Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Painted Windows Elia W. Peattie


Page 4 of 5

Table Of Contents: Painted Windows

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

It seemed as if a long time passed, a time in which I knew very little except that I was fighting for my breath as I never had fought for anything. There were more hurts and bruises now, but they did not matter. Just to draw my own breath in my own way seemed to be the only thing in the world that was of any account. And then there was a shaft of flame, an earsplitting roar, and the rain was upon us in sheets, in streams, in visible rivers. I imagined that it would last a long time, and wondered in a daze how I could get home in a rain like that -- for I should have to face it. I could see that in a few seconds the gutters had begun to race, the road where I lay was a stream, and then -- then the rain ceased. Never was anything so astonishing. The sky came out blue, tattered rags of cloud raced across it, and I had time to conclude that, whipped and almost breathless though I was, I was still alive.

And then I saw a curious sight. Down the street in every direction came rushing hatless men and women. Here and there a wild-eyed horse was being lashed along. All the town was coming. They were in their work clothes, in their slippers, in their wrappers -- they were in anything and everything. Some of them sobbed as they ran, some called aloud names that I knew. They were fathers and mothers looking for their children.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

And who was that -- that woman with a white face, with hair falling about her shoulders, where it had fallen as she ran -- that woman whose breath came between her teeth strangely and who called my name over and over, bleatingly, as a mother sheep calls its lamb? At first I did not recognise her, and then, at last, I knew. And that creature with the rolling eyes and the curious ash-coloured face who, mumbling something over and over in his throat, came for me, and snatched me up and wiped my face free of mud, and felt of me here and there with trembling hands -- who was he?

And breaking out of the crowd of men who had come running from the street of stores and offices, was another strange being, with a sort of battle light in his eyes, who, seeing me, gathered me to him and bore me away toward home. Looking back, I could see the woman I knew following, leaning on the arm of the boy with the rolling eyes, whose eyes had ceased to roll, and who was quite recognisable now as Toot.

A happiness that was almost as terrible as sorrow welled up in my heart. I did not weep, or laugh, or talk. All I had experienced had carried me beyond mere excitement into exultation. I exulted in life, in love. My conceit and sulkiness died in that storm, as did many another thing. I was alive. I was loved. I said it over and over to myself silently, in "my heart's deep core," while mother washed me with trembling hands in my own dear room, bound up my hurts, braided my hair, and put me, in a fresh night-dress, into my bed. I do not recall that we talked to each other, but in every caress of her hands as she worked I felt the un-spoken assurances of a love such as I had not dreamed of.

Father had gone running back to the school to see if he could be of any assistance to his neighbours, and had taken Toot with him, but they were back presently to say that beyond a few sharp injuries and broken bones, no harm had been done to the children. It was considered miraculous that no one had been killed or seriously injured, and I noticed that father's voice trembled as he told of it, and that mother could not answer, and that Toot sobbed like a big silly boy.

Page 4 of 5 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Painted Windows
Elia W. Peattie

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004