The boy sat with his back to a rock, his knees drawn up and clasped within fingers nervously interlocked. His eyes were fixed upon the great stretch of landscape below, shadowy now, and indistinct, like a rolling plain of patchwork woven by mysterious fingers. Gray mists were floating over the meadows and low-lying lands. Away in the distance they marked the circuitous course of the river, which only an hour ago had shone like a belt of silver in the light of the setting sun. Twilight had fallen with unexpected swiftness. Here and there a light flashed from the isolated farmhouses. On the darkening horizon, a warm glow was reflected in the clouds from the distant town.

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