O’er the moldering stern of the old canoe.
The sight of the Barracks gave the men's steps a new swing and spring. After three weeks of sleeping in safety-suits; of breathing, sweating, drinking, eating and excreting through germ-barrier valves and tubing, the prospect of stripping off the plastic battle-dress was seductive. Inside that eight stories of windowless, doorless stone were gardens where the troopers could walk barefoot on the grass, pools whose water could splash their naked skin. In the Barracks were the three hundred Service Company women who made the big stone box home to their three thousand men.
And the copter took off again with Ganti and Jorgenson clothed and with an adequate supply of stones in improvised pockets in their garments.
What a perfect disguise a safety-suit made, Hartford thought. Besides, it was the only passport a man needed to enter the Barracks. He stared at the stranger. He looked no different to men Hartford had met before, Axenites whose grandparents had been born by aseptic Caesarian section in Nagoya or Canton, two of the great gnotobiotic centers of fifty years ago. Renkei was a Stinker, a Kansan, an Indigenous Hominid (ignominious name!); he was also, Hartford felt, a man.
“‘Ah! dame Foljambe,’ said an old husbandman, whose hair was whitened by acquaintance with seventy winters, ‘it’s a sore and a sad sight to look at that fair tower and see no smoke ascending. I remember it in a brighter day, when many a fair face gazed out at the windows, and many a gallant form appeared at the gate. Then were the days when the husbandman could live,——could whistle as he sowed, dance and sing as he reaped, and could pay his rent in fatted oxen to my lord and in fatted fowls to my lady. Ah! dame Foljambe, we remember when men could cast their lines in the Wye; could feast on the red deer and the fallow deer, on the plover and the ptarmigan; had right of the common for their flocks, of the flood for their nets, and of the air for their harquebuss. Ah! dame, old England is no more the old England it was, than that hall, dark and silent and desolate, is the proud hall that held Sir George Vernon, the King of the Peak, and his two lovely daughters, Margaret and Dora. Those were days, dame; those were days!’ And as he ceased, he looked up to the tower, with an eye of sorrow, and shook and smoothed down his white hairs.
“Me brikfust in a hurry Delia” ses he. “Whats the joke Johnny” ses he to his larfing brother.
Waring felt, with a certain discomfiture, which was comic, yet annoying, like one who has been suddenly pulled up with a good deal of “way” on him, and stops himself with difficulty—“a branch of the old Dorias,” he went on, having these words in his very mouth; and then, after a precipitate pause, “Eh? Oh, everybody is——? Yes, I know. They always do at this time of the year.”
The moon is up at midnight hour,详情 ➢
Copyright © 2020