Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/282

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bunch of grapes were served when the sun was hot.

“It was now quite dark, and my guide had some difficulty in getting his fingers on the latch of the garden gate. When it swung open I followed up a short path and found myself in a square room which was lighted by a single lamp. Under this sat another oily Italian, in his shirt-sleeves, eating from an earthen bowl. Not a picturesque-looking chap at all, but a fat, swarthy lump of a man with small, restless eyes, stub nose, and flabby lips—one of those fellows you think is fast asleep until you catch him studying you from under his eyebrows, and begin to look out for his knife. The only other occupant of the room was a woman who was filling his glass from a straw-covered flask—a thin, flat-bosomed woman who stooped when she walked, and who sneaked a glance at me now and then from one side of her nose. I might better have slept in the slant and bunked in with the goats.

“My guide bent down and whispered a word in his ear; the man jumped up—looked me all over—a boring, sizing-up look—like a farmer guessing the weight of a steer—bowed grandiloquently, and with an upward flourish of his