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Sri Aurobindo

Collected Plays and Stories

CWSA. Volume 3 and 4

Incomplete and Fragmentary Stories

Fragment of a Story

A quiet hilly country on the confines of Bengal after rain. Grey cloud yet banked up the horizon except in the north and sloped over the eastern down-curve in great sheeny ribs brownish and grey like the ribs of a fan. The mango trees by the road with their crowded burden of ruddy or stained-yellow blossom looked moist and quite fresh, the earth discoloured, draggled and limp with the wet, but healed of the dusty thirst and discomfort of many showerless days. The west showed patches of pale bluish steel-grey sky where the veil of cloud was thinnest and the sinking light able to break through; just on the verge one or two of the outlying clouds were ruddy like a dull fire just meaning to go out. The moon must be somewhere eastward, a pale wisp of half-lucid yellow, waiting for the brilliancy to come, but in the east the long dark-ribbed layers ran down with a forbidding thickness. They were the skirts of the retreating storm.

The soldier Rajmohan as he reined in his horse on the top of a rise looked behind him once at the western and once at the southern sky and observed with a contraction of the brow the line of the southern horizon growing a heavy black and glaring up with a lowering threat at the half-cleared zenith.

“A storm brews there” he muttered to himself “and it may break here or it may pass. Either way there is no moonlight for me tonight.”


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