There were forty in the party, including the master and crew of the Toreador; and Billings the indomitable was in command.
All during the trip Billings had steadfastly evaded questions as to how we were to enter Caspak after we had found Caprona.
"I am Tom Billings
of Santa Monica, California," he said.
Whereupon he turned and left the captain with the same indifferent ease that was habitual with him, and which was more surely calculated to raise the ire of a man of Billings
' class than a torrent of invective.
But Shakespeare and the rest have to walk behind a common tailor from Tennessee, by the name of Billings
; and behind a horse-doctor named Sakka, from Afghanistan.
He learned, easily, that the boy was traveling alone with his invalid grandmother, and that their destination was a small port on the west coast of Africa, a little below the equator; that their name was Billings
, and that they had no friends in the little settlement for which they were bound.
How can there be any human understanding that can persuade itself there ever was all that infinity of Amadises in the world, or all that multitude of famous knights, all those emperors of Trebizond, all those Felixmartes of Hircania, all those palfreys, and damsels-errant, and serpents, and monsters, and giants, and marvellous adventures, and enchantments of every kind, and battles, and prodigious encounters, splendid costumes, love-sick princesses, squires made counts, droll dwarfs, love letters, billings
and cooings, swashbuckler women, and, in a word, all that nonsense the books of chivalry contain?
They are "The turtles of the wood," "The billing
pair." No one is more astonished than Robin Hood, as he cries:
"What will he say when, instead of a pair of plump turtle doves, billing
and cooing in a bower of roses, he finds a single lean cormorant, standing mateless and shelterless on poverty's bleak cliff?
we'd better get out of here while this billing
and cooing is on.
Hattersley will be too busy billing
and cooing, with his bride to have much time to spare for guns and dogs at present,' he replied.
Bon Dieu, I say, is it not hard that the fateful rush of the great Imperial struggle can't take place without affecting a poor little harmless girl of eighteen, who is occupied in billing
and cooing, or working muslin collars in Russell Square?