Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Lazy, Idle Brook Henry van Dyke

A Casual Introduction

Page 3 of 4

Table Of Contents: Fisherman's Luck

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

At the upper end of the bower our progress in the boat was barred by a low bridge, on a forgotten road that wound through the pine-woods. Here I left my lady Graygown, seated on the shady corner of the bridge with a book, swinging her feet over the stream, while I set out to explore its further course. Above the wood-road there were no more fairy dells, nor easy-going estuaries. The water came down through the most complicated piece of underbrush that I have ever encountered. Alders and swamp maples and pussy-willows and gray birches grew together in a wild confusion. Blackberry bushes and fox-grapes and cat-briers trailed and twisted themselves anger.

What a pretty battle it is, and in a good cause, too! Waste no pity on that big black ruffian. He is a villain and a thief, an egg-stealer, an ogre, a devourer of unfledged innocents. The kingbirds are not afraid of him, knowing that he is a coward at heart. They fly upon him, now from below, now from above. They buffet him from one side and from the other. They circle round him like a pair of swift gunboats round an antiquated man-of-war. They even perch upon his back and dash their beaks into his neck and pluck feathers from his piratical plumage. At last his lumbering flight has carried him far enough away, and the brave little defenders fly back to the nest, poising above it on quivering wings for a moment, then dipping down swiftly in pursuit of some passing insect. The war is over. Courage has had its turn. Now tenderness comes into an incredible tangle. There was only one way to advance, and that was to wade in the middle of the brook, stooping low, lifting up the pendulous alder-branches, threading a tortuous course, now under and now over the innumerable obstacles, as a darning-needle is pushed in and out through the yarn of a woollen stocking.

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

It was dark and lonely in that difficult passage. The brook divided into many channels, turning this way and that way, as if it were lost in the woods. There were huge clumps of OSMUNDA REGALIS spreading their fronds in tropical profusion. Mouldering logs were covered with moss. The water gurgled slowly into deep corners under the banks. Catbirds and blue jays fluttered screaming from the thickets. Cotton-tailed rabbits darted away, showing the white flag of fear. Once I thought I saw the fuscous gleam of a red fox stealing silently through the brush. It would have been no surprise to hear the bark of a raccoon, or see the eyes of a wildcat gleaming through the leaves.

For more than an hour I was pushing my way through this miniature wilderness of half a mile; and then I emerged suddenly, to find myself face to face with--a railroad embankment and the afternoon express, with its parlour-cars, thundering down to Southampton!

It was a strange and startling contrast. The explorer's joy, the sense of adventure, the feeling of wildness and freedom, withered and crumpled somewhat preposterously at the sight of the parlour-cars. My scratched hands and wet boots and torn coat seemed unkempt and disreputable. Perhaps some of the well-dressed people looking out at the windows of the train were the friends with whom we were to dine on Saturday. BATECHE! What would they say to such a costume as mine? What did I care what they said!

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Fisherman's Luck
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004