Helping him off with his great-coat, I chatted on about the deluge of rain, and he remarked it was not so very bad, as one could yet walk.
"Fortunately, yes, for I cannot swim," I told him.
He laughed, replying, "Well, it is not so bad as when the Great Deep Waters covered the world."
Immediately I foresaw the coming legend, so crept into the shell of monosyllables.
"No," he replied. "For one time there was no land here at all; everywhere there was just water."
"I can quite believe it," I remarked caustically.
He laughed--that irresistible, though silent, David Warfield laugh of his that always brought a responsive smile from his listeners. Then he plunged directly into the tradition, with no preface save a comprehensive sweep of his wonderful hands towards my wide window, against which the rains were beating.
"It was after a long, long time of this--this rain. The mountain streams were swollen, the rivers choked, the sea began to rise--and yet it rained; for weeks and weeks it rained." He ceased speaking, while the shadows of centuries gone crept into his eyes. Tales of the misty past always inspired him.