The Trespasser (Chapter 3, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 3

In the miles of morning sunshine, Siegmund's shadows, his children,
Beatrice, his sorrow, dissipated like mist, and he was elated as a young
man setting forth to travel. When he had passed Portsmouth Town
everything had vanished but the old gay world of romance. He laughed as
he looked out of the carriage window.

Below, in the street, a military band passed glittering. A brave sound
floated up, and again he laughed, loving the tune, the clash and glitter
of the band, the movement of scarlet, blithe soldiers beyond the park.
People were drifting brightly from church. How could it be Sunday! It
was no time; it was Romance, going back to Tristan.

Women, like crocus flowers, in white and blue and lavender, moved gaily.
Everywhere fluttered the small flags of holiday. Every form danced
lightly in the sunshine.

And beyond it all were the silent hillsides of the island, with Helena.
It was so wonderful, he could bear to be patient. She would be all in
white, with her cool, thick throat left bare to the breeze, her face
shining, smiling as she dipped her head because of the sun, which
glistened on her uncovered hair.

He breathed deeply, stirring at the thought. But he would not grow
impatient. The train had halted over the town, where scarlet soldiers,
and ludicrous blue sailors, and all the brilliant women from church
shook like a kaleidoscope down the street. The train crawled on, drawing
near to the sea, for which Siegmund waited breathless. It was so like
Helena, blue, beautiful, strong in its reserve.

Another moment they were in the dirty station. Then the day flashed out,
and Siegmund mated with joy. He felt the sea heaving below him. He
looked round, and the sea was blue as a periwinkle flower, while gold
and white and blood-red sails lit here and there upon the blueness.
Standing on the deck, he gave himself to the breeze and to the sea,
feeling like one of the ruddy sails--as if he were part of it all. All
his body radiated amid the large, magnificent sea-moon like a piece
of colour.

The little ship began to pulse, to tremble. White with the softness of a
bosom, the water rose up frothing and swaying gently. Ships drew near
the inquisitive birds; the old _Victory_ shook her myriad pointed flags
of yellow and scarlet; the straight old houses of the quay passed by.

Outside the harbour, like fierce creatures of the sea come wildly up to
look, the battleships laid their black snouts on the water. Siegmund
laughed at them. He felt the foam on his face like a sparkling, felt the
blue sea gathering round.

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