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.'Sit down and sing again,' she called in her high, stridentvoice.'I'm frightened,' cried Ursula, in a pathetic voice, watching the group of sturdy short cattle, that stood withtheir knees planted, and watched with their dark, wicked eyes, through the matted fringe of their hair.Nevertheless, she sank down again, in her former posture.'They are quite safe,' came Gudrun's high call.'Sing something, you've only to sing something.'It was evident she had a strange passion to dance before the sturdy, handsome cattle.Ursula began to sing, in a false quavering voice:'Way down in Tennessee--'She sounded purely anxious.Nevertheless, Gudrun, with her arms outspread and her face uplifted, went in astrange palpitating dance towards the cattle, lifting her body towards them as if in a spell, her feet pulsing as ifin some little frenzy of unconscious sensation, her arms, her wrists, her hands stretching and heaving andfalling and reaching and reaching and falling, her breasts lifted and shaken towards the cattle, her throatexposed as in some voluptuous ecstasy towards them, whilst she drifted imperceptibly nearer, an uncannywhite figure, towards them, carried away in its own rapt trance, ebbing in strange fluctuations upon the cattle,that waited, and ducked their heads a little in sudden contraction from her, watching all the time as ifhypnotised, their bare horns branching in the clear light, as the white figure of the woman ebbed upon them, inthe slow, hypnotising convulsion of the dance.She could feel them just in front of her, it was as if she had theelectric pulse from their breasts running into her hands.Soon she would touch them, actually touch them.Aterrible shiver of fear and pleasure went through her.And all the while, Ursula, spell-bound, kept up herhigh-pitched thin, irrelevant song, which pierced the fading evening like an incantation.Gudrun could hear the cattle breathing heavily with helpless fear and fascination.Oh, they were brave littlebeasts, these wild Scotch bullocks, wild and fleecy.Suddenly one of them snorted, ducked its head, andbacked.'Hue! Hi-eee!' came a sudden loud shout from the edge of the grove.The cattle broke and fell back quitespontaneously, went running up the hill, their fleece waving like fire to their motion.Gudrun stood suspendedWomen in Love 131/371 Women in Loveout on the grass, Ursula rose to her feet.It was Gerald and Birkin come to find them, and Gerald had cried out to frighten off the cattle.'What do you think you're doing?' he now called, in a high, wondering vexed tone.'Why have you come?' came back Gudrun's strident cry of anger.'What do you think you were doing?' Gerald repeated, auto-matically.'We were doing eurythmics,' laughed Ursula, in a shaken voice.Gudrun stood aloof looking at them with large dark eyes of resentment, suspended for a few moments.Thenshe walked away up the hill, after the cattle, which had gathered in a little, spell-bound cluster higher up.'Where are you going?' Gerald called after her.And he followed her up the hill-side.The sun had gone behindthe hill, and shadows were clinging to the earth, the sky above was full of travelling light.'A poor song for a dance,' said Birkin to Ursula, standing before her with a sardonic, flickering laugh on hisface.And in another second, he was singing softly to himself, and dancing a grotesque step-dance in front ofher, his limbs and body shaking loose, his face flickering palely, a constant thing, whilst his feet beat a rapidmocking tattoo, and his body seemed to hang all loose and quaking in between, like a shadow.'I think we've all gone mad,' she said, laughing rather frightened.'Pity we aren't madder,' he answered, as he kept up the incessant shaking dance.Then suddenly he leaned upto her and kissed her fingers lightly, putting his face to hers and looking into her eyes with a pale grin.Shestepped back, affronted.'Offended--?' he asked ironically, suddenly going quite still and reserved again.'I thought you liked the lightfantastic.''Not like that,' she said, confused and bewildered, almost affronted.Yet somewhere inside her she wasfascinated by the sight of his loose, vibrating body, perfectly abandoned to its own dropping and swinging,and by the pallid, sardonic-smiling face above.Yet automatically she stiffened herself away, anddisapproved.It seemed almost an obscenity, in a man who talked as a rule so very seriously.'Why not like that?' he mocked.And immediately he dropped again into the incredibly rapid, slack-wagglingdance, watching her malevolently.And moving in the rapid, stationary dance, he came a little nearer, andreached forward with an incredibly mocking, satiric gleam on his face, and would have kissed her again, hadshe not started back.'No, don't!' she cried, really afraid.'Cordelia after all,' he said satirically.She was stung, as if this were an insult.She knew he intended it as such,and it bewildered her.'And you,' she cried in retort, 'why do you always take your soul in your mouth, so frightfully full?''So that I can spit it out the more readily,' he said, pleased by his own retort.Women in Love 132/371 Women in LoveGerald Crich, his face narrowing to an intent gleam, followed up the hill with quick strides, straight afterGudrun.The cattle stood with their noses together on the brow of a slope, watching the scene below, the menin white hovering about the white forms of the women, watching above all Gudrun, who was advancingslowly towards them.She stood a moment, glancing back at Gerald, and then at the cattle [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]