Hearn paints a colorful portrait of life in the marshy Gulf Coast city of New Orleans, focusing on a young girl adopted by a Spanish family.
hollow of heaven flames like the interior of a chalice, and waves and clouds are flying in one wild rout of broken gold,--you may see the tawny grasses all covered with something like husks,--wheat-colored husks,--large, flat, and disposed evenly along the lee-side of each swaying stalk, so as to present only their edges to the wind. But, if you approach, those pale husks all break open to display strange splendors of scarlet and seal-brown, with arabesque mottlings in white and black: they change into wondrous living blossoms, which detach themselves before your eyes and rise in air, and flutter away by thousands to settle down farther off, and turn into wheat-colored husks once more ... a whirling flower-drift of sleepy butterflies!
Southwest, across the pass, gleams beautiful Grande Isle: primitively a wilderness of palmetto (latanier);--then drained, diked, and cultivated by Spanish sugar-planters; and now familiar chiefly as a bathing-resort. Since the war the ocean reclaimed its own;--the cane-fi