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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 204 pages of information about The Ship of Stars.

The most remarkable thing about the inn was its signboard.  This bore on either side the picture of an Indian queen and two blackamoor children, all with striped parasols, walking together across a desert.  The queen on one side wore a scarlet turban and a blue robe; but the queen on the other side wore a blue turban and a scarlet robe.  Taffy dodged from side to side, comparing them, and had not made up his mind which he liked best when Humility called him indoors to tea.

They had ham and eggs with their tea, which they took in a great hurry; and then his grandmother was lifted into the cart and laid on a bed of clean straw beside the boxes, and he and his mother clambered up in front.  So they started again, his father walking at the horse’s head.  They took the road toward the sunset.  As the dusk fell closer around, Mr. Raymond lit a horn lantern and carried it before them.  The rays of it danced and wheeled upon the hedges and gorse bushes.  Taffy began to feel sleepy, though it was long before his usual bedtime.  The air seemed to weigh his eyelids down.  Or was it a sound lulling him?  He looked up suddenly.  His mother’s arm was about him.  Stars flashed above, and a glimmer fell on her gentle face—­a dew of light, as it were.  Her dark eyes appeared darker than usual as she leaned and drew her shawl over his shoulder.

Ahead, the rays of the lantern kept up their dance, but they flared now and again upon stone hedges built in zigzag layers, and upon unknown feathery bushes, intensely green and glistening like metal.

The cart jolted and the lantern swung to a soundless tune that filled the night.  When Taffy listened it ceased; when he ceased listening, it began again.

The lantern stopped its dance and stood still over a ford of black water.  The cart splashed into it and became a ship, heaving and lurching over a soft, irregular floor that returned no sound.  But suddenly the ship became a cart again, and stood still before a house with a narrow garden-path and a light streaming along it from an open door.

His father lifted him down; his mother took his hand.  They seemed to wade together up that stream of light.  Then came a staircase and room with a bed in it, which, oddly enough, turned out to be his own.  He stared at the pink roses on the curtains.  Yes; certainly it was his own bed.  And satisfied of this, he nestled down in the pillows and slept, to the long cadence of the sea.

CHAPTER IV.

THE RUNNING SANDS.

He awoke to find the sun shining in at his window.  At first he wondered what had happened.  The window seemed to be in the ceiling, and the ceiling sloped down to the walls, and all the furniture had gone astray into wrong positions.  Then he remembered, jumped out of bed, and drew the blind.

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