Weary, sitting cross-legged in the shade of a wagon-wheel looked up at Pink, fumbling shyly among the knives and forks, and with deceitful innocence he whistled absently: Oh, tell me, pretty maiden, Are there any more at home like you?

He sat with his back against the tree and gave his orders in a languid voice, and it was very curious to see the tents going up, wielded by men who seemed working in their sleep, slowly and with fumbling fingers, tripping over each other, pausing, hesitating, yet working all the same, and all in the still level light of evening that lent unreality to the scene. Luck was against Berselius.

The vast, cruel, fumbling clumsiness of Nature, her lack of majesty in crises that ought to be majestic, her incurable indignity, disgusted me, aroused my disdain, I wanted, as a philosopher of all the cultures, to feel that the present was indeed a majestic crisis, to be so esteemed by a superior man. I could not.

He even aided and abetted, with amused cynicism, the groping and fumbling of Republican leaders who were dazzled at the sudden break in the political clouds which had so long enshrouded them. He helped raise the funds used to counteract the league propaganda and toured the country in opposition to it. The next shift in scenes was as much beyond Mr.

"She's Uncle Bill's ward, and by way of being rather fond of Podgie, I fancy at least, she used to be, I know. But the silly old ass won't go near her since he lost his foot." Mouldy Jakes dried his tooth-brush, and, fumbling in his trouser pocket, produced a penny. "Heads or tails?" he queried. "Tails why?" "It's a head. Bags I the lower berth."

His sense of calamity had grown till it was a presentiment. Yet his heart rose as, after a long five minutes, there came the sounds of fumbling key and grating lock; and then the door swung open before him, and he stood facing not the trimly liveried butler, but the gaunt and stooping figure of Ekaterina, the old serf, garbed in a soiled working-dress. "Madame Dravikine does she receive to-day?"

"My own self." The man, who had been fumbling meanwhile in the lining of his cap, drew out a letter, of which the Baron hastily broke the seal, and read as follows: "DEAR NEPHEW, Far from being able to send you the hundred thousand francs you ask of me, my present position is not tenable unless you can take some decisive steps to save me.

Wasn't that the name?" "Yes." The man bowed with a smile. "I thought that was what Benny said. Well, as I was saying, I hope you'll excuse this apron." Her fingers were fumbling with the knot at the back. "I take it off, mostly, when the bell rings, evenings or afternoons; but I heard Benny, and I didn't suppose 't was anybody but him. There, that's better!"

Before the first attempt to open it had been followed by the discovery of the obstacle, I was up, and the next moment, with a well-directed kick, disabled a few of the fingers which were fumbling to remove it. To protect the latch was now my main object, but my efforts would have been quite useless, for twenty of them would have been over the top in an instant.

I think it must have left a scar on my brain, for I see it now in every detail the little dark compartment; the high counter; the shelves at the back full of parcels, like those of a left-luggage room at a railway station; the heavy, baggy, big-faced man in shirt-sleeves with a long cigar held between his teeth at the corner of his frothy mouth; and then my own hurried breathing; my thin fingers opening the tissue paper and holding out the miniature; the man's coarse hands fumbling it; his casual air as he looked at it and cheapened it, as if it had been a common thing scarcely worthy of consideration.