Notwithstanding the strict orders to the contrary, two of our boys Billy Bumpus and John Gibbs had procured from a car about half a bushel of nice white sugar, put it in a sack-bag, and tied it securely, they thought, to the axle of a caisson. During the night either the bag stretched or the string slipped, letting a corner drag on the ground, which soon wore a hole.
Waggons come up laden with tons of coal for the farms miles above, far from a railway station; three or four teams, perhaps, one after the other. Just a knob or two can scarcely be missed, and a little of the small in a sack-bag. The bundles of wood thrown down at the door by the labourers as they enter are rarely picked up again; they disappear, and the hearth at home is cold.
The farm had been originally a labourer's cottage. And the furniture was old and battered. But Paul loved it loved the sack-bag that formed the hearthrug, and the funny little corner under the stairs, and the small window deep in the corner, through which, bending a little, he could see the plum trees in the back garden and the lovely round hills beyond. "Won't you lie down?" said Mrs. Leivers.
Afterwards, I went away loaded with a good hundred-weight of Ordnance-maps, which I had stuffed into a bag found in the cloak-room, with three topographical books; I then, at an instrument-maker's in Holborn, got a sextant and theodolite, and at a grocer's near the river put into a sack-bag provisions to last me a week or two; at Blackfriars Bridge wharf-station I found a little sharp white steamer of a few tons, which happily was driven by liquid air, so that I had no troublesome fire to light: and by noon I was cutting my solitary way up the Thames, which flowed as before the ancient Britons were born, and saw it, and built mud-huts there amid the primaeval forest; and afterwards the Romans came, and saw it, and called it Tamesis, or Thamesis.
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