Then he took out a currycomb
and worked over them till they shone like glass.
He told them that the army had nothing but the clothes they stood up in; that their wine was iced; that the dead stood stock-still in the road just where they were; that they had seen White Russia, and that they currycombed
the horses there with their teeth; that those who were fond of skating had fine times of it, and people who had a fancy for savory ices had as much as they could put away; that the women were generally poor company; but that the only thing they could really complain of was the want of hot water for shaving.
On which animal would a currycomb
normally be used?
As the narrative moves back to third person discourse, the reader learns that the emperor went on to speak "of arms and great deeds of war and, taking the currycomb
in his hand, made fencing motions in front of those kings, princes, and lords, and then in their name responded with the most inane speeches in the world" ("de opera d'arme e de gran facti de guerra e, prendendo la striglia in mano, scrimiva denanti a quilli re, principi e signori, e poi in nome de loro respondeva le magior papolate del mondo" 15-16).
Many years ago, at boarding school, I studied equitation and dressage, and I still know my way around a currycomb
. That morning, I helped Javier groom his mare--an Andalusian with the longest mane I'd ever seen.
* Grooming supplies, including a soft brush for your horse's face, a stiffer brush for his body, a rubber and/or metal currycomb
to remove dried mud from his coat.
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