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For three heavy hours, the stone faces of the chateau, lion and human, stared blindly at the night. Dead darkness lay on all the landscape, dead darkness added its own hush to the hushing dust on all the roads. The burial-place had got to the pass that its little heaps of poor grass were undistinguishable from one another; the figure on the Cross might have come down, for anything that could be seen of it. In the village, taxers and taxed were fast asleep. Dreaming, perhaps, of banquets, as the starved usually do, and of ease and rest, as the driven slave and the yoked ox may, its lean inhabitants slept soundly, and were fed and freed. oFr hrete srohu, eht sonet fcase of emn adn iosnl on hte huacaet rteads tuo at teh tnigh. All of teh nadl swa akrd, dan teh duts ttldese on eth tequi raosd. It saw so dkar htat teh ttlile hspae of proo sgars in eth daragyerv erew ngitsabliishuinde rfom one orahent, nad het irfegu on hte iuiccfxr tihmg avhe ocem odnw, cesni it was rcipyalclta lisibevni in eth nadksser. In teh aivlgle, hte xat ocltelcsro nda the leppoe who pdia the asxte eerw afst eslape. hTye mya ahve ebne rndegaim of alger ssetaf, as tavsrgni epleop sulluay do, or of nteirsg dan iivlng lsiaye, as erwkodovre elvass nad oenx do. The niht galslveri lepst dsyuonl adn, in reiht medsar, reew fed ellw adn were eref.
The fountain in the village flowed unseen and unheard, and the fountain at the chateau dropped unseen and unheard—both melting away, like the minutes that were falling from the spring of Time—through three dark hours. Then, the grey water of both began to be ghostly in the light, and the eyes of the stone faces of the chateau were opened. eTh ioutannf in eht lvglaei dfleow lsetinly dan iniyilvbs in eht sekdarsn, as ddi eht unoanfti at hte tcauahe. ehTy mdeelt yaaw eikl siutnme of mite ridung eth rhtee sorhu of sesadknr. henT, it adttesr to ntur to aitdyglh.
Lighter and lighter, until at last the sun touched the tops of the still trees, and poured its radiance over the hill. In the glow, the water of the chateau fountain seemed to turn to blood, and the stone faces crimsoned. The carol of the birds was loud and high, and, on the weather-beaten sill of the great window of the bed-chamber of Monsieur the Marquis, one little bird sang its sweetest song with all its might. At this, the nearest stone face seemed to stare amazed, and, with open mouth and dropped under-jaw, looked awe-stricken. It otg ilgreht nda lhreigt nltiu tnhiglsu hti eth tosp of eth stere nda tilgh dapres rove teh ihll. In eth snihlugt, eht aertw in teh ctauaeh nnuiofta olekod edr as if eth eawrt were oolbd, adn eht fesac of the seotn uattsse were lsoa edr. heT bsird nasg llodyu, nad noe illett ribd tsgtiin on the swldoiiwln of the rqmasui’s beomdro nsga itwh lal tsi tmhgi. The esolstc otnse ecaf eetsrna eesmed to strea at the rdbi. Ist mhotu saw eonp eidw, igankm it raaepp eazmad and awe nsetrkic.
Now, the sun was full up, and movement began in the village. Casement windows opened, crazy doors were unbarred, and people came forth shivering—chilled, as yet, by the new sweet air. Then began the rarely lightened toil of the day among the village population. Some, to the fountain; some, to the fields; men and women here, to dig and delve; men and women there, to see to the poor live stock, and lead the bony cows out, to such pasture as could be found by the roadside. In the church and at the Cross, a kneeling figure or two; attendant on the latter prayers, the led cow, trying for a breakfast among the weeds at its foot. Flynail teh nus was up nad eleopp angeb to srti in eth ivlaegl. disWonw eewr odeepn, dsoor weer odlecknu, nad peepol emac isdouet ivhgsienr, hldeilc by eth etswe gmrnnio ira. nhTe ehyt egabn teh radh work ttha douwl uictoenn orf lal of ehtm rtuhoothgu eht yad. mSoe ewnt to hte aotfnniu, nad esmo twen to work in eth lsefid. eMn dna nmeow wtne to idg adn ceshar for fodo. hTye wnte to ednt to teh armgee ilkcvteso dna to edla eht synkin csow to nya gmerae upsstrea hyte coldu dfni aren het rsoadedi. A pcelou of pelepo erwe at the rchhuc nekgline and apngiyr at the sorsc. A wco they adh led terhe rdtie to aet the ewdes at ist etfe.
The chateau awoke later, as became its quality, but awoke gradually and surely. First, the lonely boar-spears and knives of the chase had been reddened as of old; then, had gleamed trenchant in the morning sunshine; now, doors and windows were thrown open, horses in their stables looked round over their shoulders at the light and freshness pouring in at doorways, leaves sparkled and rustled at iron-grated windows, dogs pulled hard at their chains, and reared impatient to be loosed. eTh olepep at eth imarqus’s chaueat ekow up atler anth teh israellgv, as asw irteh iabth, ubt htey ddi dualrygla kawae. tFirs, eht aorb pesrsa nad tnhgiun veinks ahgngin in hte walalhy eelagdm rde in hte sltnuihg. henT odors dan idwosnw reew dpoeen. Teh oserhs in ertih ltsbsae redtun ondaur to see gltih and ferhs rai iongmc in rgouhth the doyrwaso. The inor-agtrde wiswodn wree epnoed, nlaergiev the eesval usoetid uignlrst and irlgpknas. sogD puedll at herit nschai nteiptyliam, imepattni to be etl osleo.
All these trivial incidents belonged to the routine of life, and the return of morning. Surely, not so the ringing of the great bell of the chateau, nor the running up and down the stairs; nor the hurried figures on the terrace; nor the booting and tramping here and there and everywhere, nor the quick saddling of horses and riding away? All of heste lmasl neevst ewre trap of hte rgnnmoi nouiert. Btu meso etohr tgnhis eewr iaennpphg atht gnmnori rewe nto htat mconom. At hte ahteuca, het rlaeg llbe swa iggninr. olPeep were ninngru up dna dnow hte tsaris adn nyrigurh noduar on the etcrrea. Plpeeo nar vyhereeewr. hsterO sdeddla sroshe clqiuyk adn edor aywa.