Then, as the jalousies were flung back and the evening light streamed into the apartment, I became aware of a rather stout lady very pale, but still good-looking, although she had probably passed over to the shady side of forty standing before me with outstretched hand, waiting patiently for me to take it, while a young woman of about twenty years of age was advancing upon me from the window.
Inside the house, which was delightfully cool and darkened by jalousies from the glaring heat outside, the young adventurers were introduced to Madame Desplaines and two little girls, who constituted the family of the consular agent, who also kept the general supply store at Assini. After dinner that evening, M. Desplaines talked long and earnestly to the boys.
I recollect, as if it were but yesterday, our landing alongside the jetty on the carenage, right in front of one of Da Costa's big warehouses, whose green jalousies relieved the effect of the staring white building under the hot West Indian sun; the glare of which, cast back by the rippling translucent water that laved the stone jetty, through which one could see the little fishes gliding about as clearly as in the Brighton Aquarium, almost blinded us with its intensity.
Upstairs, behind the jalousies, Sotillo did not move for a long time. The audacity of the fellow appalled him. What were his officers saying below? They were saying nothing. Complete silence. He quaked. It was not thus that he had imagined himself at that stage of the expedition.
On a small French bed, whose silken linings threw their rosy hue on the face of its fair occupant, lay as lovely a girl as ever eye reposed on. The heat had already commenced to become oppressive; the jalousies and windows were thrown open.
"Well, but I've been yawing again, so now to keep my course. As soon as I came to the house I knocked at the door, and a little black girl opens the jalousies, and put her finger to her thick lips. "`No make noise; missy sleep. "`Where am I to put this?
Then with barrels of rum and sugar they changed a whole cistern of water into punch, stirring it with their sharpened hoes, dipping it out with huge sugar-boiler ladles, and drinking themselves half blind. Jack dashed in from the gate: "Oh, Miss Marcia, go look! dem a-comin'! Gin'ral Buddoe at dem head on he w'ite hoss." We ran to the jalousies.
In some of the windows were jalousies, but the general aspect of the exterior was gaunt and rigid; and the whole block bore a dismal, deserted look, as if it had not been lived in for years.
We went into several of the houses; which were of a better style somewhat than the huts in Antigua and Barbadoes larger, better finished and furnished. Some few of them had verandahs or porches on one or more sides, after the West India fashion, closed in with jalousies.
Other houses, wooden too, belong to well-to-do folk. Over high walls you catch sight of jalousies and verandahs, inside which must be most delightful darkness and coolness.