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He looked up at me without replying, and I looked
down at him without pressing him too soon with a
repetition of my idle question. Just then there came a
vague vibration in the earth and air, quickly changing into
a violent pulsation, and an oncoming rush that caused me
to start back, as though it had force to draw me down.
When such vapour as rose to my height from this rapid
train had passed me, and was skimming away over the
landscape, I looked down again, and saw him refurling the
flag he had shown while the train went by.
I repeated my inquiry. After a pause, during which he
seemed to regard me with fixed attention, he motioned
with his rolled-up flag towards a point on my level, some
two or three hundred yards distant. I called down to him,
‘All right!’ and made for that point. There, by dint of
looking closely about me, I found a rough zigzag
descending path notched out, which I followed.
The cutting was extremely deep, and unusually
precipitate. It was made through a clammy stone, that
became oozier and wetter as I went down. For these
reasons, I found the way long enough to give me time to
recall a singular air of reluctance or compulsion with
which he had pointed out the path.
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