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pany that she did not mind the odour of tobacco, " rather liked it in fact," the would-be smokers were polite enough to desist from their intention.
The second half of the journey was not nearly so tedious as the first, and what with conversation and a variety of amusing diversions, the time passed away rapidly. One incident was of quite a startling character to the children, when, with the train going at full speed, a railway official's head suddenly popped in at the carriage window and exclaimed, “ Vos billets, s'il vous plait, mesdames et messieurs." This was very alarming, and Trixie gave such a start, and cried out so lustily, that all the people were very much amused indeed. Even the fierce railway guard, or whatever he was, smiled upon the maiden. It was evident from this that they were nearing their destination, "about half-an-hour more." But with all this time yet before them, some began to get ready to alight, tidying themselves up, and collecting their things together. Always that longing to leave or join railway or steamer ! That impressed the children very much. Presently country began to be left behind, to give place then to the suburbs of the great city they were journeying to. Many fancy villas stood on all sides, and at times pretty peeps were got, but there was still that absence of real nature everywhere, at least the children thought so. No style about the houses either, they seemed so white and toy-like.
Then came a tremendous shrieking of the engine, and they nearly stopped altogether, but went on again by degrees, gliding presently between great brick walls, behind which rose houses, very high and white, and thickly set together into the foreign city, the gay capital of Europe !
More din and bustle now ; more suspicious questionings from the foreigners they visited ; more penning-up of prisoners in uncomfortable waiting rooms. Many of the travellers got very cross and irritable, and chafed dreadfully under the vexatious restraint and delay.
Yet there was one incident which took place in the hall outside the place they waited in that quite reconciled Great-heart and the children to the discomforts they were undergoing, even consoleri Trixie for the anguish she had endured during the passage over. It was this. They witnessed the meeting between a loving mother and daughter; it must have been after a long period of parting, or after a time which some trouble or sorrow had, to them, dragged itself out into years of weary waiting, to knit their hearts the closer together. They saw the younger rush into the elder's arms and bury the face on that welcome bosom. They witnessed that one fond, passionate embrace between the two, that spoke more eloquently than any words they could have uttered. That was a happy sight after all the selfishness they had noted on the journey. In such a meeting the heart so truly spoke, it was almost sacred. As the man turned aside, his eyes were dimmed, it would seem by some re-awakened memory.
In about half-an-hour the great glass doors slid back and let the crowd in to claim their “bagages” and have it examined. This was a very lengthy process, even when the luggage was found, for the Customs' officers did not by any means hurry themselves. They were most partial, too, in their likes and dislikes. Some people had not even to open their trunks or bags, having their protestations as to "nothing to declare" credited at once.
Others were not nearly so fortunate. They had to turn out their things, to let the men rummage and pry amongst them as they pleased, before they could get away. It was difficult to find porters to carry your luggage for you, and travellers, in despair, might be seen staggering away under loads of their own impedimenta, using anything but polite language, it must be feared. Nor did the cab arrangements appear complete, for the drivers treated you in a very cavalier style, not even deigning to uncoil themselves from their box-seats, or leave off smoking, only lazily reaching down and unfastening the door handles from their seats. Then after you had handed up your things to them, they condescended to drive away with you !
Great-heart found his luggage quite safe in another part of the huge station. He was lucky to get it away quickly too. The three then jumped into a miniature brougham, in reality constructed to carry two only, and drove off.
The streets were beginning to put on their gayest look, that one they always wore during the evening time. Every house appeared one blaze of light, and nearly every other, as they stood in white rows together, to be some place of public gathering, great restaurants and cafés stretching far out over the broad pavements. And how full of people, and how noisy! dexterous
garçons rushing hither and thither heavily laden with trays of eatables and drinkables. It was wonderful how those men managed, with their legs done up in those absurdly long aprons, yet they never seemed to give in, but were always
the alert with their “Voilas" and "Bien Messieurs !” the instant a customer sat down. Almost all these places had awnings in front and shrubs in pots about; also many of the streets they passed trees growing at their sides, which
had a most cheering effect. Sometimes they came to a square laid out as quite a flower garden, with very likely a fine church in it. But wherever they passed along all was glare, excitement, noise. All the city seemed turned out into the streets on that warm summer's evening.
" Is there anything unusual going on?” inquired Trixie, who was eagerly watching it all from the window.
“No; nothing in particular. The people you see live out of doors always in fine weather ; it is their plan. They only go in to sleep. There is no home life as you saw it in England. The streets will be like they are now until midnight, quite full after that even.”
Dot was very quiet over it all. Presently she murmured, “No home life: that must surely take away half the charm of living; yet I suppose there are some who stop there to look after their little ones, for instance, although, it is true, I see many now who would be better in bed, one would think.”
There were plenty of quite babies sitting up with their elders eating and drinking in the open air at that time of night.
“ Of course, Dot,” replied Great-heart, as he stroked the child's fair hair, "there are exceptions to this rule, as to every other ; but for the most