Reprinted from The Hill of Trouble and The Isles of Sunset.
listen to the humming of the flies deep in the brake, and to catch a sight of lonely flowers; he loved the scent of the wind blowing softly out of the copse, and he wondered what the trees said to each other, when they stood still and happy in the heat of midday. He loved, too, the silent night, full of stars, when the wood that topped the hill lay black against the sky. The whole world seemed to him to be full of a mysterious and beautiful life of which he could never quite catch the secret; these innocent flowers, these dreaming trees seemed, as it were, to hold him smiling at arm's length, while they guarded their joy from him. The birds and the beasts seemed to him to have less of this quiet joy, for they were fearful and careful, working hard to find a living, and dreading the sight of man; but sometimes in the fragrant eventide the nightingale would say a little of what was in her heart. "Yes," Paul would say to himself, "it is like that."
One other chief delight the boy had; he knew the magic o
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