(Oct 16th to 22nd)

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‘there are noises under the sea, and sounds overhead in a clear sky. Then you find your island alive with hot moist orchids that make mouths at you and can do everything except talk. There’s a waterfall in it three hundred feet high, just like a sliver of green jade laced with silver; and millions of wild bees live up in the rocks; and you can hear the fat cocoa-nuts falling from the palms; and you order an ivory-white servant to sling you a long yellow hammock with tassels on it like ripe maize, and you put up your feet and hear the bees hum and the water fall till you go to sleep.’


This is from Chapter VII of The Light that Failed.

Dick Heldar has taken Maisie off for the day to a scene of their childhood, and as they gaze out to sea as night falls, he tries to persuade her to come away with him and see the wondrous world out there. She will not come.

There were still, hot hollows surrounded by wet rocks where he could hardly breathe for the heavy scents of the night flowers and the bloom along the creeper buds; dark avenues where the moonlight lay in belts as regular as checkered marbles in a church aisle; thickets where the wet young growth stood breast-high about him and threw its arms round his waist; and hilltops crowned with broken rock, where he leaped from stone to stone above the lairs of the frightened little foxes. He would hear, very faint and far off, the chug-drug of a boar sharpening his tusks on a bole;


This is from “The Spring Running” in The Second Jungle Book.

The Jungle Spring with new growth, and with it new sights and smells and colours, has come with a rush. Mowgli, alone, is seized by sudden unhappiness, and decides to make a running to the marshes of the north. Here he is on his way.

‘I’d no fault to find with those days. In the cool o’ the morning the cat-bird sings. He’s something to listen to. And there’s a smell of wild grape-vine growing in damp hollows which you drop into, after long rides in the heat, which is beyond compare for sweetness. So’s the puffs out of the pine woods of afternoons. Come sundown, the frogs strike up, and later on the fireflies dance in the corn. Oh me, the fireflies in the corn!


This is from “Brother Square-Toes” in Rewards and Fairies.

Pharaoh Lee, who made his way to Philadephia as a stowaway with nothing but his fiddle, is telling of days out with the Seneca Indians in the woods of Pennsylvania.