Children of the mist - by Eden Phillpotts - PDF novel

Children of the Mist

Children of the Mist


Excerpt:

This spectacle-, through a grey veil of fine rain, Phoebe noted at mid-afternoon of a day in early August; and, as she watched, there widened a rift under the sun's hidden throne, and a mighty, fan-shaped pencil of brightness straggled downwards, proceeded in solemn sweep across the valley, and lighted the depths of the gorge beyond with a radiance of misty silver. 

The music of jackdaws welcomed this first indication of improved weather; then Phoebe's sharp eyes beheld a phenomenon afar off through the momentary cessation of the rain. Three parts of a mile away, on a distant hillside, like the successive discharges of a dozen fowling-pieces, little blotches of smoke or mist suddenly appeared. Rapidly they followed each other, and sometimes the puffs of vapour were exploded together, sometimes separately. For a moment the girl felt puzzled; then she comprehended and laughed. " 'Tis the silly auld sheep I'' she said to herself. "They're shakin' their fleeces 'cause they knew the rain's over-past. Bell- wether did begin, I warrant, then all the rest did the same." Each remote member of the flock thus freed its coat from the accumulated moisture of a long rainfall; then the huddled heap, in which they had combined to withstand the weather and show tail to the western storm, began to scatter. 

With coughs and sneezes, the beasts wandered forward again and pursued their business of grazing. Steadily the promises of the sky multiplied and Phoebe's impatience increased. Her position did not, however, depend for comfort upon the return of sunshine, for she stood out of the weather, where sundry giant rocks to the number of five arose in a fantastic pile. 

Nature's primal architects were responsible for the Pixies' Parlour, and upon the awful morning of Dartmoor's creation, these enormous masses had first been hurled into their present position outposts of the eternal granite, though themselves widely removed from the central wastes of the Moor. This particular and gigantic monument of the past stands with its feet inland long cultivated. Plough and harrow yearly skirt the Pixies' Parlour; it rises today above yellow corn, tomorrow amid ripening roots; it crowns the succeeding generations of man's industry and watches a ceaseless cycle of human. toil. 

The rocks of which it is composed form a sort of rude chamber, sacred to fairy folk since a time before the memory of the living; briars and ivy-tods conceal a part of the fabric; blackthorn brushed at this season with purple fruit, rises above it; one shadowed ledge reveals the nightly roosting-place of hawk or raven, and marks of steel on the stone show clearly where some great or small fragment of granite has been blasted from the parent pile for the need of man. Multi-coloured, massive and picturesque, the Parlour, upon Phoebe Lyddon's visit to it, stood forth against the red bosom of naked land; for a fierce summer had early ripened the vanished harvest, and now its place was already ploughed again, while ashes of dead fires scattered upon the earth showed where weed and waste had been consumed after the ingathering of the grain.


book details :
  • Author: Eden Phillpotts 
  • Publication date: 1903
  • Company: London Methuen

  • Download Children of the mist  - PDF ebook - 25 MB.

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