The mountain rose with immediate sharpness from the beach of the pasture. The spruces at its base were impenetrable to the eye. There was no breeze, but a sigh hung in their branches all the time.
David walked along the road through the spruces. He bent forward to the incline. The beating of his heart brought a kind of lightness to his body now. The cold air and the rush of his blood thinned the ache and the emptiness, distributed it more tolerably throughout all his flesh. A brightness played over his thoughts, like the quickening of fever.
He stopped a minute at a spot where the road levelled off. He noticed two cigarette butts on a bare patch by the flat rock. He lit a cigarette, himself, and looked around. He could see nothing but the spruces, from turn to turn, and the smooth white lane between them. The sight of the houses and the bare fields (stripping as the first cast of dawn that sentences the wakeful’s last hope of sleep) could not reach him at all. He was alone. Now he was absolutely alone.
He said, “It’s perfect here.” Involuntarily. Aloud.