Teddy had noted what Jupp had said about the Tierra del Fuegans lashing their rude rafts together, so he took down with him from the house a quantity of old clothes-lines which he had discovered in the back garden.
Margaret nearly filled with her weary, ridiculous bulk her little room, and she remained there most of the time, although it was sunny and noisy, its one window giving on a courtyard strung with clothes-lines and teeming with boisterous life.
He told me I might put the horse up, and I did so. But I felt that the day of settlement would come as soon as the squire departed. At dinner-time I was sometimes required to stay in the store, and I was directed to do so on this day. I selected a couple of stout clothes-lines, a shingling hatchet, and put up two pounds of ten-penny nails.
The room itself, its light shut out by the adjoining extensions, prevented it; so did the glimpse of hard asphalt covering the scrap of a yard, its four melancholy posts hung about with wire clothes-lines; and so did the clean-shaven, smug-faced butler, who invariably conducted his master's guests to their chairs with the movement of an undertaker, and who had never been known to crack a smile of any kind, long or short, during his five years' sojourn with the family of Breen.
Even I, desirous as I was of seeing romance in everything, could not call my lodgings anything but dingy, dark, and commonplace. They were just like a million other of London's mean lodgings. The window looked out over a sea of backyards, bounded by tall, depressing houses, and intersected by clothes-lines. One or two dissipated trees gave the finishing touch of gloom to the scene.
Not to disturb Tommy, she affected a peaceful attitude toward the professor of Christian sorcery, whom, in the anguish of her spirit, she would have liked to project out of a window into the dizzy space occupied by pulleys and clothes-lines. Footsteps came and went past her door, but there was as yet no interruption to Miss Bowyer's pow-wow. At length there came a step on the stairs, and a rap.
She left his side to explore the room, examining the clothes-lines of notes overhead, learning the mystery of the tackle used for suspending his wheel under the ceiling, and being saddened by the heap of manuscripts under the table which represented to her just so much wasted time. The oil-stove won her admiration, but on investigating the food shelves she found them empty.
Nor did he ever learn how any one could reach those high clothes-lines, strung forty feet above ground between the backs of houses; nor how there could be "so many shows in town, all on one night;" nor why you should get so many good things to eat by merely buying a "slug of whiskey;" nor why a thousand people weren't run over in Broadway each twenty-four hours.
Cotton rope is seldom used save for small hand-lines, clothes-lines, twine, etc., while wire rope is largely used nowadays for rigging vessels, derricks, winches, etc., but as splicing wire rope is different from the method employed in fibre rope, and as knots have no place in wire rigging, we will not consider it.
This candid exposure to the public eye is more probably a result of the gregariousness which, in the New England bosom, oddly coexists with a shrinking from direct social contact; most of the inmates of such houses preferring that furtive intercourse which is the result of observations through shuttered windows and a categorical acquaintance with the neighboring clothes-lines.