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The Deluge, Vol. II. (of 2)
An Historical Novel of Poland, Sweden, and Russia.

written by "Sienkiewicz, Henryk, 1846-1916"
...uge to his head. Silence followed, and only sighs interrupted it. The evening was frosty, clear; the mountains and the summits of the neighboring fir-trees were in purple, farther off in the shadow they had begun to put on violet; but the road on which the king was lying turned as it were into a ruddy and golden ribbon, and rays fell on the king, bishops, and dignitaries. Then a breeze began from the summits, and bearing on its wings sparks of snow, flew to the valley. Therefore the nearer fir-trees began to bend their snow-covered heads, bow to their lord, and to make a joyous and rustling sound, as if they were singing that old song, "Be welcome to us, thou dear master!" Darkness had already filled the air when the king's retinue moved forward. Beyond the defile was spread out a rather roomy plain, the other end of which was lost in the distance. Light was dying all around; only in one place the sky was still bright with red. The king began to repeat Ave Maria; after him the others with concentration of spirit repeated the pious words. Their native land, unvisited by them for a long time; the mountains which night was now covering; the dying twilight, the prayer,—all these caused a solemnity of heart and mind; hence after the prayer the king, the dignitaries, and the knights rode on in silence. Night fell, but in the east the sky was shining still more redly. "Let us go toward that twilight," said the king, at last; "it is a wonder that it is shining yet." Then Kmita galloped up. "Gracious Lord, that is a fire!" cried he. All halted. "How is that?" asked the king; "it seems to me that 'tis the twilight." "A fire, a fire! I am not mistaken!" cried Kmita. And indeed, of all of the attendants of the king he knew most in that matter. At last it was no longer possible to doubt, since above that supposed twilight were rising as it were red cl...

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