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Ariel, quiet but alert, lay in her steamer chair, one of the most inconspicuous of the several hundred passengers the Bermudawas bringing to New York. No one would be likely to look at her twice or give her a second thought, as she crouched away from the March wind, insufficiently protected from the cold by her nondescript tweed coat, and carelessly, casually bare-headed. All about her on the deck were people of outstanding, vivid types. The thing that had impressed Ariel about these fellow passengers during the two days of the voyage was their apparent self-sufficiency,—a gay, bright assurance of their own significance, and the reasonableness, even the inevitableness, of their being what and where they were. The very children appeared to take it quite as a matter of course that they should come skimming over the Atlantic in a mammoth boat-hotel while they played their games, read their books and ate their meals,—just like that.
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