Essays Of Travel, By Robert Louis Stevenson


































































































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For ten minutes, perhaps, I had heard from somewhere before me in
the wood a strange, continuous noise, as of - Page 130
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For Ten Minutes, Perhaps, I Had Heard From Somewhere Before Me In The Wood A Strange, Continuous Noise, As Of Clucking, Cooing, And Gobbling, Now And Again Interrupted By A Harsh Scream.

As I advanced towards this noise, it began to grow lighter about me, and I caught sight, through the trees, of sundry gables and enclosure walls, and something like the tops of a rickyard.

And sure enough, a rickyard it proved to be, and a neat little farm-steading, with the beech-woods growing almost to the door of it. Just before me, however, as I came upon the path, the trees drew back and let in a wide flood of daylight on to a circular lawn. It was here that the noises had their origin. More than a score of peacocks (there are altogether thirty at the farm), a proper contingent of peahens, and a great multitude that I could not number of more ordinary barn- door fowls, were all feeding together on this little open lawn among the beeches. They fed in a dense crowd, which swayed to and fro, and came hither and thither as by a sort of tide, and of which the surface was agitated like the surface of a sea as each bird guzzled his head along the ground after the scattered corn. The clucking, cooing noise that had led me thither was formed by the blending together of countless expressions of individual contentment into one collective expression of contentment, or general grace during meat.

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