Page:Triangles of life, and other stories.djvu/50

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38
TRIANGLES OF LIFE

Poor old Higgins! Pausing for wind in the dusty field in a sweltering mid-afternoon, with a hoe, or other handy implement—or a piece of "roddin'" of suitable length, at the Winders—one end planted between his hob-nailed boots, and his hands resting on or grasping the other end—and his frilled chin on the uppermost hand—he formed an eloquent triangle of life, that only needed the last life blow to knock sideways, backways, frontways, or anyways, and have it over.

Who would he be but "Old Tryangles" in the Bush?

The village had its stale mysteries—two of them. When the old cottage had been some time empty, on account of the Higginses being unable to pay the rent charged for the home of their ancestors, there came an unknown but respectable looking woman in black to Leonard, who said she was an invalid with an only daughter, and needed country air, and she persuaded Leonard to let her have the place at the ordinary rental. By and by a man came round, a short stout man, like a cross between an old Maori chief and an English labourer. Leonard spoke to her about it, and she said he was her husband. He became the village and roundabouts house-painter. They had lots of books, bound volumes of old magazines, London journals, etc., that looked as if they had belonged to a library. I talked to the girl, who seemed peculiar, and was a bit deaf, and we exchanged books. They were from Hindia, she said. She told me some of her history, and wrote the rest. It seemed she was en-