Full text: The waves

THE WAVES 
behind him. Look at us trooping after him, his faithful 
servants, to be shot like sheep, for he will certainly attempt 
some forlorn enterprise and die in battle. My heart turns 
rough; it abrades my side like a file with two edges: one, 
that I adore his magnificence; the other I despise his 
slovenly accents—I who am so much his superior—and am 
jealous.” 
“ And now,” said Neville, “let Bernard begin. Let him 
burble on, telling us stories, while we lie recumbent. Let 
him describe what we have all seen so that it becomes a 
sequence. Bernard says there is always a story. I am a 
story. Louis is a story. There is the story of the boot-boy, 
the stoty of the man with one eye, the story of the woman 
who sells winkles. Let him burble on with his story while 
I lie back and regard the stiff-legged figures of the padded 
batsmen through the trembling grasses. It seems as if the 
whole world were flowing and curving—on the earth the 
trees, in the sky the clouds. I look up, through the trees, 
into the sky. The match seems to be played up there. 
Faintly among the soft, white clouds I hear the cry ‘ Run,’ 
I hear the cry  How’s that ?> The clouds lose tufts of white- 
ness as the breeze dishevels them. If that blue could stay 
for ever ; if that hole could remain for ever ; if this moment 
could stay for ever—— 
“ But Bernard goes on talking. Up they bubble—images. 
‘Like a camel,” . . . ‘a vulture.” The camel is a vulture; 
the vulture a camel; for Bernard is a dangling wire, loose, 
but seductive. Yes, for when he talks, when he makes his 
foolish comparisons, a lightness comes over one. One 
floats, too, as if one were that bubble; one is freed ; I have 
escaped, one feels. Even the chubby little boys (Dalton, 
Larpent and Baker) feel the same abandonment. They like 
this better than the cricket. They catch the phrases as 
they bubble. They let the feathery grasses tickle their noses. 
And then we all feel Percival lying heavy among us. His 
curious guffaw seems to sanction our laughter. But now 
he has rolled himself over in the long grass. He is, I think, 
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