The Vagrant and Other Tales

 
9780217643825: The Vagrant and Other Tales
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1887. Excerpt: ... A SAGHALINIAN. THE TALE OP A VAGRANT. My comrade had gone, and I was to spend the night alone in our yourt. Not feeling in the mood for working, I did not light the fire, and, as I reclined on my bed, I fell by degrees under the dismal spell of the gathering gloom and silence, while the waning daylight merged itself into the cold night-mist.' Little by little, the last rays of light disappeared from the ice windows, and profound darkness crept out from the corners, veiling the sloping walls of the yourt, which seemed gradually contracting more and more over my head. For a while, the outlines of the fireplace remained dimly visible, like some ugly Penate of a Yakut dwelling, who, with outstretched arms, meets the invading darkness, Siberian hut. Many of the Russian exiles adopt the winter expedients of the Yakuts or inhabitants of Yakutsk.--Tb. 78 as if invoking it in silent prayer. But at last even these faint outlines were lost in the utter darkness. Only in three spots shone a soft phosphorescent light like a gleam from the dark eyes of the Yakut Frost peering in atthe windows. Minutes and hours passed in silence, and I was not aware how imperceptibly had crept upon me that fatal hour when a longing for home fully takes possession of one's soul,--the hour when, conjured up by a fevered imagination, all those hills, forests, and interminable steppes that lie between one's self and all that life holds dear rise threateningly in their measureless and unconquered distance. All so far away and so utterly lost, now beckoning, now seeming to fade from sight, and flickering in the dim distance like the glimmer of a dying hope. The suppressed yet ever present grief, buried deeply in the recesses of one's heart, now boldly raises its ill-omened head, and, amid t...

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