Summer - Edith Wharton - Страница 1 из 209


SUMMER
by Edith Wharton
1917
I
A girl came out of lawyer Royall's house, at the end of the one street
of North Dormer, and stood on the doorstep.
It was the beginning of a June afternoon. The springlike transparent sky
shed a rain of silver sunshine on the roofs of the village, and on the
pastures and larchwoods surrounding it. A little wind moved among the
round white clouds on the shoulders of the hills, driving their shadows
across the fields and down the grassy road that takes the name of street
when it passes through North Dormer. The place lies high and in the
open, and lacks the lavish shade of the more protected New England
villages. The clump of weeping-willows about the duck pond, and the
Norway spruces in front of the Hatchard gate, cast almost the only
roadside shadow between lawyer Royall's house and the point where, at
the other end of the village, the road rises above the church and skirts
the black hemlock wall enclosing the cemetery.
The little June wind, frisking down the street, shook the doleful
fringes of the Hatchard spruces, caught the straw hat of a young man
just passing under them, and spun it clean across the road into the
duck-pond.
As he ran to fish it out the girl on lawyer Royall's doorstep noticed
that he was a stranger, that he wore city clothes, and that he was
laughing with all his teeth, as the young and careless laugh at such
mishaps.
Her heart contracted a little, and the shrinking that sometimes came
over her when she saw people with holiday faces made her draw back into


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