So the two young men left London the next day, with one portmanteau and a rod and tackle between them, and reached the straggling, old-fashioned, fast-decaying village of Audley, in time to order a good dinner at the Sun Inn. Audley Court was about three-quarters of a mile from the village, lying, as I have said, deep down in the hollow, shut in by luxuriant timber.
This induces him to subsist his slaves on the coarsest fare, and becoming hampered, embarrassed, and fretted in his fast-decaying circumstances, his slaves, one by one, suffer the penalty of his extravagance, and finally he himself is reduced to such a condition that he is unable to do justice to himself or his children any longer; his slaves are dragged from him, sold to the terrors of a distant sugar-plantation, and he turned out of doors a miserable man.
Anyhow he would get it, and lots of strange, inexplicable, origin-forgotten rites would be observed over this piece of clay hitherto so cheaply held and roughly treated. Queer! As "Trooper Priddell" he was of no account. As a piece of fast-decaying carrion he would be the centre of a piece of elaborate ceremonial!
From the tree-spirit, again, the tree-god was further formed, a being who was able to quit the sacred tree or who presided over many trees. Of these beliefs the fast-decaying usages of the Maypole and the Harvest May still remind us. The well, in a similar manner, may first have been worshipped in and for itself, and then a nymph may have been added to it.
Sprawling in his favourite corner, in his fast-decaying uniform, with his prodigious sabre distributed between his red legs, he waited for the long-delayed, but now soon expected, orders. "Not yet, Senor el Almirante," the telegraph clerk would call to him "poco tiempo!"
With difficulty I made my way through the crowd that blocked the street in front of the undertaker's the following afternoon. None were admitted but L 's associates. There she lay, apparently sleeping sweetly, but this was only the beautiful, fast-decaying mortal form.
Grinding at history, grammar, and geography did not seem so oppressive a burden when it could be done under the shade of spreading cedars, amid the scent of roses, in an atmosphere of colour and light. Even Ida's labours seemed a little easier when she and her pupils sat in a fast-decaying old summer-house in the rose-garden, with a glimpse of sunlit river flashing athwart the roses.
She was receiving benefits from them, her only chance of life, and while she blindly repaid in services, Mary's roots clung to the cabin life; her affections to the fast-decaying hovel from which she had been rescued. Jed was the only familiar creature left to Mary's inner consciousness.
One might as well be a vegetable at once if one is to be pinned down to one particular spot of earth. Why, the Twelve Apostles," exclaimed Mabel, innocent of irreverence, for she meant certain ancient and fast-decaying oaks so named, "see as much of life as your fine old English gentleman. Men have wider ideas nowadays. The world is hardly big enough for their ambition."
We toiled assiduously throughout the whole of that day, my two companions smoking steadily all the time in order to counteract, as far as might be, the sickening odour of the fast-decaying fish.