After Pinecoffin had wondered a little at Nafferton's rage for information, he sent back a monograph, fifty-one pages, on "Products of the Pig." This led him, under Nafferton's tender handling, straight to the Cawnpore factories, the trade in hog-skin for saddles and thence to the tanners.
"No time," was the answer. And the munition workers were forced to submit their appeal in writing. "We are only a few of the thousands of American women," they wrote the President, "who are forming a growing part of the army at home. The work we are doing is hard and dangerous to life and health, making detonators, handling TNT, the highest of all explosives.
Systematic villainy in the handling of the human cargo was perhaps not so characteristic in this trade as in the transport of poverty-stricken white emigrants.
But those who had mastered the difficult art of handling the goose-quill belonged to an international republic of letters which spread across the entire continent and which knew of no boundaries and respected no limitations of language or nationality. The universities were the strongholds of this republic. Unlike modern fortifications, they did not follow the frontier.
Those, however, who have paid attention to his work will discover that he always found emotional quality corresponding to the nature of the subject. His ways of handling religious and mythological motives differ in sentiment, and both are distinguished from his treatment of dramatic episodes.
The serfs were forced to attend the spectacle, that it might serve as an example to them. The culprit was the general's barber, as we have said, and the executioner was merely the coachman, who, being used to the handling of a whip, was raised or degraded, which you will, to the office of executioner every time punishment with the knout was ordered.
The very desperateness of it was all in Magellan's favor; for so far away had they come from the known world that retreat meant certain death. The only chance of escape lay in pressing forward. At last, on the 6th of March, they came upon islands inhabited by savages ignorant of the bow and arrow, but expert in handling their peculiar light boats.
Even his handling of the supernatural, which was undoubtedly a strong point of his, was not wholly de ban aloi. To pronounce him, as was once done by an acute and amiable judge, "the hummiest of bugs" was excessive in life, and would be preposterous in literature. But there undoubtedly was, with rare exceptions, a suspicion of what is called in slang "faking" about his work.
Every steel wire guy was kept as taut as a fiddle string; and by the time they were done handling the aeroplane it would be in apple-pie shape for work. "Did they smash much in the shop, Frank?" Andy asked after they had been working some little time, and making fair progress.
His forms will be conventional; his handling impersonal; ten to one he will give us a row of insipid Gothic figures or something in the pseudo-Veronese taste. Almost everyone would admit that, considered as pictures, those great decorations in the Doges' Palace were a little empty; no one can deny that as parts of a vast scheme they are superbly adequate.