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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 166

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' LACBYMM BE BUM' 163 crowded. Bows and groups of human beings, with the warm sunlight falling on them, were standing or sitting, engaged in various occupations. Some were boot-making, some were rope-making, some were sewing soldiers' trousers. They were of all ages, from the age of grey hairs to boyhood ; and the chief effect they produced on me, as I watched them quietly at their work, was wonder that such harm-less-looking people should be in prison at all. I lost no time in enquiring what were their offences. As to four men and two youths in suc-cession, I received the same answer, ' Sheep-stealing.' That was just as it should be. It was a pastoral and picturesque offence ; and I was glad to think that they were expiating it here in the sunlight, in-stead of in their cells, whose dark, grated apertures were gaping just behind them like the cages of wild animals. We had advanced some way, and I had been standing still for a moment to watch a wistful-eyed boy—a little fellow of fourteen—who was working diligently with a sewing-machine, when, turning to continue our progress, I saw something mqve in the gloom of the cell close to me. I looked in through the bars ; but in a second I withdrew my eyes, for they had encountered those of a miserable human being. I called to Captain OTlanagan, who was in the middle of an Irish witticism, as, with another, of our party, he was peering into the cell adjoin-ing, and asked him of what the man I had just M 2

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