Monday, August 19, 2013

Spring in Geneva - Snip 3

This time we're almost in at the deep end. Or rather, here's the last paragraph of Snip 2, preceding Snip 3.
 To begin at the beginning, there was Snip1, and Snip 1 AND Snip 2 is here

But this time:

This time I was not vouchsafed a reply. Voices came from behind us, others descending the Rue de la Croix Rouge from Old Town. My interlocutor flung up his head, much in the manner of a startled deer. Then in one motion he swept his outer garment round him, in three enormous bounds reached the lower wall, swung himself over with the spring of an East Indian orangutan, and vanished. All that remained was the flower, a spot of purple, darker than blood upon sere winter grass.
* * * * * 

Picture, my friend, the speculation, the conjecture, the excitement generated in me by this interlude. Three times that day did uncle Laurent have to chide me, even to cry laughingly, “Fie, Anton, do you fancy yourself back at University? The house heir blotting his ledger like a callow clerk? For shame!”
My internal ferment had hardly subsided before, next day being Sunday, some friends had proposed a walk in the Plainpalais. It was a clear afternoon at last, the trees finally leafing, and a mere brisk breeze. As I approached our rendezvous, motion in the nearest copse caught my eye. Something large and dark had bobbed up and hastily down again. In a moment my eye distinguished, amid the birch-boughs and rhododendron bushes, the unmistakable form of my acquaintance from the Parc des Bastions.
“Sir!” I hailed him, turning aside. “Monsieur del Fuegan!” What other appellation could I use? “How do you, sir?”
Recognition seemed to deter him from what had promised to become open flight. While he wavered, I drew near enough to make such escape rank discourtesy. “You too are enjoying this fine day?”
He nodded and mumbled something, but this time I was determined to assuage my curiosity by whatever unmannerly means. “You are staying in Geneva? Or along the lake, perhaps?”
Before he could reply a woman cried behind me, “William! William! What are you doing?

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