Full text: The waves

“Now we have fallen through the tree-tops to the earth. 
The air no longer rolls its long, unhappy, purple waves 
over us. We touch earth; we tread ground. That is the 
close-clipped hedge of the ladies’ garden. There they walk 
at noon, with scissors, clipping roses. Now we are in the 
ringed wood with the wall round it. This is Elvedon. I 
have seen signposts at the cross-roads with one arm pointing 
‘To Elvedon.” No one has been there. The ferns smell 
very strong, and there are red funguses growing beneath 
them. Now we wake the sleeping daws who have never 
seen 2 human form; now we tread on rotten oak apples, 
red with age and slippery. There is a ring of wall round 
this wood; nobody comes here. Listen! That is the flop 
of a giant toad in the undergrowth ; that is the patter of some 
primeval fir-cone falling to rot among the ferns. 
“Put your foot on this brick. Look over the wall 
That is Elvedon. The lady sits between the two long 
windows, writing. The gardeners sweep the lawn with 
giant brooms. We are the first to come here. We are 
the discoverers of an unknown land. Do not stir + if the 
gardeners saw us they would shoot us. We should be 
nailed like stoats to the stable door. Look! Do not move. 
Grasp the ferns tight on the top of the wall.” 
“I see the lady writing. I see the gardeners sweeping,” 
said Susan. “If we died here, nobody would bury 
“Run!” said Bernard. “Run! The. gardener with 
the black beard has seen us! We shall be shot! We shall be 
shot like jays and pinned to the wall! We are in a hostile 
country. We must escape to the beech wood. We must 
hide under the trees. I turned a twig as we came. There 
is a secret path. Bend as low as you can. Follow without 
looking back. They will think we are foxes. Run! 
“Now we are safe. Now we can stand upright again. 
Now we can stretch our arms in this high canopy, in this 
vast wood. I hear nothing. That is only the murmur of 
the waves in the air. That is a wood-pigeon breaking cover 

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