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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 267

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try in former times was populated. By-and-by we passed by a large lake—large at least in proportion to anything I expected to come across. It was several miles in length. A fringe of reeds was round it, and water birds flew and flitted over its smooth surface. Just beyond this we passed through a mud-built village, called Paralimni, or in plain English Lakeside. One thing made it peculiar : it was a village of dyers, and the only dye used was black, or an inky purple. We saw the liquid simmering in smoky caldrons at cottage doors, over fires on the bare ground ; blue-black washings meandered in streams along the gutters, and dyed material hung drying over garden walls and over currant bushes. After this we met nothing but open country, on which, like breath on a glass, spring was breathing a faint mist of greenness. The last two miles of our ride were down a gentle stone-strewn slope, with the sea in front of us, fretted by low grey rocks. At the lower edge of the slope, between it and the sea, was a straggling village, built on a level belt of land, and at one end of it was a grove of sycamore-figs and olives. The zaptieh, who preceded us, trotted on towards this, and presently disappeared behind a ridge of rocks and a cottage. We followed in his track, and as soon as we had surmounted the ridge the castle of Aya Napa, before completely invisible, was straight in front of us, not thirty yards away. It was a square building, surrounding a court- 264 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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