With gestures that could belong to no other school than that of the twice-dailies and the shrill nasal voice that inevitably goes with them, Irene, with the utmost solemnity, went solidly through the whole appalling thing, making the frequent yous "yee-ooo" in the true "vawdville" manner. To Tootles it was very moving, and she was proud of her friend.
All this boded a rapid and disorderly retreat; and although as yet I could see nothing of the pursuing enemy, I knew too well the relative forces of each to have a doubt for the result. At last the head of a French column appeared above the mist, and I could plainly distinguish the gestures of the officers as they hurried their men onwards.
Colonel Thomas, his iron-grey head sunk on his breast, paced the hall, awaiting the arrival of the two escort companies of his command, yet scarcely hoping for such good fortune, I think, for his keen eyes encountered mine from time to time, and he made me gestures expressive of angry resignation.
"They are brought up to so much moderation and self-command," said Mr Barlow, "that they never give way to those sudden impulses of passion that are common among the Europeans; and when they observe their violent gestures, their angry words, their countenances inflamed with wrath, they feel for them the greatest contempt, and say they must have been very badly educated.
And she colored up as though she had given utterance to words extremely audacious. I conducted her to the bottom of the Petit-Val, where I had commenced a large picture. She remained standing near me, following all my gestures with concentrated attention. Then, suddenly, fearing, perhaps, that she was disturbing me she said to me: "Thank you," and walked away.
Besides, there was frequently something so inconceivably picturesque in the varying gestures of unrestrained passion, so irresistibly comic in their sallies, or so heart-piercingly pathetic in the little airs they would sing, frequently bursting out after an awful silence, as to fascinate the attention, and amuse the fancy, while torturing the soul.
The lilac sunbonnet waved a little heartless wave which dropped in the middle as if a string were broken. But the shining hair blew out, as a waft of wind from the Bennan fretted a moving patch across the loch. Ralph flung out his hand in one of the savage gestures men use when they turn bewildered and march away, leaving the best of their lives behind them.
Her eyes, her voice, her gestures were all attuned to the inner harmony which he recognised also in the smile with which she met his words; and the charm that she irradiated was that rarest of all physical gifts, the power of the flesh to express the soul that it envelops.
With one of his incalculable motions he sprang back and burst open the doors into the garden. At the same time also, with one of his gestures that never seemed at the instant so unconventional as they were, he stretched out his hand to Mary Gray, and led her out on to the lawn as if for a dance. The French windows, thus flung open, let in an evening even lovelier than that of the day before.