I went forward again to where Tom Jecks sat on the port gunwale, which was formed of one bamboo carefully lashed on with strips of the same material, and as there was nothing else to do, I shaded my eyes from the nearly level rays of sunlight, and had a good look at the distant junks. "Yes, sir, that's them, sure enough," said the coxswain.
Then he groped his way through the clerk's office into his own room, switched on the electric light and once more sat down before his desk. He drew his shaded writing lamp towards him and looked around with a nervousness wholly unfamiliar. Then he opened the pocket-book, drew out the roll of bank-notes and counted them. It was curious that he felt no surprise at their value.
As I watched, Paterfamilias squinted along the sights of one of these guns and once again came that shivering crash that is like nothing else I ever heard. Him I approached and humbly ventured an awed question or so, whereon he graciously beckoned me nearer, vacated his stool, and motioning me to sit there, suggested I might try a shot at the target, a far disc lighted by shaded electric bulbs.
On arriving at a point that commanded an unbroken prospect of the far-spread sea, he shaded his eyes with his hand, and looked long and earnestly along the waste of waters. Apparently the scrutiny was unsuccessful, for he drew a telescope from beneath his cloak and gazed through it for some minutes, directing it towards several points.
The only conceivable exceptions and I think I was not informed of them at too early an age were that a gentleman might deal in horses or in wines and still remain, if somewhat shaded, a gentleman; the reason being that a knowledge of either horses or wines was a gentlemanly accomplishment. The indulgence extended to the vendor of wines did not extend to the maker or seller of beer.
After this we went on side by side and never a word betwixt us until we had reached that pleasant champain country where flowed the river shaded by goodly trees, in whose branches fluttered birds of a plumage marvellously coloured and diverse, and beneath which bloomed flowers as vivid; insomuch that my lady brake forth ever and anon into little soft cries of delighted wonder.
Then he quietly followed the stream to where it fell into a circular, stone-bound basin. He made his cast with a quick turn of the wrist, skilfully avoiding the high underbrush, the overhanging limbs. The flies swung out and dropped softly on the water. On the second cast he caught a trout a silvery, gleaming shape flecked with vermilion and black, shaded with mauve and emerald and maroon.
The topmost terrace widened out, enclosing a large basin of clear water, in the middle of which played a fountain. On one side was raised a marquee, revealing welcome preparations for lunch. On the opposite side of the fountain a profusion of chairs, shaded by a great awning, stood expectantly facing a bandstand.
The whole party, and myself amongst the number, left Tours in this enviable state of spirits; the sun shone brightly, but a refreshing breeze, and intervals of the road well shaded, softened an heat, which might otherwise have been oppressive. Mr.
At the lowest skirt of this little valley, protected, by a few spreading hawthorns, stood a small white farm-house, more immediately shaded by a close row of elder or boor-tree, which hung over one of the gables, and covered the garden gate, together with a neat grassy seat, that was built between the gate, and the gable.