Author: Marjorie Bowen
In the large room of a house in a certain quiet city in Flanders, a man was gilding a devil.
The chamber looked on to the quadrangle round which the house was built; and the sun, just overhead, blazed
on the vine leaves clinging to the brick and sent a reflected glow into the sombre spaces of the room.
The devil, rudely cut out of wood, rested by his three tails and his curled-back horns against the wall, and the
man sat before him on a low stool.
On the table in front of the open window stood a row of knights in fantastic armour, roughly modelled in clay;
beside them was a pile of vellum sheets covered with drawings in brown and green.
By the door a figure of St. Michael leant against a chair, and round his feet were painted glasses of every
colour and form.
On the white-washed wall hung a winged picture representing a martyrdom; its vivid hues were the most
brilliant thing in the room.
The man was dressed in brown; he had a long dark face and straight dull hair; from the roll of gold leaf on his
knee he carefully and slowly gilded the devil.
The place was utterly silent, the perfect stillness enhanced by the dazzle of the blinding sun without; presently
the man rose and, crossing to the window, looked out.
He could see the sparse plants bordering the neglected grass-grown paths, the house opposite with its double
row of empty windows and the yellowing vine-leaves climbing up the tiled roof that cut the polished blue of
the August sky. Download to read the rest...