SELECTED SHADOWS 78

Here the path curved sharply round to the left, and Saranna edged cautiously round it; the sight that met her eyes made her cry aloud in wonder.

She was on a broad ledge, grassy and watered by a little stream that trickled down the mountainside, through a channel in the midst of the grass, and then over the edge to the lower slopes. The Twinstrack crossed this grass, passing through the stream, and at the far side descended to the south-east in a series of steep but naturally-stepped drops that took it rapidly down to gentler and greener lands. Saranna saw tree-tops below the ledge, and meadows lower still. But so amazing was the more distant view that she spent barely a minute taking in these details before turning back to it. Below Saranna the coast road wound through fertile farmlands, and golden sands were visible in coves along the rocky shore. Beyond, the sea sparkled blue in the morning sun, and white caps of waves rippled in the West Wind. Tiny white gulls and terns flashed across the water, and away beyond the stretch of empty sea where, so they said in Telan, the sea-folk lived below the waves, Saranna saw the islands.

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