Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb









































































 -   The mule was on her back, all entangled
in the twisted ruination of her gaudy gear, kicking out in that - Page 290
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The Mule Was On Her Back, All Entangled In The Twisted Ruination Of Her Gaudy Gear, Kicking Out In That Restrained And Genteel Fashion In Which A Mule Always Kicks When She Is Desirous Of Protesting Against Existing Conditions, But Is Wishful Not To Damage Herself While So Doing.

The tourists, aided by half a dozen peasants, had dragged the driver out from beneath the heavy cart and had carried him to a pile of mucky straw beneath the eaves of a stable.

He was stretched full length on his back, senseless and deathly pale under the smeared grime on his face. There was no blood; but inside his torn shirt his chest had a caved-in look, as though the ribs had been crushed flat, and he seemed not to breathe at all. Only his fingers moved. They kept twitching, as though his life was running out of him through his finger ends. One felt that if he would but grip his hands he might stay its flight and hold it in.

Just as we jumped out of our carriage a young peasant woman, who had been bending over the injured man, set up a shrill outcry, which was instantly answered from behind us; and looking round we saw, running through the bare fields, a great, bulksome old woman, with her arms outspread and her face set in a tragic shape, shrieking as she sped toward us in her ungainly wallowing course. She was the injured man's mother, we judged - or possibly his grandmother.

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