Le 28 septembre 2016, 09:08 dans Humeurs • 0
As they went down the steps to the bluff, Anne Lyndsay, her thin white hands in her lap, looked after them. Her face was rarely without a smile; but, as Rose said truly, “Aunt Anne wears her smiles with a difference.” Just now her smile was delicately flavored with a look of satisfied affection. As she looked over river and sun-lit hills, a sharp twinge of pain crossed 19her face, and her hands shut tight a moment, while the sweat of a brief but overpowering pang wrung from her lips an exclamation. Her life had been physically narrowing for years. As she became less and less able to go here and there, to do this or that, she more and more resolutely broadened the horizon of her mental activities, but, no matter what happened, she continued to smile at or with everything, herself included. Now she wiped her forehead, and fell to smiling again, looking sharply about her, for this woman immensely disliked to be seen in the rare moments when pain was too emphatic for absolute silence. “I wonder why I hate to be seen,” she said aloud, being unusually given to soliloquizing; for, as she liked to explain, “I have more respect for my own opinion if I say it out. It is easier to disregard the unspoken. I like to think I have the good manners to listen to myself. It does so trouble Archie, and that girl, for a day when I break up. I wonder if that small Spartan had had the perpetual company of his fox, how long he would have gone on without squealing. I know he wriggled,” she said, and so fell to laughing, after which she lay back in her chair, waved her handkerchief to Rose, and began to read.
While the Gaspé canoe went away up the stream, urged by skilful arms, Archibald Lyndsay and Rose talked merrily.
23The canoe was now anchored in some four feet of strong, broken water. The bowman, with his anchor-rope ready, the sternman, on the bottom of the boat, with his face to the pool, his eye on every cast of the fly. Mr. Lyndsay stood a little back from the center, a fine figure, Rose thought, tall, strong, ruddy, with a face clean-shaven, except for side-whiskers. At first he cast his fly near to the canoe, left and right in succession, and giving the rod a slight motion, kept the fly moving down-stream until directly astern of the boat. Then with a new cast, adding two or more feet of line from the reel, he again let the swift water run it out. Thus, casting each time a little farther, he covered by degrees an increasing triangular area of water, of which the stern of the boat was the apex. As he went on fishing, he chatted with Rose, who sat in front of him, so that he cast over both the girl and the burly figure of Tom.
“I am now casting about forty-five feet of line,” he said. “I can cast about sixty-five, from reel to fly. There are men who can cast one hundred feet and more, but here it is needless. I could not do it if it were needed.”
Rose began to think all this a little slow, for a pastime. At last Lyndsay, saying, “Drop, Tom,” reeled up his line within a few feet from the long silk leader. As he gave the word, the lump of lead used as an anchor was lightly lifted and held well in hand, the sternman used his paddle, and the boat dropped some forty feet farther down the pool, and was gently anchored. The stream at this place was more broken, and was what Tom called “strong water.”
24The casting business began again, with no better result, so that Rose, to whom it all looked easy enough, began to find it more pleasant to watch the shadows of the hills and the heavy clouds moving overhead. Mr. Lyndsay was now casting some fifty feet of line, and, as Rose turned, trying to analyze for her own use the succession of movements, she was struck with the grace and ease with which the line was recovered at the end of the cast,—sent apparently without effort directly behind the fisherman, and then without crack or snap impelled in a straight line to right or left at an angle from the boat, so that the casting-line and fly dropped or settled lightly on the water; the fly always maintaining its place at the end of the cast. Then she heard, “You riz him!” “We have tickled his fancy, Rose, or tempted his curiosity. Now we have a little game to play. Sometimes we wait a few minutes. I rarely do so unless the fish are scarce. Look sharp. Did you see him rise?”