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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 196

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A CASTLED CRAG 193 reach them, for the face of the cliff showed no mode of ascent except the line of a sheep path just traceable intermittently on masses of headlong débris which had fallen amongst rocks and saplings. My surprise therefore perhaps exceeded my pleasure when Mrs. St. John in the quietest way in the world pointed to the very path and proposed that we should go up it—a path on which, so far as the eye could tell, a single false step meant a helpless fall into eternity. Under the circumstances, however, I put my fears in my pocket. I was also intrepid enough to burden myself with my camera, and with all the heroism of which false shame is so prolific I proceeded to lead the way. As for Scotty, poor man, climbing was not his forte, and he looked so exhausted at the very gates of the castle that I left him behind to amuse himself by making tea for us, and several times I had taken a backward glance at him lighting a fire and wiping his brown face with his jacket. The ascent we were now engaged in, though not less steep than it looked, was easier. At the summit we found the arch, whose top we had seen already, and this admitted us into a spacious quadrangle, of which two sides were formed by buildings and two by natural rock, capped by towers and battlements. All the ground was a chaos of fallen building stones, amongst which were standing some fig trees, with far-spreading twisted branches, whilst grass grew with a soft luxuriance that surprised me, and massed 0

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