The Vulture Maiden
Excerpt: ... for Wally, and began removing the snow from the door of the hut that she might be able to get into it. "Benedict," said Wally softly, as though she could be overheard, "dost thou believe in the phantom maidens?" Benedict looked down meditatively and shrugged his shoulders. "What can one say? I've never seen any myself--but there are people who'd hold to it to their last breath." "I'd never believed in them--but when I came up here last year, I had a dream so lifelike, I could almost believe it was no dream, and since then, whatever happens to me, I can't help thinking of the phantom-maidens. "What sort of a dream?" "Thou must know that him whom I love is a chamois-hunter, and it was because of him my father sent me up last year, and the first hour I was here I dreamt that the phantom-maidens and Murzoll threatened me that if I wouldn't leave off thinking of the lad, they'd fling me down into the abyss!" And she related her whole dream in detail to Benedict. He shook his head, and became quite melancholy. "Wally, in thy place, I should be afraid." She threw her head back. "Ah well. Thou goes on shooting the chamois, in spite of the phantom-maidens. One has only got not to be afraid. I've sprung over many a chasm since then, and I've felt well enough that there was somewhat that wished to pull me down, but I held myself firm, and kept the upper hand." She raised her strong brown arm defiantly. "So long as I've got two arms, I've no need to fear whatever it may be." This did not please Benedict. In his solitary wanderings over the terrible Similaun and the wild glacier peaks, he had acquired a taste for subtle meditations and reflected more deeply on many things than other people. "Take care, Wally! He who sets himself too high thrusts his head up easily enough, but that's what those up yonder won't endure, and they thrust him down again." She was silent....
- 189 x 246 x 3mm | 122g
- 13 Sep 2013
- Illustrations, black and white