Far Away And Long Ago A History Of My Early Life By W. H. Hudson

 -  Most of them were old soldiers,
who, having served their ten, fifteen, or twenty years, according to
the nature of - Page 110
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Most Of Them Were Old Soldiers, Who, Having Served Their Ten, Fifteen, Or Twenty Years, According To The Nature Of The Crime For Which They Had Been Condemned To The Army, Had Been Discharged Or Thrown Out To Live Like Carrion-Hawks On What They Could Pick Up.

Twenty times a day at least you would hear the iron gate opening from the courtyard into the street swung open, followed by the call or shout of the beggar demanding charity in the name of God.

Outside you could not walk far without being confronted by one of these men, who would boldly square himself in front of you on the narrow pavement and beg for alms. If you had no change and said, _"Perdon, por Dios,"_ he would scowl and let you pass; but if you looked annoyed or disgusted, or ordered him out of the way, or pushed by without a word, he would glare at you with a concentrated rage which seemed to say, "Oh, to have you down at my mercy, bound hand and foot, a sharp knife in my hand!" And this would be followed by a blast of the most horrible language.

One day I witnessed a very strange thing, the action of a dog, by the waterside. It was evening and the beach was forsaken; cartmen, fishermen, boatmen all gone, and I was the only idler left on the rocks; but the tide was coming in, rolling quite big waves on to the rocks, and the novel sight of the waves, the freshness, the joy of it, kept me at that spot, standing on one of the outermost rocks not yet washed over by the water.

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