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A Prisoner in Fairyland

Chapter 16
Aus den Himmelsaugen droben
Fallen zitternd goldne Funken
Durch die Nacht, und meine Seele
Dehnt sich liebeweit und weiter.
O ihr Himmelsaugen droben,
Weint euch aus in meine Seele,
Dass von lichten Sternentranen
Uberfliesset meine Seele!
Heine.
They rose, fluttered a moment above the lilac bushes, and then shot forward like
the curve of a rainbow into the sleeping house. The next second they stood
beside the bed of the Widow Jequier.
She lay there, so like a bundle of untidy sticks that, but for the sadness upon the
weary face, they could have burst out laughing. The perfume of the wistaria
outside the open window came in sweetly, yet could not lighten the air of heavy
gloom that clothed her like a garment. Her atmosphere was dull, all streaked with
greys and black, for her mind, steeped in anxiety even while she slept, gave forth
cloudy vapours of depression and disquietude that made impossible the
approach of--light. Starlight, certainly, could not force an entrance, and even
sunlight would spill half its radiance before it reached her heart. The help she
needed she thus deliberately shut out. Before going to bed her mood had been
one of anxious care and searching worry. It continued, of course, in sleep.
'Now,' thought their leader briskly, 'we must deal with this at once'; and the
children, understanding his unspoken message, approached closer to the bed.
How brilliant their little figures were--Jimbo, a soft, pure blue, and Monkey tinged
faintly here and there with delicate clear orange. Thus do the little clouds of
sunset gather round to see the sun get into bed. And in utter silence; all their
intercourse was silent--thought, felt, but never spoken.
For a moment there was hesitation. Cousinenry was uncertain exactly how to
begin. Tante Jeanne's atmosphere was so very thick he hardly knew the best
way to penetrate it. Her mood had been so utterly black and rayless. But his
hesitation operated like a call for help that flew instantly about the world and was
communicated to the golden threads that patterned the outside sky. They
quivered, flashed the message automatically; the enormous network repeated it
as far as England, and the answer came. For thought is instantaneous, and
desire is prayer. Quick as lightning came the telegram. Beside them stood a burly
figure of gleaming gold.
'I'll do it,' said the earthy voice. 'I'll show you 'ow. For she loves 'er garden. Her
sympathy with trees and flowers lets me in. Always send for me when she's in a
mess, or needs a bit of trimmin' and cleanin' up.'
The Head Gardener pushed past them with his odour of soil and burning leaves,
his great sunburned face and his browned, stained hands. These muscular, big
hands he spread above her troubled face; he touched her heart; he blew his
 
 
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