Little Leonore pressed her face against the window of the railway carriage and tried hard to see out. But it was no use. It all looked so dark and black, all the darker and blacker for the glimmer of the rain-drops trickling down thickly outside, and reflecting the feeble light of the lamp in the roof of the compartment.
Leonore sighed deeply. She was very tired, more tired than she knew, for she did not feel sleepy, or as if she would give anything to be undressed and go to bed. On the contrary, she wished with all her heart that it was daylight, and that it would leave off raining, and that she could get out of the stuffy old railway train, and go for a good run. It had been raining for so long, and they had been such a lot of hours shut in and bum-bumming along in this dreary way—it even seemed to her now and then as if she had always been sitting in her corner like this, and that it had always been night and always raining outside.
‘I don’t believe I’m going to be happy at all at Alten,’ she said to herself. ‘I’m sure it’s going to be horrid. It’s always the way if people tell you anything’s going to be lovely and nice, it’s sure to be dull, and—just horrid.’
She glanced at the other end of the railway carriage where a lady, comfortably muffled up in the corner, was sleeping peacefully. She was not an old lady, but she was not young. To Leonore she seemed past counting her age, for she never appeared to get older, and during the six or seven years she had been the little girl’s governess she had not changed at all.
‘I wish I could go to sleep like Fraulein,’ was the next thought that came into her busy brain. ‘When she wakes she’ll think I have been asleep, for she did tuck me up nicely. And I’m feeling as cross as cross.’
Then her eyes fell on the little cushion and the railway rug that she had thrown on to the floor—should she try to settle herself again and perhaps manage to go to sleep? It would be so nice to wake up and find they had got there, and surely it could not be very much farther. Fraulein had said ten o’clock, had she not?
Leonore remembered sitting up one night till ten o’clock—more than a year ago—when her father was expected to arrive, and Fraulein was sure he would like to find her awake to welcome him. It hadn’t seemed half so late that night as it did now—would ten o’clock never come?
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