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Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion             295
the side of his nose, spread the gaunt fingers wide in triumph, and dropped back dead. That picture sticks by me yet. The " situation " is unique.
The next morning, at what seemed a very early hour, the little white table-waiter appeared suddenly in my room and shot a single word out of himself: " Break­fast !''
This was a remarkable boy in many ways. He was about eleven years old ; he had alert, intent black eyes ; he was quick of movement; there was no hesitation, no uncertainty about him anywhere; there was a mili­tary decision in his lip, his manner, his speech, that was an astonishing thing to see in a little chap like him; he wasted no words; his answers always came so quick and brief that they seemed to be part of the question that had been asked instead of a reply to it. When he stood at table with his fly-brush, rigid, erect, his face set in a cast-iron gravity, he was a statue till he detected a dawning want in somebody's eye; then he pounced down, supplied it, and was instantly a statue again. When he was sent to the kitchen for anything, he marched upright till he got to the door; he turned hand-springs the rest of the way.
'' Breakfast!''
I thought I would make one more effort to get some conversation out of this being.
" Have you called the Reverend, or are—"
"Yes s'r!"
"Is it early, or is—"
"Do you have to do all the 'chores,' or is there somebody to give you a—"
"Colored girl."
" Is there only one parish in this island, or are there—"