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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 27

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the conductor the same question three times over, and their lamp-lit faces seemed set with a vague anxiety. With some difficulty I at last effected an entrance. The car was a passage with berths upon each side, and my own berth having been shown me, I entrenched myself in it, and watched my fellow-travellers. One by one they were at last settled in their places ; there was an opening of bags, with re\Telations of socks and handkerchiefs ; white collars were being unbuttoned from flannel shirts, and long overcoats dangled from every hook. Presently the conductor brought me some coffee, which I had asked for on entering ; whilst I was drinking it there was a low rumbling and a tremor. The train was in motion : we were off for the South and Italy. Waking next morning, I turned round to the window, in hopes that we possibly might have left the snow behind us. The glass was opaque and grey ; I brushed it, but made no clearing ; and then I saw that it was coated with thick ice. I took a pen-knife and scraped a small aperture. I looked out on a scene that would have done honour to Siberia. That whole long day we drifted through frozen France, the ice on the windows freezing as fast as one flaked it off. All my hopes had now been sent on to Italy ; and south of the Alps, at any rate, I dreamed that blue skies would await us. Evening fell ; and my spirits began to rise as my penknife laid bare for me a pageant of Swiss mountains, a gloomy lake, the glow of a red sunset, and crags and 24 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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