The Ghost of Guir House (Chapter 8, page 1 of 10)

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Chapter 8

Continuing their walk, they followed an avenue of dazzling beauty,
which led to a green hill overlooking the town, upon which stood a
temple of transcendent splendor. The sunlight flashed upon its marble
walls and chevaux de frise of minarets. Paul was filled with
amazement, and demanded an explanation.

"Let us climb the hill and see for ourselves," answered his guide,
leading the way.

Crowds of people passed in and out through the open portals of the
temple; and when sufficiently near, Paul read the inscription above
the principal entrance: "In Commemoration of the Birth of Human Liberty."

"I am as puzzled as ever," he declared, with a look of resignation.
"It is the most stupendous and remarkable edifice I ever beheld!"

They passed up by a marble terrace and entered the building through
an archway so wide and lofty that it might have spanned many ordinary
houses. Windows of jeweled glass scattered a thousand tints over
walls and columns of barbaric splendor, where encrusted gems of every
hue, scintillating with strange fires, were grouped in dazzling
mosaics portraying historic scenes in endless pageant. It was a
miracle of art and trembling iridescence. White pillars, set with
jewels, rose and branched above their heads like the spreading boughs
of gigantic trees. The throng of humanity surged hither and thither,
and yet so vast was the nave of the temple that nowhere was it
crowded. Paul clung closely to his comrade's arm, fearful lest his
only friend in this strange world should be lost to him. On they
walked; Ah Ben having an air of long familiarity with the scene,
while Paul was dazed and bewildered. Occasionally they would stop to
examine some object of special interest or to take in with
comprehensive view the marvels surrounding them. But the temple was
too grand, too glorious for a hasty appreciation of its wonders.

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