PART THIRD: THE LIGHTHOUSE
7. CHAPTER SEVEN
Tints of purple, gold, and crimson were mirrored in the clear
water of the harbour. A long tongue of land, straight as a wall,
with the grass-grown ruins of the fort making a sort of rounded
green mound, plainly visible from the inner shore, closed its
circuit; while beyond the Placid Gulf repeated those splendours
of colouring on a greater scale and with a more sombre
magnificence. The great mass of cloud filling the head of the
gulf had long red smears amongst its convoluted folds of grey and
black, as of a floating mantle stained with blood. The three
Isabels, overshadowed and clear cut in a great smoothness
confounding the sea and sky, appeared suspended, purple-black, in
the air. The little wavelets seemed to be tossing tiny red
sparks upon the sandy beaches. The glassy bands of water along
the horizon gave out a fiery red glow, as if fire and water had
been mingled together in the vast bed of the ocean.
At last the conflagration of sea and sky, lying embraced and
still in a flaming contact upon the edge of the world, went out.
The red sparks in the water vanished together with the stains of
blood in the black mantle draping the sombre head of the Placid
Gulf; a sudden breeze sprang up and died out after rustling
heavily the growth of bushes on the ruined earthwork of the fort.
Nostromo woke up from a fourteen hours' sleep, and arose full
length from his lair in the long grass. He stood knee deep
amongst the whispering undulations of the green blades with the
lost air of a man just born into the world. Handsome, robust, and
supple, he threw back his head, flung his arms open, and
stretched himself with a slow twist of the waist and a leisurely
growling yawn of white teeth, as natural and free from evil in
the moment of waking as a magnificent and unconscious wild beast.
Then, in the suddenly steadied glance fixed upon nothing from
under a thoughtful frown, appeared the man.