Does that shock you, Miss Chubb? Mr. Diamond uttered an odd, smothered kind of sound. Early in 1851 I was sent upon a job of special official work, which for two years so completely absorbed my time that I was able to write nothing. A plan was formed for extending the rural delivery of letters, and for adjusting the work, which up to that time had been done in a very irregular manner. A country letter-carrier would be sent in one direction in which there were but few letters to be delivered, the arrangement having originated probably at the request of some influential person, while in another direction there was no letter-carrier because no influential person had exerted himself. It was intended to set this right throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland; and I quickly did the work in the Irish district to which I was attached. I was then invited to do the same in a portion of England, and I spent two of the happiest years of my life at the task. I began in Devonshire; and visited, I think I may say, every nook in that county, in Cornwall, Somersetshire, the greater part of Dorsetshire, the Channel Islands, part of Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, and the six southern Welsh counties. In this way I had an opportunity of seeing a considerable portion of Great Britain, with a minuteness which few have enjoyed. And I did my business after a fashion in which no other official man has worked at least for many years. I went almost everywhere on horseback. I had two hunters of my own, and here and there, where I could, I hired a third horse. I had an Irish groom with me 鈥?an old man, who has now been in my service for thirty-five years; and in this manner I saw almost every house 鈥?I think I may say every house of importance 鈥?in this large district. The object was to create a postal network which should catch all recipients of letters. In France it was, and I suppose still is, the practice to deliver every letter. Wherever the man may live to whom a letter is addressed, it is the duty of some letter-carrier to take that letter to his house, sooner or later. But this, of course, must be done slowly. With us a delivery much delayed was thought to be worse than none at all. In some places we did establish posts three times a week, and perhaps occasionally twice a week; but such halting arrangements were considered to be objectionable, and we were bound down by a salutary law as to expense, which came from our masters at the Treasury. We were not allowed to establish any messenger鈥檚 walk on which a sufficient number of letters would not be delivered to pay the man鈥檚 wages, counted at a halfpenny a letter. But then the counting was in our own hands, and an enterprising official might be sanguine in his figures. I think I was sanguine. I did not prepare false accounts; but I fear that the postmasters and clerks who absolutely had the country to do became aware that I was anxious for good results. It is amusing to watch how a passion will grow upon a man. During those two years it was the ambition of my life to cover the country with rural letter-carriers. I do not remember that in any case a rural post proposed by me was negatived by the authorities; but I fear that some of them broke down afterwards as being too poor, or because, in my anxiety to include this house and that, I had sent the men too far afield. Our law was that a man should not be required to walk more than sixteen miles a day. Had the work to be done been all on a measured road, there would have been no need for doubt as to the distances. But my letter-carriers went here and there across the fields. It was my special delight to take them by all short cuts; and as I measured on horseback the short cuts which they would have to make on foot, perhaps I was sometimes a little unjust to them. Which is precisely what he did in 1959 when, for the purpose of one of his countless stories for Sports Illustrated, he took on Archie Moore, then king of the light heavyweight division, for a three-round exhibition match in New York. Since that time, Plimpton has never lost his interest in boxing. A close friend of Muhammad Ali's who has followed the champion around the world, he made Ali the chief character of his book Shadow Box, which came out in paperback this month from Berkley. As with most of Plimpton's works, the story is told with an abundance of humor. 久久人人97超碰人人澡,久久人人97超碰,久久只有这里才是精品 Then, too, there had dawned on her some idea that Mr. Diamond felt a warm admiration for her鈥攑erhaps something even warmer than admiration. Miss Chubb (who delighted to foster any amatory sentiments which she might observe in the young persons around her, and was fond of saying, with a languishing droop of her plump, rubicund, good-humoured countenance, that she would not for the world see other young hearts blighted by early disappointment, as hers had been) had dropped several hints to that effect sufficiently broad to be understood even by the bashful Rhoda. And, a little to her own surprise, Rhoda had felt something like gratification, in consequence; Mr. Diamond was such a very clever gentleman. Although he wasn't rich, yet everybody thought a great deal of him. Even Dr. Bodkin (decidedly the most awful embodiment of authority whom Rhoda had ever yet known) treated Mr. Diamond with consideration. And Miss Minnie was his intimate friend. Rhoda had not the least idea of ever reciprocating Mr. Diamond's sentiments. But she could not help feeling that the existence of those sentiments increased her own importance in the world. And she had a lurking idea that it might, if known to Algy, increase her importance in his eyes also. 鈥業 don鈥檛 believe you could be stupid,鈥?said Alice with her infernal calmness, that again terrified him. I was not utterly wicked, Martin. I did not sin deliberately鈥擨 did not know what I was doing when I wrecked my life and destroyed my peace of mind for ever. I never meant to forget you鈥攐r to be false to you鈥攂ut I was so lonely鈥攕o lonely. The days were so dreary and so long鈥攅ven the short autumn days seemed long鈥攁nd the evenings were so melancholy without you. And he came into my life suddenly鈥攍ike a prince in a fairy tale鈥攁nd at first I thought very little about him. He was nothing more to me than any one else in Trelasco鈥攁nd then somehow we were always meeting by accident鈥攊n the lanes鈥攐r by the sea鈥攁nd he seemed to care for all the things I cared for. The books I loved were his favourites. For a long time we talked of nothing but his travels, and of my favourite books. There was not a word spoken between us that you or any one else could blame. Following Stein and Aron, he climbed into the G-boat. It had a crew of two, plus an armed guard for the prisoners.