Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett

XXIII The Silver Horn

Page 3 of 9

Table Of Contents: The Lost Prince

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

But they did not reach the crags, as they had thought must be inevitable. Suddenly half-way to the sky, as it seemed, they came to a bend in the road and found themselves mounting into a new green world--an astonishing marvel of a world, with green velvet slopes and soft meadows and thick woodland, and cows feeding in velvet pastures, and--as if it had been snowed down from the huge bare mountain crags which still soared above into heaven-- a mysterious, ancient, huddled village which, being thus snowed down, might have caught among the rocks and rested there through all time.

There it stood. There it huddled itself. And the monsters in the blue above it themselves looked down upon it as if it were an incredible thing--this ancient, steep-roofed, hanging-balconied, crumbling cluster of human nests, which seemed a thousand miles from the world. Marco and The Rat stood and stared at it. Then they sat down and stared at it.

``How did it get here?'' The Rat cried.

Marco shook his head. He certainly could see no explanation of its being there. Perhaps some of the oldest villages could tell stories of how its first chalets had gathered themselves together.

An old peasant driving a cow came down a steep path. He looked with a dull curiosity at The Rat and his crutches; but when Marco advanced and spoke to him in German, he did not seem to understand, but shook his head saying something in a sort of dialect Marco did not know.

``If they all speak like that, we shall have to make signs when we want to ask anything,'' The Rat said. ``What will she speak?''

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

``She will know the German for the Sign or we should not have been sent here,'' answered Marco. ``Come on.''

They made their way to the village, which huddled itself together evidently with the object of keeping itself warm when through the winter months the snows strove to bury it and the winds roared down from the huge mountain crags and tried to tear it from among its rocks. The doors and windows were few and small, and glimpses of the inside of the houses showed earthen floors and dark rooms. It was plain that it was counted a more comfortable thing to live without light than to let in the cold.

It was easy enough to reconnoiter. The few people they saw were evidently not surprised that strangers who discovered their unexpected existence should be curious and want to look at them and their houses.

The boys wandered about as if they were casual explorers, who having reached the place by chance were interested in all they saw. They went into the little Gasthaus and got some black bread and sausage and some milk. The mountaineer owner was a brawny fellow who understood some German. He told them that few strangers knew of the village but that bold hunters and climbers came for sport. In the forests on the mountain sides were bears and, in the high places, chamois. Now and again, some great gentlemen came with parties of the daring kind--very great gentlemen indeed, he said, shaking his head with pride. There was one who had castles in other mountains, but he liked best to come here. Marco began to wonder if several strange things might not be true if great gentlemen sometimes climbed to the mysterious place. But he had not been sent to give the Sign to a great gentleman. He had been sent to give it to an old woman with eyes like an eagle which was young.

Page 3 of 9 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Lost Prince
Frances Hodgson Burnett

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004