Would you believe it," he added, addressing himself to Letta, "that wild animals frequently give us great trouble? Whenever a wild pig, a tiger, or a buffalo, takes it into his head to scratch himself, he uses one of our telegraph-posts if he finds it handy.
Robertson nodded to his fireman, for Heysham had told him the story, and presently the vibration grew yet sharper. The gaunt telegraph-posts no longer swept past in endless files, but reeled toward us under the fan-shaped blaze huddled all together in a fantastic dance, while willow bluffs leaped up out of the whiteness and vanished again as by magic into the dim prairie.
I looked at the telegraph-posts, about which clouds of dust were whirling, and at the sleepy birds sitting on the wires, and I suddenly felt so dreary that I began to cry. A dusty wagonette crammed full of townspeople, probably going to visit the shrine, drove by along the main road. The wagonette was hardly out of sight when a light chaise with a pair of horses came into view.
The substantial works of the Goncalo-Machico highway, the telegraph-posts, and the yellow-green lines of sugar-cane, were the only changes I could detect in Eastern Madeira. Nothing more charming than the variety and contrast of colours after the rusty-brown raiment which Southern Europe dons in mid-December.
Here the purchase received a very disagreeable cut on the neck that interrupted her speculations as to the nature of the shadows of telegraph-posts. To have bought two useless horses in four months was pretty average bad luck. It was also pretty bad luck to have been born a fool. Reflection here became merged in the shapeless and futile fumings of a man badly in love and preposterously jealous.
In that treeless land the oven-birds look on telegraph-posts as specially provided by a benign Providence to afford them eligible nesting-sites, and from some perversity of instinct, or perhaps attracted by the gleam of the white earthenware, they invariably select one of the porcelain insulators as the site of their future home, and proceed to coat it laboriously with clay, thus effectually destroying the insulation.
Presently a red star appeared, about the height and brightness of a danger signal, and with that my simile was changed; we seemed rather to skirt the embankment of a railway, and the eye began to look instinctively for the telegraph-posts, and the ear to expect the coming of a train. Here and there, but rarely, faint tree-tops broke the level.
The Palestine Exploration Fund sent him with another officer to conduct topographical and antiquarian investigations in a country where practical exertions are always relieved against a curiously incongruous background as if they were setting up telegraph-posts through the Garden of Eden or opening a railway station at the New Jerusalem.
The lama flinched a little as the telegraph-posts swung by. 'Great is the speed of the te-rain, said the banker, with a patronizing grin. 'We have gone farther since Lahore than thou couldst walk in two days: at even, we shall enter Umballa. 'And that is still far from Benares, said the lama wearily, mumbling over the cakes that Kim offered.
Far ahead they could just see the windmills of the village of Mirousky, to the right stretched away to disappear behind the village a line of hills, and they knew that it was the bank of the river; meadows, green willows, farmhouses; and from one of the hills there could be seen a field as endless, telegraph-posts, and the train, looking from a distance like a crawling caterpillar, and in clear weather even the town.