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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 285

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green ; indeed, it mixes more constantly with the daily thoughts of the people. Everjr night, mounted on a grey horse, he is said to ride to Larnaca over the sea from Beyrout ; and any malefactor on whom he sets his eyes he seizes by the hair of the head, and drags through the sea after him. Only three years ago it is said that a man was found at sunrise on the roof of a house in the Marina with all his clothes dripping ; and, whatever may have been the real his-tory of his appearance, the people believe to this moment, with the most absolute faith, that he was some thief who had suffered St. George's chastise-ment. Next morning, as I was dressing, I looked out on the sea—the very sea over which the saint rides nightly, and there I saw something that had traversed it in the night likewise—not, however, anything miracu-lous ; it was the very incarnation of modern prose— it was the long grey bulk, and the graceful lines and masts, of the Messageries Maritimes steamer that wTas to take me away from dreamland. It seemed to me almost as strange an object as the first sail from the West must have seemed to the natives of America. It seemed still stranger when, late in the afternoon, Scotty took me on board, performing for me his last service. The windows of the saloon on deck, the glimmer of brass fittings, the agile French of the sailors, and the slight smell from the lifted skylights of the engine-room, all affected me like the most unreal thing in the world—the forgotten voice of a 282 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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