The summer night swam by. Villages, ripening fields, derelict churches flowed and mixed with Maya’s dreams.
She tried to stay awake but sometimes her eyelids had their way. Sometimes the girl dreamt of the train’s first-class passengers tucked away asleep in their compartments.
Hard class had no compartments. “Hard class” was a dormitory coach where a few lamps were still lit and snoring, muffled sex, body odor and domestic quarrels were shared by all. Some passengers had been on the train for days and the fatigue of close quarters had set in. A round-the-clock card game among oil riggers...