Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/365

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XV
APPLE-BLOSSOMS AND WHITE MUSLIN

COCO, the snow-white cockatoo, on his perch high up in the roof dormer overlooking the court, is having the time of his life. To see and hear the better, he wobbles back and forth to the end of his wooden peg, steadying himself by his black beak, and then, straightening up, unfurls his yellow celery top of a crest and, with a quick toss of his head, shrieks out his delight.

He wants to know what it is all about, and I don’t blame him. No such hurrying and scurrying has been seen in the court-yard below since the morning the players came down from Paris and turned the sixteenth-century quadrangle into a stage-setting for an old-time comedy: new gravel is being raked and sifted over the open space; men on step-ladders are trimming up the vines and setting out plants on top of the kiosks; others are giving last touches to the tulip-beds and the fresh sod along the borders, while two women are scrubbing the chairs and tables under the arbors.

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