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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 179

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sixteen miles from Nicosia, and yet the coachman had sent me a message, to say that with four strong horses we should be four hours in getting to it. I had arranged accordingly to start as early as pos-sible. The air, as I came downstairs, was fresh and crisp in the garden, and touched my face with the effect of a mental tonic. I had only half done break-fast when Scotty came to inform me that the carriage was at the door, and that all the luggage was in readiness. The entire household assembled to see me start, including Metaphora, who frisked, and grinned, and giggled. There, in the narrow street, was the battered and dusty vehicle with my port-manteaus tied behind to it like a lady's dress-improver, and a tribe of Turkish children staring at the imposing spectacle. It was a vehicle of curious pattern. It resembled a barouche, surmounted by the canopy of a four-post bed, the curtains of which were drawn close at the head and foot, and tied back with ragged tape at the sides. As I entered it I had a glimpse of four sinister horses ; Scotty climbed laboriously to a high seat by the driver, and we started to the sound of a whip that made all Nicosia echo. Our pace was surprisingly—indeed I thought dangerously—good, as we whirled round corners and sent goats and Oriental figures flying, and before many minutes we were out in the open country. There, under the blowing breath of the wide Cyprian morning, the last remnants of dejection fluttered away like cobwebs. I have already spoken 176 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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