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Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion              277
land on both sides — low hills that might have been green and grassy, but had a faded look instead. How­ever, the land-locked water was lovely, at any rate, with its glittering belts of blue and green where moder­ate soundings were, and its broad splotches of rich brown where the rocks lay near the surface. Every­body was feeling so well that even the grave, pale young man (who, by a sort of kindly common consent, had come latterly to be referred to as " The Ass ") received frequent and friendly notice — which was right enough, for there was no harm in him.
At last we steamed between two island points whose rocky jaws allowed only just enough room for the vessel's body, and now before us loomed Hamilton on her clustered hillsides and summits, the whitest mass of terraced architecture that exists in the world, perhaps.
It was Sunday afternoon, and on the pier were gathered one or two hundred Bermudians, half of them black, half of them white, and all of them nobbily dressed, as the poet says.
Several boats came off to the ship, bringing citizens. One of these citizens was a faded, diminutive old gentleman, who approached our most ancient passen­ger with a childlike joy in his twinkling eyes, halted before him, folded his arms, and said, smiling with all his might and with all the simple delight that was in him, '■' You don't know me, John! Come, out with it now; you know you don't!"
The ancient passenger scanned him perplexedly, scanned the napless, threadbare costume of venerable fashion that had done Sunday service no man knows how many years, contemplated the marvelous stove­pipe hat of still more ancient and venerable pattern, with its poor pathetic old stiff brim canted up " gal-lusly " in the wrong places, and said, with a hesitation that indicated strong internal effort to "place" the