74 BRET harte's CHOICE BITS.
of a little stony slope that gave upon the sea. The
great Atlantic lay before me, not yet quite awake,
but slowly heaving the rhythmical expiration of
slumber. There was no sail visible in the misty
horizon. There was nothing to do but to lie and
stare at the unwinking ether.
Suddenly I became aware of the strong fumes of
tobacco. Turning my head, I saw a pale blue
smoke curling up from behind an adjacent boulder.
Rising, and climbing over the intermediate granite,
I came upon a little hollow, in which, comfortably
extended on the mosses and lichens, lay a power¬
fully-built man. He was very ragged ; he was very
dirty ; there was a strong suggestion about him of
his having too much hair, too much nail, too much
perspiration ; too much of those superfluous excre¬
scences and exudations that societj' and civilisation
strive to keep under. But it was noticeable that he
had not much of anything else. It was The Tramp.
With that swift severity with which we always
visit rebuke upon the person who happens to pre¬
sent any one of our vices offensively before us, in
his own person, I was deeply indignant at his lazi¬
ness. Perhaps I showed it in my manner, for he
rose to a half-sitting attitude, returned my stare
apologetically, and made a movement towards
knocking the fire from his pipe against the granite,
" Shure, sir, and if I'd belaved that I was tris-