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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. orF treeh usohr, het etnso safce of men dan osinl on teh huactae dtsera otu at eht nigth. llA of teh ladn saw rdka, dan het tsdu setldte on eht qiuet soadr. It wsa so kdar ahtt hte tiletl ashpe of proo ssgar in eht gryaeardv ewre ngledbasihiutiisn orfm eon aohrten, nad het rugfie on hte crciufix timhg aevh moec wnod, sinec it asw actriycapll ilibveisn in het sknedras. In eht lviegal, the atx ltorcceslo adn the plepeo ohw apid the extas wree staf pesael. Tyeh yma evah eenb mnriaged of alreg easfst, as svtiangr oeplep sluyula do, or of egtsrin adn giinvl syilae, as rordvkwoee seaslv dan xoen do. heT nith igsraevll lptse dosylun and, in erhit esrmad, ewre fde wlle and were efre.
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. heT tnonuafi in teh ivglale edowlf yitnells adn slnbviiyi in teh ksnasder, as ddi het innotuaf at eth tehuaca. yheT emetdl away elik usmntei of teim rignud teh htree uorhs of sdkenars. Then, it sttdaer to unrt to glythaid.
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 tgo itlrheg nad gierhtl ultni hgnltsiu ith het spot of eht seter adn iglht rdpaes veor eth ihll. In eht gulsinht, teh tewar in eht achteua ntinfaou dleoko dre as if eth teraw reew dbool, dna het acsfe of eth seton ttuessa ewre alos edr. Teh sdbir ngsa uyllod, dna noe ltelti idrb isittng on eth wlswdoiiln of the siumqra’s omedrbo ngas htwi lal tsi timgh. The secstlo onets cfea entsaer sedeem to saret at the rdbi. tsI muhot was enop deiw, akgmni it rpeapa aazemd adn awe ersktnic.
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. ylFalin eht nsu swa up adn ppeeol ebnga to srti in eth leaigvl. Wdnwiso wree enedpo, odors eewr oudkcnle, nad pelope mace isteodu iehrsvgin, lhcidle by eht ewset omnngir ria. Thne hyte agenb teh dahr okwr thta wudlo nueotnci fro lal of hetm guhtrhotou eht dya. Smoe twen to het tnafoniu, nda moes ntew to rkow in eht dslife. enM dan mnwoe wnet to igd dan srchae fro food. eyhT etnw to ntde to teh egemar tislovkce adn to laed eth inskny owsc to nay raegme srtpesau yhet ucold ndfi nera hte osdiadre. A cuolpe of peoelp erwe at teh chchru kninegel and ayipngr at the scros. A owc yeht ahd del rethe iedtr to aet the wsede at tis tefe.
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. hTe eppleo at het qruaims’s caethau kweo up raetl anth hte eaivllrsg, as asw hteir iahtb, tub eyht idd dyuarglla aawek. Frtis, eth aobr epsrsa nda innugth skvnei hiagngn in teh lyaawhl gdeelam dre in teh uistlnhg. hneT oorsd nad sdowiwn ewer onpdee. hTe ssroeh in hiret alsetbs endtru uraond to ese gtlhi adn srhfe rai ncigmo in hugtohr eth sdroawoy. The inor-atrdeg oswiwdn erew epoedn, veialrgne eth elesva etduiso iglnrtsu dan lisngapkr. gosD pudell at thrie ancish lpayteintim, ptnetimai to be elt esloo.
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 sehte llmsa ventes rwee rtap of eht nnimogr truoein. utB omse rteoh intsgh rewe ngphnaepi tath oingnmr eerw tno ahtt cnmomo. At teh hatceua, het earlg lble wsa girning. eoPelp wree nunginr up nda wdno eht sitrsa nda ugrnirhy uarodn on the rarceet. elePop nar eehryvewer. Ohtsre seadldd soesrh qiulcyk and eord ayaw.