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In the half light, they could see that Mrs

In the half light, they could see that Mrs

Ivimey was leaning over the balcony, with her chin propped on her hands, as if she were looking out over the moors from the top of a tower.

Ivimey as if someone had focussed the lens of a telescope upon her

«He focussed it,» she said. «He focussed it upon the earth. He focussed it upon a dark mass of wood upon the horizon. He focussed it so that he could see. each tree. each tree separate. and the birds. rising and falling. and a stem of smoke. there. in the midst of the trees. And then. lower. lower. (she lowered her eyes). there was a house. a house among the trees. a farm-house. every brick showed. and the tubs on either side of the door. with flowers in them blue, pink, hydrangeas, perhaps. » She paused. «And then a girl came out of the house. wearing something blue upon her head. and stood there. feeding birds. pigeons. they came fluttering round her. And then. look. A man. A man! He came round the corner. He seized her in his arms! They kissed. they kissed.»

«It was the first time he had seen a man kiss a woman-in his telescope-miles and miles away across the moors!»

«So he ran down the stairs. He ran through the fields. He ran down lanes, out upon the high road, through woods. He ran for miles and miles, and just when the stars were showing above the trees he reached the house. covered with dust, streaming with sweat. «

«And then, and then. what did he do then? What did he say? And the girl. » they pressed her.

A shaft of light fell upon Mrs. (It was the air force, looking for enemy air craft.) She had risen. She had something blue on her head. She had raised her hand, as if she stood in a doorway, amazed.

«Oh the girl. She was my-» she hesitated, as if she were about to say «myself.» But she remembered; and corrected herself. «She was my great-grand-mother,» she said.

«That man? Oh, that man,» Mrs. Ivimey murmured, stooping to fumble with her cloak (the searchlight had left the balcony), «he I suppose, vanished.»

The searchlight had passed on. (más…)