Thelma (Chapter 8, page 1 of 12)


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Chapter 8

"Le vent qui vient à travers la montagne M'a rendu fou!" VICTOR HUGO.

It was half an hour past midnight. Sir Philip was left in absolute solitude to enjoy his meditative stroll on deck, for the full radiance of light that streamed over the sea and land was too clear and brilliant to necessitate the attendance of any of the sailors for the purpose of guarding the Eulalie. She was safely anchored and distinctly visible to all boats or fishing craft crossing the Fjord, so that unless a sudden gale should blow, which did not seem probable in the present state of the weather, there was nothing for the men to do that need deprive them of their lawful repose. Errington paced up and down slowly, his yachting shoes making no noise, even as they left no scratch on the spotless white deck, that shone in the night sunshine like polished silver. The Fjord was very calm,--on one side it gleamed like a pool of golden oil in which the outline of the Eulalie was precisely traced, her delicate masts and spars and drooping flag being drawn in black lines on the yellow water as though with a finely pointed pencil. There was a curious light in the western sky; a thick bank of clouds, dusky brown in color, were swept together and piled one above the other in mountainous ridges, that rose up perpendicularly from the very edge of the sea-line, while over their dark summits a glimpse of the sun, like a giant's eye, looked forth, darting dazzling descending rays through the sullen smoke-like masses, tinging them with metallic green and copper hues as brilliant and shifting as the bristling points of lifted spears. Away to the south, a solitary wreath of purple vapor floated slowly as though lost from some great mountain height; and through its faint, half disguising veil the pale moon peered sorrowfully, like a dying prisoner lamenting joy long past, but unforgotten.

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