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“But his opinion will be widely read and will be widely believed.”
Joan and Peter took the substitution of Aunt Phœbe muttering like a Sibyl overhead and Aunt Phyllis, who was really amusing with odd drawings and twisted paper toys and much dancing and running about, in the place of Daddy and Mummy, with the stoical acceptance of the very young. About Daddy and Mummy there hung a faint flavour of departure but no sense of conclusive loss. No clear image and expectation of a return had been formed. No day of definite disappointment ever came. After all the essential habitual person, Mary, was still there, and all the little important routines of child-life continued very much as they had always done.
“Dan,——for my sake——”
Seven centuries have passed since then, yet even now, which of us could enter the beautiful ruins of that ancient abbey, wander through the arched aisles tapestried by ivy, or tread the lonely silent chapel, once vocal with prayer and praise, without sad thoughts of sympathy for the fate of the last monarch of Ireland, and perchance grave thoughts likewise over the destiny of a people who, on that grave of native monarchy, independence, and nationality, have as yet written no Resurgam.
“Well, in the trade he simply robbed me of a fine mare I had, that cost me one-an’-a-quarter. Kathleen an’ me was already engaged, but when old man Galloway heard of it, he told me the jig was up an’ no such double-barrel idiot as I was sh’u’d ever leave any of my colts in the Galloway paddock—that when he looked over his gran’-chillun’s pedigree he didn’t wanter see all of ’em crossin’ back to the same damned fool! Oh, he was nasty. He said that my colts was dead sho’ to be luffers with wheels in their heads, an’ when pinched they’d quit, an’ when collared they’d lay down. That there was a yaller streak in me that was already pilin’ up coupons on the future for tears and heartaches an’ maybe a gallows or two, an’ a lot of uncomplimentary talk of that kind.
"Well, then, why doesn't he?" he asked.
And that was that.
After five or six minutes, I heard the same soft, pulpy sound approaching and, while yet outside the door, he began dictating at the precise point where he had left off, rounding off the sentence most beautifully. It was a remarkable feat of memory. After a very short period, we heard the high-pitched voice a second time, and once more he moved dreamily away, still dictating. Again he stopped, purposely as it seemed to me, in the middle of a sentence, and again, when he reappeared, he spoke the waiting word. Marvellous! He gave me a cautious, inquiring look, as if to discover if I had noticed his cleverness. I smiled back reassuringly. In a few minutes the article was finished.
“I wish we cud” ses he, “but look,” and he drew her into the lite of me kitchin and toorned out all his pockits and showed her how imty they was. It was then a brillyunt thort cum into the hed of Delia O’Malley.
"Well, my dear, I won't if you don't like it. As for myself--however, no matter! And did you walk back with Mr. Creswell?"
There is yet another and still more effectual system of strains at work in the existing social unit, and that is the strain between
2.No complete file of any of the newspapers published in Natchez from 1800 to 1805 has been found. The few stray copies, located in various large libraries, contain nothing about Mason’s career. All are too late or too early to embrace any current news pertaining to him. Thus it was without success that an effort was made to verify, by “the Natchez paper” which “confirms the above account,” the statement regarding May’s appearance in Greenville in July, 1803, or to draw on any Natchez paper for any contemporary reports relative to Mason.>
He stood still, thinking. Item, a short time ago—subjectively it seemed to be minutes—he had been aboard the Jodrell Bank with nothing more on his mind than completing his check-sighting and meeting one of the female passengers for coffee. Item, apart from being shaken up and—he admitted it—scared damn near witless, he did not seem to be hurt. Item, wherever he was now, it became, not so much what had happened to him, but what had happened to the ship?