When the old Pastor entered, late in the afternoon, the Christmas-tree was twinkling with lights, the children swarming and buzzing all over the place, so that he was dazed for a moment. There were Walter's mother and his aunt and his sisters-in-law, boys and girls of various sizes, and a jubilant and entrancing baby. The Pastor took it all in, and was glad of it, but his mind was on the Hero.
Our great black steamer threaded her way between men-of-war, sail-boats, and all sorts of shipping, and if there were a thousand lights twinkling in the water there were a million from the city. It lies on a series of hills curved out like a monster amphitheatre, and it stretches all the way around. I looked up into the heavens, and it seemed to me that I never had seen so many stars in my life.
And presently from the loom of trees I espied a twinkling light that upon our nearer approach I saw proceeded from a wayside inn with a great trough of water before it and a signboard whereon, though evening was falling apace, I could make out the legend
The tall man had the shaft to his ear in a twinkling, and loosed straightway, and nocked and loosed another shaft without staying to note how the first had sped.
"Then Johnstone and the detective stopped laughing, and lifted the cage. The man in the well threw the leg across the cellar, and turned swiftly to go down into the well; but the officers were too quick for him, and had him out in a twinkling.
It was plain, therefore, that he must be some other sort of hero, and so he evolved the brilliant satire of "The Funeral," to "enliven his character, and repel the sarcasms of those who abused him for his declarations relative to religion." In the twinkling of an eye Steele became the spoiled darling of the day.
The feminine screams of exultation rose high above the yells of the men, helping not a little to the recklessness with which the latter bore onward. Woe to such in their way as were poorly mounted. In a twinkling they were ridden down. Nor did those fare better who were overtaken struggling with a string of camels.
"Why, where should I put a pile of wood or a basket? There's no room for things to lie round here; you have to hang everything up!" was Miss Craydocke's answer, quick as a flash, her eyes twinkling comically with appreciation of the fun.
Therefore I began to whistle as nearly as I could remember the same familiar airs that had pleased the mountaineers of the Sierra. They at once stopped eating, stood erect, and listened patiently until I came to "Old Hundredth," when with ludicrous haste every one of them rushed to their holes and bolted in, their feet twinkling in the air for a moment as they vanished.
Rosy was now in the full tide of success. The edge of the wedge had been set with singular acumen, and the two or three smart blows that followed had opened up society to her in a twinkling. She had appeared at a few of the best houses, and had at once entered upon a vogue. Her mirror was always full of cards, her cards were always full of names, and her own name was always filling the newspapers.