There was not so much a roar as the purposeful drive of a tide across a jagged reef, which put down every other sound for twenty minutes. A wide sheet of water hurried up to the little terrace on which the house stood, pushed round either corner, rose again and stretched, as it were, yawning beneath the moonlight, joined other sheets waiting for them in unsuspected hollows, and lay out all in one. A puff of wind followed.
This is from “My Son’s Wife” in A Diversity of Creatures.
Franklin Midmore, Hampstead aesthete turned country gentleman, encounters his first Winter flood, a constant threat in his Sussex valley. He rises to the occasion, rescues an endangered neighbour, and finds his true love in the hardy, laconic green-eyed daughter of his country lawyer.