I used to go for a holiday to see him sometimes down in Surrey, and he would say that there was nothing like having a good sow and a lot of young pigs coming on, different sizes, in your styes, for they ate up all the refuse and got fat, and you'd always something to fall back on for your rent, besides having a nice bit of bacon in the rack for home use.
Thus did they converse, and presently the swineherds came up with the pigs, which were then shut up for the night in their styes, and a tremendous squealing they made as they were being driven into them. But Eumaeus called to his men and said, "Bring in the best pig you have, that I may sacrifice him for this stranger, and we will take toll of him ourselves.
But he had to do dirty work for the cook, clean out the styes of the captain's pigs, swab the lower deck, sometimes descend on errands for one or other to the nauseous hold. Perhaps the badness of the food was the worst evil to a boy accustomed to plain but good country fare. The burgoo or oatmeal gruel served at breakfast made him sick; he knew how it had been made in the cook's dirty pans.
And before Sigurd could put out his hand to detain him Olaf had bounded up the rocks, and was soon lost to sight. On the next morning, as the red sun rose above the mist capped hills of Rathsdale, Olaf was at work among his master's swine, cleaning out the styes and filling them with new straw.
The buildings, sheds, and styes for domestic food-producing animals are removed a short distance from the city, and are also under the supervision of the sanitary officer; the food and water supplied for these animals comes equally, with human food, under proper inspection.
We next visited the pigs, of which she possessed about a dozen in three separate styes. These are fed only upon grain and the kitchen wash supplied from hotels; but she assured me that the disgusting story I had heard at Nice was true. There are certain pork-rearing establishments in the department at which carrion is purchased and boiled down for fattening pigs.
Within the fence were twelve styes, and in each stye were fifty sows with their young. The boars had their quarters outside the enclosure, and their number had been greatly diminished by the constant demand for hog's flesh among the suitors. Still, they reached the formidable total of three hundred and fifty a noisy and ravenous multitude.
Terrence, that reminds me don't forget our pets," cried Nellie, who had steadily declined to speak of them as "live stock." "All right, missis. It's lookin' after them I am this minnit." The Irishman ran, as he spoke, to the styes and hutches where the pigs and rabbits were kept and opened the doors.
"There's Kate," he said; "she's a good cow; as good a cow as we have, and we can't get any price for her because of that hump on her back." They went to the styes; there were three pigs there and a great sow with twelve little bonhams, and the little ones were white with silky hair, and Peter asked how old they were, and when they would be fit for killing.
The stuccoed walls look very clean in the distance, but near to, the filth of the streets modifies one's admiration. A small French town generally reminds one of the outhouses and styes of a farm. The air is diffuse with the scent of manure. England, with all thy drainage system, I love thee still!