The dunes were the magic land, full of shifting shadows, and deceptive, where a little covey of beach-plums made themselves out a far-away and impenetrable forest, especially when the mist came inland, and a footprint in the sand across a hollow appeared a vast convulsion of nature at the other end of a day's journey. And one felt the dunes always moving, rising up out of the sea, marching silently across the Neck, and advancing upon the little house. I can remember the spring when the sand ate up a pear-tree my father brought from the Islands.
From the little house one may look straight along the State Road to the Westward into Old Harbor, a mile up-shore. In the early autumn the sun goes down into the very core of the town. When there is just enough mist in the air, the red disk, touching the tower of the Congregational Church, seems to set off a conspired train, and immediately all the huddled roofs and trees and masts and wharves of Old Harbor are caught up and overwhelmed in a tremendous crimson de struction.
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