عضو فعال جداً
عدد المساهمات : 1827
تاريخ التسجيل : 07/02/2010
|موضوع: Rain الأربعاء 08 يناير 2014, 12:55|| |
It was nearly bed-time and when they awoke next morning land would be in sight. Dr. Macphail lit his pipe and, leaning over the rail, searched the heavens for the Southern Cross. After two years at the front and a wound that had taken longer to heal than it should, he was glad to settle down quietly at Apia for twelve months at least, and he felt already better for the journey. Since some of the passengers were leaving the ship next day at Pago-Pago they had had a little dance that evening and in his ears hammered still the harsh notes of the mechanical piano. But the deck was quiet at last. A little way off he saw his wife in a long chair talking with the Davidsons, and he strolled over to her. When he sat down under the light and took off his hat you saw that he had very red hair, with a bald patch on the crown, and the red, freckled skin which accompanies red hair; he was a man of forty, thin, with a pinched face, precise and rather pedantic; and he spoke with a Scots accent in a very low, quiet voice.
Between the Macphails and the Davidsons, who were missionaries, there had arisen the intimacy of shipboard, which is due to propinquity rather than to any community of taste. Their chief tie was the disapproval they shared of the men who spent their days and nights in the smoking-room playing poker or bridge and drinking. Mrs. Macphail was not a little flattered to think that she and her husband were the only people on board with whom the Davidsons were willing to associate, and even the doctor, shy but no fool, half unconsciously acknowledged the compliment. It was only because he was of an argumentative mind that in their cabin at night he permitted himself to carp.
"Mrs. Davidson was saying she didn`t know how they`d have got through the journey if it hadn`t been for us," said Mrs. Macphail, as she neatly brushed out her transformation. "She said we were really the only people on the ship they cared to know."
"I shouldn`t have thought a missionary was such a big bug that he could afford to put on frills."
"It`s not frills. I quite understand what she means. It wouldn`t have been very nice for the Davidsons to have to mix with all that rough lot in the smoking-room."
"The founder of their religion wasn`t so exclusive," said Dr. Macphail with a chuckle.
"I`ve asked you over and over again not to joke about religion," answered his wife. "I shouldn`t like to have a nature like yours, Alec. You never look for the best in people."