"Oh! the pistols if you like; but as for the rug, there is a fellow yonder who has had nothing to wet his whistle these two days, and is shivering in his coat of cobwebs, and that's our General." Philips looked up and saw a man with worn-out shoes and a dozen rents in his trousers; the only covering for his head was a ragged foraging cap, white with rime.
He got what he asked, and explored the aforesaid wood very narrowly. He saw the footsteps of a man printed deep on the snow; for the rime was blemished by the steps, and betrayed the robber's progress. Thus guided, he went over a hill, and came on a very great river. This effaced the human tracks he had seen before, and he determined that he must cross.
The greatest difficulty that was experienced was due to the accumulation of rime on the instruments. In low temperatures everything became covered with ice-crystals, deposited from the air, which eventually grew into huge blocks. Sometimes these blocks became dislodged and fell, making it dangerous to walk along the decks.
A thin haze hung about them heavy with rime, and they could not see more than a quarter of a mile ahead. When darkness fell they scraped out a hollow beneath what seemed to be a snow-covered rock, and sat upon their sleeping-bags. The cooking-lamp gave little heat.
We have at least three kinds of lying and species, or types, of liars first, the common, ordinary, everyday liar, who lies without rime or reason, rule or compass, aim, intent or interest, in whose mind the partition between truth and falsehood has fallen down; then the sensational, imaginative liar, who has a tale to tell; and, finally, the mean, malicious liar, who would injure his neighbor.
In the morning they walked to church through the Abbey plantations, which run for nearly half a mile along the edge of the cliff. The rime lay thick upon the pines and firs every little needle had its separate coat of white whereon the sun's rays glistened.
This young orchard adjoined the Great Western Railway, and one day when pruning there I saw a remarkable sight, and I have never found any one with a similar experience. The telegraph wires were magnified into stout ropes by a coating of white rime, and I could see a distinct series of waves approximating to the dots and dashes of the Morse code running along them.
The cabinet of Petrarch is to-day a hideous little café, bedizened, like a signboard, with extracts from the ingenious "Rime." The poet and his lady are of course the stock-in-trade of the little village, which has had for several generations the privilege of attracting young couples engaged in their wedding-tour and other votaries of the tender passion.
There had been a hard frost during the night, and the ground was hard, sparkling with rime and ringing to the foot. The air was keen and invigorating, and the bare black branches of the trees were outlined clear and sharp against the pale pure blue of the morning sky.
It was a still, frosty, finger pinching dawn, and the rime lay thick wherever it could lie; but Miss Horn's red nose was carried in front of her in a manner that suggested nothing but defiance to the fiercest attacks of cold.