The Drums Of Jeopardy
A fast train drew into Albany, on the New York Central, from the
West. It was three-thirty of a chill March morning in the first
year of peace. A pall of fog lay over the world so heavy that
it beaded the face and hands and deposited a fairy diamond dust
upon wool. The station lights had the visibility of stars, and
like the stars were without refulgence - a pale golden aureola,
perhaps three feet in diameter, and beyond, nothing. The few
passengers who alighted and the train itself had the same nebulosity
of drab fish in a dim aquarium.
Among the passengers to detrain was a man in a long black coat.
The high collar was up. The man wore a derby hat, well down upon
his head, after the English mode. An English kitbag, battered and
scarred, swung heavily from his hand. He immediately strode for
the station wall and stood with his back to it. He was almost
invisible. He remained motionless until the other detrained
passengers swam past, until the red tail lights of the last coach
vanished into the deeps; then he rushed for the exit to the street.