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The Ninth Day

FROM GLOWE TO WIEK

The landlord was concerned, Gertrud told me, when he heard we were going to drive to Arkona at an hour in the morning known practically only to birds. Professor Nieberlein, after fuming long and audibly in the passage downstairs, had sent her up with a request, made in his hearing, that the carriage might be at the door for that purpose at four o'clock.

'At that hour there is no door,' said the landlord.

'Tut, tut,' said the Professor.

The landlord raised his hands and described the length and sandiness of the way.

'Three o'clock, then,' was all the Professor said to that, calling after Gertrud.

'Oh, oh!' was my eloquent exclamation when she came in and told me; and I pulled the bedclothes up still higher, as though seeking protection in them from the blows of Fate.

'It is possible August may oversleep himself,' suggested Gertrud, seeing my speechless objection to starting for anywhere at three o'clock.

'So it is; I think it very likely,' I said, emerging from the bedclothes to speak earnestly. 'Till six o'clock, I should think he would sleep—at least till six; should not you, Gertrud?'

'It is very probable,' said Gertrud; and went away to give the order.

August did. He slept so heavily that eight o'clock found the Professor and myself still at Glowe, breakfasting at a little table in the road before the house on flounders and hot gooseberry jam. The Professor was much calmer, quite composed in fact, and liked the flounders, which he said were as fresh as young love. He had been very tired after his long day and the previous sleepless night, and when he found I was immovable he too had gone to bed and overslept himself Immediately on seeing him in the morning I told him what I felt sure was true—that Charlotte, knowing I would come to Arkona in the course of my drive round the coast, had gone on there to wait for me. 'So there is really no hurry,' I added.

'Hurry? certainly not,' he said, gay and reasonable after his good night. 'We will enjoy the present, little cousin, and the admirable flounders.' And he told me the story of the boastful man who had vaunted the loftiness of his rooms to a man poorer than himself except in wit; and the poorer man, weary of this talk of ceilings, was goaded at last to relate how in his own house the rooms were so low that the only things he could ever have for meals were flounders; and though I had heard the story before I took care to exhibit a decent mirth in the proper place, ending by laughing with all my heart only to see how the Professor laughed and wiped his eyes.

It was a close day of sunless heat. The sky was an intolerable grey glare. There was no wind, and the flies buzzed in swarms about the horses' heads as we drove along the straight white road between the pines towards Arkona. Gertrud was once more relegated to a cart, but she did not look nearly so grim as before; she obviously preferred the Professor to his wife, which was a lapse from the normal discretion of her manners, Gertruds not being supposed to have preferences, and certainly none that are obvious.

From Glowe the high road goes through the pines almost without a bend to the next place, Juliusruh, about an hour and a half north of Glowe. We did not pass a single house. The way was absolutely lonely, and its stuffiness dreadful. We could see neither the Baltic nor the Bodden, though both were only a few yards off on the other side of the pines. At Juliusruh, a flat, airless place of new lodging-houses, we did get a glimpse of a mud-coloured sea; and after Juliusruh, the high road and the pines abruptly ending, we got into the open country of whose sandiness the Glowe landlord had spoken with uplifted hands. As we laboured along at a walking pace the greyness of the sky grew denser, and it began to rain. This was the first rain I had had during my journey, and it was delicious. The ripe corn on our left looked a deeper gold against the dull sky; the ditches were like streaks of light, they were so crammed with yellow flowers; the air grew fragrant with wetness; and, best of all, the dust left off. The Professor put up his umbrella, which turned out to be so enormous when open that we could both sit comfortably under it and keep dry; and he was in such good spirits at being fairly on Charlotte's tracks that I am inclined to think it was the most agreeable drive I had had in Rügen. The traveller, however, who does not sit under one umbrella with a pleased Professor on the way to Arkona must not suppose that he too will like this bit best, for he will not.

The road turns off sharply inland at Vitt, a tiny fisher-hamlet we came upon unexpectedly, hidden in a deep clough. It is a charming little place—a few fishermen's huts, a minute inn, and a great many walnut trees. Passing along the upper end of the clough we looked straight down its one shingly street to the sea washing among rocks. Big black fisher-boats were hauled up almost into the street itself. A forlorn artist's umbrella stood all alone half-way down, sheltering an unfinished painting from the gentle rain, while the artist—I supposed him to be the artist because of his unique neck arrangements—watched it wistfully from the inn door. As Vitt even in rain was perfectly charming I can confidently recommend it to the traveller; for on a sunny day it must be quite one of the prettiest spots in Rügen. If I had been alone I would certainly have stayed there at least one night, though the inn looked as if its beds were feather and its butter bad; but I now had a mission, and he who has a mission spends most of his time passing the best things by.

'Is not that a little paradise?' I exclaimed.

The Professor quoted Dr. Johnson and Charles Lamb, remarking that he understood their taste better than that of those persons who indulge in ill-defined and windy raptures about scenery and the weather.

'But we cannot all have the tastes of great scholars,' I said rather coldly, for I did not like the expression windy raptures.

'If thou meanest me by great scholars, thou female babe, know that my years and poor rudiments of learning have served only to make it clear to me that the best things in life are of the class to which sitting under one umbrella with a dear little cousin belong. I endeavoured yesterday to impress this result of experience on the long Englishman, but he is still knee-deep in theories, and cannot yet see the simple and the close at hand.'

'I don't care one little bit for the umbrella form of joy,' I said obstinately. 'It is the blankest dulness compared to the joy to be extracted from looking at a place like Vitt in fine weather.'

'Tut, tut,' said the Professor, 'talk not to me of weather. Thou dost not mean it from thy heart.' And he arranged the rug afresh round me so that I should not get wet, and inquired solicitously why I did not wear a waterproof cloak like his, which was so very praktisch.

From Vitt the road to Arkona describes a triangle of which the village of Putgarten is the apex, and round which it took us half an hour to drive. We got to Arkona, which consists solely of a lighthouse with an inn in it, about one.

'Now for the little Lot,' cried the Professor leaping out into the rain and hastening towards the emerging landlord, while I hurriedly rehearsed the main points of my arguments.

But Charlotte was not there. She had been there, the landlord said, the previous afternoon, having arrived by steamer; had asked for a bedroom, been shown one, but had wanted better accommodation than he could give. Anyhow after drinking coffee she had hired a conveyance and had gone on to Wiek.

The Professor was terribly crestfallen. 'We will go on, then,' he said. 'We will at once proceed to Wiek. Where Wiek is, I conclude we shall ultimately discover.'

'I know where it is—it's on the map.'

'I never doubted it.'

'I mean I know the way from here. I was going there anyhow, and Charlotte knew that. But we can't go on yet, dear Professor. The horses would never get us there. It must be at least ten miles off, and awful sand the whole way.'

It took me some time and many words to convince him that nothing would make me move till the horses had had a feed and a rest. 'We'll only stay here a few hours,' I comforted, 'and get to Wiek anyhow to-day.'

'But who can tell whether she will be there two nights running?' cried the Professor, excitedly striding about in the mud.

'Why, we can, when we get there, and it's no use bothering till we are there. But I'm sure she'll wait till I come. Let us go in out of the rain.'

'I will hire a cart,' he announced with great determination.

'What, and go on without me?'

'I tell thee I will hire a cart. No time shall be lost.'

And he ran back again to the landlord who was watching us from the door with much disapproval; for I suppose Charlotte's refusal to consider his accommodation worthy of her had not disposed him well towards her friends, and possibly he considered the Professor's rapid movements among the puddles too unaccountable to be nice. There was no cart, he said, absolutely none; and the Professor, in a state of fuming dejection, was forced to what resignation he could muster.

During this parleying I had been sitting alone under the umbrella, the rain falling monotonously on its vast surface, running off the glazed lid of my yellow bandbox in streams, and dripping from the brim of August's hat down his patient neck. A yard or two behind sat Gertrud on the hold-all, dimly visible through the cloud of steam rising from the back of her soaked cart-horse. I could hear the sea at the foot of the cliff sluggishly heaving on and off the shingle, and I could see it over the edge of the cliff to the east, and here for the first time round the bend of the island to the north. It was flat, oily, and brown. Never was such a dreary sea or such a melancholy spot. I got out and went into the house feeling depressed.

The landlord led us into a room at the back, the room in front being for the use of fishermen wishing to drink. Clouds of smoke and a great clamour smote our senses when he opened the door. The room was full of what looked like an excursion; about thirty people, male and female, sitting at narrow tables eating, chattering, singing, and smoking all at once. Three specially variegated young women, dressed in the flimsiest of fine-weather clothes, all damp muslin and feathers, pretty girls with pronounced hair arrangements, were smoking cigarettes; and in the corner near the door, demure and solitary, sat another pretty young woman in black, with a very small bonnet trimmed with a very big Alsatian bow on the back of a very elaborately curled head. Her eyes were discreetly fixed on a Wiener Schnitzel that she was eating with a singular mincingness; and all those young men who could not get near the girls in muslin, were doing their utmost to attract this one's notice.

'We can't stay here,' I whispered to the Professor; 'it is too dreadful.'

'Dreadful? It is humanity, little cousin. Humanity at its happiest—in other words, at its dinner.'

And he pulled off his cloak and hung up his hat with a brisk cheerfulness at which I, who had just seen him striding about among puddles, rent with vexation, could only marvel.

'But there is no room,' I objected.

'There is an ample sufficiency of room. We shall sit there in the corner by the young lady in black.'

'Well, you go and sit there, and I'll go out into that porch place over there, and get some air.'

'Never did I meet any one needing so much air. Air! Has thou not, then, been aired the entire morning?'

But I made my way through the smoke to a door standing open at the other end that led into a little covered place, through which was the garden. I put my head gratefully round the corner to breathe the sweet air. The garden is on the west side of the lighthouse on ground falling steeply away to the flat of the cornfields that stretch between Arkona and Putgarten. It is a pretty place full of lilies—in flower that day—and of poplars, those most musical of trees. Rough steps cut in the side of the hill lead down out of the garden to a footpath through the rye to Putgarten; and on the top step, as straight and motionless as the poplars, stood two persons under umbrellas, gazing in silence at the view. Oh, unmistakable English backs! And most unmistakable of all backs, the backs of the Harvey-Brownes.

I pulled my head into the porch again with a wrench, and instinctively turned to flee; but there in the corner of the room sat the Professor, and I could hear him being pleasant to the young person in the Alsatian bow. I did not choose to interrupt him, for she was obviously Mrs. Harvey-Browne's maid; but I did wonder whether the bishop had grieved at all over the manifest unregeneracy of the way she did her hair. Hesitating where to go, and sure of being ultimately caught wherever I went, I peeped again in a sort of fascination at the two mackintoshed figures outlined against the lowering heavens; and as so often happens, the persons being looked at turned round.

'My dear Frau X., you here too? When did you arrive in this terrible place?' cried Mrs. Harvey-Browne, hurrying towards me through the rain with outstretched hand and face made up of welcome and commiseration. 'This is too charming—to meet you again, but here! Imagine it, we were under the impression it was a place one could stay at, and we brought all our luggage and left our comfortable Binz for good. It is impossible to be in that room. We were just considering what we could do, and feeling really desperate. Brosy, is not this a charming surprise?'

Brosy smiled, and said it was very charming, and he wished it would leave off raining. He supposed I was only driving through on my way round?

'Yes,' I said, a thousand thoughts flying about in my head.

'Have you seen anything more of the Nieberleins?' asked Mrs. Harvey-Browne, shutting her umbrella, and preparing to come inside the porch too.

'My cousin left that evening, as you know,' I said.

'Yes; I could not help wondering——' began Mrs. Harvey-Browne; but was interrupted by her son, who asked where I was going to sleep that night.

'I think at Wiek,' I answered.

'Isn't Wiek a little place on the——' began Brosy; but was interrupted by his mother, who asked if the Professor had followed his wife.

'Yes,' I said.

'I confess I was surprised——' began Mrs. Harvey-Browne; but was interrupted by her son, who asked whether I thought Lohme possessed an hotel where one could stay.

'I should think so from the look of it as I passed through,' I said.

'Because——' began Brosy; but was interrupted by his mother, who asked whether I had heard anything of the dear Professor since he left. 'Delightful genius,' she added enthusiastically.

'Yes,' I said.

'I suppose he and his wife will go back to Bonn now?'

'Soon, I hope.'

'Did you say he had gone to Berlin? Is he there now?'

'No, he isn't.'

'Have you seen him again?'

'Yes; he came back to Stubbenkammer.'

'Indeed? With his wife?'

'No; Charlotte was not with him.'

'Indeed?'

Never was a more expressive Indeed.

'My cousin changed her plans about Berlin,' I said hastily, disturbed by this expressiveness, 'and came back too. But she didn't care for Stubbenkammer. She is waiting for me—for us—at Wiek. She is waiting there till I—till we come.'

'Oh really? And the Professor?'

'The Professor goes to Wiek, too, of course.'

Mrs. Harvey-Browne gazed at me a moment as though endeavouring to arrange her thoughts. 'Do forgive me,' she said, 'for seeming stupid, but I don't quite understand where the Professor is. He was at Stubbenkammer, and he will be at Wiek; but where is he now?'

'In there,' I said, with a nod in the direction of the dining-room; and I wished with all my heart that he wasn't.

'In there?' cried the bishop's wife. 'Brosy, do you hear? How very delightful. Let us go to him at once.' And she rustled into the room, followed by Brosy and myself. 'You go first, dear Frau X.,' she turned round to say, daunted by the clouds of smoke, and all the chairs and people who had to be got out of the way; for by this time the tourists had finished dining, and had pushed their chairs out into the room to talk together more conveniently, and the room was dim with smoke. 'You know where he is. I can't tell you how charmed I am; really most fortunate. He seems to be with an English friend,' she added, for the revellers, having paused in their din to stare at us, the Professor's cheery voice was distinctly heard inquiring in English of some person or persons unseen whether they knew the difference between a canary and a grand piano.

'Always in such genial spirits,' murmured Mrs. Harvey-Browne rapturously.

Here there was a great obstruction, a group of people blocking the passage down the room and having to be got out of the way before we could pass; and when the scraping of their chairs and their grumbles had ceased we caught the Professor's conversation a little farther on. He was saying, 'I cannot in that case, my dear young lady, caution you with a sufficient earnestness to be of an extreme care when purchasing a grand piano——'

'I don't ever think of doing such a thing,' interrupted a shrill female voice, at whose sound Mrs. Harvey-Browne made an exclamation.

'Tut, tut. I am putting a case. Suppose you wished to purchase a grand piano, and did not know, as you say you do not, the difference between it——'

'I shan't wish, though. I'd be a nice silly to.'

'Nay, but suppose you did wish——'

'What's the good of supposing silly things like that? You are a funny old man.'

'Andrews?' said Mrs. Harvey-Browne, at this point emerging on the absorbed couple, and speaking with a languid gentleness that curled slightly upwards into an interrogation at the end.

Andrews, whose face had been overspread by the expression that accompanies titters, started to her feet and froze before our eyes into the dumb passivity of the decent maid. The Professor hardly gave himself time to bow and kiss Mrs. Harvey-Browne's hand before he poured forth his pleasure that this charming young lady should be of her party. 'Your daughter, madam, I doubt not?'

'My maid,' said Mrs. Harvey-Browne, in a curdled kind of voice. 'Andrews, please see about the luggage. She is rather a nice-looking girl, I suppose,' she conceded, anxious to approve of all the Professor said and did.

'Nice-looking? She is so exceedingly pretty, madam, that I could only conclude she must be your daughter.'

This elementary application of balm at once soothed Mrs. Harvey-Browne into a radiance of smiles perplexing in conjunction with her age and supposed superiority to vanities. Forgetful of her objections to German crowds and smoke she sat down in the chair vacated by Andrews, made the Professor sit down again in his, and plunged into an exuberant conversation, which began by an invitation so warm that it almost seemed on fire to visit herself and the bishop before the summer was over in the episcopal glories of Babbacombe. This much I heard as I slipped away into the peace of the front room. Brosy came after me. To him the picture of the Professor being wrapped about in Mrs. Harvey-Browne's amenities was manifestly displeasing.

The front room seemed very calm and spacious after what we had just been in. A few fishermen were drinking beer at the bar; in a corner sat Andrews and Gertrud, beginning a necessarily inarticulate acquaintance over the hold-alls; both window and door were open, and the rain came down straight and steady, filling the place with a soft murmuring and dampness. Across the clearness of my first decision that the Professor must be an absolutely delightful person to be always with, had crept a slight film of doubt. There were some things about him that might possibly, I began in a dim way to see, annoy a wife. He seemed to love Charlotte, and he had seemed to be very fond of me—anyhow, never before had I been so much patted in so short a space of time. Yet the moment he caught sight of the Alsatian bow he forgot my presence and existence, forgot the fluster he had been in to get on after his wife, and attached himself to it with a vehemence that no one could be expected to like. A shadowy conviction began to pervade my mind that the sooner I handed him over to Charlotte and drove on again alone the better. Surely Charlotte ought to go back to him and look after him; why should I be obliged to drive round Rügen first with one Nieberlein and then with the other?

'The ways of Fate are truly eccentric,' I remarked, half to myself, going to the door and gazing out into the wet.

'Because they have led you to Arkona on a rainy day?' asked Brosy.

'Because of that and because of heaps of other things,' I said; and sitting down at a table on which lay a bulky tome with much-thumbed covers, I began rather impatiently to turn over its pages.

But I had not yet reached the limits of what Fate can and will do to a harmless woman who only asks to be left unnoticed; for while Brosy and I were studying this book, which is an ancient visitor's book of 1843 kept by the landlord's father or grandfather, I forget which, and quite the best thing Arkona possesses, so that I advise the traveller, whose welfare I do my best at intervals to promote, not to leave Arkona without having seen it,—while, I say, we were studying this book, admiring many of its sketches, laughing over the inevitable ineptitudes that seem to drop with so surprising a facility from the pens of persons who inscribe their names, examining with awe the signatures of celebrated men who came here before they were celebrated,—Bismarck's as assessor in 1843, Caprivi's as lieutenant, Waldersee's also as lieutenant, and others of the kind,—while, I repeat, we were innocently studying this book, Fate was busy tucking up her sleeves preparing to hit me harder than ever.

'It was not Fate,' interrupted the wise relative before alluded to, as I sat after my return recounting my adventures and trying to extract sympathy, 'it was the first consequence of your having meddled. If you had not——'

Well, well. The great comfort about relatives is that though they may make what assertions they like you need not and do not believe them; and it was Fate and nothing but Fate that had dogged me malevolently all round Rügen and joined me here at Arkona once more to Mrs. Harvey-Browne. In she came while we were bending over the book, followed by the Professor, who walked as a man may walk in a dream, his eyes fixed on nothing, and asked me without more ado whether I would let her share my carriage as far as Wiek.

'Then, you see, dear Frau X., I shall get there,' she observed.

'But why do you want to get there?' I asked, absolutely knocked over this time by the fists of Fate.

'Oh why not? We must go somewhere, and quite the most natural thing to do is to join forces. You agree, don't you, Brosy dear? The Professor thinks it an excellent plan, and is charming enough to want to relinquish his seat to me if you will have me, are you not, Professor? However I only ask to be allowed to sit on the small seat, for the last thing I wish to do is to disturb anybody. But I fear the Professor will not allow——' and she stopped and looked with arch pleasantness at the Professor who murmured abstractedly 'Certainly, certainly '—which, of course, might mean anything.

'My dear mother——' began Brosy in a tone of strong remonstrance.

'Oh I'm sure it is the best thing we can do, Brosy. I did ask the landlord about hiring a fly, and there is no such thing. It will only be as far as Wiek, and I hear that is not so very far. You don't mind do you, dear Frau X.?'

'Mind?' I cried, wriggling out a smile, 'mind? But how will your son I don't quite see—and your maid?'

'Oh Brosy has his bicycle, and if you'll let the luggage be put in your luggage cart Andrews can quite well sit beside your maid. Of course we will share expenses, so that it will really be mutually advantageous.'

Mrs. Harvey-Browne being one of those few persons who know exactly what they want, did as she chose with wavering creatures like myself. She also did as she chose with Brosy, because the impossibility of publicly rebuking one's mother shut his mouth. She even did as she chose with the Professor, who, declaring that sooner than incommode the ladies he would go in the luggage cart, was in the very act as we were preparing to start off of nimbly climbing on to the trunk next to the one on which Andrews sat, when he found himself hesitating, coming down again, getting into the victoria, subsiding on to the little seat, and all in obedience to a clear something in the voice of Mrs. Harvey-Browne.

Never did unhappy celebrity sit more wretchedly than the poor Professor. It was raining so hard that we were obliged to have the hood up, and its edge came to within an inch of his nose—would have touched it quite if he had not sat as straight and as far back as possible. He could not, therefore, put up his umbrella, and was reduced, while water trickled ceaselessly off the hood down his neck, to pretending with great heroism that he was perfectly comfortable. It was impossible to sit under the snug hood and contemplate the drenched Professor outside it. It was impossible to let an old man of seventy, and an old man, besides, of such immense European value, catch his death before my very eyes. Either he must come between us and be what is known as bodkin, or some one must get out and walk; and the bodkin solution not commending itself to me it was plain that if some one walked it must be myself.

In an instant the carriage was stopped, protestations filled the air, I got out, the Professor was transferred to my place, the bishop's wife turned deaf ears to his entreaties that he might go in the luggage cart and hold his big umbrella over the two poor drowning maids, the hood became vocal with arguments, suggestions, expostulations, apologies—and 'Go on, August,' I interrupted; and dropped behind into sand and silence.

We were already beyond Putgarten, in a flat, uninteresting country of deep sand and treeless, hedgeless cornfields. I had no umbrella, but a cloak with a hood to it which I drew over my head, throwing Gertrud my hat when she too presently heaved past in a cloud of expostulations. 'Go on, go on,' I called to the driver with a wave of my hand seeing him hesitate; and then stood waiting for Brosy who was some little way behind pushing his bicycle dismally through the sand, meditating no doubt on the immense difficulties of dealing with mothers who do things one does not like. When he realised that the solitary figure with the peaked hood outlined against the sullen grey background was mine he pushed along at a trot, with a face of great distress. But I had no difficulty in looking happy and assuring him that I liked walking, because I really was thankful to get away from the bishop's wife, and I rather liked, besides, to be able to stretch myself thoroughly; while as for getting wet, to let oneself slowly be soaked to the skin while walking in a warm rain has a charm all its own.

Accordingly, after the preliminary explanations, we plodded along comfortably enough towards Wiek, keeping the carriage in sight as much as possible, and talking about all the things that interested Brosy, which were mostly things of great obscurity to myself. I suppose he thought it safest to keep to high truths and generalities, fearing lest the conversation in dropping to an everyday level should also drop on to the Nieberleins, and he seemed quite anxious not to know why Charlotte was at Wiek by herself while her husband and I were driving together without her. Therefore he soared carefully in realms of pure reason, and I, silent and respectful, watched him from below; only I could not help comparing the exalted vagueness of his talk with the sharp clearness of all that the old and wise Professor said.

Wiek after all turned out to be hardly more than five miles from Arkona, but it was heavy going. What with the bicycle and my wet skirts and the high talk we got along slowly, and my soul grew more chilled with every step by the thought of the complications the presence of the Harvey-Brownes was going to make in the delicate task of persuading Charlotte to return to her husband.

Brosy knew very well that there was something unusual in the Nieberlein relations, and was plainly uneasy at being thrust into a family meeting. When the red roofs and poplars of Wiek came in sight he sank into thoughtfulness, and we walked the last mile in our heavy, sand-caked shoes in almost total silence. The carriage and cart had disappeared long ago, urged on, no doubt, by the Professor's eagerness to get to Charlotte and away from Mrs. Harvey-Browne, and we were quite near the first cottages when August appeared coming back to fetch us, driving very fast, with Gertrud's face peering anxiously round the hood. It was only a few yards from there to the open space in the middle of the village in which the two inns are, and Brosy got on his bicycle while I drove with Gertrud, wrapped in all the rugs she could muster.

There are two inns at Wiek, and one is the best. The Professor had gone to each to inquire for his wife, and I found him striding about in front of the one that is the best, and I saw at once by the very hang of his cloak and position of his hat that Charlotte was not there.

'Gone! gone!' he cried, before the carriage stopped even. 'Gone this very day—this very morning, gone at eight, at the self-same hour we wasted over those accursed flounders. Is it not sufficient to make a poor husband become mad? After months of patience? To miss her everywhere by a few miserable hours? I told thee, I begged thee, to bring me on last night——'

Brosy, now of a quite deadly anxiety to keep out of Nieberlein complications, removed himself and his bicycle with all possible speed. Mrs. Harvey-Browne, watching my arrival from an upper window, waved a genial hand with ill-timed cordiality whenever I looked her way. The landlord and his wife carried in all the rugs that dropped off me unheeded into the mud when I got out, and did not visibly turn a hair at my peaked hood and draggled garments.

'Where has she gone?' I asked, as soon as I could get the Professor to keep still and listen. 'We'll drive after her the first thing to-morrow morning—to-night if you like——'

'Drive after her? Last night, when it would have availed, thou wouldest not drive after her. Now, if we follow her, we must swim. She has gone to an island—an island, I tell thee, of which I never till this day heard—an island to reach which requires much wind from a favourable quarter—which without wind is not to be reached at all—and in me thou now beholdest a broken-hearted man.'





Elizabeth von Arnim

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