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  The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The "Ariel"

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On the sixth stroke of twelve that night the Scotch express drew out of Euston Station. At half-past nine the next morning, the Lurline, Lord Alanmere's yacht, steamed out of Port Patrick Harbour, and at one o'clock precisely she dropped her anchor in the little inlet that served for a harbour at Drumcraig.

Colston had the quarter-boat lowered and pulled ashore without a moment's delay, and as his foot touched the shore Arnold grasped his hand, and, after the first words of welcome, asked for the latest news of Natasha.

Without immediately answering, Colston put his arm through his, drew him away from the men who were standing about, and told him as briefly and gently as he could the terrible news of the calamity that had befallen the Brotherhood, and the errand upon which he had come.

Arnold received the blow as a brave man should--in silence. His now bronzed face turned pale, his brows contracted, and his teeth clenched till Colston could hear them gritting upon each other. Then a great wave of agony swept over his soul as a picture too horrible for contemplation rose before his eyes, and after that came calm, the calm of rapid thought and desperate resolve.

He remembered the words that Natasha had used in a letter that she had given him when she took leave of him in Russia. "We shall trust to you to rescue us, and, if that is no longer possible, to avenge us."

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Yes, and now the time had come to justify that trust and prove his own devotion. It should be proved to the letter, and if there was cause for vengeance, the proof should be written in blood and flame over all the wide dominions of the Tsar. Grief might come after, when there was time for it; but this was the hour of action, and a strange savage joy seemed to come with the knowledge that the safety of the woman he loved now depended mainly upon his own skill and daring.

Colston respected his silence, and waited until he spoke. When he did he was astonished at the difference that those few minutes had made in the young engineer. The dreamer and the enthusiast had become the man of action, prompt, stern, and decided. Colston had never before heard from his lips the voice in which he at length said to him--

"Where is this place? How far is it as the crow flies from here?"

"At a rough guess I should say about two thousand two hundred miles, almost due east, and rather less than two hundred miles on the other side of the Ourals."

"Good! That will be twenty hours' flight for us, or less if this south-west wind holds good."

"What!" exclaimed Colston. "Twenty hours, did you say? You must surely be making some mistake. Don't you mean forty hours? Think of the enormous distance. Why, even then we should have to travel over sixty miles an hour through the air."

"My dear fellow, I don't make mistakes where figures are concerned. The paradox of aerial navigation is 'the greater the speed the less the resistance.'

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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