Smaïn; and Safti's Summer Day

Smaïn; and Safti's Summer Day

By Robert Smythe Hichens

  • Release Date: 1950-01-01
  • Genre: Short Stories
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This is a Fiction Short Story Book. It says that Far away in the desert I heard the sound of a flute, pure sound in the pure air, delicate, sometimes almost comic with the comicality of a child who bends women to kisses and to nonsense words. We had passed through the sandstorm, Safti and I, over the wastes of saltpetre, and come into a land of palm gardens where there was almost breathless calm. The feet of the camels paddled over the soft brown earth of the narrow alleys between the brown earth walls, and we looked down to right and left into the shady enclosed spaces, seamed with water rills, dotted with little pools of pale yellow water, and saw always giant palms, with wrinkled trunks and tufted, deep green foliage, brooding in their squadrons over the dimness they had made. The activity of man might be discerned here in the regularity of the artificial rills, the ordered placing of the trees, each of which, too, stood on its oval hump. But no man was seen; no flat roofed huts appeared; no robe, pale blue or white, fluttered among the shadows; no dog blinked in the golden patches of the sun only the sound of the flute came to us from some hidden place ceaselessly, wild and romantic, full of an odd coquetry, and of an absurdity that was both uncivilised and touching. I stopped to listen, and looked round, searching the vistas between the palms. "Where does it come from?" I asked of Safti. His one eye blinked languidly. "From some gardener among the trees. All who dwell in Sidi Matou are gardeners". The persistent flute gave forth a shower of notes that were like drops of water flung softly in our faces.