A Prisoner in Fairyland
See, the busy Pleiades,
Sisters to the Hyades,
Seven by seven
Across the heaven,
With their fire,
Working cunningly together in a soft and tireless band,
All our thinking
In the Net of Sympathy that brings back Fairyland.
The prophecy of the children that Bourcelles was a difficult place to get away
from found its justification next morning, for Rogers slept so heavily that he
nearly missed his train. It was six o'clock when he tumbled downstairs, too late
for a real breakfast, and only just in time to get his luggage upon the little char
that did duty for all transport in this unsophisticated village. The carpenter pulled
it for him to the station.
'If I've forgotten anything, my cousin will send it after me,' he told Mme. Michaud,
as he gulped down hot coffee on the steps.
'Or we can keep it for you,' was the answer. 'You'll be coming back soon.' She
knew, like the others, that one always came back to Bourcelles. She shook
hands with him as if he were going away for a night or two. 'Your room will
always be ready,' she added. 'Ayez la bonte seulement de m'envoyer une petite
'There's only fifteen minutes,' interrupted her husband, 'and it's uphill all the way.'
They trundled off along the dusty road, already hot in the early July sun. There
was no breath of wind; swallows darted in the blue air; the perfume of the forests
was everywhere; the mountains rose soft and clear into the cloudless sky. They
passed the Citadelle, where the awning was already being lowered over the
balcony for Mlle. Lemaire's bed to be wheeled out a little later. Rogers waved his
handkerchief, and saw the answering flutter inside the window. Riquette, on her
way in, watched him from the tiles. The orchards then hid the lower floors; he
passed the tinkling fountain; to the left he saw the church and the old Pension,
the wistaria blossoms falling down its walls in a cascade of beauty.
The Postmaster put his head out and waved his Trilby hat with a solemn smile.
'Le barometre est tres haut...' floated down the village street, instead of the
sentence of good-bye. Even the Postmaster took it for granted that he was not
leaving. Gygi, standing in the door of his barn, raised his peaked hat and smiled.
'Fait beau, ce matin,' he said, 'plus tard il fera rudement chaud.' He spoke as if
Rogers were off for a walk or climb. It was the same everywhere. The entire
village saw him go, yet behaved as if he was not really leaving. How fresh and