The mule seemed to squat down, when the bullet hit the top of his ear, then he brayed so loud that it would raise your hat right off your head, then he jumped into the air and whirled around and kicked in every direction with all four feet at once, fell down and rolled over towards the chaplain, and got up, and seeming to think the chaplain was the author of the misery, started for him, and that good man dodged behind trees until he got a chance to climb up one, which he did, and sat on a limb and shook his fist at the mule and me.
Agathemer roused the fire and piled more wood on it. There were no less than seven tripods lying about the floor of the cabin, but all roughly made and of the squat, short-legged pattern which holds a pot barely clear of a low bed of coals; not one was fit to hold a cauldron over a newly made deep fire of half-caught wood.
The central figure is a dancing girl, only partly draped, balancing a sword on her head, while a brilliant green veil flies from head and face. Other Oriental women squat upon the floor watching her with a half indolent expression, while their Oriental masters and their friends sit in pomp at one side, absorbed in the dance and in the girl.
The chief's hut, in which the white guests were feasted, was of course larger and somewhat better in construction than the others. Its floor, composed of hard-beaten clay, was covered with matting, clean pieces of which were spread for the visitors to squat upon, for there were no chairs, stools, or tables.
The glow of the house came from a leaping, jolly fire in a big stone fire-place, and from half a dozen squat candles set in brackets around the walls. It was the one lovely room that Eric had ever seen. It was so large that he knew it must occupy the whole of the little house. But in spite of all the brightness, the comers were dim and far.
He saw Jumper the Hare squat down under a low-hanging branch of a hemlock-tree and prepare to take a nap. He heard Drummer the Woodpecker at work drilling after worms in a tree not far away. Little by little Lightfoot grew easy in his mind. It must be that that hunter had become discouraged and was no longer following him.
It seemed a harmless place now, with only one squat building of stone and no Orconites about, but we were glad enough to turn away from it and look toward the dark and ragged range of mountains which loomed up some five miles inland the mountains of Leider's headquarters. Not that the sight inspired us with greater confidence. It didn't.
"Oh! to think of the tears, the dolorous murmurs of those thick partitions, those smoky vaults, those arches resting on squat pillars, those almost speechless blocks of stone, those sober ornaments expressing their symbolism so curtly!
And finally it would be armed with squat, deadly atomic missiles that no nation could possibly defy. And so this Space Platform would keep peace on Earth. But it could not make good will among men. Sally walked on. They reached the mysterious objects being manufactured in a row around half the sidewall of the Shed. They were of simple design and, by comparison, not unduly large.
The chastened bows that had been squat, dowdy, spiritless, were given tweaks, flirts, bracing little pokes and dabs, till, acknowledging a master hand, they stood up, piquant, pert, smart, alert! The short white cotton gloves that called attention to the tanned wrists and arms were stripped off and put in her own pocket.