He glanced about the apartment, at the cheap portiere flung over the sofa; at the gaudy sofa cushions, two of which bore the names and colours of certain colleges. The gas log was almost hidden by dried palm leaves, a cigarette stump lay on the fender; on the mantel above were several photographs of men and at the other side an open door revealed a bedroom.
At the same instant a fiery shaft descended from the palm of a mighty hand in the heavens, and the horse of this valiant and most generous knight, Sir Max, fell dead, stricken by the hand of God." I had no doubt that this absurd explanation would be received with scorn and derision; but the friar knew his audience, and I did not.
The stick used by the women is generally three feet or four feet long, but the girl novices use a short one about fifteen inches in length. Each woman, as I have said elsewhere, is also provided with a reed basket or net, in which to hold the roots, this being usually woven out of strings of prepared bark; or, failing that, native flax or palm straw.
Hume went forward and took a look through his glasses. A solitary canoe was certainly in view, with a single boatman aboard, who was frantically waving his paddle. Then he swept the shore for signs of life. "There are some people squatting just by that tall palm," he muttered. "Have a look, Venning." Venning made out several persons at the spot.
Again Crittenden, leaning against the palm, heard his name called. Again it was Blackford who was opening his mouth to shout some message when Ah! The shout died on Blackford's lips, and every man on the hill and in the woods, at that instant, stayed his foot and his hand even a man standing with a gray horse against the blue wall he, too, stopped to listen.
Slowly, but surely and steadily, the remainder of the banana broke away and fell into the hand that held the letter. Holding both letter and banana in the one perspiring palm, Pee-wee devoured first the one and then the other. Both were delicious, the letter particularly.
Wax is taken from the leaves of the wax palm. We make rubber from the rubber tree. A cut is made in the side of the tree with a knife. From this cut a white juice flows. This juice is like milk. It is caught in a cup. After a while the juice gets hard. Then it is rubber. A great many strange animals and birds are found in these forests. There is the sloth, which lives in the trees.
There is still another crow-roost nearer to Colombo, at Mount Lavonia, in the thick palm groves which skirt the shore, within rifle-shot of that pleasant summer resort. When they awake in the early morning and prepare for their flight cityward, the combined noise which they make is something like the roar of artillery. Birds on the Rampage. Familiar Nuisances. Silver-Spoon Thieves.
Rough yellow adobe huts stood here and there, their crude colouring of unbaked mud turned into gold by that great painter, the tropical sun; and sometimes a palm stood by a hut, cutting the fierce light blue of the sky with its delicate, fine, curved, drooping branches; sometimes the dark, glossy green of the organ cactus rose like jade pillars beside it.
Forced, therefore, to stomach his failure, his indignation, his shame, his hatred, and his vengeance, his own heart became a punishment almost adequate to his vices. "But my foe will die," said he, clinching his fist so firmly that the nails almost brought blood from the palm; "he will starve, famish, and see them his wife, his child perish first!