At the lamplit station of Batavia I hailed one of the vehicles waiting outsidea a curious little two-wheeled conveyance, which, with its enormous lanterns, airily supported roof, and long shafts between which a diminutive pony trotted, looked like a fiery-eyed cockchafer that darts about, moving its long antennae. I hoisted myself on to the sloping seat, and, for some time was driven through an avenue, the trees on either side of which made a cloudy darkness against the pale strip of sky overhead. There was an incessant high-pitched twittering of birds among the leaves; and, every now and then, a fragrance of invisible flowers came floating out on the windless air. We passed a tall building, shimmering white through the darknessa the Governor-Generala s palace I was told. Then the horsea s hoofs clattered over a bridge, and, past the turn of the road, a long row of brilliant windows flashed up, with a white blaze of electric light in the distance.
Past the resplendent shop-windows on the left side of the streeta the other remaining dark, featurelessa a leisurely crowd moved; open carriages, bearing ladies to some evening entertainment, bowled along; a many-windowed club-building blazed out; a canal shone with a hundred slender spears of reflected lighta I had reached my destination, the suburb of Rijswijk.
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