American Notes By Rudyard Kipling

 -   The maidens were of generous build,
large, well groomed, and attired in raiment that even to my
inexperienced eyes must - Page 14
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The Maidens Were Of Generous Build, Large, Well Groomed, And Attired In Raiment That Even To My Inexperienced Eyes Must Have Cost Much.

Cairn Street at nine o'clock levels all distinctions of rank as impartially as the grave.

Again and again I loitered at the heels of a couple of resplendent beings, only to overhear, when I expected the level voice of culture, the staccato "Sez he," "Sez I" that is the mark of the white servant-girl all the world over.

This was depressing because, in spite of all that goes to the contrary, fine feathers ought to make fine birds. There was wealth - unlimited wealth - in the streets, but not an accent that would not have been dear at fifty cents. Where-fore, revolving in my mind that these folk were barbarians, I was presently enlightened and made aware that they also were the heirs of all the ages, and civilized after all. There appeared before me an affable stranger of prepossessing appearance, with a blue and an innocent eye. Addressing me by name, he claimed to have met me in New York, at the Windsor, and to this claim I gave a qualified assent. I did not remember the fact, but since he was so certain of it, why, then - I waited developments.

"And what did you think of Indiana when you came through?" was the next question.

It revealed the mystery of previous acquaintance and one or two other things. With reprehensible carelessness my friend of the light-blue eye had looked up the name of his victim in the hotel register, and read "Indiana" for India.

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