Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/25

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Arms you knew on the Thames, with its swinging sign, horse-block, and the rest of it; nor the queer sixteenth-century tavern in that Dutch town on the Maas, with its high wainscoting, leaded window-panes, and porcelain stove set out with pewter flagons—not that kind of an inn at all.

This one bolsters up one corner of a quaint little town in Normandy; is faced by walls of sombre gray stone loop-holed with slits of windows, topped by a row of dormers, with here and there a chimney, and covers an area as large as a city block, the only break in its monotony being an arched gate-way in which swing a pair of big iron-bound doors. These are always open, giving the passer-by a glimpse of the court within.

You will be disappointed, of course, when you drive up to it on a summer’s day. You will think it some public building supported by the State—a hospital or orphan asylum—and, tourist-like, will search for the legend deep cut in the key-stone of the archway to reassure yourself of its identity. Nobody can blame you—hundreds have made that same mistake, I among them.

But don’t lose heart—keep on through the