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The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Charles Dickens

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The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens

CHAPTER I - THE DAWN



AN ancient English Cathedral Tower?  How can the ancient English 
Cathedral tower be here!  The well-known massive gray square tower 
of its old Cathedral?  How can that be here!  There is no spike of 
rusty iron in the air, between the eye and it, from any point of 
the real prospect.  What is the spike that intervenes, and who has 
set it up?  Maybe it is set up by the Sultan's orders for the 
impaling of a horde of Turkish robbers, one by one.  It is so, for 
cymbals clash, and the Sultan goes by to his palace in long 
procession.  Ten thousand scimitars flash in the sunlight, and 
thrice ten thousand dancing-girls strew flowers.  Then, follow 
white elephants caparisoned in countless gorgeous colours, and 
infinite in number and attendants.  Still the Cathedral Tower rises 
in the background, where it cannot be, and still no writhing figure 
is on the grim spike.  Stay!  Is the spike so low a thing as the 
rusty spike on the top of a post of an old bedstead that has 
tumbled all awry?  Some vague period of drowsy laughter must be 
devoted to the consideration of this possibility.

Shaking from head to foot, the man whose scattered consciousness 
has thus fantastically pieced itself together, at length rises, 
supports his trembling frame upon his arms, and looks around.  He 
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