The Hand of Ethelberta HTML version

5.At The Window - The Road Home
The dancing was over at last, and the radiant company had
left the room. A long and weary night it had been for the two
players, though a stimulated interest had hindered physical
exhaustion in one of them for a while. With tingling fingers
and aching arms they came out of the alcove into the long
and deserted apartment, now pervaded by a dry haze. The
lights had burnt low, and Faith and her brother were waiting
by request till the wagonette was ready to take them home, a
breakfast being in course of preparation for them meanwhile.
Christopher had crossed the room to relieve his cramped
limbs, and now, peeping through a crevice in the window
curtains, he said suddenly, 'Who's for a transformation
scene? Faith, look here!'
He touched the blind, up it flew, and a gorgeous scene
presented itself to her eyes. A huge inflamed sun was
breasting the horizon of a wide sheet of sea which, to her
surprise and delight, the mansion overlooked. The brilliant
disc fired all the waves that lay between it and the shore at
the bottom of the grounds, where the water tossed the ruddy
light from one undulation to another in glares as large and
clear as mirrors, incessantly altering them, destroying them,
and creating them again; while further off they multiplied,
thickened, and ran into one another like struggling armies, till
they met the fiery source of them all.
'O, how wonderful it is!' said Faith, putting her hand on
Christopher's arm. 'Who knew that whilst we were all shut in
here with our puny illumination such an exhibition as this
was going on outside! How sorry and mean the grand and
stately room looks now!'
Christopher turned his back upon the window, and there
were the hitherto beaming candle-flames shining no more
radiantly than tarnished javelin-heads, while the snow-white