"Yes," said Raynal, "I am the culprit; and we have fixed on you to undo my work without hurting their pride too much, poor souls; but let us begin with the facts." Then Raynal told him my story after his fashion. Of course I shall not go and print his version; you might like his concise way better than my verbose; and I'm not here to hold up any man's coat-tails.
No, I could never listen I was ashamed of even entertaining the notion, and I shook my head. "'No, Miss Wyeth, I am afraid I do not care to listen to any reasoning on this subject. "'Don't you believe in Pythagoras? demanded the professor, subduing his excitement with difficulty, and adding another knot to his coat-tails. "'No, I said, 'I do not.
At the dinner every one is in evening dress; the men wear black swallowtail coats, following the English in every way, low white vest, white starched shirt, white collar and necktie, and black trousers. If the dinner does not include women the coat-tails are eliminated, and the vest and necktie are black. Exactly why this is I do not understand, nor do the Americans.
In vain with rapid strides and waving arms I endeavoured to clear a way and move forward; arms and legs were seized upon, and even the Christian coat-tails were not sacred from the profane Mahometans.
The room was but scantily furnished, but there happened to be a harmonium which, after the daylight came to its untimely end, I used to play upon according to my fancy. Sometimes Indians would come to see me; and, though my acquaintance with them was but slight, when they rose to leave I felt inclined to hold them back by their coat-tails.
The man who had been holding conversation with him cried out, "Sarved him right, Mrs. Slater: he knows nought about it yet; but when he gets them he'll be as loth to leave the babbies at home on a Whitsuntide as any on us. We shall live to see him in Dunham Park yet, wi' twins in his arms, and another pair on 'em clutching at daddy's coat-tails, let alone your share of youngsters, missis."
Thoughts and impressions, being intrinsically inactive, were supposed to produce conduct only through the intermediation of this superior agent. Until they twitched its coat-tails, so to speak, no outward behavior could occur.
The incident, inexplicable though it was, would have passed at once from his memory, but that directly he entered the hotel he was conscious of the very similar behaviour and attitude towards him of the chief reception clerk. He paused on his way, a little bewildered, and called the man to him. The clerk, however, was already rushing towards the office with his coat-tails flying behind him.
A short rally at close quarters, and they close: in another moment the slogger is thrown again heavily for the third time. "I'll give you three to two on the little one in half-crowns," said Groove to Rattle. "No, thank 'ee," answers the other, diving his hands further into his coat-tails.
The Captain skipped in and out in high feather, occasionally pinching Sally's cheek, and asking if she were going as captain or mate upon the vessel after it was launched, for which he got in return a fillip of his sleeve or a sly twitch of his coat-tails, for Sally and her old father were on romping terms with each other from early childhood, a thing which drew frequent lectures from the always exhorting Mrs.
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