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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 169

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' but you couldn't have seen half of it.' I at once found that this was true ; for whilst he was in the act of speaking we were being introduced to a scene that was certainly.quite new to me. It was a small, irregular yard, surrounded by mean outhouses, much like the yard of a dirty farmhouse in England. There was a pump in the middle of it ; on the ground were some earthenware basins ; here and there was a heap of kitchen refuse, and our noses were soon saluted by an odour of warm cooking. At the sound of our voices a door presently opened, and a woman emerged, whose proportions were those of a female Falstaff. With a rolling gait she advanced a few paces towards us, and then, perceiving Captain O'Flanagan and the sergeant, she turned round and preceded us into a kind of kitchen. Through this we ρ used into a whitewashed passage ; the female Falstaff opened a door at the end of it, and we found ourselves in a bare room, with windows high up in the walls, confronted by a party of fourteen or fifteen women. I asked some one near me what these women were doing here. ' Don't you know ? ' was the answer. ' They are some of the female prisoners.' The horrors of the day, then, were not ended yet. We had left one prison merely to enter another. I faced the situation, however, and examined the faces before me. A part were young, but the larger part seemed old—wrinkled, and dejected, and suggesting nothing but compassion—all 166 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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