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The lightning split the sky, but the song went on without a quaver. The
girl was evidently in the field and the voice seemed to come vaguely
from a haystack about twenty feet in front of him.
Then it ceased: ceased and began again in a weird chant that soared and
hung and fell and blended with the rain:
Et bleme quand
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure...."
"Who the devil is there in Ramilly County," muttered Amory aloud, "who
would deliver Verlaine in an extemporaneous tune to a soaking haystack?"
"Somebody's there!" cried the voice unalarmed. "Who are you?--Manfred,
St. Christopher, or Queen Victoria?"
"I'm Don Juan!" Amory shouted on impulse, raising his voice above the
noise of the rain and the wind.
A delighted shriek came from the haystack.
"I know who you are--you're the blond boy that likes 'Ulalume'--I
recognize your voice."
"How do I get up?" he cried from the foot of the haystack, whither he
had arrived, dripping wet. A head appeared over the edge--it was so dark
that Amory could just make out a patch of damp hair and two eyes that
gleamed like a cat's.
"Run back!" came the voice, "and jump and I'll catch your hand--no, not
there--on the other side."
He followed directions and as he sprawled up the side, knee-deep in hay,
a small, white hand reached out, gripped his, and helped him onto the
"Here you are, Juan," cried she of the damp hair. "Do you mind if I drop
"You've got a thumb like mine!" he exclaimed.
"And you're holding my hand, which is dangerous without seeing my face."
He dropped it quickly.
As if in answer to his prayers came a flash of lightning and he looked
eagerly at her who stood beside him on the soggy haystack, ten feet
above the ground. But she had covered her face and he saw nothing but a
slender figure, dark, damp, bobbed hair, and the small white hands with
the thumbs that bent back like his.
"Sit down," she suggested politely, as the dark closed in on them. "If
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