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UPSTREAM DOWNSTREAM
A NOVEL BY ROBERT BROWNE
I. Prologue
The train came up the Delaware valley each evening, at first but a pinpoint of light,
a terrestrial star, rolling along the low line of the river. Its whistle would sound from afar,
permanently piercing a needle of melancholy into the cranium of the distant observer. No
force, save the full lobotomy of death, could remove the memory of that sound. The star
would swell, casting a zigzagging line which searched a path along the river, falling first
on one shadowy hillside then another, gaining intensity until it became a full spotlight of
white.
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