II.5. How the Great Wind Went from Beacon House
Mary was walking between Diana and Rosamund slowly up and down the
garden; they were silent, and the sun had set. Such spaces of daylight as
remained open in the west were of a warm-tinted white, which can be compared
to nothing but a cream cheese; and the lines of plumy cloud that ran across them
had a soft but vivid violet bloom, like a violet smoke. All the rest of the scene
swept and faded away into a dove-like gray, and seemed to melt and mount into
Mary's dark-gray figure until she seemed clothed with the garden and the skies.
There was something in these last quiet colours that gave her a setting and a
supremacy; and the twilight, which concealed Diana's statelier figure and
Rosamund's braver array, exhibited and emphasized her, leaving her the lady of
the garden, and alone.
When they spoke at last it was evident that a conversation long fallen silent was
"But where is your husband taking you?" asked Diana in her practical voice.
"To an aunt," said Mary; "that's just the joke. There really is an aunt, and we left
the children with her when I arranged to be turned out of the other boarding-
house down the road. We never take more than a week of this kind of holiday,
but sometimes we take two of them together."
"Does the aunt mind much?" asked Rosamund innocently. "Of course, I dare say
it's very narrow-minded and--what's that other word?-- you know, what Goliath
was--but I've known many aunts who would think it--well, silly."
"Silly?" cried Mary with great heartiness. "Oh, my Sunday hat! I should think it
was silly! But what do you expect? He really is a good man, and it might have
been snakes or something."