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Pixie O'Shaughnessy
written by "Groome, William H. C."
...ome, and all the things I have dreamt about ever since I was a child! Oh, you are lucky! I think I should die with joy if anyone offered to take me a trip like that. Did you have any adventures? What did you like best? Begin at the beginning, and tell us all about it!” Well, as our American cousins would say, this was rather a large order; but Hilliard could refuse nothing to such an audience, and, if the truth must be told, had his full share of the traveller’s love of relating his experiences. He passed lightly over days spent in countries near home, but grew even more and more animated as he went farther afield and reached the Eastern surroundings in which he delighted. “Shall I tell you about Palestine? I never knew anything stranger than arriving at that railway station and seeing ‘Jerusalem’ written up on the hoardings. It seemed extraordinary to have a station there at all, and such a station! It was in autumn, and everything was white with dust. Outside in the road were a number of the most extraordinary-looking vehicles you can possibly imagine, white as if they had been kept in a flour mill, and as decrepit as if a hundred years had passed since they were last used. How they kept together at all was a marvel to me, and as for the harness, there was more string than leather to be seen. The drive from the station to the hotel was one of the most exciting things I ever experienced. I am not nervous, and have had as much driving as most fellows, but that was a bit too much even for me. The road is very hilly, turns sharply at many corners, and is, of course, badly made to the last degree, so that it would have seemed difficult enough to manage suck crazy vehicles even at a foot-pace; but our fellow drove as if the Furies were at his back, as if it were a question of life and death to get to the hotel before any of his companions. He stood up on the box and shouted to his horses; he lashed at them with his whip; he yelled impreca...

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