Page:Out of due time, Ward, 1906.djvu/235

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PART III.

I.

The brilliance of a clear autumn morning suspicious of frost penetrated into the grimness of Charing Cross station on the morning of our start. We had met to hear the first Mass in the Church at Farm Street, and we got our breakfast in the station. We were deeply imbued with the sense of our pilgrimage. We were full of a soul-consciousness, full of enthusiasm, exaltation, excitement. The clear crisp morning, the emptiness of the streets, the stillness of the dark church, all was sanctified and beautiful, all suited our hopes, our prayers, our courage.

"The coffee is nasty enough for any pilgrims," said Marcelle, as we gathered about an untidy table in the corner of the refreshment-room.

"Such asceticism is dangerous and leads to reaction," said George. "Why not allow us a proper breakfast in the hotel?"

"Why not be lazy and greedy?" protested Marcelle. "Your portmanteau is grossly smart. You altogether have an air de luxe which I cannot encourage. But where," she suddenly shrieked, "is Miss Mills? She is going to make us late!"

"She will be here in no time," I said; "but as we came out of church she dropped her bag and broke her bottle of

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