the factory whistle. Bergmann thought it real, and never

time:2023-12-02 01:03:19 source:Accumulated network author:food

All this performance only served to increase my anger and contempt; but before I could make any reply I caught sight of a shadowy object at some distance moving towards us--something grey and formless, gliding swift and noiseless, like some great low-flying owl among the trees. It was Rima, and hardly had I seen her before she was with us, facing old Nuflo, her whole frame quivering with passion, her wide-open eyes appearing luminous in that dim light.

the factory whistle. Bergmann thought it real, and never

"You are here!" she cried in that quick, ringing tone that was almost painful to the sense. "You thought to escape me! To hide yourself from my eyes in the wood! Miserable! Do you not know that I have need of you--that I have not finished with you yet? Do you, then, wish to be scourged to Riolama with thorny twigs--to be dragged thither by the beard?"

the factory whistle. Bergmann thought it real, and never

He had been staring open-mouthed at her, still on his knees, and holding his mantle open with his skinny hands. "Rima! Rima! have mercy on me!" he cried out piteously. "I cannot go to Riolama, it is so far--so far. And I am old and should meet my death. Oh, Rima, child of the woman I saved from death, have you no compassion? I shall die, I shall die!"

the factory whistle. Bergmann thought it real, and never

"Shall you die? Not until you have shown me the way to Riolama. And when I have seen Riolama with my eyes, then you may die, and I shall be glad at your death; and the children and the grandchildren and cousins and friends of all the animals you have slain and fed on shall know that you are dead and be glad at your death. For you have deceived me with lies all these years even me--and are not fit to live! Come now to Riolama; rise instantly, I command you!"

Instead of rising he suddenly put out his hand and snatched up the knife from the ground. "Do you then wish me to die?" he cried. "Shall you be glad at my death? Behold, then I shall slay myself before your eyes. By my own hand, Rima, I am now about to perish, striking the knife into my heart!"

While speaking he waved the knife in a tragic manner over his head, but I made no movement; I was convinced that he had no intention of taking his own life--that he was still acting. Rima, incapable of understanding such a thing, took it differently.

"Oh, you are going to kill yourself." she cried. "Oh, wicked man, wait until you know what will happen to you after death. All shall now be told to my mother. Hear my words, then kill yourself."

She also now dropped on to her knees and, lifting her clasped hands and fixing her resentful sparkling eyes on the dim blue patch of heaven visible beyond the treetops, began to speak rapidly in clear, vibrating tones. She was praying to her mother in heaven; and while Nuflo listened absorbed, his mouth open, his eyes fixed on her, the hand that clutched the knife dropped to his side. I also heard with the greatest wonder and admiration. For she had been shy and reticent with me, and now, as if oblivious of my presence, she was telling aloud the secrets of her inmost heart.


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