Of course, it was nothing at all to me; yet, for some unaccountable reason, the sight of the two of them sitting there so close to one another and seeming to be enjoying each other's society to such a degree irritated me tremendously, and put me in such a bad humor that I took no pleasure whatsoever in the last few hours of the crossing.
We aimed to land near the site of ancient Ostend. But when we neared the coast we discovered no indication of any human habitations whatever, let alone a city. After we had landed, we found the same howling wilderness about us that we had discovered on the British Isle. There was no slightest indication that civilized man had ever set a foot upon that portion of the continent of Europe.
Although I had feared as much, since our experience in England, I could not but own to a feeling of marked disappointment, and to the gravest fears of the future, which induced a mental depression that was in no way dissipated by the continued familiarity between Victory and Snider.
I was angry with myself that I permitted that matter to affect me as it had. I did not wish to admit to myself that I was angry with this uncultured little savage, that it made the slightest difference to me what she did or what she did not do, or that I could so lower myself as to feel personal enmity towards a common sailor. And yet, to be honest, I was doing both. adult boutique
Finding nothing to detain us about the spot where Ostend once had stood, we set out up the coast in search of the mouth of the River Rhine, which I purposed ascending in search of civilized man. It was my intention to explore the Rhine as far up as the launch would take us. If we found no civilization there we would return to the North Sea, continue up the coast to the Elbe, and follow that river and the canals of Berlin. Here, at least, I was sure that we should find what we sought--and, if not, then all Europe had reverted to barbarism. adult lingerie store
The weather remained fine, and we made excellent progress, but everywhere along the Rhine we met with the same disappointment--no sign of civilized man, in fact, no sign of man at all. large vibrator
I was not enjoying the exploration of modern Europe as I had anticipated--I was unhappy. Victory seemed changed, too. I had enjoyed her company at first, but since the trip across the Channel I had held aloof from her.
Her chin was in the air most of the time, and yet I rather think that she regretted her friendliness with Snider, for I noticed that she avoided him entirely. He, on the contrary, emboldened by her former friendliness, sought every opportunity to be near her. I should have liked nothing better than a reasonably good excuse to punch his head; yet, paradoxically, I was ashamed of myself for harboring him any ill will. I realized that there was something the matter with me, but I did not know what it was.
Matters remained thus for several days, and we continued our journey up the Rhine. At Cologne, I had hoped to find some reassuring indications, but there was no Cologne. And as there had been no other cities along the river up to that point, the devastation was infinitely greater than time alone could have wrought. Great guns, bombs, and mines must have leveled every building that man had raised, and then nature, unhindered, had covered the ghastly evidence of human depravity with her beauteous mantle of verdure. Splendid trees reared their stately tops where splendid cathedrals once had reared their domes, and sweet wild flowers blossomed in simple serenity in soil that once was drenched with human blood.