A thunder storm marched in at bedtime, shedding flashes as it came, the bolts concealed in the forerunning rain. It growled and cracked by and I followed from window to window around the house.
At length it moved decisively away to the north-east, three knots of energy discharging across a quadrant of the horizon, never more than four seconds between strokes and sometimes continuous lightning. There were hundreds of flashes in the hour: flashes too quick to see; sheets and billows of light sweeping in giant ripples across half the sky; sudden vertiginous cloudscapes, picked out for a bare instant. Perhaps one in ten of the bolts was visible, as a sudden stab to ground or snaking from cloud to cloud, now and then inscribing an elaborate tracery at once powerful and fantastic.
Gradually the storm set behind the downs, now silent for us but still flinging out flame in erratic profusion, bolts occasionally seeming to roll along the brow of the hills like electrical fluid. The pale clouds in the east let a few chips of rising moon shine through as an appendix to the light show, and Cassiopeia stood in a rag of clear sky.
An hour later the next storm travelled over: a few bangs and flashes, and inconceivable quantities of the Atlantic dumped onto the land.