The Alarna Affair – Chapter Two – A Daring Theft and a Most Mysterious Apparition

The grand terminal at Merigvon could be seen from some distance, gleaming amid the city’s spires. The great glass roof seemed to slide arching over them like a glittering clamshell as the train pulled slowly in. Other trains passed quite close to them, alarming Jon until he remembered they were all on their own tracks and couldn’t possibly collide. Dozens of tracks led into the cathedral-like building, and trains of all kinds stood puffing and steaming under vaulted arches of steel, stone, and glass. Statues stared down grimly from the high ornamented arches and balustrades on either side of the hall. Cherubs, soldiers, and ladies in flowing robes with scrolls and baskets of fruit were everywhere upon the high walls. Stone wreaths and angels, memorials of some foreign war, stood at the east end of the hall, winding around the largest clock Jon had ever seen in his life. The Gardner boys regarded the place with wonder, faces pressed close to the window. “This is the crossroads of the continent,” Professor Sheridan informed them, straightening his hat carefully. “We will change trains here, and be able to stretch our legs.” “Do they have papers?” Jon asked, hearing his own voice rather smaller and more breathless than he wanted. “Quite a few. I telegraphed ahead to have certain titles bundled and ready for my arrival. We shall have a pile of reading for the next leg of our journey.” Jon returned the Professor’s smile readily. (more…)