If the reed-cutter had lost his boat, he would have been as completely isolated from all communication with town or village as if his place of abode had been a light-vessel instead of a cottage. Neither he nor his family complained of their solitude, or looked in any way the rougher or the worse for it.
The attendant who cut the reeds sat left of the song-priest, facing east; a stone containing the paints was placed to the north of the rug; and upon the end of the stone next to himself the reed-cutter deposited a bit of finely broken tobacco. In cutting the reeds occasionally a bit splintered off; these scraps were placed by the side of the tobacco on the northeast end of the rug.
The ever useful Pedgift volunteered to go up with him, and rattle off all the necessary local explanations in half the time which the reed-cutter would occupy in describing his own neighborhood to a stranger. Allan remained standing in front of the cottage, more quiet and more thoughtful than usual.