By Hans Wilhelm
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Extra resources for A Christmas Journey
He stood his ground and fought. " I shivered. "I hate this place! " Davus shrugged. "I don't know. " I gave my horse a kick and moved on. By some magic of the hour, the gloom around us seemed not to deepen but to stay as it was, growing neither lighter nor darker. We had entered a twilight world where phantoms whispered and flitted among the trees. Behind me, most unnerving of all, Davus whistled, oblivious of the phantoms around us. We were like two sleepers dreaming different dreams. "Look, father-in-law, up ahead!
I can promise no more than that. There, your task is accomplished. You can go back to Rome now, knowing that you've done all that any father could. I'll see that you have a place to sleep tonight. " These last words had the unmistakable ring of an order. He studied the fleshless bone in his fist. "But where are my manners? You must be starving, Gordianus. Go, join your son-in-law in the officers' mess. " I left the tent and followed my nose to the mess. Despite the growling in my belly, I had lost my appetite.
Where was Massilia, with Caesar's army camped before it? And how could we exit this hall of stone? A band of lurid sunlight lit up the highest reaches of the eastern cliffs to our left, turning the chalk-white stone blood-red. The glare was blinding. When I lowered my eyes, the deepening shadows around us seemed even darker. The bubbling water in the stream looked black. A warm breeze sighed through the valley. Sounds and sights became deceptive uncertain; in the stirring of the leaves I heard men moaning, snakes hissing.
A Christmas Journey by Hans Wilhelm