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not blame her; and while she was thus enjoining
secrecy as the wisest course, with a view to far
other people than the miller, she was hastily
helping me to take off my wet clothes, and
spreading them, as well as the brown mantle that
had covered us both, before the great stove which
warmed the room with the effectual heat that
the old woman's failing vitality required. All
this time the poor creature was discussing with
herself as to whether she had disobeyed orders,
in a kind of garrulous way that made me fear
much for her capability of retaining anything
secret if she was questioned. By-and-by she
wandered away to an unnecessary revelation of
her master's whereabouts: gone to help in the
search for his landlord, the Sieur de Poissy, who
lived at the chateau just above, and who had not
returned from his chase the day before; so the
intendant imagined he might have met with some
accident, and had summoned the neighbours to
beat the forest and the hill-side. She told us
much besides, giving us to understand that she
would fain meet with a place as housekeeper
where there were more servants and less to do,
as her life here was very lonely and dull, especially
since her master's son had gone awaygone to
the wars. She then took her supper, which was
evidently apportioned out to her with a sparing
hand, as, even if the idea had come into her
head, she had not enough to offer us any.
Fortunately warmth was all that we required, and
that, thanks to Amante's cares, was returning
to our chilled bodies. After supper the old
woman grew drowsy, but she seemed
uncomfortable at the idea of going to sleep and leaving
us still in the house. Indeed, she gave us pretty
broad hints as to the propriety of our going once
more out into the bleak and stormy night; but
we begged to be allowed to stay under shelter
of some kind, and at last a bright idea came over
her, and she bade us mount by a ladder to a kind
of loft, which went half over the lofty mill-
kitchen on which we were sitting; we obeyed
herwhat else could we do?— and found
ourselves in a spacious floor, without any safeguard
or wall, boarding, or railing, to keep us from
falling over into the kitchen in case we went too
near the edge. It was, in fact, the store-room
or garret for the household. There was bedding
piled up, boxes and chests, mill sacks, the winter
store of apples and nuts, bundles of old clothes,
broken furniture, and many other things. No
sooner were we up there than the old woman
dragged the ladder by which we had ascended
away with a chuckle, as if she was now secure
that we could do no mischief, and sat herself
down again once more, to doze and await her
master's return. We pulled out some bedding,
and gladly laid ourselves down in our dried
clothes and in some warmth, hoping to have
the sleep we so much needed to refresh us
and prepare us for the next day. But I
could not sleep, and I was aware from her
breathing that Amante was equally wakeful.
We could both see through the crevices
between the boards that formed the flooring into
the kitchen below, very partially lighted by the
common lamp that hung against the wall near
the stove on the opposite side to that on which
we were.


I bathe in the golden air of an American-
Indian summer. The maple-trees glow above
my head like huge nosegays lighting the stainless
blue air. Autumn has painted their kindling
leaves from her most lavish palette. They burn
away round me in every possible crescendo shade
of crimson, carmine, pink, and puce, from dead
black and fiery orange, with here and there
among them a sprinkle of pure pale green leaves,
as yet unalchemised by that wonderful magician

I am a passenger in the "Lightning Express"
train, say from Nashville to Memphis, on the
Mississippi, that great brown-grandpapa of the
American rivers. The line is a good safe line,
but not an "air line," as our American brothers
call those of their railways that run across level
prairies, without curves, bays, gradients, or
windings, as in Indiana and Wisconsin, for

The cars are not, as in England, so many
stage-coaches glued together. They are, it is
true, of the same Russian sledge-body model
as ours, but they are larger and longer than
two of our omnibuses joined, and contain
some forty or fifty people each: so, for the
student of faces, there is endless amusement, and
for the sociable, much opportunity for society.

The Americans being republicans, and
acknowledging no social distinctions, charge the same
price for all their carriages, and all their
carriages are first class. The seats holding two
persons each are ranged in rows, down either
side of the carriage, with a path for the
conductor, ticket collector, and itinerant salesmen,
down the middle. These seats all face the same
way, except a stray bench or two round the
glass-door, which is not at the side as with us,
but at either end. The benches are like free
seats in a church, with low backs, sometimes of
padded velvet, and, on the poorer lines, of fine
carpet or leather. The floors are always
carpeted or matted, and the windows have
generally Venetian blinds, and shutters for the night,
or for the severe cold weather. There is always
at one end of each carriage a large stone filter
with a tin mug attached, for general use in the
burning thirsty summers. On most lines,
especially in the south, there is a negro or negress
a boy or girlwho comes round every half
hour or so and offers a glass of water from a
huge cool gurgling jug.

And I must go on, for I cannot describe the
sleeping cars till I have first sketched the ordinary
day car, and its points of difference from
ours. The conductor, who wears no uniform
but a cap with a band labelled "conductor"—
for the Americans consider uniforms badges of
inferiorityworks perpetually in and out
through the doors at either end that lead from

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