Now, Maria, don't drag behind, and don't ogle me with your eyes more than you can help. I have made up my mind to have a seat next to Mrs. Bertram at the feast, and to bring her down a peg if I can. Now, let's come on." The ladies left the house and joined the group of holiday-seekers, who were all going in the direction of the Rectory.
The old Englischer Hof at Pontresina looked decidedly sleepy and misty at five o'clock on an August morning, when two sturdy British holiday-seekers, in knickerbockers and regular Alpine climbing rig, sat drinking their parting cup of coffee in the salle-a-manger, before starting to make the ascent of the Piz Margatsch, one of the tallest and by far the most difficult among the peaks of the Bernina range.
But to loftier types of holiday-seekers, the benignant silences of the wilderness are put there by an all-wise Providence for the purpose of being fractured by any racket denoting care-free merriment; the louder the merrier. There is nothing so racket-breeding as a perfect day amid perfect scenery. The four revelers had paddled down into the lake, on a day's picnicking.
Now the most practical miner is not a conservative person; he is erratic, credulous, and extravagant; reasonless optimism is at once his blessing and his curse. Nevertheless, the "old-timers" of the Yukon were moderate indeed as compared with the adventurous holiday-seekers who swarmed in upon their tracks.
It was crowded, of course, with holiday-seekers; but the only person that I noticed at first was the man sitting directly opposite to me an honest, red-faced countryman, evidently on his way home from town, and at present deeply occupied with a morning paper which seemed to have a peculiar fascination for him, for as he raised his face his round eyes were full of horror.