Across the Zodiac eBook

Percy Greg
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 587 pages of information about Across the Zodiac.
from myself, of appreciating and taking pride in the marvellous work of her race.  In another place, a tunnel pierced directly an intervening range of hills for about eight miles, interrupted only in two points by short deep open cuttings.  This passage, unlike those on the river previously mentioned, was constantly and brilliantly lighted.  The whole road indeed was lit up from the fall of the evening to the dispersion of the morning mist with a brilliancy nearly equal to that of daylight.  As I dared not travel at a greater rate than twenty-five miles per hour—­my experience, though it enabled me to manage the carriage with sufficient skill, not giving me confidence to push it to its greatest speed—­the journey must occupy several days.  We had, therefore, to rest at the stations provided by public authority for travellers undertaking such long land journeys.  These are built like ordinary Martial houses, save that in lieu of peristyle or interior garden is an open square planted with shrubs and merely large enough to afford light to the inner rooms.  The chambers also are very much smaller than those of good private houses.  As these stations are nearly always placed in towns or villages, or in well-peopled country neighbourhoods, food is supplied by the nearest confectioner to each traveller individually, and a single person, assisted by the ambau, is able to manage the largest of them.

The last two or three days of our journey were bitterly cold, and not a little trying.  My own undergarment of thick soft leather kept me warmer than the warmest greatcoat or cloak could have done, though I wore a large cloak of the kargynda’s fur in addition—­the prize of the hunt that had so nearly cost me dear, a personal and very gracious present from the Campta.  My companion, who had not the former advantage, though wrapped in as many outer garments and quilts as I had thought necessary, felt the cold severely, and felt still more the dense chill mist which both by night and day covered the greater part of the country.  This was not infrequently so thick as to render travelling almost perilous; and but that an electric light, required by law, was placed at each end of the carriage, collisions would have been inevitable.  These hardships afforded another illustration of the subjection of the sex resulting from the rule of theoretical equality.  More than a year’s experience of natural kindness and consideration had not given Enva courage to make a single complaint; and at first she did her best to conceal the weeping which was the only, but almost continuous, expression of her suffering.  She was almost as much surprised as gratified by my expressions of sympathy, and the trouble I took to obtain, at the first considerable town we reached, an apparatus by which the heat generated by motion itself was made to supply a certain warmth through the tubular open-work of the carriage to the persons of its occupants.  The cold was as severe as that of a Swedish winter, though we never approached within seventeen degrees of the Arctic circle, a distance from the Pole equivalent to that of Northern France.  The Martial thermometer, in form more like a watch-barometer, which I carried in my belt, marked a cold equivalent to 12 deg. below zero C. in the middle of the day; and when left in the carriage for the night it had registered no less than 22 deg. below zero.

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Across the Zodiac from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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