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

 -  Then instantly, almost
before the scream was over, his countenance would recover its
preternatural gravity and intense staring attention.

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Then Instantly, Almost Before The Scream Was Over, His Countenance Would Recover Its Preternatural Gravity And Intense Staring Attention.

Our keen delight in this performance made it actually painful since the feeling could not be expressed - since we knew that our father knew that we were only too liable to explode in the presence of an honoured guest, and nothing vexed him more.

While in the room we dared not change glances or even smile; but after seeing and hearing the wonderful laugh a few times we would steal off and going to some quiet spot sit in a circle and start imitating it, finding it a very delightful pastime.

After I had learnt to ride I used sometimes to go with my mother and sisters for an afternoon's visit to La Tapera. The wife was the biggest and fattest woman in our neighbourhood and stood a head and shoulders taller than her barrel-shaped husband. She was not, like Dona Mercedes, a lady by birth, nor an educated person, but resembled her in her habits and tastes. She sat always in a large cane easy- chair, outdoors or in, invariably with four hairless dogs in her company, one on her broad lap, another on a lambskin rug at her feet, and one on rugs at each side. The three on the floor were ever patiently waiting for their respective turns to occupy the broad warm lap when the time came to remove the last-favoured one from that position.

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