To-morrow - Joseph Conrad - Страница 1 из 38

By Joseph Conrad
What was known of Captain Hagberd in the little seaport of Colebrook was
not exactly in his favour. He did not belong to the place. He had come
to settle there under circumstances not at all mysterious--he used to
be very communicative about them at the time--but extremely morbid and
unreasonable. He was possessed of some little money evidently, because
he bought a plot of ground, and had a pair of ugly yellow brick cottages
run up very cheaply. He occupied one of them himself and let the other
to Josiah Carvil--blind Carvil, the retired boat-builder--a man of evil
repute as a domestic tyrant.
These cottages had one wall in common, shared in a line of iron railing
dividing their front gardens; a wooden fence separated their back
gardens. Miss Bessie Carvil was allowed, as it were of right, to throw
over it the tea-cloths, blue rags, or an apron that wanted drying.
"It rots the wood, Bessie my girl," the captain would remark mildly,
from his side of the fence, each time he saw her exercising that
She was a tall girl; the fence was low, and she could spread her elbows
on the top. Her hands would be red with the bit of washing she had
done, but her forearms were white and shapely, and she would look at her
father's landlord in silence--in an informed silence which had an air of
knowledge, expectation and desire.
"It rots the wood," repeated Captain Hagberd. "It is the only unthrifty,
careless habit I know in you. Why don't you have a clothes line out in

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