The weather during the whole of October had been unusually wet, the swollen Danube overflowed the low ground and the roads had become quagmires.
above the Caspian, the water of these streams is supposed to form saline deposits with a thin hard crust, beneath which the moisture is retained for a considerable time, thus producing those dangerous and slimy quagmires which in winter are covered with brine, in summer with a treacherous incrustation of salt.
Images came crowding on his mind faster than he could put them into words, quagmires and pits, steep hills, dark and horrible glens, soft vales, sunny pastures, a gloomy castle, of which the courtyard was strewn with the skulls and bones of murdered prisoners, a town all bustle and splendour, like London on the Lord Mayor's Day, and the narrow path, straight as a rule could make it, running on up hill and down hill, through city and through wilderness, to the Black River and the Shining Gate.
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