Under A Velvet Cloak Audiobook Hit
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He walked on alone under the oak arch excluding starlight, secure innight's black velvet cloak yet walking silently, eyes, ears, and evennose alert. So he had learned, in the dark hammocks as a boy huntinggame, in the dark mountains as a man hunting man. Before The Day, exceptin hunting or in war, a five- or ten-mile walk would have beenunthinkable. Now it was routine for all of them except Dan and after Dangot out of bed it would become routine for him too. But all their shoeswere wearing out. In another month or two Ben Franklin and Peyton wouldbe without shoes entirely. Not only were the children walking (orrunning) everywhere but their feet inconsiderately continued to grow,straining canvas and leather. Randy told himself that he must discoverwhether Eli Blaustein still held shoes. He knew what Blausteinwanted--meat.
His discourse had shocked my resolution a little, and I stood wavering for a good while, but just at that interval I saw two links come over from the end of the Minories, and heard the bellman, and then appeared a dead-cart, as they called it, coming over the streets; so I could no longer resist my desire of seeing it, and went in. There was nobody, as I could perceive at first, in the churchyard, or going into it, but the buriers and the fellow that drove the cart, or rather led the horse and cart; but when they came up to the pit they saw a man go to and again, muffled up in a brown Cloak, and making motions with his hands under his cloak, as if he was in great agony, and the buriers immediately gathered about him, supposing he was one of those poor delirious or desperate creatures that used to pretend, as I have said, to bury themselves. He said nothing as he walked about, but two or three times groaned very deeply and loud, and sighed as he would break his heart.
Among the many Ecuadoran shrines dedicated to Mary, the shrine of Nuestra Senora del Quinche is of primary interest to the majority of the native Indians. They come from the most distant places from all over the Sierras. Unlike the case of Our Lady of Copacabana of Bolivia, who is always kept within her shrine, Nuestra Senora del Quinche is carried in processions on important occasions through the land when special celebrations are held in her honor in churches of villages and towns alike, including the capital of Ecuador, Quito. Our Lady of Quinche is almost entirely "a people's Madonna," a protector of the Indians. Her origin dates back to 1586 when the Indians of Lumbici asked a Spanish sculptor, Diego de Robles, to carve them an image out of native cedar, and told him that it should be similar to the one he had created for "Gualpo" (Gualpo is the Indian corruption of the name Guadelupe). The sculptor had many irritations and obstacles; tradition relates that he and the image, while he worked on it, were several times miraculously saved. Finally, the statue was installed in the district of El Quinche, an isolated spot, close to the Andes. Very soon a chapel was built and later, in modern times, a new and larger church. Visitors to Nuestra Senora del Quinche are captivated by the unique features of this image. It has an indefinable personal appeal very similar in appearance to the Andean-Indian people. The other Ecuadoran Madonnas are more of the stylized patroness type, austere or elegant in expression. But the Indians speak about the Lady of Quinche as if she were one of the people. When they discuss the various processions they are apt to say: "La pequenita (the Little One) will sleep in Calderon tonight." Or, "the Little One is resting from the heat and fatigue of the journey before she is dressed for the ceremonies in San Domingo." Everybody who visits her, who comes to pray before her, wishes to participate in the most personal manner in the service. The pilgrims buy pieces of cotton on little sticks, sold outside the churches; then the altar boy brushes the blue velvet traveling cloak of the Madonna, which is on the rack in the sanctuary. The stick with the cotton is returned to its owner who cherishes it. The virgin of Quinche is credited with many miracles and the Indians ask varied favors through her intercession. But their relations toward her are of an extraordinary intimacy. We have seen many instances of people asking Mary for protection. The Indians of Quinche are no exception, but they in turn display a rare sensitivity of emotion. High in the Andes Mountains, these Indians offer their protection to "the Little One" who is their "delicate beloved."
That year my family fixed the day of their return to Paris rather earlier than usual. On the morning of our departure I had had my hair curled, to be ready to face the photographer, had had a new hat carefully set upon my head, and had been buttoned into a velvet jacket; a little later my mother, after searching everywhere for me, found me standing in tears on that steep little hillside close to Tansonville, bidding a long farewell to my hawthorns, clasping their sharp branches to my bosom, and (like a princess in a tragedy, oppressed by the weight of all her senseless jewellery) with no gratitude towards the officious hand which had, in curling those ringlets, been at pains to collect all my hair upon my forehead; trampling underfoot the curl-papers which I had torn from my head, and my new hat with them. My mother was not at all moved by my tears, but she could not suppress a cry at the sight of my battered headgear and my ruined jacket. I did not, however, hear her. "Oh, my poor little hawthorns," I was assuring them through my sobs, "it is not you that want to make me unhappy, to force me to leave you. You, you have never done me any harm. So I shall always love you." And, drying my eyes, I promised them that, when I grew up, I would never copy the foolish example of other men, but that even in Paris, on fine spring days, instead of paying calls and listening to silly talk, I would make excursions into the country to see the first hawthorn-trees in bloom.
She had in her hand a bunch of cattleyas, and Swann could see, beneath the film of lace that covered her head, more of the same flowers fastened to a swansdown plume. She was wearing, under her cloak, a flowing gown of black velvet, caught up on one side so as to reveal a large triangular patch of her white silk skirt, with an 'insertion,' also of white silk, in the cleft of her low-necked bodice, in which were fastened a few more cattleyas. She had scarcely recovered from the shock which the sight of Swann had given her, when some obstacle made the horse start to one side. They were thrown forward from their seats; she uttered a cry, and fell back quivering and breathless.
The phrase had disappeared. Swann knew that it would come again at the end of the last movement, after a long passage which Mme. Verdurin's pianist always 'skipped.' There were in this passage some admirable ideas which Swann had not distinguished on first hearing the sonata, and which he now perceived, as if they had, in the cloakroom of his memory, divested themselves of their uniform disguise of novelty. Swann listened to all the scattered themes which entered into the composition of the phrase, as its premises enter into the inevitable conclusion of a syllogism; he was assisting at the mystery of its birth. "Audacity," he exclaimed to himself, "as inspired, perhaps, as a Lavoisier's or an Ampere's, the audacity of a Vinteuil making experiment, discovering the secret laws that govern an unknown force, driving across a region unexplored towards the one possible goal the invisible team in which he has placed his trust and which he never may discern!" How charming the dialogue which Swann now heard between piano and violin, at the beginning of the last passage. The suppression of human speech, so far from letting fancy reign there uncontrolled (as one might have thought), had eliminated it altogether. Never was spoken language of such inflexible necessity, never had it known questions so pertinent, such obvious replies. At first the piano complained alone, like a bird deserted by its mate; the violin heard and answered it, as from a neighbouring tree. It was as at the first beginning of the world, as if there were not yet but these twain upon the earth, or rather in this world closed against all the rest, so fashioned by the logic of its creator that in it there should never be any but themselves; the world of this sonata. Was it a bird, was it the soul, not yet made perfect, of the little phrase, was it a fairy, invisibly somewhere lamenting, whose plaint the piano heard and tenderly repeated? Its cries were so sudden that the violinist must snatch up his bow and race to catch them as they came. Marvellous bird! The violinist seemed to wish to charm, to tame, to woo, to win it. Already it had passed into his soul, already the little phrase which it evoked shook like a medium's the body of the violinist, 'possessed' indeed. Swann knew that the phrase was going to speak to him once again. And his personality was now so divided that the strain of waiting for the imminent moment when he would find himself face to face, once more, with the phrase, convulsed him in one of those sobs which a fine line of poetry or a piece of alarming news will wring from us, not when we are alone, but when we repeat one or the other to a friend, in whom we see ourselves reflected, like a third person, whose probable emotion softens him. It reappeared, but this time to remain poised in the air, and to sport there for a moment only, as though immobile, and shortly to expire. And so Swann lost nothing of the precious time for which it lingered. It was still there, like an iridescent bubble that floats for a while unbroken. As a rainbow, when its brightness fades, seems to subside, then soars again and, before it is extinguished, is glorified with greater splendour than it has ever shewn; so to the two colours which the phrase had hitherto allowed to appear it added others now, chords shot with every hue in the prism, and made them sing. Swann dared not move, and would have liked to compel all the other people in the room to remain still also, as if the slightest movement might embarrass the magic presence, supernatural, delicious, frail, that would so easily vanish. But no one, as it happened, dreamed of speaking. The ineffable utterance of one solitary man, absent, perhaps dead (Swann did not know whether Vinteuil were still alive), breathed out above the rites of those two hierophants, sufficed to arrest the attention of three hundred minds, and made of that stage on which a soul was thus called into being one of the noblest altars on which a supernatural ceremony could be performed. It followed that, when the phrase at last was finished, and only its fragmentary echoes floated among the subsequent themes which had already taken its place, if Swann at first was annoyed to see the Comtesse de Monteriender, famed for her imbecilities, lean over towards him to confide in him her impressions, before even the sonata had come to an end; he could not refrain from smiling, and perhaps also found an underlying sense, which she was incapable of perceiving, in the words that she used. Dazzled by the virtuosity of the performers, the Comtesse exclaimed to Swann: "It's astonishing! I have never seen anything to beat it..." But a scrupulous regard for accuracy making her correct her first assertion, she added the reservation: "anything to beat it... since the table-turning!" 2b1af7f3a8