A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform packed with people. A sign overhead said Hogwarts Express, 11 o’clock. Harry looked behind him and saw a wrought-iron archway where the ticket box had been, with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it. He had done it.
With a rapid, light step [Anna] went down the steps that led from the tank to the rails and stopped quite near the approaching train.
She looked at the lower part of the carriages, at the screws and chains and the tall cast-iron wheel of the first carriage slowly moving up, and trying to measure the middle between the front and back wheels, and the very minute when that middle point would be opposite her.
“There,” she said to herself, looking into the shadow of the carriage, at the sand and coal dust which covered the sleepers—”there, in the very middle, and I will punish him and escape from everyone and from myself.”
“It is a woman,” said the chef de train, speaking for the first time. “Depend upon it, it was a woman. Only a woman would stab like that.”
Dr. Constantine screwed up his face thoughtfully. “She must have been a very strong woman,” he said. “It is not my desire to speak technically-that is only confusing; but I can assure you that two of the blows were delivered with such forces as to drive them through hard belts of bone and muscle.”
[…] “C’est une femme,” said the chef de train again. “Women are like that. When they are enraged they have great strength.” He nodded so sagely that everyone suspected a personal experience of his own.”
[Margaret’s] last alarm was lest they should be too late and miss the train; but no! they were all in time; and she breathed freely and happily at length, seated in the carriage opposite to Mr. Bell, and whirling away past the well-known stations; seeing the old south country-towns and hamlets sleeping in the warm light of the pure sun, which gave a yet ruddier colour to their tiled roofs, so different to the cold slates of the north.
He felt he was about to experience again some ancient, delicious childhood moment that the steam calliope’s sour hollowness, the stitching hurdy-gurdy accompaniment, and the drum-and-cymbal crash brought almost to the margin of his grasp.
Ahead […] was the perpetual train.
Judah had walked its length, skirting the crews. it was a rolling-stock town, an industrial citylet that crawled. At the end of a no-man’s-land of empty rails, he saw the work. New Crobuzon reaching so far. The leviathan unfolding of metal, the greatest city in Bas-lag rolling out its new iron tongue, licking at the cities across the plains.
The guard waved his welcome flag, the engine-driver whistled in cheerful response, and the train moved out of the station. As the speed increased, and the Toad could see on either side of him real fields, and trees, and hedges, and cows, and horses, all flying past him, and as he thought how every minute was bringing him nearer to Toad Hall, […].