Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb

 -   You gather
that auntie will be expected to write weekly, if not oftener.

As the slice of dark water between - Page 4
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You Gather That Auntie Will Be Expected To Write Weekly, If Not Oftener.

As the slice of dark water between boat and dock widens, those who are left behind begin running toward the pierhead in such numbers that each wide, bright-lit door-opening in turn suggests a flittering section of a moving-picture film.

The only perfectly calm person in sight is a gorgeous, gold-laced creature standing on the outermost gunwale of the dock, wearing the kind of uniform that a rear admiral of the Swiss navy would wear - if the Swiss had any navy - and holding a speaking trumpet in his hand. This person is not excited, for he sends thirty-odd-thousand-ton ships off to Europe at frequent intervals, and so he is impressively and importantly blase about it; but everybody else is excited. You find yourself rather that way. You wave at persons you know and then at persons you do not know.

You continue to wave until the man alongside you, who has spent years of his life learning to imitate a siren whistle with his face, suddenly twines his hands about his mouth and lets go a terrific blast right in your ear. Something seems to warn you that you are not going to care for this man.

The pier, ceasing to be a long, outstretched finger, seems to fold back into itself, knuckle-fashion, and presently is but a part of the oddly foreshortened shoreline, distinguishable only by the black dot of watchers clustered under a battery of lights, like a swarm of hiving bees.

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