Filled with Stillness

“From its other end a path masked by laurel led to the back entrance of the stables: a mere doorless slit between coach-house and harness room, so dark and narrow that any child at once recognized it for a secret passage; as all secret passages should, it opened (at least when the sun shone) upon splendour. For stables are built of brick, whatever mode a house follows, and weathered brick, in sun, holds all the colours of a zinnia; moreover the roofs were blue slate, and the doors and sills painted green; and wherever mortar had dropped, or paint flaked away, a yellowish lichen spread rich as velvet. To the right rose the end wall of the house, to the left stables for three horses with a hayloft above; directly opposite wide gates opened on the drive. The space thus enclosed, when Mr. Brocken entered, was filled with stillness as a cistern is filled with water: not even his own footfall sounded, the cobbles were so overgrown.”

— From The Foolish Gentlewoman (1948) by Margery Sharp


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