When we leave the world’s busy haunts and penetrate the primal solitude of a vast wilderness, a new realm peopled by mystic genii opens to us. Each sombre gorge, where twisted roots clasp the moss-coated walls, discloses fabled gnomes and dryads. Nymphs and naiads outline their shadowy forms in the mist of every cascade. Elfin sprites dance in the ripples of a laughing brook, and brownies scamper away over the leaf-swept hilltops.A wondrous Presence, multiform, omnipresent, and ever fascinating, meets us on every hand, and there in those magic aisles and sombre glades, where man seems far away and God very near, Nature sits enthroned.
, as she lay there on this one flat spot of security--the bridge--and listened to the river's low murmur.
The moon was lowering now. Already the shadow of the stream's bordering trees had reached her. First the stars vanished, then the moon faded into a dim patch of light, finally that disappeared, a chill breeze swept down from a neighboring mountain, and the trees began to moan and creak. Then a fiercer blast swept through the forest, the great firs and spruces bent and groaned and screamed. Surely the spites were gathering in force again, and this was their doing.
Once more she began to hear them creeping, crawling, over the bridge. They spit, they snarled, they growled. The darkness grew more intense, no longer could the river's course be seen, but only a black chasm.
All through her mad flight the wilderness had been ghostly and spectral in the moonlight; now it had become lost in inky blackness, yet alive with demoniac voices. All the goblin forms and hideous shapes of Old Tomah's f