Каминяр Дмитрий Генаддьевич: другие произведения.

L & V. Uspensky. Clashing Rocks

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For one, two, three days the white sail of Argo slid over the sea. By the end of the third day the heroes heard a heavy buzzing and splashing ahead of them. It came down to them like the buzz of a powerful undertow, it roared like a storm or a falling of a giant waterfall, or short, terrible blows of thunder.

Standing tall on the nose of the ship, sliding eyebrows close, farsighted Linceus observed the waves. Suddenly, as if seeing something rather terrifying, he closed his eyes with his hands. What had he seen in the distance?

There, just ahead of the speedy ship, the sea was boiling, bubbling and foaming. Two huge rocks stood out there in the fog, but there were no ordinary rocks, but the floating terrible clashing rocks. These cliffs did not stand still for a moment. They retreated from each another, and then the sea between them became deceptively smooth and calm. Then suddenly the terrifying cliffs began move towards each other. Faster and faster they went, swaying in fierce waves, and the abyss roared and bubbled around them with ever greater power. Finally with a fierce roar, in a cloud of dust, sending frothy black water up to the sky, the cliffs clashed with each other. It seemed the whole world shuddered when they did. But at the next moment the floating mountains again began to move part. It was terrible to look at from a distance at this wonder; meanwhile the East could be reached other than by passing between them.

The Argonauts slowed the ship and held council.

"Remember what Phineas the prophet told us!" some of them started talking. "Before you try to slip between the Clashing rocks, you should send a white dove, the favorite bird of Aphrodite into the gorge. If the dove flies through - Argo should go as well. If the winged scout dies - better to wait then for a more favorable time."

The rowers beat on heavy oars. Typheus grasped the steering oar, and the veins on his forehead inflated from the disturbing tension. Here Linkeus released a silvery-white dove from a cage. Like a snowflake the bird flew through the air, it rushed into the black abyss between the Clashing rocks and in the same moment when they raced against each other, the dove flashed like lightning between them. With a heavy thundering sound the cliffs clashed against each other. But the dove was already beyond them.

So it goes back to Argo, sits on a mast... Oh, the happiness! Only one tail feather was snatched by the Clashing rocks. Therefore, the Argonauts could not lose a minute.

Linceus on the prow, Typheus at the steering oar, and all the other heroes foamed the water with noisily rowing oars. Like a whirwind the Argo flies into the dark gorge, the Clashing rocks, swaying in the fog, begin to converge. One wave drags Argo forwards, another knocks it back. The ship wanders in a turbulent flow ... How to be, what to do? The rocks are about to clash. Salty sweat and salt water ripple on the heroes" faces. Death, death...

But Typheus the helmsman, pushed upon the steering oar. In the mist and spray he suddenly fancied that he saw the goddess of wisdom, Athene. With one hand, he reckoned, she gently touched the rock, and with the other - the stern of their ship. Like an arrow, Argo shot forwards. Foam fell upon him. There was rumbling, which could not be endured by mere mortal ears. But the rocks clashed too late. Only one board from the ship"s steering oar was pulled out by them, ground into chips and parted way.

When the rowers, having caught their breath, raised oars to look back, they saw only a quiet strait between two fixed sets of cliffs. It was the order of the gods: if just one ship would pass between the Clashing rocks, their fateful movement must stop forever...

The sun was setting behind the gloomy cliffs. Happy seagulls, pink from sunrays, were playing in the azure abyss of the sky. The Argonauts wiped their sweaty faces and praising the gods, moved on to the broad expanse of the the sea, which many years later would be called Black.

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