The scene from the upper part of Clay Street, when the Cavalry and Artillery, having wheeled into Stockton Street, the whole steep ascent of Clay Street, between Montgomery and Stockton Streets, was filled from sidewalk to sidewalk, with the dark moving mass of infantry, was most imposing; and to very many, of the spectators so touching from memories of fears, anxieties and terrors for their relatives and friends throughout, the eventful movement now so happily drawing to a conclusion; as to dim their eyes with tears of joy, and thankfulness.
The houses along the cross-street through which he walked were as dead as so many blank walls, and only here and there a lace curtain waved out of the open window where some honest citizen was sleeping. The street was quite deserted; not even a cat or a policeman moved on it and Van Bibber's footsteps sounded brisk on the sidewalk.
Stackpole opened his gate and passed out and started down the sidewalk. Midway of the next square he overtook a man he knew an elderly watchmaker, a Swiss by birth, who worked at Nagel's jewelry store. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of times he had passed this man upon the street. Always before he had passed him with averted eyes and a stiff nod of recognition. Now, coming up behind the other, Mr.
Say, though, some one had better get busy right quick and do something to stop these guys rough-housing like this. If we get a few more carriers beat up the way Pat was, there'll be a strike. It's not as if they were all Irishmen. The most of them are Dagoes and such, and they don't want any more fight than they can get by beating their wives and kicking kids off the sidewalk.
They somehow gathered, without being told it in so many words, that she was ashamed of the poverty of her home, and, boylike, they felt a dumb sympathy for her that she should be denied what so many girls had. But for all her sidewalk flirtations, she kept herself aloof from any touch of scandal; the very openness of her gaddings protected her from that.
They were now entering the little hamlet, exchanging the grassy path for a sidewalk of planks laid lengthwise, and the peace of nature for such signs of civilization as a troop of geese, noisily promenading across the thoroughfare, and a peacock in its pride of pomp as a favored bird of old King Solomon crying from the top of the shed and proudly displaying its gorgeous train.
Anybody who has observed a really splashing rain on smooth ground on a cement sidewalk, for instance must have observed that the rebounding drops, like those that are falling, form streaks, because they, too, are arranged in vertical layers or sheets of greater and lesser density or maybe the term "frequency" would be more appropriate; and these streaks travel as compared with the wind, and, as compared with its direction, they travel against it.
There was the rhythmic beat of footsteps on the sidewalk which Willie had cleared, and a chorus of blithe young voices rang out on the quiet air. "'Hark! Hark! Upon the frosty air of night A joyful anthem swells! A song of gladness and delight, The bells ring out with all their might, And echo o'er the fields, with snow all bright, The merry Christmas bells!" "It's a carol!"
All I could do was to set my teeth and edge towards the sidewalk. I got to the wall at last, set my back to it, and let the rout pour by, the Cossacks in full chase now, felling every straggler they overtook, even slashing at the dead and wounded as they rode over them. I started to run back, and the wild horsemen did not molest me.
Why, I've seen a drunk at the station-house, when I've been gettin' my order for a bed, stiffen up so 't the captain himself thought he was sober; and then I've followed him round here, wobblin' and corkscrewin' all over the sidewalk; and then I've seen him stiffen up in the office again, and go through his bath like a little man, and get into bed as drunk as a fish; and may be wake up in the night with the man with the poker after him, and make things hum.