He set off at a run, his bare feet unconsciously seeking the smooth driveway of the home-piece, and following it at breakneck speed till it ended in the road below the mesa. There the rougher going hindered him somewhat, but not greatly, and he kept to the highway till it reached a river and a bridge.
True, his wife was attached to Kuni, but she had little influence over her vicious husband. So the sick cripple might only too easily find herself left on the highway. Still, she had given Cyriax cause for the threat. All day and during the night she had been busy with the unfortunate mother and her twins, and therefore had frequently neglected to fill his brandy bottle.
Kneeling, he pretended to kiss the King's foot, and was indignantly spurned; whereupon he went about begging for a rag to paste over the place upon his face which had been touched by the foot, saying it must be preserved from contact with the vulgar air, and that he should make his fortune by going on the highway and exposing it to view at the rate of a hundred shillings a sight.
Childs, the bankers, can have orders to pay it to me when due; if they receive no such orders, I shall be not in the least surprised, knowing you to be in the hands of a villain who would not scruple to rob on the highway; and shall try to find out some way in life for myself more honourable than that by which the penniless Irish adventurer has arrived to turn me out of my rights and home.
From the lower of these, where it belted the front of the vertical cliff, there was a fine view down upon the highway and along it both ways; from the upper more of the highway could be seen; from the very top of the crag, which was bare except for two clumps of gnarled trees and starved bushes near its brow, the view included a full two miles of the highway in each direction.
His work was surely done; Fritz continued to wabble and then plunged in a deadly drop until he got to the Lens-Arras road, where he made a desperate attempt to alight on the highway; but he got tangled up in the trees, his wings being smashed and remaining in the branches, the body of the plane shooting down into a deep ditch and embedding itself and its two occupants in the mud. They were dead.
The bearer of the weapon uttered a single word, a word which is not found in any dictionary although it has come down from the time when the first Englishman took to the highway to seek his daily meat. "Hanzup!" They obeyed and the ensuing silence was broken by the pleasant chink of money as John Ringo's left hand raked the winnings into his pocket.
All the ambitions which have their end in personal prestige are wholly barren; the ambitions which aim at social amelioration have a certain nobility about them, though they substitute a tortuous by-path for a direct highway.
"Is that an example of what people would do for me?" she said shyly. "Mr. Trelyon, you must keep walking through the warm grass till your feet are dry; or will you come along to the inn, and I shall get you some shoes and stockings? Pray do, and at once. I am rather in a hurry." "I'll go along with you, anyway," he said, "and put this little brute into the highway. But why are you in a hurry?"
All through the long spring days the returning soldiers marched up the chief highway behind the strump of drums and the joyous, resonant wind of the brasses, while merchants and clerks left their bickerings and figurings and, crowding to the windows, turned their white-bunched faces gravely upon the passing battalions.