To be free of outward distraction, he shut his eyes and concentrated upon the scraps she had given him; and shortly, with his eyes still closed, he began to describe Ruth's island: the mountain at one end, with the ever-recurring scarves of mist drifting across the lava-scarred face; the jungle at the foot of it; the dazzling border of white sand; the sprawling store of the trader and the rotting wharf, sundrily patched with drift-wood; the native huts on the sandy floor of the palm groves; the scattered sandalwood and ebony; the screaming parakeets in the plantains; the fishing proas; the mission with its white washed walls and barren frontage; the lagoon, fringed with coco palms, now ruffled emerald, now placid sapphire. Jack had no sooner taken his place in the cart, than he was followed by the ordinary, who seated himself beside him, and, opening the book of prayer, began to read aloud. She became more and more alive, not so much to a system of ideas as to a big diffused impulse toward change, to a great discontent with and criticism of life as it is lived, to a clamorous confusion of ideas for reconstruction—reconstruction of the methods of business, of economic development, of the rules of property, of the status of children, of the clothing and feeding and teaching of every one; she developed a quite exaggerated consciousness of a multitude of people going about the swarming spaces of London with their minds full, their talk and gestures full, their very clothing charged with the suggestion of the urgency of this pervasive project of alteration. Stories … love stories: and to-morrow she would know the joy of reading them! It was almost unbelievable; it was too good to be true. Nothing to check their proceedings but a declining habit of telling the truth and the limitations of their imaginations. I would have liked to know. Into one of these the waterman jumped, and, having assisted Mr. "Fly, Captain, fly!" vociferated Blueskin; "I shan't be able to keep these devils down. I will pray for you. She fixed her brilliant eyes upon him.
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