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Spy Rock Henry van Dyke

Section III.

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"Do you mean to say that you can look beyond it?"

"Beyond yours--yes. And beyond any that you would dream possible--See! Your sight reaches to that dim cloud of smoke in the south? And beneath it you can make out, perhaps, a vague blotch of shadow, or a tiny flash of brightness where the sun strikes it? New York! But I can see the great buildings, the domes, the spires, the crowded wharves, the tides of people whirling through the streets--and beyond that, the sea, with the ships coming and going! I can follow them on their courses--and beyond that--Oh! when I am on Spy Rock I can see more than other men can imagine."

For a moment, strange to say, I almost fancied could follow him. The magnetism of his spirit imposed upon me, carried me away with him. Then sober reason told me that he was talking of impossibilities.

"Keene," said I, "you are dreaming. The view and the air have intoxicated you. This is a phantasy, a delusion!"

"It pleases you to call it so," he said, "but I only tell you my real experience. Why it should be impossible I do not understand. There is no reason why the power of sight should not be cultivated, enlarged, expanded indefinitely."

"And the straight rays of light?" I asked. "And the curvature of the earth which makes a horizon inevitable?"

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"Who knows what a ray of light is?" said he. "Who can prove that it may not be curved, under certain conditions, or refracted in some places in a way that is not possible elsewhere? I tell you there is something extraordinary about this Spy Rock. It is a seat of power--Nature's observatory. More things are visible here than anywhere else--more than I have told you yet. But come, we have little time left. For half an hour, each of us shall enjoy what he can see. Then home again to the narrower outlook, the restricted life."

The downward journey was swifter than the ascent, but no less fatiguing. By the time we reached the school, an hour after dark, I was very tired. But Keene was in one of his moods of exhilaration. He glowed like a piece of phosphorus that has been drenched with light.

Graham took the first opportunity of speaking with me alone.

"Well?" said he.

"Well!" I answered. "You were wrong. There is no treason in Keene's walks, no guilt in his moods. But there is something very strange. I cannot form a judgment yet as to what we should do. We must wait a few days. It will do no harm to be patient. Indeed, I have promised not to judge, not to speak of it, until a certain time. Are you satisfied?"

"This is a curious story," said he, "and I am puzzled by it. But I trust you, I agree to wait, though I am far from satisfied."

Our second expedition was appointed for the following Saturday. Keene was hungry for it, and I was almost as eager, desiring to penetrate as quickly as possible into the heart of the affair. Already a conviction in regard to it was pressing upon me, and I resolved to let him talk, this time, as freely as he would, without interruption or denial.

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The Blue Flower
Henry van Dyke

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