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290              Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion
At this point we observed that an English flag had just been placed at half-mast on a building a hundred yards away. I and my friends were busy in an instant trying to imagine whose death, among the island dig­nitaries, could command such a mark of respect as this. Then a shudder shook them and me at the- same moment, and I knew that we had jumped to one and the same conclusion: "The governor has gone to England; it is for the British admiral!"
At this moment Mr. Smith noticed the flag. He said with emotion:
"That's on a boarding-house. I judge there's a boarder dead."
A dozen other flags within view went to half-mast.
" It's a boarder, sure," said Smith.
"But would they half-mast the flags here for a boarder, Mr. Smith?"
" Why, certainly they would, if he was dead."
That seemed to size the country again.
The early twilight of a Sunday evening in Hamilton, Bermuda, is an alluring time. There is just enough of whispering breeze, fragrance of flowers, and sense of repose to raise one's thoughts heavenward; and just enough amateur piano music to keep him reminded of the other place. There are many venerable pianos in Hamilton, and they all play at twilight. Age enlarges and enriches the powers of some musical instruments — notably those of the violin — but it seems to set a piano's teeth on edge. Most of the music in vogue there is the same that those pianos prattled in their in­nocent infancy; and there is something very pathetic