Excerpt from The Passion by the Brook
They did not wait for the sunrise but set out under the morning star. George Ripley was watching its reﬂection now in the brook in front of Charles Ellis' farm, squatting in the bowl of the bank. A tossed stone shattered the image brieﬂy and then doubled, trebled and made it myriad in the widening rings of dark water. The plonk startled him although it was not unpleasant, no more than nature imitating the art of the bullfrog's love note. His mouth opened in involuntary alarm. Drops splashed on his face and he could taste the warmness, rich with the lees of bark, roots, and green and brown tendrils. Trussed in his best black coat and off balance, he fell back into a clover patch. He strained to get up but then he sniffed the morning and, surrender ing at last to the goodness of this quick trill on the five-toned gamut of his senses, he brushed his cheek against the grass and breathed deeply. The morning smelled like a fresh-cut watermelon.
He pushed himself up with his palms and found his brother in Israel grinning at him from across the brook. He and this man, settled over a small church nearby, were going on foot to Groton, a walk of thirty miles from where they were in West Roxbury. They were going to break the trip with a night in Concord.
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