Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition.
I still keep in mind a certain wonderful sunset which I witnessed when the steamboat was new to me. A broad expanse of the river was turned to cherry wine in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold, through which a solitary log came floating, black and conspicuous in one place a long calm slanting mark lay sparkling upon the water in another the surface was broken by boiling, tumbling rings, that were as many-tinted as an opal where the ruddy flush was faintest, was a smooth spot that was covered with graceful circles and radiating lines.
Ever so delicately traced the shore on our left was densely wooded, and the somber shadow that fell from this forest was broken in one place by a long, ruffled trail that shone like silver and high above the forest wall.
“Graceful curves, reflected images, woody heights, soft distances and over the whole sun scene…”
Far and near, the dissolving lights drifted steadily… It suddenly struck me!
But as I have said, a day came when I began to cease from noting the glories and the charms which the moon and the sun and the twilight wrought upon the river’s face another day came when I ceased altogether to note them. Then, if that sunset scene had been repeated, I should have looked upon it without rapture, and should have commented upon it, inwardly, after this fashion. But as I have said, a day came when I began to cease from noting the graceful curves, reflected images, woody heights, soft distances and over the whole sun scene, far and near, the dissolving lights drifted steadily, enriching it, every passing the moment, with new marvels of coloring. The world was new to me, and I had never seen anything like this at home.