He was a tallish man, aged about thirty-five, with fair hair going grizzled and watery blue eyes. His features were good, but his cheeks had lanked and had that greyish, dirty in the grain look that comes of a bread and margarine diet. He was dressed, rather better than most tramps, in a tweed shooting-jacket and a pair of old evening trousers with the braid still on them. Evidently the braid figured in his mind as a lingering scrap of respectability, and he took care to sew it on again when it came loose. He was careful of his appearance altogether, and carried a razor and bootbrush that he would not sell, though he had sold his ‘papers’ and even his pocket-knife long since. Nevertheless, one would have known him for a tramp a hundred yards away. There was something in his drifting style of walk, and the way he had of hunching his shoulders forward, essentially abject. Seeing him walk, you felt instinctively that he would sooner take a blow than give one.
The tremendous noise made by the roaring of the wind in the rigging, and the washing of the sea over the deck, prevented us from hearing what was said, except during momentary lulls. In one of these, we all distinctly heard the mate tell one of the men to “go forward, have an eye upon them, for he wanted no such secret doings on board the brig.” It was well for us that the pitching of the vessel at this moment was so violent as to prevent this order from being carried into instant execution. The cook got up from his mattress to go for us, when a tremendous lurch, which I thought would carry away the masts, threw him headlong against one of the larboard stateroom doors, bursting it open, and creating a good deal of other confusion. Luckily, neither of our party was thrown from his position, and we had time to make a precipitate retreat to the forecastle, and arrange a hurried plan of action before the messenger made his appearance, or rather before he put his head out of the companion-hatch, for he did not come on deck. From this station he could not notice the absence of Allen, and he accordingly bawled out, as if to him, repeating the orders of the mate. Peters cried out, “Ay, ay,” in a disguised voice, and the cook immediately went below, without entertaining a suspicion that all was not right.
“Of course she had glasses! No girl who plays a tricky game like this one is going to go about unprepared. It would be like a gangster without a gun.”
“Well then why won’t you work with me? Your affection, your brightness, your faith — to say nothing of your matchless beauty — would be everything to me.”
"You know what I mean."
And on the morrow comes an awful hour of reckoning. The editor in chief misses from his own paper a bit of Washington political news that some other paper had printed. He speaks to the managing editor about it, and the managing editor knowing that the news was in the office and was not printed, damns the copy reader for throwing it away. The city editor who had gone home with visions of two fine fat news features each of an embellished column in length finds in their place two emaciated paragraphs containing naught but cold news facts with no juice in them—he damns the copy readers. The reporters who wrote the column stories, reduced to shreds, surcharge the place with spectacular profanity and damn the copy readers. The men who wrote twelve dollars worth of stuff at space rates and had it cut down to three dollars worth, damn the copy readers. The reporters who wrote reams of routine stuff that did not appear at all, damn the copy readers. Everybody damns the copy readers!
“That is a group of tannery buildings,” explained Ned as they jogged on toward it. “Years ago, in the days of the sailing ships, when California and Lower California were first opened up, hides were collected inland and dragged to that cliff, where they were thrown down below, still in a raw state. Then, while the ships went on up the coast, a picked crew of sailors remained here, curing the hides and storing them until the ship returned and picked them up.”
“Maybe, but holy hoofs, what’s this kid doing it for?”
"Make them promise, mother----"详情 ➢
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