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The Yellow Rose   By: (1825-1904)

The Yellow Rose by Mór Jókai

First Page:

THE YELLOW ROSE

[Illustration: Budapest 1896 17 III Dr. Jókai Mór]

THE YELLOW ROSE

A Novel

by

MAURUS JÓKAI

Author of "Black Diamonds," "The Green Book," "Eyes like the Sea," "Pretty Michal," "Doctor Dumany's Wife," etc.

[Illustration]

London Jarrold & Sons, 10 & 11, Warwick Lane, E.C.

[All Rights Reserved]

Translated by BEATRICE DANFORD from the original Hungarian.

Copyright: London: Jarrold & Sons.

CONTENTS. PAGE CHAPTER I. 7 CHAPTER II. 13 CHAPTER III. 44 CHAPTER IV. 77 CHAPTER V. 94 CHAPTER VI. 97 CHAPTER VII. 107 CHAPTER VIII. 119 CHAPTER IX. 129 CHAPTER X. 147 CHAPTER XI. 165 CHAPTER XII. 181

THE YELLOW ROSE

CHAPTER I.

This happened when no train crossed the Hortobágy, when throughout the Alföld there was not a railway, and the water of the Hortobágy had not been regulated. The two wheeled mill clattered gaily in the little river, and the otter lived happily among the reeds.

At the first streak of dawn, a horseman came riding across the flat Zám puszta, which lies on the far side of the Hortobágy River (taking Debreczin as the centre of the world). Whence did he come? Whither was he going? Impossible to guess. The puszta has no pathway, grass grows over hoof print and cart track. Up to the endless horizon there is nothing but grass, not a tree, a well pole, or a hut to break the majestic green plain. The horse went its way instinctively. Its rider dozing, nodded in the saddle, first on one side, then the other, but never let slip his foot from the stirrup.

He was evidently a cowherd, for his shirt sleeves were tight at the wrists wide sleeves would be in the way among horned beasts. His waistcoat was blue, his jacket, with its rows of buttons, black, and so was his cloak, worked in silken flowers, and hanging loosely strapped over his shoulder. The slackly gathered reins were held in the left hand, while from the right wrist dangled a thick stock whip. A long loaded cudgel was fastened to the horn of the saddle in front. In the wide upturned brim of his hat he wore a single yellow rose. Once or twice the horse tossed its head, and shaking the fringed saddle cloth, woke the rider for an instant. His first movement was to his cap, to feel whether the rose was there, or if perchance it had dropped out. Then removing the cap, he smelt the flower with keen enjoyment (although it had no rose's scent), and replacing it well to one side, threw back his head as if he hoped, in that way, to catch sight of the rose. Presently (and very probably to keep himself awake) he began humming his favourite song:

"If only the inn were not so near, If only I did not find such cheer In golden quart and copper gill, I would not linger, my love, until It ever should grow so late."

But soon his head fell forward again, and he went on nodding, till all at once, with a frightened start, he saw that the yellow rose was gone!

Turning his horse he commenced searching for the flower amid that sea of grass, and the yellow blossoms of cinquefoil, and stitchwort, and water lilies. At last he found it, stuck it in his hat, and continued his song:

"An apple tree stands in my garden small, The blossoms it bears they hide it all. Oh there where the full carnation blows, And a maiden's heart with a true love glows Is the place where I would be."

And then he went to sleep again, lost the rose, and once more turned to look for it. When found this time, nestling among a cluster of pink thistle heads, he nearly kicked the plant to pieces. Because because it had dared to kiss his rose! Then he sprang back to the saddle. Now had this cowboy been superstitious he would not have decorated his hat for the third time with the yellow rose... Continue reading book >>




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