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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 191

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however, had not yet begun. On the farther side of this opening rose a stupendous cliff, which looked as though it were dizzy at its own altitude and were on the point of hurling itself down through the depths of the unobstructed air. Scaling the side of this, amongst endless rugged projections, there could just be traced a pale faltering line, looking like an im-possible goat-track. I found it in another ten minutes to be the track that we were to traverse ourselves. On foot certainly it proved to be easy enough, but it was so steep at its turnings, and everywhere so rough, so narrow, and so littered with rolling stones, that as I looked down into the aerial abysses below me I confess I felt glad that I was on my own feet, which were prudent, and not on those of a horse like Mrs. St. John's, which pattered and clambered upwards with an almost criminal levity. When we reached the summit the view before us was this. The serrated summits of the mountains were running like a wall to our left, rising above us some four or five hundred feet ; and under their shadow, for several miles in front of us, there ex-tended a sheltered valley, of which certain parts had been ploughed. On the outer edge of this, forming a sort of gorge, about half a mile off, rose a huge isolated rock, shelving in a savage abrupt way towards the mountains, but dropping towards the sea in a single appalling precipice. At a first glance its form struck me as curious ; at a second glance I saw that it was covered with masonry. What I had 188 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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