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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