The Honorable Percival's cap was on Bobby's head, and his coat was about her shoulders. As to himself, he seemed strangely indifferent to the tumbled state of his wind-blown hair and the shocking informality of his shirt-sleeves.
The rancher, Belllounds, sat in his easy-chair before the fire, his big, horny hands extended to the warmth. He was in his shirt-sleeves, a gray, bold-faced man, of over sixty years, still muscular and rugged. At Columbine's entrance he raised his drooping head, and so removed the suggestion of sadness in his posture. "Wal, lass, hyar you are," was his greeting.
The Fox, who was lame, walked leaning on the Cat; and the Cat, who was blind, was guided by the Fox. "Good-day, Pinocchio," said the Fox, greeting him politely. "How do you come to know my name?" asked the puppet. "I know your father well." "Where did you see him?" "I saw him yesterday at the door of his house." "And what was he doing?" "He was in his shirt-sleeves and shivering with cold."
If the Temple Barholm pews were empty, the villagers, not being incited to devotional exercise by his exalted presence, would feel at liberty to remain at home, and in the irreligious undress of shirt-sleeves sit and smoke their pipes, or, worse still, gather at "the Hare and Hounds" and drink beer. Also, it would not be "at all proper" not to go to church.
The breeches were certainly rather wrinkly above the knees, and the jacket was somewhat uncomfortably tight across the chest when buttoned over; it also pinched me a good deal under the arm-pits, whilst the sleeves exhibited a trifle too much some six inches or so of my wristbands and shirt-sleeves; and when I looked at myself in the glass I found that there was a well-defined ridge of loose cloth running across the back from shoulder to shoulder.
He walked with a shambling gait, stooped considerably, and swung his arms. He seldom wore a coat, and on days as mild as this his shirt-sleeves were always rolled up. He presented a striking contrast to John Westerfelt, who, by the people of that remote section, might have been considered something of a swell. "How are you, ol' hoss?"
He had been reading near the window. He was in his shirt-sleeves, his collar open at the throat. He seemed rather feeble. His legs shook as if he were weak from some recent illness. About the eyes was a certain kindliness that did not escape Babcock's quick glance; they were clear and honest, and looked straight into his the kind he liked.
I was too frightened to cry, but I remember that, while she lay stretched insensible on the grass by the bench, I threw myself upon her, crying, "Mother! mother!" A little while after I had come running to father, who stood in his shirt-sleeves over in the meadow, mowing with the others, and had said, sobbing, that mother was dead. From that hour my mother was out of her mind.
In a very few minutes we were all mustered on the beach, looking, I must confess, remarkably like brigands, in our slouching and high-crowned Californian hats, coatless, and with shirt-sleeves either tucked up or cut off above the elbow, which, with the carbine that each man carried in his hand, and the revolvers, knives, etc., stuck into the waist-belts, made our 'tout ensemble' such, that I am convinced no honest citizen, with a plethoric purse, who saw us thus for the first time, would have felt quite at his ease in our company.
A long tramp followed up Dusty Lane, between scorching mud walls. We passed dirty booths, naked children with frizzy hair, thin faced women with swaggering hips, and occasional military police in shirt-sleeves carrying thick sticks. The sight of a large cat sitting in a niche, blinking in that excellent manner of inward ecstasy, was cheering.