Behind it, sheltering its garden from the too keen breath of sea winds, was a cloudy fir
wood, in which the winds might make all kinds of weird and haunting music.
Look at those cramped dead firs, ever the same, and at me too, sticking out my broken and barked fingers just where they have grown, whether from my back or my sides: as they have grown so I stand, and I do not believe in your hopes and your lies."
The coarse evergreen color of the small fir trees scattered here and there among the birches was an unpleasant reminder of winter.
She had discovered that a lane opened out below the apple orchard and ran up through a belt of woodland; and she had explored it to its furthest end in all its delicious vagaries of brook and bridge, fir
coppice and wild cherry arch, corners thick with fern, and branching byways of maple and mountain ash.
He got up and threw open the windows, to let in the soft breath of the afternoon, and the healthy scent of the firs
that made a belt round the Hermitage.
Still, the sight of the peacock opportunely spreading his tail on the stackyard wall, just as they reached Garum Firs, was enough to divert the mind temporarily from personal grievances.
He felt it as the beginning of the disagreeables incident to a visit at aunt Pullet's, where he had once been compelled to sit with towels wrapped round his boots; a fact which may serve to correct the too-hasty conclusion that a visit to Garum Firs must have been a great treat to a young gentleman fond of animals,--fond, that is, of throwing stones at them.
At the end of a year he had shot up a good deal, and after another year he was another long bit taller; for with fir trees one can always tell by the shoots how many years old they are.
This happened every year; and the young Fir Tree, that had now grown to a very comely size, trembled at the sight; for the magnificent great trees fell to the earth with noise and cracking, the branches were lopped off, and the trees looked long and bare; they were hardly to be recognised; and then they were laid in carts, and the horses dragged them out of the wood.
That's a new sort of fir
which old Caldecott brought from the Himalayas."
When I ascertained that these young trees had not been sown or planted, I was so much surprised at their numbers that I went to several points of view, whence I could examine hundreds of acres of the unenclosed heath, and literally I could not see a single Scotch fir
, except the old planted clumps.
A weird, dreamy stillness had fallen on the purple earth, the dark fir
woods, the valley rims, the sere meadows.