Excerpt from A Stumbler in Wide Shoes: A Novel
It was like a time of truce in a siege. The belea guering waters of the northern sea had ceased to push their battering-rams against the ramparts of the resist ing town, and her watchful defenders could breathe freely, knowing that the war was over for another year, that the time was coming when their stanch ally, the sun, would raise the siege for them, and when, in the contest between man and nature, man would triumph once more.
But a truce is not peace, nor is absence of attack victory, and Amsterdam keeps all her sentinels at their posts.
The Venice of the North does not ﬂoat gondolas on her canals, and trust the placid waters which 'glide in her streets, but guards against their treachery with sluice-gate and dyke - names for shield and buckler in her war with the sea.
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