Hence the peasants in general understood by “partition,” that the State lands, especially the forests, would be divided among the communes, and that, by some political legerdemain or other, everybody would have free fire-wood, free grazing for his cattle, and over and above that, a piece of gold without working for it.
The good husband finds method as efficient in the packing of fire-wood in a shed or in the harvesting of fruits in the cellar, as in Peninsular campaigns or the files of the Department of State. In the rainy day he builds a work-bench, or gets his tool-box set in the corner of the barn-chamber, and stored with nails, gimlet, pincers, screwdriver and chisel.
His nap had rested him much more than his broken sleep of the night under the rocks, and the word "moose" had an inspiration all its own. "I've cut the fire-wood. You get poles for the tent. I'll get things ready for supper." Adrian laid his hand dramatically upon his stomach. "I've an inner conviction already that dinner precedes supper." "Cut, can't you?" "Cut, it is."
When she had gone, he summoned the young lady whom Nan had addressed as "Hetty." "Miss Fairchaild," he said, "'phone the local sales-office and tell them to deliver a load of fire-wood to the Brent house at the Sawdust Pile." Two minutes later, the entire office force knew that Nan Brent had called to order a load of fire-wood, and once more the world sagged into the doldrums.
At one o'clock the Confederate batteries, one hundred and fifteen pieces in all, opened their tremendous fire upon the center of the Union lines. Eighty cannons roared back at them with defiant thunder, and the blue sky became hidden by smoke. Among the Union batteries horses began to run loose, cannons to be splintered like fire-wood, and caissons to explode.
I was then unable to attend to my men for a considerable time; but when in convalescence from this last attack, I was thankful to find that I was free from that lassitude which, in my first recovery, showed the continuance of the malaria in the system. I found that my men, without prompting, had established a brisk trade in fire-wood.
The smell of the smallest quantity of burnt weed would be intolerable in so confined a place: so he cleared away every sprout of it, and laid some of the drift-wood on a spot above high-water mark, picking out the driest pieces of fire-wood he could find for kindling a flame.
During the remainder of my stay, I had no further opportunity of entering into conversation with these people, as the weather was generally wild, and they could not procure much shelter or fire-wood on the coast, had they come down to see us.
After he had built and was living in his somewhat fantastical villa of Les Jardies at Sèvres, close to Paris, he invites a friend to stay with him on these terms: "I can take you to board at forty sous a day, and for thirty-five francs you will have fire-wood enough for a month." In his joke he is apt to betray the same preoccupation.
The free-list offered by the United States reads like a diplomatic joke: "burr-millstones, rags, fire-wood, grindstones, plaster and gypsum." The real bar in this and subsequent negotiations, was the unwillingness of the Americans to enter into any kind of arrangement for extended trade.