Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/138

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“It was a curious sight and an uncanny one—these silent black savages watching my advance. One man had thrown his arm around his wife, as if to protect her; she crouching close to him—both naked as the day they were born. I used the pair in a group I exhibited two or three years ago which bore the title, ‘They Have Eyes and See Not’—you may perhaps remember it. I wanted to express the instinctive recognition of the savage for what he feels dimly is to conquer him, and I tried as well to give something of the pathos of the surrender.

“There was no movement as I approached—no greeting—no placing of yams, coarse corn, and pieces of dried game and dried meat on the ground at their feet, especially the flesh of animals, in preparing which they are experts, a whole carcass being sometimes so dried. They only stared wonderstruck—absorbed in my appearance. Now and then, as I passed rapidly along so as to again reach my men before absolute darkness set in, I would stop and make the sign of peace. This they returned, showing me that their customs, and I hoped their language, was not unlike what I understood.

“When I was abreast of the middle of the