He is refreshing himself, in the midst of dusty, sophisticated Paris, with memories of their old, delightful existence--vagabonde, libre, agreste, pastorale--in their upland valley.
In this book it is rather the cheerful aspect of summer, those upland valleys of the Cevennes presenting then a symphony in red, so to call it--as in a land of cherries and goldfinches; and he has a genial power certainly of making you really feel the sun on the backs of the two boys out early for a long ramble, of old peasants resting themselves a little, with spare enjoyment, ere the end:--
Thus, we can hardly believe that the webbed feet of the upland goose or of the frigate-bird are of special use to these birds; we cannot believe that the same bones in the arm of the monkey, in the fore leg of the horse, in the wing of the bat, and in the flipper of the seal, are of special use to these animals.
Hence we can understand, bearing in mind that each organic being is trying to live wherever it can live, how it has arisen that there are upland geese with webbed feet, ground woodpeckers, diving thrushes, and petrels with the habits of auks.
The country was hilly, with occasional fir plantations and bleak upland
spaces, but also with numerous farms, and the hills were deeply intersected by the gorges of several winding rivers interrupted at intervals by the banked-up ponds and weirs of electric generating wheels.
Some two hundred feet below, a brawling upland
stream stood for the moat, and for the enemy there was on the opposite side of the valley a great green company of trees, settled like a cloud slope upon slope, making all haste to cross the river and ascend the heights where I stood.
When they came out of the woods, all his attention was engrossed by the view of the fallow land on the upland
, in parts yellow with grass, in parts trampled and checkered with furrows, in parts dotted with ridges of dung, and in parts even ploughed.
To Alleyne whose days had been spent in the low-lying coastland, the eager upland
air and the wide free country-side gave a sense of life and of the joy of living which made his young blood tingle in his veins.
The wagon-road became a wood-road, the wood-road became a cow-path, and the cow-path dwindled away and ceased among the upland
There the sun lighted me to hoe beans, pacing slowly backward and forward over that yellow gravelly upland
, between the long green rows, fifteen rods, the one end terminating in a shrub oak copse where I could rest in the shade, the other in a blackberry field where the green berries deepened their tints by the time I had made another bout.
It had come--appearing suddenly from behind the forehead of the nearest upland
, and stopping beside the boy with the barrow.
The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands
, trusting the pony to get me home again.