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Eve's Ransom
George Gissing

Page 1 of 365


EVE'S RANSOM 

CHAPTER I 

On the station platform at Dudley Port, in the dusk of a February
afternoon, half-a-dozen people waited for the train to Birmingham.  A
south-west wind had loaded the air with moisture, which dripped at
moments, thinly and sluggishly, from a featureless sky.  The lamps,
just lighted, cast upon wet wood and metal a pale yellow shimmer;
voices sounded with peculiar clearness; so did the rumble of a
porter's barrow laden with luggage.  From a foundry hard by came the
muffled, rhythmic thunder of mighty blows; this and the long note of
an engine-whistle wailing far off seemed to intensify the stillness
of the air as gloomy day passed into gloomier night. 

In clear daylight the high, uncovered platform would have offered an
outlook over the surrounding country, but at this hour no horizon
was discernible.  Buildings near at hand, rude masses of grimy brick,
stood out against a grey confused background; among them rose a

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