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      [119]Que vous les avez prises.

      Macdonald, Marmont, and other generals were pointed out during the evening; it was a new world to her."Oh, Miss Leland, is our friendship only fancy? Will a thousand miles make you forget me?"

      "Really glad. I feel as if we had been parted for years. No letter to tell me where you were or what you were doing! I began to doubt if you ever cared for me."A muffled sound of instruments, mingling in confusion in the myriad echoes, came dying on my ear, hardly audible. A gleam of light flashed in the corridor and then went out. Then some lights seemed to be coming towards me, and again all was gloom. An orchestra of bagpipes, of kemanches and darboukhas sounded close by me, and then was lost in the distance, and the phantasmagoria of lights still went on. At last, at the further end of the arcade where I was standing, two men raised green-flamed torches at the end of long poles, followed by two drummers and musicians playing on bagpipes and viols. Children squatting on the ground lighted coloured fire that[Pg 118] made a bright blaze, and died out in stifling smoke, shrouding the priestsa cloud hardly tinted by the torches.

      There was a cold bracing wind, and the sun was declining in a sky barred with dense black cloudsan ominous sky, prophetic of storm or rain. Isola walked up the hill towards Tywardreath as if she were going on an errand of deadliest moment, skirted and passed the village, with no slackening of her pace, and so by hill and valley to Par, a long and weary walk under ordinary circumstances for a delicate young woman, although accustomed to long country walks. But Isola went upon her lonely journey with a feverish determination which seemed to make her unconscious of distance. Her steps never faltered upon the hard, dusty road. The autumn wind that swept the dead leaves round her feet seemed to hold her up and carry her along without effort upon her part. Past copse and meadow, common land and stubble, she walked steadily onward, looking neither to right nor left of her path, only straight forward to the signal lights that showed fiery red in the grey dusk at Par Junction. She watched the lights growing larger and more distinct as she neared the end of her journey. She saw the fainter lights of the village scattered thinly beyond the station lamps, low down towards the sandy shore. She heard the distant rush of a train, and the dull sob of the sea creeping up along the level shore, between the great cliffs that screened the bay. A clock struck six as she[Pg 184] waited at the level crossing, in an agony of impatience, while truck after truck of china clay crept slowly by, in a procession that seemed endless; and then for the first time she felt that the wind was cold, and that her thin serge jacket did not protect her from that biting blast. Finally the line was clear, and she was able to cross and make her way to the village post-office.


      He wore a pink coat, as became a member of the Lostwithiel Hunt, and the vivid colour accentuated the pallor of his long thin face. He talked to all the ladies on the divan; to the sky-blue nieces even, hoping that their cards were full.



      Hearing that the peasants, still attached to them, and untouched by revolutionary ideas, were about to receive them in the old way, with cross and banner and the ringing of the bells, they thought it better to arrive in the middle of the night, but the first thing in the morning the chateau was surrounded by the people, who were eager to see them.