Fragrance in the writings of Zane Grey

Fragrance

Every once in a while a little breath of wind would bring a fragrance of cedar and pinon, and a sweet hint of pine and sage.

Suddenly the fragrance of blossom was overwhelmed by the stronger fragrance of smoke from a wood fire.

The smells, too, were the sweet, stinging ones of spring, warm and pleasant — the odor of the clean, fresh earth cutting its way through that thick, strong fragrance of pine, the smell of logs rotting in the sun, and of fresh new grass and flowers along a brook of snow-water.

The air was hot, and its odor was that of dry pine and spruce fragrance penetrated by brimstone from the lightning.

The borderman came forward and stood in front of her. Somehow he appeared changed. The long, black rifle, the dull glinting weapons made her shudder. Wilder and more untamable he looked than ever. The very silence of the forest clung to him; the fragrance of this grassy plains came faintly from his buckskin garments.

And mingled with the dry scent of dust was the sweet fragrance of new-mown hay.

Joe had a pleasurable sense of her nearness, and there was a delight in the fragrance of her hair as it waved against his cheek ; but just then love was not uppermost in his mind.

The smell of wood-smoke and odorous steam from pots and the fragrance of spruce mingled together, keen, sweet, appetizing. Then he ate his simple meal hungrily, with the content of the man who had fared worse.

The water ran with low, swift rush; there were bees humming round the autumn flowers and a fragrance of wood- smoke wafted down from the camp; over all lay the dreaming quietness of the season and the wild.

The whipping wind with its pine-scented fragrance, warm as the breath of summer, was intoxicating as wine.

Thin clouds of smoke were then blowing across the fields and the wind that carried them was laden with an odor of burning wheat. To Kurt it seemed to be the fragrance of baking bread.

The air was full of the fragrance of blossoms and the melody of birds.

For an hour I worked. I sweat and panted and burned in the hot sun; and I enjoyed it. The sea was beautiful. A strong, salty fragrance, wet and sweet, floated on the breeze. Catalina showed clear and bright, with its colored cliffs and yellow slides and dark ravines. Clemente Island rose a dark, long, barren, lonely land to the southeast. The clouds in the west were like trade-wind clouds, white, regular, with level base-line.

Venters sought his own bed of fragrant boughs; and as he lay back, somehow grateful for the comfort and safety, the night seemed to steal away from him, and he sank softly into intangible space and rest and slumber.

"I smell smoke," he said, sniffing at the fragrant air.



In the night he awoke, and seeing a bright star, which only accentuated the darkness, and smelling the fragrant hay, and hearing a strange sound, he did not realize where he was, and a chill terror crept over him.

The air was keen, with a suspicion of frost in it, and fragrant with pine and hemlock.

Kurt missed the sweet fragrance of wheat. What odor there was seemed to be like that of burning weeds.



The dead silence of the valley, the dry fragrance, the dreaming walls, the advent of night low down, when up on the ramparts the last red rays of the sun lingered, the strange loneliness — these were sweet and comforting to him.

Once up on the wide, windy slope the reach and color and fragrance seemed to call to Slone irresistibly, and he fell to trailing these tracks just for the love of a skill long unused. Half a mile out the road turned toward Durango. But the Creeches did not continue on that road. They entered the sage. Instantly Slone became curious.

As we climbed out once more, this time into an open, beautiful pine forest, with little patches of green thicket, I seemed to have been drugged by the fragrance and the color and the beauty of the wild.

They were high, a mass of big-leafed vines, flowering and fragrant, above which towered the jungle giants.


Fragrant

This morning we got an early start. We rode for hours through a beautiful shady forest, where a fragrant breeze in our faces made riding pleasant. Large oaks and patches of sumach appeared on the rocky slopes. We descended a good deal in this morning's travel, and the air grew appreciably warmer. The smell of pine was thick and fragrant; the sound of wind was sweet and soughing. Everywhere pine needles dropped, shining in the sunlight like thin slants of rain.

The morning after Betty's return was a perfect spring morning—the first in that month of May-days. The sun shone bright and warm; the mayflowers blossomed; the trailing arbutus scented the air; everywhere the grass and the leaves looked fresh and green; swallows flitted in and out of the barn door; the blue-birds twittered; a meadow-lark caroled forth his pure melody, and the busy hum of bees came from the fragrant apple-blossoms.

But she saw clearly enough to crawl into the pine thicket, through the clutching, dry twigs, over the mats of fragrant needles to the covert where she had once spied upon Jean Isbel.

The evening wore away no more tediously to the borderman, than to those young frontiersmen who were whispering tender or playful words to their partners. Time and patience were the same to Jonathan Zane. He lay hidden under the fragrant lilacs, his eyes, accustomed to the dark from long practice, losing no movement of the guests. Finally it became evident that the party was at an end. One couple took the initiative, and said good night to their hostess.

How many youths, his brother among them, lay under the fragrant pine-needle carpet of the forest, in their last earthly sleep!

He followed her down a winding trail—down and down till the green plain rose to blot out the scrawled wall of rock, down into a verdant canon where a brook made swift music over stones, where the air was sultry and hot, laden with the fragrant breath of flower and leaf. This was a canon of summer, and it bloomed.

That west wind was fresh, cool, fragrant, and it carried a sweet, strange burden of far-off things — tidings of life in other climes, of sunshine asleep on other walls — of other places where reigned peace.

When he again unclosed his eyes the room was sunny, and cool with a fragrant breeze that blew through the open door.

Presently he led the horse out of the willows into the open and up a low- swelling, long slope of fragrant sage.

The sunrise was fresh, beautiful; the morning was windy, fragrant; the sunset was rosy, glorious; the twilight was sad, changing; and night seemed infinitely sweet with its stars and silence and sleep.

The warm breeze came down in puffs from the crags; it rustled in the cedars and blew fragrant whiffs of camp-fire smoke into his face; and presently it bore a low, prolonged whistle.

The cool air, fragrant with pine and spruce and some subtle nameless tang, sweet and tonic, made Madeline stand erect and breathe slowly and deeply.

The shades of night fell swiftly, and it was dark by the time the hunters finished the meal. Then the campfire had burned low. One of the three dragged branches of dead cedars and replenished the fire. Quickly it flared up, with the white flame and crackle characteristic of dry cedar. The night wind had risen, moaning through the gnarled, stunted cedars near by, and it blew the fragrant wood-smoke into the faces of the two hunters, who seemed too tired tc move.

She lay down to rest and think. It was really very pleasant here. There were birds nesting in the chinks; a ground-squirrel ran along one of the logs and chirped at her; through an opening near her face she saw a wild rose-bush and the green slope of the gulch; a soft, warm, fragrant breeze blew in, stirring her hair. How strange that there could be beautiful and pleasant things here in this robber den; that time was the same here as elsewhere; that the sun shone and the sky gleamed blue.

The spot was green, fragrant, shady, bright with flowers, musical with murmuring water.

The dawn streamed in bright and sweetly fragrant. The wheat-fields seemed a rosy gold, and all that open slope called to her thrillingly of the beauty of the world and the happiness of youth.

I trailed the swift, murmuring stream to its source on the dark green slope where there opened up a big hole bordered by water-cress, long grass, and fragrant mint.


Venters sought his own bed of fragrant boughs; and as he lay back, somehow grateful for the comfort and safety, the night seemed to steal away from him, and he sank softly into intangible space and rest and slumber.

"I smell smoke," he said, sniffing at the fragrant air.


The sky was now turning from gray to blue; stars had begun to lighten the earlier blackness; and from the wide flat sweep before him blew a cool wind, fragrant with the breath of sage.


They were high, a mass of big-leafed vines, flowering and fragrant, above which towered the jungle giants.

In the night he awoke, and seeing a bright star, which only accentuated the darkness, and smelling the fragrant hay, and hearing a strange sound, he did not realize where he was, and a chill terror crept over him.

The air was keen, with a suspicion of frost in it, and fragrant with pine and hemlock

So, in conclusion, let me repeat that if you are a fisherman of any degree, and if you aspire to some wonderful experiences with the great and vanishing game fish of the Pacific, and if you would love to associate with these adventures some dazzling white hot days, and unforgetable cool nights where your eyelids get glued with sleep, and the fragrant salt breath of the sea, its music and motion and color and mystery and beauty—then go to Avalon before it is too late.

It's dusty and hot there. Come. Ill take you where it's nice and cool." "Thank you. I'll be glad to." She led him to a green, fragrant nook, where a bench with cushions stood half -hidden under heavy foliage.

The day passed lazily, with all of us resting on the warm, fragrant pine-needle beds, or mending a rent in a coat, or working on some camp task impossible of commission on exciting days.

He rode with Mescal behind the flock; he hunted hour by hour, crawling over the fragrant brown mats of cedar, through the sage and juniper, up the grassy slopes.

It was with ever-increasing pleasure that Madeline walked through acres of ground once bare, now green and bright and fragrant.

The spot was green, fragrant, shady, bright with flowers, musical with murmuring water.

And then she hid her face in the fragrant thickness that seemed to force a whisper from her.

The breeze brought fragrant smell of fresh-cut alfalfa and the rustling song of the wheat.

Kurt had felt this when, as a boy, he had begged to be allowed to try his hand; he liked the shifty cloud of fragrant chaff, now and then blinding and choking him; and he liked the steady, rhythmic tramp of hoofs and the roaring whir of the great complicated machine.

Here were hard, smooth roads, and Anderson sped his car miles and miles through a country that was a verdant fragrant bower, and across bright, shady streams and by white little hamlets.

Smell

The smells, too, were the sweet, stinging ones of spring, warm and pleasant — the odor of the clean, fresh earth cutting its way through that thick, strong fragrance of pine, the smell of logs rotting in the sun, and of fresh new grass and flowers along a brook of snow-water.

The morning air was cool, and dry as toast; the smell of pitch-pine choked my nostrils.

Thereupon Jean proceeded with the utmost stealth, absolutely certain that he would miss no sound, movement, sign, or anything unnatural to the wild peace of the canon. And his first sense to register something was his keen smell.

I was tired out, but the red-embered camp-fire, the cool air, the smell of wood-smoke, and the white stars kept me awake awhile.

About noon the following day, the horses whinnied, and the mules roused out of their tardy gait. " They smell water," said Emmett. And despite the heat, and the sand in my nostrils, I smelled it, too.

A blast as from a furnace smote Hare from this open break in the wall. The air was dust-laden, and carried besides the smell of dust and the warm breath of desert growths, a dank odor that was unpleasant.

The tents of the workers, some new and white, others soiled and ragged, stretched everywhere; large tents belched smoke and resounded with the ring of hammers on anvil; soldiers stood on guard; men, red-shirted and blue-shirted, swarmed as thick as ants; in a wide hollow a long line of horses, in double row, heads together, pulled hay from a rack as long as the line, and they pulled and snorted and bit at one another; a strong smell of hay and burning wood mingled with the odor of hot coffee and steaming beans; fires blazed on all sides; under another huge tent, or many tents without walls, stretched wooden tables and benches; on the scant sage and rocks and brush, and everywhere upon the tents, lay in a myriad of colors and varieties the lately washed clothes of the toilers; and through the wide street of the camp clattered teams and swearing teamsters, dragging plows with clanking chains and huge scoops turned upside down.

The air was thick, oppressive, rank with the smell of cattle and of burning hide. Madeline began to sicken. She choked with dust, was almost stifled by the odor.

Wrangle whistled his pleasure at the smell of the sage. Remounting, Venters headed up the white trail with the fragrant wind in his face.

If Wetzel and Joe were far distant from the cave, as was often the case, they made camp in the open woods, and it was here that Joe's contentment was fullest. Twilight shades stealing down over the camp-fire; the cheery glow of red embers; the crackling of dry stocks; the sweet smell of wood smoke, all had for the lad a subtle, potent charm.

The sun was yet high, and a dazzling white light enveloped valleys and peaks. He felt that the wonderful sunshine was the dominant feature of that arid region. It was like white gold. It had burned its color in a face he knew. It was going to warm his blood and brown his skin. A hot, languid breeze, so dry that he felt his lips shrink with its contact, came from the desert; and it seemed to smell of wide-open, untainted places where sand blew and strange, pungent plants gave a bitter-sweet tang to the air.

A fragrant, dry, wheaty smell, mingled with dust, came on the soft summer breeze, and a faint silken rustle.

Pipes ran in all directions; huge tanks loomed up everywhere; puffs of smoke marked the pumping-engines sheltered in little huts; the ground was black and oily, and the smell of oil overpowering

The waves broke over the end of the canoe, splashing me in the face so I could taste and smell the salt.

When he climbed the dirty dark stairway up to the second floor, a throng of memories returned with the sensations of creaky steps, musty smell, and dim light.

Now I have come back to these walled valleys — to the smell of pinon, to the flowers in the nooks, to the wind on the heights, to the silence and loneliness and beauty.

When such thoughts came he went back to pure sensations, the great, bold peaks looming dark, the winding, level road-bed, the smoky desert-land, reflecting heat, the completed track and gangs of moving men like bright ants in the sunlight, and the exhaust of the engines, the old song, "Drill, ye terriers, drill!" the ring and crash and thud and scrape of labor, the whistle of the seeping sand on the wind, the feel of the heavy sledge that he could wield as a toy, the throb of pulse, the smell of dust and sweat, the sense of his being there, his action, his solidarity, his physical brawn—once more manhood.

She could smell the fragrance of apples, of new-mown hay, and she could hear the low murmur of running water.

Then he lay prone, gasping and choking, almost blind, but sensitive to the rain of gravel and debris, the fearful cries of terrified men, taste of smoke and dust, and the rank smell of exploded gasolene

In fact I loved the smell and color of wood- smoke, in spite of the fact that it made my eyes smart.

Incense

There was smoky haze in the valleys, a fleecy cloud resting over the peaks, a sailing eagle in the blue sky, silence that was the unbroken silence of the wild heights, and a soft wind laden with incense of pine.


Perfume

Lucy gazed before her under the pines. It was a beautiful forest, with trees standing far apart, yet not so far but that their foliage intermingled. A dry fragrance, thick as a heavy perfume, blew into her face. She could not help but think of fire—how it would race through here, and that recalled Joel Creech's horrible threat. Lucy shuddered and put away the memory.

A fragrant perfume was wafted upward to him.

The cold air bore a sweet perfume — whether of flowers or fruit Dick could riot tell.

Madeline looked abroad over these lands and likened the change in them and those who lived by them to the change in her heart. It may have been fancy, but the sun seemed to be brighter, the sky bluer, the wind sweeter, j Certain it was that the deep green of grass and garden was not fancy, nor the white and pink of blossom, nor the blaze and perfume of flower, nor the sheen of lake and the fluttering of new-born leaves.

The air was close, warm, and sweet with perfume of flowers

odor


Odor of pine needles mingled with the other dry smells that made the wind pleasant to Jean.

A blue smoke curling lazily from the stone chimney of his cabin, showed that Sam had made the kitchen fire, and a little later a rich, savory odor gave pleasing evidence that his wife was cooking breakfast.

She was almost breathless when she reached Colonel Zane's house, and hesitated on the step before entering. Summoning her courage she. pushed open the door. The first thing that struck her after the bright light was the pungent odor of strong liniment.

Thick-driving belts of smoke traveled by on the wind, and with it came a strong, pungent odor of burning wood.

A faint old musty odor penetrated his nostrils.

The dawn was fresh and cool, with sweet odor of sage on the air; the jays were squalling their annoyance at this early disturber of their grove; the east was rosy above the black range and soon glowed with gold and then changed to fire.

The breeze carried a dry odor of sand and grass.

And on the puffs of smoke that blew toward her came the sweet, pungent odor of burning cedar.