, as the road wound on.  Sarkeld was straight in front of us when the conductor, according to directions he had received, requested us to alight and push through this endless fir-forest up a hilly branch road, and away his hand galloped beyond it, coming to a deep place, and then to grapes, then to a tip-toe station, and under it lay Sarkeld.  The pantomime was not bad.  We waved our hand to the diligence, and set out cheerfully, with our bags at our backs, entering a gorge in the fir-covered hills before sunset, after starting the proposition—­Does the sun himself look foreign in a foreign country?

‘Yes, he does,’ said Temple; and so I thought, but denied it, for by the sun’s favour I hoped to see my father that night, and hail Apollo joyfully in the morning; a hope that grew with exercise of my limbs.  Beautiful cascades of dark bright water leaped down the gorge; we chased an invisible animal.  Suddenly one of us exclaimed, ’We ’re in a German forest’; and we remembered grim tales of these forests, their awful castles, barons, knights, ladies, long-bearded dwarfs, gnomes and thin people.  I commenced a legend off-hand.

‘No, no,’ said Temple, as if curdling; ’let’s call this place the mouth of Hades.  Greek things don’t make you feel funny.’

I laughed louder than was necessary, and remarked that I never had cared so much for Greek as on board Captain Welsh’s vessel.

‘It’s because he was all on the opposite tack I went on quoting,’ said Temple.  ’I used to read with my father in the holidays, and your Rev. Simon has kept you up to the mark; so it was all fair.  It ’s not on our consciences that we crammed the captain about our knowledge.’

‘No.  I’m glad of it,’ said I.

Temple pursued, ’Whatever happens to a fellow, he can meet anything so long as he can say—­I ’ve behaved like a man of honour.  And those German tales—­they only upset you.  You don’t see the reason of the thing.  Why is a man to be haunted half his life?  Well, suppose he did commit a murder.  But if he didn’t, can’t he walk through an old castle without meeting ghosts? or a forest?’

The dusky scenery of a strange land was influencing Temple.  It affected me so, I made the worst of it for a cure.

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The Adventures Harry Richmond — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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