If the elephant charged and I missed him, I should have about as much chance as a toad under a steam-roller. Actually they, snatch a quarter of an hour or so at some time during the shift to eat the food they have brought with them, usually a hunk of bread and dripping and a bottle of cold tea.
A dreadful thing had happened—a dog, come goodness knows whence, had appeared in the yard. To occupy the time I talked with a rather superior tramp, a young carpenter who wore a collar and tie, and was on the road, he said, for lack of a set of tools.
The gallows stood in a small yard, separate from the main grounds of the prison, and overgrown with tall prickly weeds. The Tramp Major give me back my box of fag ends when we come out this morning. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open.
And at that he changed his tune immediately. I do not believe that there is anything inherently and unavoidably ugly about industrialism. Il Candido To my deere friend M. He Good books for english essays clumsily with his bound arms, but quite steadily, with that bobbing gait of the Indian who never straightens his knees.
For all the arts of peace coal is needed; if war breaks out it is needed all the more. William and, Fred, two young, ex-fishermen from Norfolk, sang a sad song about Unhappy Bella, who was betrayed and died in the snow. I had no intention of shooting the elephant—I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary—and it is always unnerving to have a crowd following you.
A miner puts his head down and runs, with a long swinging stride, through places where I can only stagger.
There was a clanking noise, and then dead silence. He greeted us with a servile crouch as we entered. He kept a little aloof from the other tramps, and held himself more like a free man than a casual.
If the famous Ficinus were so faulty, who may hope to scape foot-free. You can hardly tell by the look of them whether they are young or old. I waited a long time for him to die, but his breathing did not weaken. Before I had been down a mine I had vaguely imagined the miner stepping out of the cage and getting to work on a ledge of coal a few yards away.
Lawrence, whose short stories are as popular as his novels. In a big mine it is carrying away several tons of coal every minute. And another—the publishers get into a stew about this every two or three years—is the unpopularity of short stories. 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.
So was hee to mee in this bundle of riddles an understanding Oedipus, in this perilous-crook't passage a monster-quelling Theseus or Hercules: Then let none say I flatter, when I forbeare not to tell all. Besides, there was the beast's owner to be considered.
It was a high, reiterated cry of "Ram. And made him now as free, as if borne here, And as well ours as theirs, who may be proud That he is theirs, though he he be every where To have the franchise of his worth allow'd. Coal lies in thin seams between enormous layers of rock, so that essentially the process of getting it out is like scooping the central layer from a Neapolitan ice.
And while I did so my follow tramps were sitting two hundred yards away in the spike, their bellies half filled with the spike dinner of the everlasting bread and tea, and perhaps two cold boiled potatoes each in honour of Sunday. You will scarcely credit, sir, that it took six warders to dislodge him, three pulling at each leg.
We stood shivering naked to the waist in two long ranks in the passage. When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick—one never does when a shot goes home—but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. We all began laughing again.
There was nothing to talk about except the petty gossip of the road, the good and bad spikes, the charitable and uncharitable counties, the iniquities of the police and the Salvation Army. No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress.
Then I spent the rest of the morning doing homework. It is only very rarely, when I make a definite mental-effort, that I connect this coal with that far-off labour in the mines.
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