Article usage in "These were ruins of..."

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Article usage in "These were ruins of..."
Posted by:  Anton Shepelev (anton.t…
Date: Fri, 1 May 2015

Hello, all

How  should you explain the lack of a definite arti-
cle before 'ruins'  in  the  conclusion  of  Ambrose
Bierce's "An Inhabitant of Carcosa":

  I  observed  in  the herbage a number of weather-
  worn stones, evidently shaped  with  tools.  They
  were broken, covered with moss and half-sunken in
  the earth.  Some lay prostrate,  some  leaned  at
  various  angles,  none  was  vertical.  They were
  obviously headstones of graves, though the graves
  themselves  no longer existed as either mounds or
  depressions; the years had  leveled  all.  Scat-
  tered  here and there, more massive blocks showed
  where some pompous or ambitious monument had once
  flung  its  feeble  defiance at oblivion.  So old
  seemed these relics, these vestiges of vanity and
  memorials of affection and piety, so battered and
  worn and stained -- so neglected, deserted,  for-
  gotten  the place, that I could not help thinking
  myself the discoverer of the burial-ground  of  a
  prehistoric  race of men whose very name was long

  A chorus of howling wolves saluted the  dawn.  I
  saw them sitting on their haunches, singly and in
  groups, on the summits of  irregular  mounds  and
  tumuli  filling  a half of my desert prospect and
  extending to the horizon.  And then I  knew  that
  these  were  ruins of the ancient and famous city
  of Carcosa.

With the elision restored:

  These ruins were the ruins of...

the article seems unavoidable, and its absence  from
the original the more intriguing.

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