He was a devil, everyone agreed, a tartar, a tyrant, a bawling, blasphemous, uncharitable dog. And at that distance, peacefully eating, the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow. Once I halted in the street and counted the factory chimneys I could see; there were thirty-three of them, but there would have been far more if the air had not been obscured by smoke.
Secondly, does it matter. At each step his muscles slid neatly into place, the lock of hair on his scalp danced up and down, his feet printed themselves on the wet gravel.
The Burmese sub-inspector and some Indian constables were waiting for me in the quarter where the elephant had been seen. Ennui clogged our souls like cold mutton fat. You begin to wonder whether you will ever get to the end—still more, how on earth you are going to get back.
All were flabby and discoloured, as all tramps are under their deceptive sunburn.
In Coventry you might as well be in Finsbury Park, and the Bull Ring in Birmingham is not unlike Norwich Market, and between all the towns of the Midlands there stretches a villa-civilization indistinguishable from that of the South. But the real reason why I should not like to be in the book trade for life is that while I was in it I lost my love of books.
It was a high, reiterated cry of "Ram.
It came bounding among us with a loud volley of barks, and leapt round us wagging its whole body, wild with glee at finding so many human beings together. The convicts, under the command of warders armed with lathis, were already receiving their breakfast. I watched him beating his bunch of grass against his knees, with that preoccupied grandmotherly air that elephants have.
One scene especially lingers in my mind.
It was the invariable spike meal, always the same, whether breakfast, dinner or supper—half a pound of bread, a bit of margarine, and a pint of so-called tea. The other is the person who orders large quantities of books for which he has not the smallest intention of paying.
I believe, though, that the writers are more to blame here than the readers. At the bottom, when you got away from the huts, there was a metalled road and beyond that a miry waste of paddy fields a thousand yards across, not yet ploughed but soggy from the first rains and dotted with coarse grass.
For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him.
Where it is 'difficult getting', however, it has also to be loosened with explosives. It took us five minutes to gulp down the cheap, noxious food.
There was a loud, scandalized cry of "Go away, child. When you crawl out at the bottom you are perhaps four hundred yards underground. I let go of the dog, and it galloped immediately to the back of the gallows; but when it got there it stopped short, barked, and then retreated into a corner of the yard, where it stood among the weeds, looking timorously out at us.
To the left an interminable vista of factory chimneys, chimney beyond chimney, fading away into a dim blackish haze.
It iss not always so—oah, no.
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King Arthur's messianic return is an aspect of the legend of King Arthur, the mythical 6th-century British king. Few historical records of Arthur remain, and there are doubts that he ever existed, but he achieved a mythological stature that gave rise to a growing literature about his life and deeds.
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