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On the contrary, muttered Thuphrastos, day by day there was more and more legal prosecution. Every time the heralds summoned the people to a council terror and confusion arose. Peaceful citizens talking together in the market hastily separated from each otherevery one feared a false accusation and sought refuge beside his own hearth-stone.
This neighborhood was the seat of the principal Indian population of the river, and, as the canoes advanced, unwonted signs of human life could be seen on the borders of the lake. Here was a rough clearing. The trees had been burned; there was a rude and desolate gap in the sombre green of the pine forest. Dead trunks, blasted and black with fire, stood grimly upright amid the charred stumps and prostrate bodies of comrades half consumed. In the intervening spaces, the soil had been feebly scratched with hoes of wood or bone, and a crop of maize was growing, now some four inches high. The dwellings of these slovenly farmers, framed of poles covered with sheets of bark, were scattered here and there, singly or in groups, while their tenants were running to the shore in amazement. The chief, Nibachis, offered the calumet, then harangued the crowd: "These white men must have fallen from the clouds. How else could they have reached us through the woods and rapids which even we find it hard to pass? The French chief can do anything. All that we have heard of him must he true." And they hastened to regale the hungry visitors with a repast of fish. At least it was so in 1642. "Nous leur auons dress vn Hospice ou Cabane d'corce."Ibid., 1642, 57.
But Byssa did not heed her. The horse had come very near and was galloping swiftly to its stable at the foot of the cliff.Hipyllos softly repeated the last words of the song. He felt as though, like the gods themselves, he was walking on the clouds. Just at that moment repeated groans happened to attract his attention, and turning he saw that his old slave could scarcely keep up with him.
Instead, with an agony of fondness, she glided to him. Distress held him as fast and mute as at the flag presentation. But when she would have knelt he caught her elbows and held her up by force.
"Is it bad?" asked Anna.
Kincaid's eyes ran far and near in final summing up. The reluctant train gave a dogged joggle and jerk, hung back, dragged on, moved a trifle quicker; and still the only proof that he knew she was here--here within three steps of him--was the careful failure of those eyes ever to light on her. Oh, heart, heart, heart! would it be so to the very end and vanishment of all?