I thought I might as well start at once, so I said I would join him in a pipe, and he said, "Do, old man"; and I reached over and got out the necessary paraphernalia from my coat pocket and lit up. We grew quite chummy after that, and he told me all his crimes.
While Walter cut firewood, Robin and Roy cleared away the snow, using their snow-shoes as shovels, and prepared their meal. It was simple; a few mouthfuls of dried meat and a tin can of hot tea the backwoodsman's greatest luxury, next to his pipe. It was short, too. Half an hour sufficed to prepare and consume it.
But Aronsen had a garden, with a fence all round, and currant bushes and asters and rowans and planted trees ay, a real garden. There was a broad path down it, where Aronsen could walk o' Sundays and smoke his pipe, and in the background was the verandah of the house, with panes of coloured glass, orange and red and blue.
"I thought the ice weren't strong enough to bear," John said, taking his pipe from his mouth; "one of my mates tells me as he heard a chap going along with skates say as it weren't strong enough on the Serpentine to hold a cat." "No more it ain't, John; but Carrie Hill's little dog run on and fell through, and nothing would do but that Evan must go out and risk his life to fetch it out.
The peasant, our landlord, came forth to the cottage door, pipe in hand, to salute us; while his wife gazed at us through a small window; and, when she caught our glance, smiled, with a sunnier language on her face than she could have uttered with her tongue, the sincerity of her joy to see us once more. I felt as if I had been a long time a wanderer, and had returned home.
"Very well; you had better go below and get a glass of grog; tell the steward to give you a big pipe with a cover like this, out of the locker; and there's plenty of chewing tobacco, if the men are short." "I will take that instead of a pipe," Watkins said; "there's nothing like a quid in weather like this, it aint never in your way, and it lasts. Even with a cover a pipe would soon be out."
She's a sweet little pipe of her own, too. Miss Mackenzie, if ever you like to go to the opera, send a word either to my West End or my City office. I've boxes every week, and you're welcome to anything I can give you."
They occasionally glanced at the squaw, who manifested more interest than was expected. Sometimes she held the pipe for a minute or two motionless, her eyes on the warriors, as if anxious to catch every word. Then she would give a snuff or grunt, lean forward and stir the fire and smoke with great vigor.
All day long there hung about the place the music of chinking tools; and even in the dead of night, the watchman carried his lantern to and fro in the dark settlement and could light the pipe of any midnight muser. It was, above all, strange to see Earraid on the Sunday, when the sound of the tools ceased and there fell a crystal quiet.
I wish I was like that, but I'm not. If Nature had put more time on my head and less on my heart, she would have turned out a better job. I put a pipe in the box for Jack. If you think I ought not to have done it, don't give it to him. As old Charity used to say, "I don't want to discomboberate nobody." Only I hope he won't think I am ungrateful and indifferent. NAGASAKI. January 14th, 1902.