THESE visions are of places I have never seen; of places and things I have never read about; of experiences that have never been mine. Yet they are true. I have seen them, seen them as at a play, with my eyes open, oblivious to all else. One comes with the distant sound of a band or the sudden notes of a bugle; another with steady rain or running water; the third has always come when I am reading. Whence or why they come I know not, but they do come and, when they go, leave me very tired.


A BLARE of triumphant music, a sense of excitement and joy; breathless from a heart throbbing with expectancy, and then — I am in a tall square room. Almost unfurnished it seems to my eyes: a flagged floor, yellowy-brown; a few tawny skins here and there; large heavy chairs; an oblong chest, carved and dark; long narrow windows reaching almost from the ceiling to the floor. In the room coolness and quiet. But I know that outside there are intense heat and noisy excitable comings to and fro among the people.

They are expectant and so am I. But I must school myself to an appearance of calm indifference. I am seated in a chair, forcing my hands to remain limply quiet on a fold of my dress, restraining my toes from taptap-tapping to the beat of my heart.

Why must I remain indoors, my thoughts run discontentedly, when all my desires are outdoors mingling with the riotously joyful people? Surely not one of their hearts can throb so distressingly to the blare of the trumpets as mine!

And there I sit, mutinous; fearful that my mutiny will be observed by the young girl in the corner near the window. Someone rises from behind me and I hear the rustle of a gown and footsteps sounding across the floor and down a flagged passage. I am not concerned about the owner of the footsteps — I am watching the girl.

She has risen from her seat and has pushed open the window. A longstemmed red rose is pressed against her heart. I see the rise and fall of her bosom, and the color excitably ebbing and flowing in her cheeks.

She turns to me beseechingly as though asking me to bear her company. The music sounds nearer and the voices are louder. I can no longer feign indifference; I rise and go to her. From the window I see strong, fortress-like houses — yellow, black, and gray — glowing and warm in the glare of the sun. Pennons, long and short, are floating from every house. Yellow and black; yellow and red; blue and silver; green and magenta; orange and brown. Our own purple and red hang listlessly.

Everyone in the crowd carries flowers. Heads are thrown back, mouths are open, eyes are bright. Nearer and nearer come the trumpets, the sound of horses whinnying, and the rattle of harness.

Now we are leaning out through the window, each with a foot on the stone balcony, eyes straining to catch a sight of the triumphant army. We see them. A man in black is leading. He sits on his horse, looking neither to right nor left. The pennon on his lance is purple and red. Behind him in twos and threes, making no pretense of order, rides a company of men. Laughingly they respond to the shouts of the people, grasping at the flowers thrown to them; gayly they wave their hands or doff their hats to someone on the balconies.

‘He is coming — he is coming,’breathes a voice in my ear. I remember the girl and draw back. She takes advantage of my movement and steps out on the balcony, eyes alight, red rose in her hand. My interest is now all for her. I follow her eyes to see who has claimed all her attention. I see — and remember him faintly. A poor man, I remember, but of good blood. Dark, handsome, with a stout bearing and matchless swagger, and an eye ever roaming over women’s faces.

He is coming nearer but does not look toward our balcony. Her breath is coming in short painful gasps. He is almost underneath. The rose is thrown and falls on his saddle in front of him. With a gay laugh he picks it up, kisses it, and presents it to a pretty girl who is running beside his horse. A strangled cry, and my companion collapses on the balcony.

I bring her in. She is like one stricken with death.

‘He has forgotten,’she whispers. ‘ “ I am going away to mend my fortunes,”he said. “ If we are successful I shall claim you on my return. If you still love me drop me a red rose when we are riding past. I shall always love you. I shall never forget you.” '

She is silent awhile, her sobs choking her. Then she starts up and cries, ‘Ah! but he has forgotten. I am the forgotten one.'

Through the open window come joyous shouts, gay voices, and a long triumphant fanfare of trumpets.

All is gone.


I AM sitting on the step of a door leading from the kitchen. I must be very small. If I sit back on the step I cannot bend my knees. It is a big gloomy kitchen. On my left is a large wooden bed built into the wall. On the other side, or rather in the angle of two sides, is a big fireplace. A round pot hangs from a hook over the blazing logs. The flames send strange red and black shadows dancing on the ceiling; and the gray plates and mugs on the heavy cumbersome dresser have gleams of yellow and blue.

The old woman is sweeping the floor and muttering to herself. It is about the never-ending rain she is grumbling. She is a very old woman with a long nose and yellow wrinkled face. Under her close-fitting white bonnet a few gray wisps of hair straggle across her forehead. She is wearing a snuff-brown skirt of heavy woolen material, and a tight black bodice with yellow sleeves. The broom with which she sweeps the floor is like a witch’s broom. Indeed, she is very like a witch herself.

I am very much afraid of the old woman and keep quiet as a mouse in the hope she will forget that I am there. I strain my eyes toward the window and wish I were sitting in it. If I were there, I think, I could see the red roofs all wet in the rain. I could also see who it is that goes hurrying past making such a clattering noise with his wooden shoes on the round cobblestones. And I should hear what he is calling out as he rushes past.

The old woman has ceased sweeping the floor. She has brushed the dust into the fire and put the broom in the chimney corner. She is sitting on a low bench and is stirring the pot, muttering to herself all the while.

Suddenly I notice a trickle of water come in under the door. I do not say anything or even point to it. She is a very cross old woman. The trickle of water runs halfway into the room. The old woman lifts the pot off the hook and turns round. She sees the water.

‘Tck, tck,’ she says and lifts the broom to sweep the water out. It comes in. Half the floor is covered with it. She puts on her wooden shoes and sweeps vigorously. Still it comes in. It is very near me now. I wriggle to the edge of the step to put my toes in it. She sees me, picks me up, and tosses me into the bed. I cannot see much now, only the fireplace and the door where I was sitting.

The old woman is busy sweeping the water back from the fire, but it keeps getting nearer and nearer. There are a lot of people running past the house, calling loudly to each other. She throws her broom down and goes to the door. I hear her speaking to someone. Still the people clatter past talking loudly. After a while no one. No sound but the falling rain and the swish of the water, and the sizzling of the fire when the water touches it.

The floor is covered with water. Soon the broom and pot swim round on the top of it. It Is getting dark. I climb up, holding on to the bed, and try to look out. The water is nearly up to the bed. I hear the water gurgling under it. I am very frightened. Too frightened to cry out. There is no one near me. The old woman must have gone out. I wish she were near me.

It is getting very cold. I snuggle down into the bed. I do not get warm. The bed is very cold.

The rain must be coming in. I feel it on my face.

Iam very cold.


A SENSE of overpowering warmth, skin prickling and burning, and suddenly I am aware that I am traveling at great speed. I am at a height from the ground and sway back and forth with a rocking motion. I am enveloped in soft, filmy, white material.

Then I am conscious of an intense white glare and have my eyes closed, looking through my eyelashes. Nothing but sand is to be seen. Not the cool damp sand of the seashore, but warm white sand, glinting and gleaming in the sun. Sometimes I feel it on my face, hot and irritating.

I travel on and on. I know there are others near me but never see them. There is a great sense of quiet and stillness. I seem to have been traveling for ages. Suddenly the motion ceases, and I find myself walking. I lie flat on the sand for a moment, stretching all my limbs, and then someone takes my hand. I rise and am led away. I do not look where I am going; my eyes are on the ground; I have a sense of stepping downward into a cool dark place.

Soon I see where I am. It is a long lofty hall, lit with faint, mysterious gleams of light which seem to come from the ceiling. Quietness reigns here. There is not a sound — not even the sound of our walking. We reach the end of the hall and I am led through blue curtains. The curtains are so many and of such softness and color that I think I am walking through a twilight sky.

Far off I see a curious brazier with gleaming fire. There is no smoke from it nor are there any flames — it is clear, soft, and glowing. Round it are many forms in an attitude of worship. They are kneeling, their heads touch the ground, and their arms are outstretched toward the fire. I see that their robes are the same as mine. I stand watching — waiting.

The forms lie still and motionless, save for an occasional twitching of the fingers.

One rises. But for her hands and a bare spot between her breasts she is completely covered with her robes. She moves slowly toward the brazier with her hands outstretched. The others lie motionless with their heads touching the ground.

Her hands are now over the brazier and they gleam like opals from the glow. She thrusts her hands into the fire and lifts a part of it. I see it through her fingers. She raises it slowly and places it on the bare spot between her breasts, and holding it there with one hand, folds her robes closely round her with the other. Slowly and with reverently bent head she moves away and disappears through a curtain.

One by one the others follow.

Strange, though so many have taken part of the fire it has never diminished. It remains as I first saw it — clear, soft, and glowing.

I am alone with the fire. It fascinates me. It calls me. Yet I do not approach. I feel something touch my head. A feeiing of unconsciousness comes over me. The last thing I see is the brazier of fire — clear, soft, and glowing.