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قراءة كتاب Blue-Bird Weather
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Works of Robert W. Chambers
The Streets Of Ascalon
The Adventures of a Modest Man
The Danger Mark
The Firing Line
The Younger Set
The Fighting Chance
Some Ladies in Haste
The Tree of Heaven
The Tracer of Lost Persons
A Young Man in a Hurry
Maids of Paradise
Ashes of Empire
The Red Republic
The Common Law
The Green Mouse
The Haunts of Men
The Mystery of Choice
The Cambric Mask
The Maker of Moons
The King in Yellow
In Search of the Unknown
A King and a Few Dukes
In the Quarter
Hide and Seek in Forest-Land
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, New York
By ROBERT W. CHAMBERS
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
CHARLES DANA GIBSON
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
NEW YORK AND LONDON :: MCMXII
Copyright, 1912, by
ROBERT W. CHAMBERS
Copyright, 1911, by International Magazine Company
Published October, 1912
Published in the United States of America
OF NEEDWOOD FOREST
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
- "She trotted away to Marche's door and tapped softly." Frontispiece
- "She said gravely: 'I am afraid it will be blue-bird weather.'" 14
- "'Well,' he said pleasantly, 'what comes next, Miss Herold?'" 26
- "'I'm so sorry, Jim.'" 33
- "They ate their luncheon there together." 88
- "'Jim,' he said, 'where did you live?'" 99
- "'He tells you that he—he is in love with you?'" 127
It was now almost too dark to distinguish objects; duskier and vaguer became the flat world of marshes, set here and there with cypress and bounded only by far horizons; and at last land and water disappeared behind the gathered curtains of the night. There was no sound from the waste except the wind among the withered reeds and the furrowing splash of wheel and hoof over the submerged causeway.
The boy who was driving had scarcely spoken since he strapped Marche's gun cases and valise to the rear of the rickety wagon at the railroad station. Marche, too, remained silent, preoccupied with his own reflections. Wrapped in his fur-lined coat, arms folded, he sat doubled forward, feeling the Southern swamp-chill busy with his bones. Now and then he was obliged to relight his pipe, but the cold bit at his fingers, and he hurried to protect himself again with heavy gloves.
The small, rough hands of the boy who was driving were naked, and finally Marche mentioned it, asking the child if he were not cold.
"No, sir," he said, with a colorless brevity that might have been shyness
or merely the dull indifference of the very poor, accustomed to discomfort.
"Don't you feel cold at all?" persisted Marche kindly.
"I suppose you are hardened to this sort of weather?"
By the light of a flaming match, Marche glanced sideways at him as he drew his pipe into a glow once more, and for an instant the boy's gray eyes flickered toward his in the flaring light. Then darkness masked them both again.
"Are you Mr. Herold's son?" inquired the young man.
"Yes, sir," almost sullenly.
"How old are you?"
"You're a big boy, all right. I have never seen your father. He is at the clubhouse, no doubt."
"Yes, sir," scarcely audible.
"And you and he live there all alone, I suppose?"
"Yes, sir." A moment later the boy added jerkily, "And my sister," as though truth had given him a sudden nudge.
"Oh, you have a sister, too?"
"That makes it very jolly for you, I fancy," said Marche pleasantly. There was no reply to the indirect question.
His pipe had gone out again, and he knocked the ashes from it and pocketed it. For a while they drove on in silence, then Marche peered impatiently
through the darkness, right and left, in an effort to see; and gave it up.
"You must know this road pretty well to be able to keep it," he said. "As for me, I can't see anything except a dirty little gray star up aloft."
"The horse knows the road."
"I'm glad of that. Have you any idea how near we are to the house?"
"Half a mile. That's Rattler Creek, yonder."
"How the dickens can you tell?" asked Marche curiously. "You can't see anything in the dark, can you?"
"I don't know how I can tell," said the boy indifferently.
Marche smiled. "A sixth sense, probably. What did you say your name is?"
"And you're eleven? You'll be old enough to have a gun very soon, Jim. How would you like to shoot a real, live wild duck?"