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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 280

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A SUDDEN RIVER 277 One incident, and only one, made any definite mark on those few days that were left to me. On a certain evening there was a succession of thunder showers, then all the night a heavy and ceaseless downpour. ' This,' said Sir Eobert in the morning, "' ought to bring down the river.' I asked what he meant by this. He answered that the river below us was rarely anything more than a dry bed of pebbles, just as it was now. But generally once— sometimes three times—in the year, it would sud-denly fill with water, flow for an hour or two, and again become dry and silent. I felt that the sight must be curious, and wished that I might be able to witness it. About four o'clock in the afternoon a servant came to my bedroom and asked me to go into the garden. There I found Sir Bobert with an opera-glass, standing on the bank. ' Look ! ' ex-claimed he, pointing ; 'it is coming. Listen ! you can hear it.' I listened and I looked. Very faint and uncertain I at last caught a sound like leaves rustling in a dream. Then suddenly far away on the plain I saw something flash, like the head of a pointed spear. Gradually this prolonged itself into a slim shining line, which presently took a curve. For a time its course was straight, then it curved again. In ten minutes, over the brown surface of the fields the Water had stretched itself like a long silvery snake, and the sound I had heard, growing momently more distinct, explained itself to the ear as the voice of the stirred pebbles. The river channel

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