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The Aeroplane: commencement
(1912)

Literary,   pp. 40-[60]


Page 41

T    H     E        A    E    R    0    P    L    A    N    E 
her person but the round arms t1hat gleamed white in the sun. On 
her feet were sandals. 
I watched her immovable, amazed, entranced. And Ithe spell of 
her eyes held me, and the radiance of her hair dazzled me, and the 
wonder of it all appalled me, and I trembled as the thought came to 
me that perhaps I had already crossed the bar and the being before 
me was one of Paradise. 
Suddenly she spoke. The sound of her voice was mellow and .ie 
music of it still lingers with me. Sweetness was intermingled with 
richness, and it caressed the ear and filled me with the desire to hear 
more and more. 
And so entranced was I by the music that I heard not the words 
and she repeated in what struck me at once as childish accents, "Who
are you? Where do you come from?" 
My akitonishment was increased by these words spoken in my 
tongue, and I was still silent and minutes passed before I answered. 
I will not dwell upon the details of our first acquaintance. Their 
recollection brings sorrow to me. Let it suffice to know that I Itold 
her my woeful tale, and was in a measure comforted by her pitying 
eyes and voice. In return she related to me what was in substance 
the following: 
Her name was Lucile. Her family name she had forgo~tten. 
Many years before when she was but a mere child-four or five 
years old at the most-she had gone on a sea journey with her 
parents. She did not remember the names of the ship or the country 
from which she had journeyed. The only facts distinctly in her 
mind was that Ithe ship had been struck or had struck something 
and began sinking. Her father had immediately grasped her in his 
arms, jumped and swam until he reached the island, which they found 
luxuriant with plants and fruits. 
The years following this tragic happening were very vague. They 
lived somehow or other on the foods in which the island abounded. 
The clima~te was warm always, and, as far as she   knew, quite 
healthful. They had found a cave which protected them from the 
storms which, now and then, found their way to the island. And 
thus they had lived for years. 
Who can imagine the wonder her story inspired in me? Here 
was a girl about eighteen years of age, of my race and language, who 
knew notthing of the world except that she had once been a part of it; 
who lived with her father in a state of hermitage; who spoke with 
a lisp and acccnt to be expected only of a child, and grammatical 
blunders which would have sounded ludicrous under other conditions. 
If I had heard only the words spoken and had not seen the speaker, I 
would have been convinced that they were issuing from the lips of a 
child. 
In speaking to her I was forced to use the simplest language in 
order to make myself understood. Question ofter question I asked 
her, but she only smiled in answer and said, "Come, I will show you."
I followed her, and soon came in sight of the cave which she hal 
previously mentioned as her home. The mouth of the cave was wide 
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