Annnnnnd.... it's time for our October Inklings! For more see the first post here or the rules below.
1. At any time during the month, on your own blog post a scene from a book or film that matches the prompt, including a link back here in your post.
2. Leave a link to your post in the comments section on this post and I'll post all your links with the next prompt. That's it!
And October's prompt is:
A scene that shouts 'autumn' to you in book or film
My contribution is from one of my top heart stories of all time: Song of the Voyageur by Beverly Butler. (Forgive any choppiness; it's longer in full/I had to do highlights from the scene.)
"Whether it was the charm of his smile that influenced her or the crisp rustle of leaves underfoot or the dry, dusty smell of them in the hazy air, she soon found it difficult to do anything but enjoy herself. Nathan was in high good spirits, full of ridiculous comments and nonsensical observations on everything that struck his fancy, so that by the time they reached the summit of the bluff, they were as breathless from laughter as from the sharpness of the ascent. They paused only a moment to rest, though, before he led her on along the leveler ground in the general direction of the lake shore.
“Here we are,” he announced at last with a flourish as they came out on a sunny, rocky point. “This is what I wanted to show you.”
She uttered a quick exclamation of pleasure at the scene so suddenly spread before her. At her feet, a cascade of red and gold fell away to the foot of the bluff, while straight ahead and on either side, as far as she could see, stretched the lake, its peaceful waters reflecting the intense but fragile blue of the Indian summer sky.
“Do you know what's beyond that?” Nathan asked, gesturing eastward toward the misty blending of sky and water.
She smiled. “Michigan territory?”
“Then Lake Erie—Pennsylvania—and Philadelphia.” The flippant quality had vanished from his voice. “Only a week more or less and we'll be on a boat in the middle of this lake, on our way back to Mackinac and then to civilization.”
“We?” She turned a surprised face from the lake to him.
“Of course, we! You didn't think I'd leave you behind a second time, did you?” ...“I told you I would be back for you within the year,” he said, drawing a step nearer. “Does it make such an important difference that I've come now, instead of waiting for the spring?”
"She colored faintly and looked away, thrusting from her mind the memory of someone else who had once promised to come back in the spring. “A week is so short! It wouldn't be—it isn’t possible to leave just like that. Don't you see?"
...From a limb above her, a scarlet leaf fluttered free to touch her hair, her cheek, her shoulder, and to flame a second against the deep blue of her skirt before she caught it and said softly, “It wasn't the packing I was thinking of so much as of leaving everyone—André, the boys, Lisabette—”
...The toe of his polished boot sent a spray of brown and russet tumbling about his ankles. ...“At least I understand this,” he said eagerly, holding his open hand toward her and letting his voice sink into the persuasive cadences that made it most musical. “This country with its bears and blood and doing without is no place for you. Philadelphia was meant for you. After a month or two there as my wife, you'd be the queen of the city, part of the finest society. You couldn't help but be!”
She was turning the maple leaf over and over in her fingers, as though by the red symmetry of its jagged edges or its waxen smoothness she could read the counsel she needed. “Only a week.” ...She cast a longing glance across the expanse of glistening water before her eyes rested again on the bright leaf and she turned away. “You make it so hard.”
“It needn't be hard,” he said, stooping even closer in the pretense of trying to glimpse her averted face. “You have but to say yes.”
Abstractedly, she wove the supple leaf stem in and out of her fingers, her thoughts in confusion. ...She knew well enough what kept her from answering: it was a foolish thing, but possessed of the exaggerated proportions foolish things so often have. Yesterday, and for a while today, too, she had let herself imagine it was Nathan who could dispel the cloud of half-melancholy discontent that had haunted her throughout the summer; but somehow he had failed her. It was as though she had been a little girl, full of shining conjectures about the contents of a promised box, only to discover on opening it that it contained nothing at all. What she had hoped to find, she could not tell, but she knew that it was something wonderful—something she must have had somewhere before, and lost.
She looked down at the leaf she held, and opening her fingers, let it slip between them and drift to the ground. “I can’t decide now.”
“Listen to me, Diane!” he cried, stung by her disregard of his wishes. “How long do you think you can play this game of hide-and-seek and still keep me waiting patiently? You must decide now, and neither of us is leaving this place until I have my answer!”
...His temper was rising... He seized her arm and pulled her closer, as though he meant to carry her off with him by sheer strength, and fear quivered through her again, as it had that day beside the stone chimney.
“This evening—” she begged.
...He cut her short. “You've put me off too many times before, and I've waited for you longer than I've ever bothered to wait for any other person. My patience is at an end! Answer me now!”
Angry pride held her rigid in his grasp. Summoning all the dignity at her command, she raised a face to him as outwardly cool and collected as inwardly she was seething. “If I do, the answer will be no!”
He could not have looked more stunned if she had suddenly lashed a whip across his face. Dropping her arm, he fell back a pace, the anger in his eyes changing to wonder, to belief, to conciliation. “Diane, let me explain! It’s only that—”
But her ears, more attuned to the woods than his, had caught a sound beyond his voice—and all else was forgotten. “Listen!”
He stared at her as she stood alert, straining to hear each one of the distant notes, and a black cloud settled over his features as his eyes, almost before his ears, told him the reason for her eager attention. “A trapper’s probably bringing his furs to the post, that's all. That song is as common as Yankee Doodle out here, and any Frenchman can sing it!”
“Any Frenchman, yes,” she said, “but not like that! There's only one!” She evaded the arm he put out to stop her, and he was not swift enough to bar her path. Like a leaf snatched by an autumn wind, she sped back along the way they had come, toward the river and the post and the singing."
from Song of the Voyageur by Beverly Butler
Who else thinks we should try to find whomever knows anything about this and try to get it back in print?
Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with! Have fun!