The audience, at first bewildered, confused by this unexpected invective, suddenly took fire at his last words. There was a roar of applause; then, more significant than mere vociferation, Presley's listeners, as he began to speak again, grew suddenly silent. His next sentences were uttered in the midst of a profound stillness.
A grey flannel shirt, open at the throat, showed his breast, tanned and ruddy. He wore no hat. His hair was very black and rather long. A pointed beard covered his chin, growing straight and fine from the hollow cheeks. The absence of any covering for his head was, no doubt, habitual with him, for his face was as brown as an Indian's a ruddy brown quite different from Presley's dark olive.
We'll make for the Long Trestle and strike the trail to Hooven's there." They set off. It was a terrible ride. Twice during the scrambling descent from the hills, Presley's pony fell beneath him. Annixter, on his buckskin, and Osterman, on his thoroughbred, good horsemen both, led the others, setting a terrific pace. The hills were left behind.
The impression conveyed by his mouth and chin was that of a delicate and highly sensitive nature, the lips thin and loosely shut together, the chin small and rather receding. One guessed that Presley's refinement had been gained only by a certain loss of strength.
Gambler that he was, he had at last chanced his highest stake, his personal honour, in the greatest game of his life, and had lost. It was Presley's morbidly keen observation that first noticed the evidence of a new trouble in the Governor's face and manner. Presley was sure that Lyman's defection had not so upset him.
To Presley's morbidly keen observation, the general impression of the shepherd's face was intensely interesting. It was uncommon to an astonishing degree. Presley's vivid imagination chose to see in it the face of an ascetic, of a recluse, almost that of a young seer.
A Renaissance cabinet of ebony, many feet taller than Presley's head, and inlaid with ivory and silver, occupied one corner of the room, while in its centre stood a vast table of Flemish oak, black, heavy as iron, massive. A faint odour of sandalwood pervaded the air. From the conservatory near-by, came the splashing of a fountain.
Hilma and Sidney, the latter exuberant with a gayety that all but brought the tears to Presley's eyes, were making sandwiches on the back porch. Mrs. Dyke was nowhere to be seen, and Annixter was shaving himself in his bedroom. This latter put a half-lathered face out of the window as Presley cantered through the gate, and waved his razor with a beckoning motion. "Come on in, Pres," he cried.
I can see so much that is alike in your modes of interpreting nature. In Mr. Presley's sonnet, 'The Better Part, there is the same note as in your picture, the same sincerity of tone, the same subtlety of touch, the same nuances, ah." "Oh, my dear Madame," murmured the artist, interrupting Presley's impatient retort; "I am a mere bungler. You don't mean quite that, I am sure. I am too sensitive.
She will ever be remembered, not only by the firemen, but by all old settlers, as one of the many noble women in St. Paul whose unostentatious deeds of charity have caused a ray of sunshine in many sad homes. Mrs. Presley's death was deeply regretted, not only by the fire department, but by every resident of the city. Among the many brilliant members of the legal fraternity in St.