A Journey in Other Worlds HTML version
Dreamland To Shadowland
As Ayrault's consciousness returned, he fancied he heard music. Though distant, it was
distinct, and seemed to ring from the ether of space. Occasionally it sounded even more
remote, but it was rhythmical and continuous, inspiring and stirring him as nothing that
he had ever heard before. Finally, it was overcome by the more vivid impressions upon
his other senses, and he found himself walking in the streets of his native city. It was
spring, and the trees were white with buds. The long shadows of the late afternoon
stretched across the way, but the clear sky gave indication of prolonged twilight, and the
air was warm and balmy. Nature was filled with life, and seemed to be proclaiming that
the cold was past.
As he moved along the street he met a funeral procession.
"What a pity," he thought, "a man should die, with summer so near at hand!"
He was also surprised at the keenness of his sight; for, inclosed in each man's body, he
saw the outline of his soul. But the dead man's body was empty, like a cage without a
bird. He also read the thoughts in their minds.
"Now," said a large man in the carriage next the hearse, "I may win her, since she is a
The widow herself kept thinking: "Would it had been I! His life was essential to the
children, while I should scarcely have been missed. I wish I had no duties here, and might
follow him now."
While pondering on these things, he reached Sylvia's house, and went into the little room
in which he had so often seen her. The warm southwesterly breeze blew through the open
windows, and far beyond Central Park the approaching sunset promised to be beautiful.
The table was covered with flowers, and though he had often seen that variety, he had
never before noticed the marvellous combinations of colours, while the room was filled
with a thousand delicious perfumes. The thrush hanging in the window sang divinely, and
in a silver frame he saw a likeness of himself.
"I have always loved this room," he thought, "but it seems to me now like heaven."
He sat down in an arm-chair from force of habit, to await his fiancee.
"Oh, for a walk with Sylvia by twilight!" his thoughts ran on, "for she need not be at
home again till after seven."
Presently he heard the soft rustle of her dress, and rose to meet her. Though she looked in
his direction, she did not seem to see him, and walked past him to the window. She was
the picture of loveliness silhouetted against the sky. He went towards her, and gazed into