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首页 » 经典英文小说 » 冰岛垂钓者 An Iceland Fisherman » Part 2 In The Breton Land Chapter 10
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Part 2 In The Breton Land Chapter 10

Rain in torrents, under a heavy black sky. This was India. Sylvestrehad just set foot upon land, chance selecting him to complete the crewof a whale boat. He felt the warm shower upon him through the thickfoliage, and looked around, surprised at the novel sight. All wasmagnificently green; the leaves of the trees waved like giganticfeathers, and the people walking beneath them had large velvety eyes,which seemed to close under the weight of their lashes. The very windthat brought the rain had the odour of musk and flowers.

  At a distance, dusky girls beckoned him to come to them. Some happystrain they sang, like the "Whist! here, you darling boy!" so oftenheard at Brest. But seductive as was their country, their call wasimperious and exasperating, making his very flesh shudder. Theirperfect bosoms rose and fell under transparent muslin, in which theywere solely draped; they were glowing and polished as in bronzestatues. Hesitating, fascinated by them, he wavered about, followingthem; but the boatswain's sharp shrill whistle rent the air with bird-like trills, summoning him hurriedly back to his boat, about to pushoff.

  He took his flight, and bade farewell to India's beauties.

  After a second week of the blue sea, they paused off another land ofdewy verdure. A crowd of yellow men appeared, yelling out and pressingon deck, bringing coal in baskets.

  "Already in China?" asked Sylvestre, at the sight of those grotesquefigures in pigtails.

  "Bless you, no, not yet," they told him; "have a little morepatience."It was only Singapore. He went up into his mast-top again, to avoidthe black dust tossed about by the breeze, while the coal wasfeverishly heaped up in the bunkers from little baskets.

  One day, at length, they arrived off a land called Tourane, where the/Circe/ was anchored, to blockade the port. This was the ship to whichSylvestre had been long ago assigned, and he was left there with hisbag.

  On board he met with two mates from home, Icelanders, who werecaptains of guns for the time being. Through the long, hot, stillevenings, when there was no work to be done, they clustered on deckapart from the others, to form together a little Brittany ofremembrances.

  Five months he passed there in inaction and exile, locked up in thecheerless bay, with the feverish desire to go out and fight and slay,for change's sake.



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