Page:Poor White.djvu/42

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shaling the other clouds. Under its influence they be- came agitated and moved restlessly about. Out of the body of the most active of the clouds long vapor- ous arms were extended. They pulled and hauled at the other clouds making them also restless and agitated. Hugh's mind, as he sat in the darkness on the cliff above the river that night in Burlington, was deeply stirred. Again he was a boy lying in the woods above his river, and the visions that had come to him there returned with startling clearness. He got off the log and lying in the wet grass, closed his eyes. His body became warm. Hugh thought his mind had gone out of his body and up into the sky to join the clouds and the stars, to play with them. From the sky he thought he looked down on the earth and saw rolling fields, hills and for- ests. He had no part in the lives of the men and women of the earth, but was torn away from them, left to stand by himself. From his place in the sky above the earth he saw the great river going majestically along. For a time it was quiet and contemplative as the sky had been when he was a boy down below lying on his belly in the wood. He saw men pass in boats and could hear their voices dimly. A great quiet prevailed and he looked abroad beyond the wide expanse of the river and saw fields and towns. They were all hushed and still. An air of waiting hung over them. And then the river was whipped into ac- tion by some strange unknown force, something that had come out of a distant place, out of the place to which the cloud had gone and from which it had re- turned to stir and agitate the other clouds. The river now went tearing along. It overflowed its

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