Something In The Water Dreamtales Pdf
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At these last words of his, Clara suddenly turned to him, and he beheld such a terrified, such a deeply-wounded face, with such large bright tears in the eyes, such a pained expression about the parted lips, and this face was so lovely, that he involuntarily faltered, and himself felt something akin to terror and pity and softening.
Suddenly there rose up in front of him something of the nature of a thin cloud. He looked steadily at it; the cloud turned into a woman in a white gown with a bright sash round her waist. She was hurrying away from him. He saw neither her face nor her hair ... they were covered by a long veil. But he had an intense desire to overtake her, and to look into her face. Only, however much he hastened, she went more quickly than he.
In his imploring words, in his contorted features there was something so despairing that it looked positively like rage, like agony.... And he was in agony, truly. He could not himself have foreseen that such pain could be felt by him, and in a frenzy he implored forgiveness, deliverance ...
Again there was no one in the room; and he now heard nothing, except the uneven throbbing of his own heart. He drank a glass of water, and stayed still, his head resting on his hand. He was waiting.
The day passed somehow. I tried, I remember, to read, to work ... everything was a failure. The night came. My heart was throbbing within me, as though it expected something. I lay down, and turned with my face to the wall.
The mist cleared away from before my eyes, and I saw below me an immense plain. But already, by the mere breath of the warm soft air upon my cheeks, I could tell I was not in Russia; and the plain, too, was not like our Russian plains. It was a vast dark expanse, apparently desert and not overgrown with grass; here and there over its whole extent gleamed pools of water, like broken pieces of looking-glass; in the distance could be dimly descried a noiseless motionless sea. Great stars shone bright in the spaces between the big beautiful clouds; the murmur of thousands, subdued but never-ceasing, rose on all sides, and very strange was this shrill but drowsy chorus, this voice of the darkness and the desert....
We found ourselves on a flat riverside plain. To the left, newly-mown meadows, with rows of huge hayricks, stretched endlessly till they were lost in the distance; to the right extended the smooth surface of a vast mighty river, till it too was lost in the distance. Not far from the bank, big dark barges slowly rocked at anchor, slightly tilting their slender masts, like pointing fingers. From one of these barges came floating up to me the sounds of a liquid voice, and a fire was burning in it, throwing a long red light that danced and quivered on the water. Here and there, both on the river and in the fields, other lights were glimmering, whether close at hand or far away, the eye could not distinguish; they shrank together, then suddenly lengthened out into great blurs of light; grasshoppers innumerable kept up an unceasing churr, persistent as the frogs of the Pontine marshes; and across the cloudless, but dark lowering sky floated from time to time the cries of unseen birds.
I felt the hot breath of the flame close by, and tasted the bitter savour of the smoke; and at the same instant something warm like blood spurted over my face and hands.... A savage roar of laughter broke out all round....
I was living at that time with my mother in a little seaside town. I was in my seventeenth year, while my mother was not quite five-and-thirty; she had married very young. When my father died, I was only seven years old, but I remember him well. My mother was a fair-haired woman, not very tall, with a charming, but always sad-looking face, a soft, tired voice and timid gestures. In her youth she had been reputed a beauty, and to the end she remained attractive and pretty. I have never seen deeper, tenderer, and sadder eyes, finer and softer hair; I never saw hands so exquisite. I adored her, and she loved me.... But our life was not a bright one; a secret, hopeless, undeserved sorrow seemed for ever gnawing at the very root of her being. This sorrow could not be accounted for by the loss of my father simply, great as that loss was to her, passionately as my mother had loved him, and devoutly as she had cherished his memory.... No! something more lay hidden in it, which I did not understand, but of which I was aware, dimly and yet intensely aware, whenever I looked into those soft and unchanging eyes, at those lips, unchanging too, not compressed in bitterness, but, as it were, for ever set in one expression.
I have just mentioned that I used sometimes to fall asleep under the influence of vague dreams and reveries. I used to sleep a great deal at all times, and dreams played an important part in my life; I used to have dreams almost every night. I did not forget them, I attributed a significance to them, regarded them as fore-warnings, tried to divine their secret meaning; some of them were repeated from time to time, which always struck me as strange and marvellous. I was particularly perplexed by one dream. I dreamed I was going along a narrow, ill-paved street of an old-fashioned town, between stone houses of many stories, with pointed roofs. I was looking for my father, who was not dead, but, for some reason or other, hiding away from us, and living in one of these very houses. And so I entered a low, dark gateway, crossed a long courtyard, lumbered up with planks and beams, and made my way at last into a little room with two round windows. In the middle of the room stood my father in a dressing-gown, smoking a pipe. He was not in the least like my real father; he was tall and thin, with black hair, a hook nose, with sullen and piercing eyes; he looked about forty. He was displeased at my having found him; and I too was far from being delighted at our meeting, and stood still in perplexity. He turned a little away, began muttering something, and walking up and down with short steps.... Then he gradually got farther away, never ceasing his muttering, and continually looking back over his shoulder; the room grew larger and was lost in fog.... I felt all at once horrified at the idea that I was losing my father again, and rushed after him, but I could no longer see him, I could only hear his angry muttering, like a bear growling.... My heart sank with dread; I woke up and could not for a long while get to sleep again.... All the following day I pondered on this dream, and naturally could make nothing of it.
I walked with downcast head, without thought, almost without sensation, but utterly buried in myself. A rhythmic hollow and angry noise raised me from my numbness. I lifted my head; it was the sea roaring and moaning fifty paces from me. I saw I was walking along the sand of the dunes. The sea, set in violent commotion by the storm in the night, was white with foam to the very horizon, and the sharp crests of the long billows rolled one after another and broke on the flat shore. I went nearer to it, and walked along the line left by the ebb and flow of the tides on the yellow furrowed sand, strewn with fragments of trailing seaweed, broken shells, and snakelike ribbons of sea-grass. Gulls, with pointed wings, flying with a plaintive cry on the wind out of the remote depths of the air, soared up, white as snow against the grey cloudy sky, fell abruptly, and seeming to leap from wave to wave, vanished again, and were lost like gleams of silver in the streaks of frothing foam. Several of them, I noticed, hovered persistently over a big rock, which stood up alone in the midst of the level uniformity of the sandy shore. Coarse seaweed was growing in irregular masses on one side of the rock; and where its matted tangles rose above the yellow line, was something black, something longish, curved, not very large.... I looked attentively.... Some dark object was lying there, lying motionless beside the rock.... This object grew clearer, more defined the nearer I got to it....
Not one knows why he has come into this house and what people there are with him. On all the faces uneasiness and despondency ... all in turn approach the windows and look about intently as though expecting something from without.
She was unconscious, and not one doctor even looked at her; the sick soldiers, whom she had tended as long as she could keep on her legs, in their turn got up from their pestilent litters to lift a few drops of water in the hollow of a broken pot to her parched lips.
I once saw a dying man who kept complaining they would not let him have hazel-nuts to munch!... and only in the depths of his fast-dimming eyes, something quivered and struggled like the torn wing of a bird wounded to death.... 2b1af7f3a8