One Autumn Night part 4


    In a monotonous tone she set about calculating our discoveries.

    “A basketful of bottles thick furs a sunshade an iron pail.”

    All this was uneatable. I felt that my hopes had vanished.

    But suddenly she exclaimed vivaciously:

    “Aha! here it is!”


    “Bread… a loaf… it`s only wet… take it!”

    A loaf flew to my feet and after it herself, my valiant comrade. I had already bitten off a morsel, stuffed it in my mouth, and was chewing it….
    “Come, give me some too!… And we mustn`t stay here.

    Where shall we go?” She looked inquiringly about on all sides.

    It was dark, wet, and boisterous.

    “Look! there`s an upset canoe yonder… let us go there.”

    Feared Nobody

    “Let us go then!” And off we set, demolishing our booty as we went, and filling our mouths with large portions of it. The rain grew more violent, the river roared; from somewhere or other resounded a prolonged mocking whistle just as if Someone great who feared nobody was whistling down all earthly institutions and along with them this horrid autumnal wind and us, its heroes. This whistling made my heart throb painfully, in spite of which I greedily went on eating, and in this respect the girl, walking on my left, kept even pace with me.

    “What do they call you?” I asked her why I know not.

    “Natasha,” she answered shortly, munching loudly.

    I stared at her. My heart ached within me; and then I stared into the mist before me, and it seemed to me as if the inimical countenance of my Destiny was smiling at me enigmatically and coldly.

    The rain scourged the timbers of the skiff incessantly, and its soft patter induced melancholy thoughts, and the wind whistled as it flew down into the boat`s battered bottom through a rift, where some loose splinters of wood were rattling together a disquieting and depressing sound.

    The waves of the river were splashing on the shore, and sounded so monotonous and hopeless, just as if they were telling something unbearably dull and heavy, which was- boring them into utter disgust, something from which they wanted to run away and yet were obliged to talk about all the same.

    The sound of the rain blended with their splashing, and a long-drawn sigh seemed to be floating above the overturned skiff the endless, laboring sigh of the earth, injured and exhausted by the eternal changes from the bright and warm summer to the cold, misty and damp autumn. The wind blew continually over the desolate shore and the foaming river blew and sang its melancholy songs.

    Read More about Antiochus Strategos part 17