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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

speed with usage. And then they rode to the damsels, and either saluted other, and the
eldest had a garland of gold about her head, and she was threescore winter of age or
more--"
"The damsel was?"
"Even so, dear lord--and her hair was white under the garland--"
"Celluloid teeth, nine dollars a set, as like as not--the loose-fit kind, that go up and down
like a portcullis when you eat, and fall out when you laugh."
"The second damsel was of thirty winter of age, with a circlet of gold about her head. The
third damsel was but fifteen year of age--"
Billows of thought came rolling over my soul, and the voice faded out of my hearing!
Fifteen! Break--my heart! oh, my lost darling! Just her age who was so gentle, and lovely,
and all the world to me, and whom I shall never see again! How the thought of her carries
me back over wide seas of memory to a vague dim time, a happy time, so many, many
centuries hence, when I used to wake in the soft summer mornings, out of sweet dreams
of her, and say "Hello, Central!" just to hear her dear voice come melting back to me with
a "Hello, Hank!" that was music of the spheres to my enchanted ear. She got three dollars
a week, but she was worth it.
I could not follow Alisande's further explanation of who our captured knights were, now-
-I mean in case she should ever get to explaining who they were. My interest was gone,
my thoughts were far away, and sad. By fitful glimpses of the drifting tale, caught here
and there and now and then, I merely noted in a vague way that each of these three
knights took one of these three damsels up behind him on his horse, and one rode north,
another east, the other south, to seek adventures, and meet again and lie, after year and
day. Year and day--and without baggage. It was of a piece with the general simplicity of
the country.
The sun was now setting. It was about three in the afternoon when Alisande had begun to
tell me who the cowboys were; so she had made pretty good progress with it--for her. She
would arrive some time or other, no doubt, but she was not a person who could be
hurried.
We were approaching a castle which stood on high ground; a huge, strong, venerable
structure, whose gray towers and battlements were charmingly draped with ivy, and
whose whole majestic mass was drenched with splendors flung from the sinking sun. It
was the largest castle we had seen, and so I thought it might be the one we were after, but
Sandy said no. She did not know who owned it; she said she had passed it without
calling, when she went down to Camelot.
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