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From across the park sounded Plooie's patient falsetto: "Parapluie-ee-ee-ee-ees! Annie Oombrella for mend? Parapluie-ee-ee-" The call broke off in a kind of choke. "What's happened to Plooie?" I asked. "The youngsters can't have got back from the parade already, have they?" "A very tall man has stopped him," said the Bonnie Lassie.

Over in the far corner of the park an apparition moved into my visual range. It looked like Plooie. It moved like Plooie. It was loaded like Plooie. It opened a mouth like Plooie's and emitted again the familiar though diminished falsetto shriek. No doubt of it now; it was Plooie.

And she would reply "Yes, a fine day"; and look as if the sun were a little warmer upon her pale skin because of Plooie's greeting, as, perhaps, indeed, it was. After that he would nod solemnly, or, if feeling especially loquacious, venture some prophecy concerning the morrow, before resuming his unproductive rounds and his lugubrious yawp. One day he discovered that she spoke French.

This is the only commentary I ever heard him make upon any one in Our Square, which in turn completely ignored him until the development of his love affair stimulated our condescending and contemptuous interest. The object of Plooie's addresses was a little Swiss of unknown derivation and obscure history. She appeared to be as detached from the surrounding world as the umbrella-mender himself.

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