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“It is indeed amazing,” he continu cheap nike air max 1 ed; “and there are other extraordinary customs, among them the habit of mixing ices with all beverages. They plunge ices into mugs of ale, beer, porter, lemonade, or Apollinaris, and sip the mixture with a long ladle at the chemist’s counter, where it is usually served.”
“You surprise me!” exclaimed the cutler.
“You surprise me too!” I echoed in my inmost heart. Francesca would not have confined herself to that blameless mode of expression, you may be sure, and I was glad that she was on the back seat of the car. I did not know it at the time, bu nike air max 1 premium t Veritas, who is a man of intel nike air max 1 ligence, had identified her as an American, and wishing to inform himself on all possible points, had asked her frankly why it was that the people of her nation gave him the impression of never being restful or quiet, but always so excessively and abnormally quick in motion and speech and thought.
“Casual impressions are not worth any nike air max 1 sale thing,” she replied nonchalantly. “As a nation, you might sometimes give us the impression of being phlegmatic and slow-witted. Both ideas may have some basis of fact, yet not be absolutely true. We are not all abnormally quick in America. Look at our messenger boys, for example.”
“We! Phlegmatic and slow-witted!” exclaimed Veritas. “You surprise me! And why do you not reward these government messengers for speed, and stimulate them in that way?”
“We do,” Franc esca answered; “that is the only way in which we ever get them to arrive anywhere–by rewarding and stimulating them at both ends of the journey, and sometimes, in extreme cases, at a halfway station.”
“This is nike air max 1 sale most interesting,” said Veritas, as he took out his damp notebook; “and perhaps you can tell me why your newspapers are so poorly edited, so cheap, so sensational?”
“I confess I can’t explain it,” she sighed, as if sorely puzzled. “Can it be that we have expended our strength on magazines, where you are so lamentably weak?”
At this moment the rain began as if there had been a long drought and the sky had just determined to make up the deficiency. It fell in sheets, and the wind blew I know not how many Irish mil cheap air max 1 es an hour. The Frenchman put on a silk macintosh with a cape, and was berated by everybody in the same s air max 1 eat because he stood up a moment and let the water in under the lap covers. His umbrella was a dainty en-tout-cas with a mother-of-pearl handle, that had answered well enough in heavy mist or soft drizzle. His hat of fine straw was tied with a neat cord to his buttonhole; but although that precaution insured its ultimate safety, it did not prevent its soaring from his head and descending on Mrs. Shamrock’s bonnet. He conscientiously tried holding it on with one hand, but was then reproved by both neighbours because his macintosh dripped over them.
“How are your spirits, Frenchy?” asked the cutler jocosely.
“I am not too greatly sad,” said the poor gentleman, “but I will be glad it should be finished; far more joyfully would I be at Manchester, triste as it may be.”
Just then a gust of wind blew his cape over his head and sn nike air max 1 red apped his parasol.
“It is evidently it has been made in Ireland,” he sighed, with a desperate attempt nike air max 1 grey at gaiety. “It should have had a grosser stem, and helas! it must not be easy to have it mended in these barbarous veelages.”
We stopped at four o’clock at a wayside hostelry, and I had quietly made up my mind to descend from the car, and take rooms for the night, whatever the place might be. Unfortunately, the same idea occurred to three or four of the soaked travellers; and as men could leap down, while ladi es must wait for the steps, the chivalrous sex, their manners obscured by the circular tour system, secured the rooms, and I was obliged to ascend again, wetter than ever, to my perch beside the driver.
“Can I get the box seat, do you think, if I pay extra for it?” I had asked one of the stablemen before breakfast.
“You don’t need to be payin’, miss! Just confront the driver, and you’ll get it aisy!” If, by the way, I had confronted him at the end instead of at the beginning of the journey, my charms certainly would not have been all-powerful, for my coat had been leaked upon by red and green umbrellas, my hat was a shapeless jelly, and my face imprinted with the spots from a drenched blue veil.
After two hours more of this we reached the Shan Van Vocht Hotel, where we had engaged apartments; but we found to our constern nike air max 1 ebay ation that it was full, and that we had been put in lodgings a half-mile away.
Salemina, whose patience was quite exhausted by the discomforts of the day, groaned aloud when we were deposited at the door of a village shop, and ushered upstairs to our tiny quarters; but she ceased abruptly when she really took note of our surroundings. Everything was humble, but clean and shining–glass, crockery, bedding, floor, on the which we were dripping pools of water, while our landlady’s daughter tried to make us more comfortable.
“It’s a soft night we’re havin’,” she said, in a dove’s voice, “but we’ll do right enough if the win’ doesn’t rise up on us.”
Left to ourselves, we walked about the wee rooms on ever new and more joyful voyages of discovery. The curtains rolled up and down easily; the windows were propped upon nice clean nike air max 1 black sticks instead of tennis rackets and hearth brushes; there was a well-washed stone to keep the curtain down on the sill; and just outside were tiny window gardens, in each of which grew three marigolds and three asters, in a box fenced about with little green pickets. There were well-dusted books on the tables, and Francesca wanted to sit down immediately to The Charming Cora, reprinted from The Girl’s Own Paper. Salemina meantime had tempted fate by looking under the bed, where she found the floor so exquisitely neat that she patted it affectionately with her hand.
We had scarcely donned our dry clothing when the hotel proprietor sent a jaunting-car for our drive to the seven-o’clock table d’hote dinner. We carefully avoided our travelling companions that night, but learned the next morning that the Frenchman had slept nike air max 1 leopard on four chairs, and rejected the hotel coffee with the remark that it was not ‘veritable’–a criticism in which he was quite justified. Our comparative Englishman had occupied a cot in a room where the tin bathtubs were kept. He was writing to The Times at the moment of telling me his woes, and, without seeing the letter, I could divine his impassioned advice never to travel in the west of Ireland in rainy weather. He remarked (as if quoting from his own communication) that the scenery was magnificent, but that there was an entirely insufficient supply of hot water; that the waiters had the appearance of being low comedians, and their service was of the character one might expect from that description; that he had been talking before breakfast with a German gentleman, who had sat on a wall opposite the village of Dugort, in the island of Achill, from six o’clock in the morning until nine, and in that time he had seen coming out of an Irish hut three geese, eight goslings, six hens, fifteen chickens, two pigs, two cows, two barefooted girls, the master of the house leading a horse, three small children carrying cloth bags filled with school-books, and finally a strapping mother leading a donkey loaded with peat-baskets; that all this poverty and ignorance and indolence and filth was spoiling his holiday; and finally, that if he should be as greatly disappointed in the fishing as he had been in the hotel accommodations–here we almost fainted from suspense–he should be obliged to go home! And not only that, but he should feel it his duty to warn others of what they might expect.
“Perhaps you are justified,” said Francesca sympathetically. “People who are used to the dry, sunny climate and the clear atmosphere of London ought not to expose themselves to Irish rain without due consideration.”
He agreed with her, glancing over his spectacles to see if she by any possibility could be amusing herself at his expense–good, old, fussy, fault-finding Veritas; but indeed Francesca’s eyes were so soft and lovely and honest that the more he looked at her, the less he could do her the injustice of suspecting her sincerity.
But mind you, although I would never confess it to Veritas, because he sees nothing but flaws on every side, the Irish pig is, to my taste, a trifle too much in the foreground. He pays the rent, no doubt; but this magnificent achievement could be managed from a sty in the rear, ungrateful as it might seem to immure so useful a personage behind a door or conceal his virtues from the public at large.
Chapter 24 Humours Of The Road
‘Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose,
Breasts the keen air, and carols as he goes.’
Oli123ver Goldsmith. ③

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