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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 102

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A RETUBN BY MOONLIGHT 99 of the mountains ; and far below us, beyond a multitude of lesser ranges, extended the great plains we had ridden across that morning, with Nicosia, like a faint mark, in the middle of them. The descent was long. We went four miles out of our way, and had it been dark we should have gone straight over a precipice. By the time we found ourselves again in the difficult thoroughfares of Kythrea the light was waning. By the time we emerged from them it was dusk. The plains were purple ; the by-ways had ceased to be distinguish-able, so we urged our animals home by the dusty and stony carriage-road. As we were nearing Nicosia, I glanced to one side of me, and was astonished at the sharpness of the shadows which I and my mule were casting. I looked up, and I saw that in the clear liquid sky the moon was now mis-tress, and was shining in all her brilliance. The bastions of the town gleamed as we passed under them. The passage of the gate was like midnight. Within the streets were silent. Scotty rode ahead of us, as he alone knew the way. We trotted after him through a series of black alleys, lit only by a lantern at rare intervals. Once or twice we detected, as we passed close to them, long-robed Oriental figures gliding silently by the walls. A kneeling camel waved its shadowy neck at us. Dogs barked, and the buildings faintly echoed. At last came a welcome sight. Scotty checked his mule, and I realised with delight that we were at Colonel Falk- II 2

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