THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 15: SANDY'S TALE
You see, I recognized my mistake at once. I had set her works
a-going; it was my own fault; she would be thirty days getting down
to those facts. And she generally began without a preface and
finished without a result. If you interrupted her she would either
go right along without noticing, or answer with a couple of words,
and go back and say the sentence over again. So, interruptions
only did harm; and yet I had to interrupt, and interrupt pretty
frequently, too, in order to save my life; a person would die if
he let her monotony drip on him right along all day.
"Great Scott!" I said in my distress. She went right back and
began over again:
"So they two departed and rode into a great forest. And--"
"Sir Gawaine and Sir Uwaine. And so they came to an abbey of monks,
and there were well lodged. So on the morn they heard their masses
in the abbey, and so they rode forth till they came to a great
forest; then was Sir Gawaine ware in a valley by a turret, of
twelve fair damsels, and two knights armed on great horses, and
the damsels went to and fro by a tree. And then was Sir Gawaine
ware how there hung a white shield on that tree, and ever as the
damsels came by it they spit upon it, and some threw mire upon
"Now, if I hadn't seen the like myself in this country, Sandy,
I wouldn't believe it. But I've seen it, and I can just see those
creatures now, parading before that shield and acting like that.
The women here do certainly act like all possessed. Yes, and
I mean your best, too, society's very choicest brands. The humblest
hello-girl along ten thousand miles of wire could teach gentleness,
patience, modesty, manners, to the highest duchess in Arthur's land."