Books > Old Books > The Plumed Serpent (1926)


Page 442

CHAPTER XXVII - Here!

The sky was very high and pure. In the morning came the sound of drums, and on the motionless, crystal air the cry for the pauses of the day. And always the day seemed to be pausing and unfolding again to the greater mystery. The universe seemed to have opened vast and soft and delicate with life.
There was something curiously soothing even in the full, pale, dove-brown water of the lake. A boat was coming over, with its sail hollowed out like a shell, pearly white, and its sharp black canoe-beak slipping past the water. It looked like the boat of Dionysos coming with a message, and the vine sprouting.
Kate could hardly remember now the dry rigid pallor of the heat, when the whole earth seemed to crepitate viciously with dry malevolence: like memory gone dry and sterile, hellish.
Ramon and Teresa came along the lake, and rowed into the basin. It was a morning when the shadows on the mountains were almost cornflower blue.
`Yet you must go away?' Ramon said to her.
`For a little while. You don't think I am Lot's wife, do you?'
`No!' laughed Ramon. `I think you're Cipriano's.'
`I am really. But I want to go back for a little while.'
'Ah yes! Better go and then come again. Tell them in your Ireland to do as we have done here.'
`But how?'
`Let them find themselves again, and their own universe, and their own gods. Let them substantiate their own mysteries. The Irish have been so wordy about their far-off heroes and green days of the heroic gods. Now tell them to substantiate them, as we have tried to substantiate Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli.'
`I will tell them,' she said. `If there is anybody to listen.'
`Yes!' he said.
He watched the white sail blowing nearer.
`But why do you go away?' he asked her, after a silence.
`You don't care, do you?' she said.
There was a dead pause.
`Yes, I care,' he said.
`But why?'
Again it was some time before he answered

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