This mill farm on Back Creek had never been home to Till. She liked, as she said to herself, to live among “folks,” not among poor farmers and backwoods people. The finer accomplishments she had learned from Mrs. Matchem, those of which she was most proud, had little chance here. Before the Mistress became an invalid, things were better. Then friends from Winchester often came to stay overnight or to spend a week; there was some satisfaction in keeping the brass and silver bright, the stores of bed linen and table linen bleached. In those days Miss Sapphy used to go back to Chestnut Hill almost every summer for a long visit with her sister, and Till went with her.
Young as he was, his powers of observation, the accuracy of his memory, and what I may call the sagacity of his inquisitiveness, are forcibly illustrated in this passage of his account of his early life. Even while his little ship is bumping ashore, and all hands are running about thinking their last moment arrived, Dampier is taking a careful view of the sandy islands, observing the several depths of water, remarking the various channels, and mentally [Pg 19] noting the best places in which to drop anchor. He has a hundred things to tell us about the rats and sea-fowl he saw there, of the devotion of the booby to its young, of the sharks, sword-fish, and “nurses,” of the seals, and the Spaniard's way of making oil of their fat. In this little voyage Dampier and his mates suffered a very great deal of hardship. They ran short of provisions, and must have starved but for two barrels of beef which had formed a portion of their cargo for purposes of trucking, but which proved so rotten that nobody would buy them. Of this beef they boiled every day two pieces; their peas were consumed and their flour almost gone, and in order to swallow the beef they were forced to cut it into small bits after it was cooked, and then to boil it afresh in water thickened with a little flour. This savoury broth they ate with spoons. Speaking of this trip Dampier says: “I think never any Vessel before nor since made such traverses in coming out of the Bay as we did; having first blundered over the Alcrany Riff, and then visited those islands; from thence fell in among the Colorado Shoals, afterwards made a trip to Grand Caymanes; and lastly visited Pines, tho' to no purpose. In all these Rambles we got as much experience as if we had been sent out on a design.”
It was approximately 4 P.M., after wide plane cruising had forced us to give Gedney up for lost, that we sent our guarded message to the Arkham for relaying; and I think we did well to keep it as calm and noncommittal as we succeeded in doing. The most we said about agitation concerned our dogs, whose frantic uneasiness near the biological specimens was to be expected from poor Lake’s accounts. We did not mention, I think, their display of the same uneasiness when sniffing around the queer greenish soapstones and certain other objects in the disordered region-objects including scientific instruments, aeroplanes, and machinery, both at the camp and at the boring, whose parts had been loosened, moved, or otherwise tampered with by winds that must have harbored singular curiosity and investigativeness.
The oval was abruptly empty; then it too was gone. Bartholomew said: “Call the others. I am for obeying. But they must know.” And when the others had heard, they too voted to obey, and the space ship, course changed, began to circle, as slowly as it could, the earth.
‘You said you was going acwoss ve wiver,’ panted Wee Willie Winkie, throwing himself off his pony. ‘And nobody — not even Coppy — must go acwoss ve wiver, and I came after you ever so hard, but you wouldn’t stop, and now you’ve hurted yourself, and Coppy will be angwy wiv me, and — I’ve bwoken my awwest! I’ve bwoken my awwest!’
"What does he say?" they asked M'fosa.
So we went, and my mother gazed about her for a while as if she were looking for something, but then suddenly went forward with her eyes
“Do you suppose the Purple Emperor drank himself crazy because he was descended from Marie Trevec?” I asked contemptuously.
He stepped ponderously down from the piazza and turned his broad back on the row of excited faces.
"He went to Greece on the day following the shooting ofVassalaro," he said.
Institutions of a somewhat similar character, called
"Get out and go home, my poor sheep," he said, "back to the blankets! Do you think they'd be satisfied with one mill? They'd come for a mill every year and they'd never leave you till you were dead or broke. Go to the police, my poor lamb, and tell them your sad story. Go to the admirable Mr. Stafford King--he'll fall on your neck. You won't, I see you won't!"
And the dear old lady, with one thin soft hand on his heavy shoulder, answered, as she looked: "Why, I see a rather naughty boy, whom I ought to spank for throwing spitballs at the old schoolroom ceiling," she retorted. "And I am not a bit afraid to do it either. So sit right over there, sir, and listen to me."
The traveller sighed.详情 ➢
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