by Leonid Andreyev
‘Look, the sun has set!’ she exclaimed with grieved astonishment.
‘Yes, it has set,’ he responded with a new sadness.
The light was gone, the shadows died, everything became pale, dumb, lifeless. At that point of the horizon where earlier the glowing sun had blazed, there now, in silence, crept dark masses of cloud, which step by step consumed the light blue spaces. The clouds gathered, jostled one another, slowly and reticently changed the contours of awakened monsters; they advanced, driven, as it were, against their will by some terrible, implacable force. Tearing itself away from the rest, one tiny luminous cloud drifted on alone, a frail fugitive.
Zinotchka’s cheeks grew pale, her lips turned red; the pupils of her eyes imperceptibly broadened, darkening the eyes. She whispered:
‘I feel frightened. It is so quiet here. Have we lost our way?’
Nemovetsky knitted his heavy eyebrows and made a searching survey of the place. Now that the sun was gone and the approaching night was breathing with fresh air, it seemed cold and uninviting. To all sides the gray field spread, with its scant grass, clay gullies, hillocks and holes. There were many of these holes; some were deep and sheer, others were small and overgrown with slippery grass; the silent dusk of night had already crept into them; and because there was evidence here of men’s labors, the place appeared even more desolate. Here and there, like the coagulations of cold lilac mist, loomed groves and thickets and, as it were, hearkened to what the abandoned holes might have to say to them.
Nemovetsky crushed the heavy, uneasy feeling of perturbation which had arisen in him and said:
‘No, we have not lost our way. I know the road. First to the left, then through that tiny wood. Are you afraid?’
She bravely smiled and answered:
‘No. Not now. But we ought to be home soon and have some tea.’