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On the roof of the ruined church we lay, basking amid the hot, powdery heather; the cinder-coloured roofs of the town flattened out beneath us—a ragged patch of dead, decayed colour, burnt, as it seemed, out of the rank, luscious green of the Rhône valley. Overhead, a thick, blue sky hung heavy, and away and away, into the steamy haze of midday heat, filtered the Tarascon road, a streak of dazzling white. To the east, the sun was beating on the sandy slopes; to the west, the old Papal palace, like a great, grey, sleeping beast, lifted its long, bare back above the roofs of Avignon.
The lizards scurried from cranny to cranny across the crumbling wall. Below, in the cloister, a cat was curled by a black stack of brushwood. The little place stood empty, and stillness seemed to have fallen over all things.
The warmth lulled one to a delicious 2torpor. I was thinking of the bustling Regent Street pavement, of the rumble of Piccadilly, of newsboys yelling special editions in the Strand, drowsily conjuring up these and other commonplace contrasts.