Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
but a certain spring day when the bees were humming in the
clematis; when a girl was saying good bye to him. He could see her
as she unclasped from her neck the locket which she fastened about
his own. It was an old fashioned golden locket bearing miniatures
of her father and mother with their names and the date of their
marriage. It was her most precious earthly possession. Edmond
could feel again the folds of the girl's soft white gown, and see
the droop of the angel-sleeves as she circled her fair arms about
his neck. Her sweet face, appealing, pathetic, tormented by the
pain of parting, appeared before him as vividly as life. He turned
over, burying his face in his arm and there he lay, still and
The profound and treacherous night with its silence and
semblance of peace settled upon the camp. He dreamed that the fair
Octavie brought him a letter. He had no chair to offer her and was
pained and embarrassed at the condition of his garments. He was
ashamed of the poor food which comprised the dinner at which he
begged her to join them.
He dreamt of a serpent coiling around his throat, and when he
strove to grasp it the slimy thing glided away from his clutch.
Then his dream was clamor.
"Git your duds! you! Frenchy!" Nick was bellowing in his face.
There was what appeared to be a scramble and a rush rather than
any regulated movement. The hill side was alive with clatter
and motion; with sudden up-springing lights among the pines.
In the east the dawn was unfolding out of the darkness.
Its glimmer was yet dim in the plain below.
"What's it all about?" wondered a big black bird perched in
the top of the tallest tree. He was an old solitary and a wise
one, yet he was not wise enough to guess what it was all about.
So all day long he kept blinking and wondering.
The noise reached far out over the plain and across the hills
and awoke the little babes that were sleeping in their cradles.
The smoke curled up toward the sun and shadowed the plain so that
the stupid birds thought it was going to rain; but the wise one
"They are children playing a game," thought he. "I shall know
more about it if I watch long enough."