Excerpt from The Wilderness
On another wall hung a framed memorial card of the immortal Nelson; and on a little table in a corner stood the bellman's tool of trade, his big brass bell, placed there at the request of the dying man by the hands of Cherry, and daily polished.
The window of the little room was Open, so that the scent of verbena and rosemary could enter, and through it also came the sounds of the outer work-a-day world, with which henceforth he would have nothing in common. The firewood man came down the narrow street, roared, and went on; the sweep hooted his melancholy way past the house; and John Chinaman, dumping his pendulous baskets at the garden gate, offered his vegetables for sale.
Then at the top of the street the Colonel appeared, no longer in uniform, but still trim and debonair, tap-hatted, gloved, carrying his malacca cane as if it were a sword.
The scant grey hair with its exact back parting, the drooping yellow-grey moustache, the wrinkled skin of his face told a tale of many years; yet he was as straight as a reed, and walked with the suggestion of a swagger, antedated.
Arriving at the gate he poked the Chinaman's obstruct ing baskets with an air of out of the way, rascal! In his fine handling of the clouded cane. John hastened to depart, leaving Cherry still undecided between cabbage - a vegetable without character, but cheap - and green peas, more appetizing, but making a heavier demand on the housewife's purse.
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