The Trespasser (Chapter 3, page 2 of 7)


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Chapter 3

On the left stood the round fortress, quaintly chequered, and solidly
alone in the walk of water, amid the silent flight of the golden-and
crimson-winged boats.

Siegmund watched the bluish bulk of the island. Like the beautiful women
in the myths, his love hid in its blue haze. It seemed impossible.
Behind him, the white wake trailed myriads of daisies. On either hand
the grim and wicked battleships watched along their sharp noses. Beneath
him the clear green water swung and puckered as if it were laughing. In
front, Sieglinde's island drew near and nearer, creeping towards him,
bringing him Helena.

Meadows and woods appeared, houses crowded down to the shore to meet
him; he was in the quay, and the ride was over. Siegmund regretted it.
But Helena was on the island, which rode like an anchored ship under the
fleets of cloud that had launched whilst Siegmund was on water. As he
watched the end of the pier loom higher, large ponderous trains of cloud
cast over him the shadows of their bulk, and he shivered in the
chill wind.

His travelling was very slow. The sky's dark shipping pressed closer and
closer, as if all the clouds had come to harbour. Over the flat lands
near Newport the wind moaned like the calling of many violoncellos. All
the sky was grey. Siegmund waited drearily on Newport station, where the
wind swept coldly. It was Sunday, and the station and the island were
desolate, having lost their purposes.

Siegmund put on his overcoat and sat down. All his morning's blaze of
elation was gone, though there still glowed a great hope. He had slept
only two hours of the night. An empty man, he had drunk joy, and now the
intoxication was dying out.

At three o'clock of the afternoon he sat alone in the second-class
carriage, looking out. A few raindrops struck the pane, then the blurred
dazzle of a shower came in a burst of wind, and hid the downs and the
reeds that shivered in the marshy places. Siegmund sat in a chilly
torpor. He counted the stations. Beneath his stupor his heart was
thudding heavily with excitement, surprising him, for his brain
felt dead.

The train slowed down: Yarmouth! One more station, then. Siegmund
watched the platform, shiny with rain, slide past. On the dry grey under
the shelter, one white passenger was waiting. Suddenly Siegmund's heart
leaped up, wrenching wildly. He burst open the door, and caught hold of
Helena. She dilated, gave a palpitating cry as he dragged her into
the carriage.

'You _here_!' he exclaimed, in a strange tone. She was shivering with
cold. Her almost naked arms were blue. She could not answer Siegmund's
question, but lay clasped against him, shivering away her last chill as
his warmth invaded her. He laughed in his heart as she nestled in
to him.

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