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Biloxi (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
hooner, and there was a constant melodious plash along the shore. From the mouth of the bay came up slowly the premonitory line of bluer water, and we knew that a breeze was near. Severance seemed to rise in spirits as we approached the house, and I noticed no sign of shrinking, except an occasional lowering of the voice. Seeing this, I ventured to joke him a little ·on his previous reluctance, and he replied in the same strain. I seated myself at the corner, and began sketching old Fort Louis, while he strolled along the piazza, looking in at the large, vacant windows. As he approached the farther end, I suddenly heard him give a little cry of amazement or dismay, and, looking up, saw him leaning against the wall, with pale face and hands clenched. A minute sometimes appears a long while; and though I sprang to him instantly, yet I remember that it seemed as if, during that instant, the whole face of things had changed. The breeze had come, the bay was rippled, the sail-bo
New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 3
ttractive to me,--perhaps because nobody lived in it, and which, for that or some other reason, he never would approach. It was a great square building of rough gray stone, looking like those sombre houses which every one remembers in Montreal, but which are rare in the States. It had been built many years before by some millionnaire from New Orleans, and was left unfinished, nobody knew why, till the garden was a wilderness of bloom, and the windows of ivy. Oldport is the only place in New England where either ivy or traditions will grow; there were, to be sure, no legends about this house that I could hear of, for the ghosts in those parts were feeble-minded and retrospective by reason of age, and perhaps scorned a mansion where nobody had ever lived; but the ivy clustered round the projecting windows as densely as if it had the sins of a dozen generations to hide. The house stood just above what were commonly called (from their slaty color) the Blue Rocks; it seemed the topmos
Point Judith (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
ps; and one of the men whispered hoarsely to me, that a Nantucket brig had parted her cable, and was drifting in shore. As we entered the garden, lights gleamed in the shrubbery. To my surprise, it was Paul and his wife, with their two oldest children,--these last being quite delighted with the stir, and showing so much illumination, in the lee of the house, that it was quite a Feast of Lanterns. They seemed a little surprised at meeting us, too; but we might as well have talked from Point Judith to Beaver Tail as to have attempted conversation there. I walked round the building; but a flash of lightning showed nothing on the western piazza save a birch-tree, which lay across, blown down by the storm. I therefore went inside, with Paul's household, leaving the fishermen without. Never shall I forget that search. As we went from empty room to room, the thunder seemed rolling on the very roof, and the sharp flashes of lightning appeared to put out our lamps and then kindle th
Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
eory was, that this agent hoped to make our friend buy the place, and so allured him there under pretence of sketching. Moreover, she surmised, he was studying some effect of shadow, because, unlike most men, he appeared in decent spirits only on cloudy days. It is always so easy to fit a man out with a set of ready-made motives! But I drew my own conclusions, and was not surprised to hear, soon after, that Severance was seriously ill. This brought me back at once,--sailing down from Providence in an open boat, I remember, one lovely moonlight night. Next day I saw Severance, who declared that he had suffered from nothing worse than a prolonged sick-headache. I soon got out of him all that had happened. He had seen the figure in the window every sunny day, he said. Of course he had, if he chose to look for it, and I could only smile, though it perhaps seemed unkind. But I stopped smiling when he went on to tell that, not satisfied with these observations, he had visited the
Portsmouth, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
mbining, with puffs of what seemed smoke, and a few wan sunbeams sometimes striking through for fire. Wherever the eye turned, there appeared some flying fragment not seen before; and yet in an hour this noiseless Antietam grew still, and a settled leaden film overspread the sky, yielding only to some level lines of light where the sun went down. Perhaps our driver was looking toward the sky more than to his own affairs, for, just as all this ended a wheel gave out, and we had to stop in Portsmouth for repairs. By the time we were again in motion, the changing wind had brought up a final thunder-storm, which broke upon us ere we reached our homes. It was rather an uncommon thing, so late in the season; for the lightning, like other brilliant visitors, usually appears in Oldport during only a month or two of every year. The coach set me down at my own door, so soaked that I might have floated in. I peeped into Severance's room, however, on the way to my own. Strange to say, no o
Tiverton (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
ng his late voyage. Among them were a dozen studies of just such capotes as I had seen,--some in profile, completely screening the wearer, others disclosing women's faces, old or young. He seemed to wish to put them away, however, when I came in. Really, the plot seemed to thicken; and it was a little provoking to understand it no better, when all the materials seemed close to one's hands. A day or two later, I was summoned to Boston. Returning thence by the stage-coach, we drove from Tiverton, the whole length of the island, under one of those wild and wonderful skies which give, better than anything in nature, the effect of a field of battle. The heavens were filled with ten thousand separate masses of cloud, varying in shade from palest gray to iron-black, borne rapidly to and fro by upper and lower currents of opposing wind. They seemed to be charging, retreating, breaking, recombining, with puffs of what seemed smoke, and a few wan sunbeams sometimes striking through for
Fayal (Portugal) (search for this): chapter 3
psized punt. Mother ain't a Bavarian, quoth the young salt. Father's a Bavarian; mother's a Portegee. Portegees wear them hoods. I am a Portuguese, sir, from Fayal, said the woman, prolonging with sweet intonation the soft name of her birthplace. This is my caplote, she added, taking up with pride the uncouth costume, while peculiar local costume with any other. Returning to Severance's chamber, I said nothing of all this. He was, by an odd coincidence, looking over a portfolio of Fayal sketches made by himself during his late voyage. Among them were a dozen studies of just such capotes as I had seen,--some in profile, completely screening the weeck,--I afterwards learned all the remaining facts from the only neighbor in whom they had placed confidence. Severance, while convalescing at a country-house in Fayal, had fallen passionately in love with a young peasant-girl, who had broken off her intended marriage for love of him, and had sunk into a half-imbecile melancholy
Nantucket (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
ad haunted the great house, which, she said, reminded her of her own island, so that she liked to wear thither the capote which had been the pride of her heart at home. On the few occasions when she had caught a glimpse 6f Severance, he had seemed to her, no doubt, as much a phantom as she seemed to him. On the night of the storm, they had both sought their favorite haunt, unconscious of each other, and the friends of each had followed in alarm. I got traces of the family afterwards at Nantucket, and later at Narragansett, and had reason to think that Paul was employed, one summer, by a farmer on Conanicut; but I was always just too late for them; and the money which Severance left, as his only reparation for poor Emilia, never was paid. The affair was hushed up, and very few, even among the neighbors, knew the tragedy that had passed by them with the storm. After Severance died, I had that temporary feeling of weakened life which remains after the first friend or the first l
Narragansett (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
e, which, she said, reminded her of her own island, so that she liked to wear thither the capote which had been the pride of her heart at home. On the few occasions when she had caught a glimpse 6f Severance, he had seemed to her, no doubt, as much a phantom as she seemed to him. On the night of the storm, they had both sought their favorite haunt, unconscious of each other, and the friends of each had followed in alarm. I got traces of the family afterwards at Nantucket, and later at Narragansett, and had reason to think that Paul was employed, one summer, by a farmer on Conanicut; but I was always just too late for them; and the money which Severance left, as his only reparation for poor Emilia, never was paid. The affair was hushed up, and very few, even among the neighbors, knew the tragedy that had passed by them with the storm. After Severance died, I had that temporary feeling of weakened life which remains after the first friend or the first love passes, and the heart
Montreal (Canada) (search for this): chapter 3
aying more submarine cables than ever. When we were not on the water, we both liked to mouse about the queer streets and quaint old houses of that region, and to chat with the fishermen and their grandmothers. There was one house, however, which was very attractive to me,--perhaps because nobody lived in it, and which, for that or some other reason, he never would approach. It was a great square building of rough gray stone, looking like those sombre houses which every one remembers in Montreal, but which are rare in the States. It had been built many years before by some millionnaire from New Orleans, and was left unfinished, nobody knew why, till the garden was a wilderness of bloom, and the windows of ivy. Oldport is the only place in New England where either ivy or traditions will grow; there were, to be sure, no legends about this house that I could hear of, for the ghosts in those parts were feeble-minded and retrospective by reason of age, and perhaps scorned a mansion whe
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