One moment more, and the neat school hats of the new-comers had swelled the group of similar school hats already collected on the platform; ecstatic greetings were exchanged, urgent questions asked and hasty answers given, and items of choice information poured forth with the utmost volubility of which the English tongue is capable.
Urged by brief directions from a mistress in charge, the chattering crew surged towards a siding, and made for a particular corridor carriage marked “Reserved”. Here handbags, umbrellas, wraps, and lunch-baskets were hastily stowed away in the racks, and, Miss Moseley having assured herself that not a single lamb of her flock was left behind, the grinning porter slammed the doors, the green flag waved, and the local train, long overdue, started with a jerk for the Craigwen Valley.
Past the grey old castle that looked seawards over the estuary, past the little white town of Llangarmon, with its ancient walls and fortified gates, past the quay where the fishing smacks were lying idly at anchor and a pleasure-steamer was unloading its human cargo, past the long stretch of sandy common, where the white tents of the Territorials evoked an outcry of interest, then up alongside the broad tidal river towards where the mountains, faint and misty, rose shouldering one another till they merged into the white nebulous region of the cloud-flecked sky. Those lucky ones who had secured window seats on the river side of the carriage were loud in their acclamations of satisfaction as familiar objects in the landscape came into sight.