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This quote is used in the very first paragraph of the story. It states,
“There was a Sabbath lull in the air, which, in a settlement unused to Sabbath influences, looked ominous.”
In this part of the story, the narrator is describing the setting and explaining how quiet the town was on this particular day. The term “Sabbath lull” refers to the fact that the Sabbath, usually a Sunday, would be a day of rest, when most people would be home with their families or at church and everything would be much quieter than on any other day.
This term is also significant because most of the people in Poker Flat would not be the type to go to church or keep the Sabbath day holy.
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