The Aran Islands By John M. Synge

 -  There was no green to be
seen, and no sign of the people except these beehive-like roofs, and
the - Page 7
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There Was No Green To Be Seen, And No Sign Of The People Except These Beehive-Like Roofs, And The Outline Of A Dun That Stood Out Above Them Against The Edge Of The Sky.

After a while my companions went away and two other boys came and walked at my heels, till I turned and made them talk to me.

They spoke at first of their poverty, and then one of them said - 'I dare say you do have to pay ten shillings a week in the hotel?' 'More,' I answered.




'More still.'

Then he drew back and did not question me any further, either thinking that I had lied to check his curiosity, or too awed by my riches to continue.

Repassing Killeany I was joined by a man who had spent twenty years in America, where he had lost his health and then returned, so long ago that he had forgotten English and could hardly make me understand him. He seemed hopeless, dirty and asthmatic, and after going with me for a few hundred yards he stopped and asked for coppers. I had none left, so I gave him a fill of tobacco, and he went back to his hovel.

When he was gone, two little girls took their place behind me and I drew them in turn into conversation.

They spoke with a delicate exotic intonation that was full of charm, and told me with a sort of chant how they guide 'ladies and gintlemins' in the summer to all that is worth seeing in their neighbourhood, and sell them pampooties and maidenhair ferns, which are common among the rocks.

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