'Is there any war in the world at this time, noble person?' I told
him something of the excitement in the Transvaal, and then another
horse came near the waves and I passed on and left him.
Afterwards I walked round the edge of the sea to the pier, where a
quantity of turf has recently been brought in. It is usually left
for some time stacked on the sandhills, and then carried up to the
cottages in panniers slung on donkeys or any horses that are on the
They have been busy with it the last few weeks, and the track from
the village to the pier has been filled with lines of
red-petticoated boys driving their donkeys before them, or cantering
down on their backs when the panniers are empty.
In some ways these men and women seem strangely far away from me.
They have the same emotions that I have, and the animals have, yet I
cannot talk to them when there is much to say, more than to the dog
that whines beside me in a mountain fog.
There is hardly an hour I am with them that I do not feel the shock
of some inconceivable idea, and then again the shock of some vague
emotion that is familiar to them and to me.