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The Chaplet of Pearls, Charlotte M. Yonge --ODYSSEY (MUSGROVE) The October afternoon had set in before the brothers were the way to Nissard; and in spite of Berenger’s excited mood, the walk through the soft, sinking sand could not be speedily performed. It was that peculiar sand-drift which is the curse of so many coasts, slowly, silently, irresistibly flowing, blowing, creeping in, and gradually choking all vegetation and habitation. Soft and almost impalpable, it lay heaped in banks yielding as air, and yet far more than deep enough to swallow up man and horse. Nay, tops of trees, summits of chimneys, told what it had already swallowed. The whole scene far and wide presented nothing but the lone, tame undulations, liable to be changed by every wind, and solitary beyond expression--a few rabbits scudding hither and thither, or a sea-gull floating with white, ghostly wings in the air, being the only living things visible. On the one hand a dim, purple horizon showed that the inhabited country lay miles inland; on the other lay the pale, gray, misty expanse of sea, on which Philip’s eyes could lovingly discern the THROSTLE’S masts. That view was Philip’s chief comfort. The boy was feeling more eerie and uncomfortable than ever he had been before as he plodded along, sinking deep with every step almost up to his ankles in the sand, on which the bare-footed guide ran lightly, and Berenger, though sinking no less deeply, seemed insensible to all inconveniences.


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