‘Yes，sir．Well，when that thing in the mask jumped outfrom behind the boxes and ran up the stairs，I had exactly thesame feeling．That thing behind the mask was Mr Hydee！’
For me night came only too soon. I had no candle, and the closed, windowless cabin was intensely dark. My wounded leg had become inflamed and pained a great deal, but the bleeding continued until the handkerchiefs we had bound round it were saturated. I was fully dressed, and as the night grew chilly I pulled my big cloth poncho, that had a soft fluffy lining, over me for warmth. I soon gave up expecting my friend, and knew that there would be no relief until morning. But I could neither doze nor think, and could only listen. From my experience during those black anxious hours I can imagine how much the sense of hearing must be to the blind and to animals that exist in dark caves. At length, about midnight, I was startled by a slight curious sound in the intense silence and darkness. It was in the cabin and close to me. I thought at first it was like the sound made by a rope drawn slowly over the clay floor. I lighted a wax match, but the sound had ceased, and I saw nothing. After a while I heard it again, but it now seemed to be out of doors and going round the hut, and I paid little attention to it. It soon ceased, and I heard it no more. So silent and dark was it thereafter that the hut I reposed in might have been a roomy coffin in which I had been buried a hundred feet beneath the surface of the earth. Yet I was no longer alone, if I had only known it, but had now a messmate and bedfellow who had subtly crept in to share the warmth of the cloak and of my person — one with a broad arrow-shaped head, set with round lidless eyes like polished yellow pebbles, and a long smooth limbless body, strangely segmented and vaguely written all over with mystic characters in some dusky tint on an indeterminate greyish-tawny ground.
Now, some dikes are long and narrow, others are short and wide, and still others are nearly round. All, however, are highest points, and, head and shoulders above the trees, look abroad over the land.
Contrary to the rule that is generally observed in lotteries of this kind, the drawing of the grand prize was reserved for the last. It was not to the holder of the first ticket drawn that the grand prize would be given, but to the last, that is to say, the one hundredth. Hence, there would result a series of emotions and heart-throbbings of constantly increasing violence, for it had been decided that no ticket should be entitled to two prizes, but that having gained one prize, the drawing should be considered null and void if the same number were taken from the urns a second time.
"Hard to find, Mr. Wiley; hard to find!" said Jed Towle.
It costs nothing, not even a mental effort, to admit that the absolute totality of things may be organized exactly after the pattern of one of these “ through-and-through “ abstractions. In fact, it is the pleasantest and freest of mental movements. Husband makes, and is made by, wife, through marriage; one makes other, by being itself other; everything self-created through its opposite — you go round like a squirrel in a cage. But if you stop and reflect upon what you are about, you lay bare the exact point at issue between common sense and the ” through-and-through “ school.
But Patty was obliged to confess that Ruth had spoken truly. The girl’s best dress was a blue cashmere, neat and well made, and trimmed with silk to match, but Patty knew that among the light and pretty evening dresses of the other girls it would look altogether out of place.
Again, it seems that such falls occur periodically, or rather that at regular intervals great meteoric streams pour upon the sun's surface. For instance, the periodic increase and decrease in the number of sun-spots is accompanied (so far as we can judge by the observations made at Edinburgh and Greenwich) by an accession and diminution of the solar heat; and if the change is attributed to the passage of a meteoric stream athwart the sun, we should have to assign to such a stream a period of rather more than eleven years. This, from what we know about the association between meteors and comets, would correspond simply to the existence of a comet whose path intersects the sun's globe, and which is followed by a train of millions of large meteoric masses, many of which are consumed at each passage of the rich portion of the train athwart the globe of the sun. This comet must of necessity be inconspicuous, since it has hitherto escaped detection. In fact, its head and nucleus must long since have been entirely destroyed. Only the meteoric train, far more widely scattered, remains, simply because at each passage past the sun, though many are captured, far greater numbers get safely past.
He was a splendid example of the temperament that looks forward and not backward, and never wastes a moment in regrets for the irrevocable. I had the privilege of admission to his society during the Thayer expedition to Brazil. I well remember at night, as we all swung in our hammocks in the fairy-like moonlight, on the deck of the steamer that throbbed its way up the Amazon between the forests guarding the stream on either side, how he turned and whispered, “James, are you awake?” and continued, “I cannot sleep; I am too happy; I keep thinking of these glorious plans.” The plans contemplated following the Amazon to its headwaters, and penetrating the Andes in Peru. And yet, when he arrived at the Peruvian frontier and learned that that country had broken into revolution, that his letters to officials would be useless, and that that part of the project must be given up, although he was indeed bitterly chagrined and excited for part of an hour, when the hour had passed over it seemed as if he had quite forgotten the disappointment, so enthusiastically was he occupied already with the new scheme substituted by his active mind.
The Memory of Astarte had made too strong an Impression on his Mind, to close with this warm Declaration: He took his leave, however, that Moment, and waited on the Chiefs. He communicated to them the Substance of their private Conversation, and prevailed with them to make it a Law for the future, that no Widow should be allow’d to fall a Victim to a deceased Husband, till after she had admitted some young Man to converse with her in private for a whole Hour together. The Law was pass’d accordingly, and not one Widow in all Arabia, from that Day to this, ever observ’d the Custom. ’Twas to Zadig alone that the Arabian Dames were indebted for the Abolition, in one Hour, of a Custom so very inhuman, that had been practis’d for such a Number of Ages. Zadig, therefore, with the strictest Justice, was look’d upon by all the Fair Sex in Arabia, as their most bountiful Benefactor.
Then she turned away and commenced spinning and singing in a low, monotonous tone, which was strangely soothing, while Zaletta ate her supper, and soon the sad, weary maiden fell asleep by the warm, pleasant fireside.
“Where are your keys?” the correspondent asked me as he sat my solitary bag down before one of these weary looking inspectors.
(33) No one can be saved outside their sect.详情 ➢
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