The Burial of Sir John Mawe at Cassini
Never did a man hanged see such a funeral. Old Cobb leaned on his spade to watch the barges come down the canal in caravan, in smoky procession, each decked out with black solemnity. Crowds lined the bank, quality and commoners all intermingled, while open carriages and charabancs blocked the roadways behind. Gentlemen and coolies removed their hats as the cortège steamed slowly by; ladies bowed their heads, while their maids dropped a dutiful curtsey. Soldiers saluted, officers and troops together. They were not—quite—a formal muster, but a great many had chosen to turn out in full parade dress today, a scarlet glory against the green.
Flags were everywhere, at half-mast every one. Poles had gone up overnight at every measured furlong to ensure it. That had been a job of work. Cobb knew; he’d had the navvies in his…
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