Like bees busy on summer flowers, or bright gadflies hovering and darting over spiky autumn blossoms, she and her 'little daughter, tall nearly as herself and with a bust measurement not far inferior, hovered in the shops of Regent Street, the establishments of Hanover Square and of Bond Street, lost in consideration and the feel of fabrics.
The Town Hall was lighted for a dance when they passed it. The windows of the little souvenir shops seemed twice as attractive as when seen by day, and early as it was in the evening, people were already lined up in the drug-store, three deep around the soda-water fountain.
The ferry landed; she hurried out and took a surface car And how good the crowd seemed, how warm the noise and the lights, what gladness was in the evening ebb-tide of people, how splendid the avenues shone with their sparkle and their shops and their traffic! She felt again the good hard pave under her feet. She met again a hundred familiar scenes.
Slate has succeeded to thatch, and brick to timber. The pavements and the lamps, the display of wealth in the principal shops, and the luxurious neatness of the dwellings occupied by the gentry would, in the seventeenth century, have seemed miraculous. Yet is the relative importance of the old capitals of counties by no means what it was.
Of course the much frequented space surrounding the Butter Cross was the favourite centre for shops; and on this day, a fine market day, just when good housewives begin to look over their winter store of blankets and flannels, and discover their needs betimes, these shops ought to have had plenty of customers. But they were empty and of even quieter aspect than their every-day wont.
The returned Emigrant was not one of those who sometimes creep back to Tregarrick and scan the folk wistfully and the names over the shops till they bethink themselves of stepping up the hill to take a look at the cemetery, and there find all they sought. He knew them all again, or nearly all.
Nothing could have been more dismal than our slow progress in the steady rain, through the deserted streets of this town. Home after home had been blasted their intimate yet harrowing interiors were revealed. The shops and cafes, which had been thoroughly looted, had their walls blown out, but in many cases the signs of the vanished and homeless proprietors still hung above the doors.
Jennariello, who thought of nothing else than to save his brother's life, hid himself behind the bed of the bridal pair; and as he stood watching to see the dragon come, behold at midnight a fierce dragon entered the chamber, who sent forth flames from his eyes and smoke from his mouth, and who, from the terror he carried in his look, would have been a good agent to sell all the antidotes to fear in the apothecaries' shops.
The next morning about eleven o'clock Sir Walter came in and found the dinner just served, so he dined with his friends; and then, after a pipe of tobacco in which neither the captain nor Morgan ventured to join him he took them abroad. Down Chepe they went, past the fine shops of goldsmith, silversmith, and mercer.
And the cold kept most people at home, or shivering beside the glowing braziers set outside the shops. It was not the season for active work, and so Prince Askurry let it slip by without really making up his mind what he was to do with Baby Akbar. Meanwhile the child could live in the bastion of the palace, and play with his little cousins.