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278              Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion
gentle old apparition, " Why......let me see......
plague on it......there's something about you that I've been gone from Ber­muda for twenty-seven years, and......hum, hum
......I don't seem to get at it, somehow, but there's
something about you that is just as familiar to me as—"
"Likely it might be his hat," murmured the Ass, with innocent, sympathetic interest.
So the Reverend and I had at last arrived at Hamil­ton, the principal town in the Bermuda Islands. A wonderfully white town; white as snow itself. White as marble; white as flour. Yet looking like none of these, exactly. Never mind, we said; we shall hit upon a figure by and by that will describe this peculiar white.
It was a town that was compacted together upon the sides and tops of a cluster of small hills. Its outlying borders fringed off and thinned away among the cedar forests, and there was no woody distance of curving coast, or leafy islet sleeping upon the dimpled, painted sea, but was flecked with shining white points — half-concealed houses peeping out of the foliage. The architecture of the town was mainly Spanish, inherited from the colonists of two hundred and fifty years ago. Some ragged-topped cocoa-palms, glimpsed here and there, gave the land a tropical aspect.
There was an ample pier of heavy masonry; upon this, under shelter, were some thousands of barrels con­taining that product which has carried the fame of Ber­muda to many lands, the potato. With here and there