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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

The Tale Of The Lost Land: Camelot
"Camelot--Camelot," said I to myself. "I don't seem to remember hearing of it before.
Name of the asylum, likely."
It was a soft, reposeful summer landscape, as lovely as a dream, and as lonesome as
Sunday. The air was full of the smell of flowers, and the buzzing of insects, and the
twittering of birds, and there were no people, no wagons, there was no stir of life, nothing
going on. The road was mainly a winding path with hoof-prints in it, and now and then a
faint trace of wheels on either side in the grass--wheels that apparently had a tire as broad
as one's hand.
Presently a fair slip of a girl, about ten years old, with a cataract of golden hair streaming
down over her shoulders, came along. Around her head she wore a hoop of flame-red
poppies. It was as sweet an outfit as ever I saw, what there was of it. She walked
indolently along, with a mind at rest, its peace reflected in her innocent face. The circus
man paid no attention to her; didn't even seem to see her. And she--she was no more
startled at his fantastic make-up than if she was used to his like every day of her life. She
was going by as indifferently as she might have gone by a couple of cows; but when she
happened to notice me, then there was a change! Up went her hands, and she was turned
to stone; her mouth dropped open, her eyes stared wide and timorously, she was the
picture of astonished curiosity touched with fear. And there she stood gazing, in a sort of
stupefied fascination, till we turned a corner of the wood and were lost to her view. That
she should be startled at me instead of at the other man, was too many for me; I couldn't
make head or tail of it. And that she should seem to consider me a spectacle, and totally
overlook her own merits in that respect, was another puzzling thing, and a display of
magnanimity, too, that was surprising in one so young. There was food for thought here. I
moved along as one in a dream.
As we approached the town, signs of life began to appear. At intervals we passed a
wretched cabin, with a thatched roof, and about it small fields and garden patches in an
indifferent state of cultivation. There were people, too; brawny men, with long, coarse,
uncombed hair that hung down over their faces and made them look like animals. They
and the women, as a rule, wore a coarse tow-linen robe that came well below the knee,
and a rude sort of sandal, and many wore an iron collar. The small boys and girls were
always naked; but nobody seemed to know it. All of these people stared at me, talked
about me, ran into the huts and fetched out their families to gape at me; but nobody ever
noticed that other fellow, except to make him humble salutation and get no response for
their pains.
In the town were some substantial windowless houses of stone scattered among a
wilderness of thatched cabins; the streets were mere crooked alleys, and unpaved; troops
of dogs and nude children played in the sun and made life and noise; hogs roamed and
rooted contentedly about, and one of them lay in a reeking wallow in the middle of the
 
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