The evening was approaching, the rain was falling, and the wind blew violently from the north. It whistled in the empty booths and shops, blew into the plastered window-panes of the taverns, and whipped into foam the wavelets of the river which splashed noisily on the sandy shore, casting high their white crests, racing one after another into the dim distance, and leaping impetuously over one another’s shoulders.
It seemed as if the river felt the proximity of winter, and was running at random away from the fetters of ice which the north wind might well have flung upon her that very night. The sky was heavy and dark; down from it swept incessantly scarcely visible drops of rain, and the melancholy elegy in nature all around me was emphasized by a couple of battered and misshapen willow-trees and a oat, bottom upwards, that was fastened to their roots.
The overturned canoe with its battered keel and the miserable old trees rifled by the cold wind everything around me was bankrupt, barren, and dead, and the sky flowed with undryable tears…. Everything around was waste and gloomy… it seemed as if everything were dead, leaving me alone among the living, and for me also a cold death waited.
I was then eighteen years old a good time!
Cold wet sand
I walked and walked along the cold wet sand, making my chattering teeth warble in honor of cold and hunger, when suddenly, as I was carefully searching for something to eat behind one of the empty crates, I perceived behind it, crouching on the ground, a figure in woman’s clothes dank with the rain and clinging fast to her stooping shoulders. Standing over -her, I watched to see what she was doing. It appeared that she was digging a trench in the sand with her hands digging away under one of the crates.
“Why are you doing that?” I asked, crouching down on my heels quite close to her.
She gave a little scream and was quickly on her legs again. Now that she stood there staring at me, with her wide-open gray eyes full of terror, I perceived that it was a girl of my own age, with a very pleasant face embellished unfortunately by three large blue marks.
This spoilt her, although these blue marks had been distributed with a remarkable urns of proportion, one at a time, and all were of equal size two under the eyes, and one a little bigger on the forehead just over the bridge of the nose. This symmetry was evidently the work of an artist Well inured to the business of spoiling the human physiognomy.