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it was a dark and stormy night...

that day i oft remember, when from sleep
i first awak’d and found myself repos’d,
under a shade, on flow’rs, much wond’ring where
and what i was, whence thither brought, and how.

it was a stormy evening, not one to be out in if a man had a warm corner in which to hide. an old peddler was trying to find shelter from the rapidly increasing storm under the lea of the castle wall. he crouched so
close to the stones that he could scarcely be seen at all, in spite of the light from the snow. finally he disappeared altogether behind one of the heavy columns which sprang out at intervals from the magnificent wall. only his head peeped out occasionally as if looking for something. His dark, thoughtful eyes glanced over the little village spread out on one side of the castle, and over the railway station, its most imposing building. then they would turn back again to the entrance gate in the wall near where he stood. it was a heavy iron-barred gate, its handsome ornamentation outlined in snow, and behind it the body of a large dog could be occasionally seen. this dog was an enormous grey ulmer hound.

the peddler stood for a long time motionless behind the pillar, then he looked at his watch. ”it’s nearly time,” he murmured, and looked over towards the station again, where lights and figures were gathering. at the same time the noise of an opening door was heard, and steps creaked over the snow.

'i will tell you all the story, but not now. there is nothing more to say now, beyond giving places, persons, and dates.' his voice became timidly slow at this point.

'no; don't take trouble to say more. you are a dear honest fellow to say so much as you have; and it is not so dreadful either. it has become a normal thing that millionaires commence by going up to london with their tools at their back, and half-a-crown in their pockets. that sort of origin is getting so respected,' she
continued cheerfully, 'that it is acquiring some of the odour of norman ancestry.'

'ah, if i had MADE my fortune, i shouldn't mind. but i am only a possible maker of it as yet.'

'it is quite enough. and so THIS is what your trouble was?'

'i thought i was doing wrong in letting you love me without telling you my story; and yet i feared to do so, elfie. i dreaded to lose you, and i was cowardly on that account.'

'how plain everything about you seems after this explanation! your peculiarities in chess-playing, the pronunciation papa noticed in your latin, your odd mixture of book-knowledge with ignorance of ordinary social accomplishments, are accounted for in a moment.'

(the queen started)

"but his true name is the chevalier du vallon."

"de bracieux de pierrefonds," added porthos.

"these names are too numerous for me to remember them all, and i will content myself with the first," said the queen, graciously. porthos bowed. at this moment the coadjutor was announced; a cry of surprise ran through the royal assemblage.

the tenth of august last this dreadful lord, retiring from the siege of orleans, having full scarce six thousand in his troop, by three and twenty thousand of the french was round encompassed and set upon. no leisure had he to enrank his men; he wanted pikes to set before his archers; instead whereof sharp stakes
pluck'd out of hedges they pitched in the ground confusedly, to keep the horsemen off from breaking in.

this cell was, to speak correctly, the arsenal and wardrobe of the nautilus. a dozen diving apparatuses hung from the partition waiting our use. ned land, on seeing them, showed evident repugnance to dress himself in one.

"but, my worthy ned, the forests of the island of crespo are nothing but submarine forests."

"good!" said the disappointed harpooner, who saw his dreams of fresh meat fade away. "and you, m. aronnax, are you going to dress yourself in those clothes?"

"there is no alternative, master ned."

moonday clxvi bis

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