It was to me a strange and interesting sight and, not only on this particular Sunday but afterward, almost every day I was in the city, in fact, I spent some time studying this procession, noting the different figures and the different types of which it was made up. It was at this gate that I observed one day a peasant woman haggling with the customs officer over the tax she was to pay for the privilege of bringing her produce to town. She was barefoot and travel-stained and had evidently come some distance, carrying her little stock of fruit and vegetables in a sack slung across her back. It seemed, however, that she had hidden, in the bottom of the sack, a few pounds of nuts, covering them over with fruit and vegetables. Something in her manner, I suppose, betrayed her, for the customs officer insisted on thrusting his hand down to the very bottom of the little sack and brought up triumphantly, at last, a little handful of the smuggled nuts. I could not understand what the woman said, but I could not mistake the pleading expression with which she begged the officer to let her and her little produce through because, as she indicated, showing him her empty palms, she did not have money enough to pay all that he demanded.
Both Amos and Jack stood there watching most anxiously. Those shouts were so insistent, and the clamor so dreadful that they could be easily pardoned for feeling more or less nervousness. If, after all, the Turks swept irresistibly forward and carried the trenches of the Territorials, what the result might be no one could more than guess.
Our stay in Edinburgh with Bishop Hay, and our journey to Boulogne and thence to Father Innes, of the Scots College in Paris, with whom we lodged for three weeks, produced nothing of interest; indeed, we did not fall in with much I can now recall until we drove into Marseilles and were there lodged in the house of the Benedictins.
Then Father O'Rourke spake in a voice as gentle as if he comforted a woman. "Your Highness, when we were children, the story we loved best to hear was the one our mother never told us—about 'The Little Red Hen.' Who 'The Little Red Hen' was, or where she came from, or what she did, we never could learn. She was just 'The Little Red Hen,' and had no story at all. But her story which no one ever heard was better than that of 'Brian Boru,' or 'Malachi of the Collar of Gold,' or 'Rookey the Water Witch,' any of whom would come out without much coaxing and parade up and down until we knew them through and through, while the very name of 'The Little Red Hen' would quiet the biggest trouble that ever broke our hearts. My own belief is that she stayed at home and kept the breath of life in the family by laying her eggs and scratching up food for the chickens; but wherever she was, there was no cackling to lead us to her. She was just doing her work, helping the tired hearts and healing the sore ones, and all these years no one ever set eyes on her, more than on the dew that falls at night on the thirsty land."
The commandant at New Madrid, by whom the pursuit was ordered and before whom the captives were tried, evidently did not understand English, which was the only language spoken by nearly all the persons who appeared before him. Questions and answers were transmitted through an official interpreter.
The room itself was apparently bare and empty of all furniture. There was neither a bench nor a table, so far as I could see, in any part of the room. It seems that, without any
of him—and that he is but little better than a border ruffian."详情 ➢
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