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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

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After supper the two friends ascended to the deck saloon for a smoke, and to continue their discussion of the tremendous events in which they were so soon to be taking part. They found the Ariel flying through a cloudless sky over the German Ocean, whose white-crested billows, silvered by the moonlight, were travelling towards the northeast under the influence of the south-west breeze from which the engineer had promised himself assistance when they started.

"We seem to be going at a most frightful speed," said Colston, looking down at the water. "There's a strong southwest breeze blowing, and yet those white horses seem to be travelling quite the other way."

"Yes," replied Arnold, looking down. "This wind will be travelling about twenty miles an hour, and that means that we are making nearly a hundred and fifty. The German Ocean here is five hundred miles across, and we shall cross it at this rate in about three hours and a half, and if the wind holds over the land we shall sight Petersburg soon after sunrise.

"The sun will rise to-morrow morning a few minutes after five by Greenwich time, which is about two hours behind Petersburg time. Altogether we shall make, I expect, from two to two and a half hours' gain on time."

The two men talked until a few minutes after ten, and then went to bed. Colston, who had been travelling all the previous night, began to feel drowsy in spite of the excitement of the novel voyage. and almost as soon as he lay down in his berth dropped off into a sound, dreamless sleep, and knew nothing more until Arnold knocked at his door and said--

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"If you want to see the sun rise, you had better get up. Coffee will be ready in a quarter of an hour."

Colston pulled back the slide which covered the large oblong pane of toughened glass which was let into the side of his cabin and looked out. There was just light enough in the grey dawn to enable him to see that the Ariel was passing over a sea dotted in the distance with an immense number of islands.

"The Baltic," he said to himself as he jumped out of bed. "This is travelling with a vengeance! Why, we must have travelled a good deal over a thousand miles during the night. I suppose those islands will be off the coast of Finland. If so, we are not far from Petersburg, as the Ariel seems to count distance."

The most magnificent spectacle that Colston had ever seen in his life, or, for the matter of that, ever dreamed of, was the one that he saw from the conning-tower of the Ariel while the sun was rising over the vast plain of mingled land and water which stretched away to the eastward until it melted away into the haze of early morning.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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