1 Then the match scratched and fizzed.
2 For they had forgotten about matches.
3 Very calmly I tried to strike the match.
4 But they were interested by my matches, and I struck some to amuse them.
5 I lit a match and went on past the dusty curtains, of which I have told you.
6 The view I had of it was as much as one could see in the burning of a match.
7 I determined to strike another match and escape under the protection of its glare.
8 And very soon she was smiling and clapping her hands, while I solemnly burned a match.
9 I lit a match, and as I did so, two white forms that had been approaching Weena dashed hastily away.
10 I hastily took a lump of camphor from my pocket, and prepared to light it as soon as the match should wane.
11 But I did not stay to look, I promise you: I retreated again, and when my second match had ended, I struck my third.
12 Abruptly, I dashed down the match, and, knocking one of the people over in my course, went blundering across the big dining-hall again, out under the moonlight.
13 Sitting by the side of these wells, and peering down into the shafted darkness, I could see no gleam of water, nor could I start any reflection with a lighted match.
14 I have no doubt they found my second appearance strange enough, coming suddenly out of the quiet darkness with inarticulate noises and the splutter and flare of a match.
15 But, so soon as I struck a match in order to see them, they fled incontinently, vanishing into dark gutters and tunnels, from which their eyes glared at me in the strangest fashion.
16 Starting up in the darkness I snatched at my matches and, hastily striking one, I saw three stooping white creatures similar to the one I had seen above ground in the ruin, hastily retreating before the light.
17 Presently the walls fell away from me, and I came to a large open space, and striking another match, saw that I had entered a vast arched cavern, which stretched into utter darkness beyond the range of my light.
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