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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

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10.16.06, monday evening


from an old weatherwatch clipping in the Guardian:

Modestine ate half a loaf of black bread. Her companion climbed into his sleeping bag, ate a tin of Bologna sausage and a cake of chocolate, washed down with brandy ("a revolting beverage in itself"), lit a cigarette, and settled himself to sleep. "The wind among the trees was my lullaby," wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in Travels With a Donkey.

"Sometimes it sounded for minutes together with a steady rush, not rising nor abating; and again it would swell and burst like a great, crashing breaker, and the trees would patter me all over with big drops from the rain of the afternoon. Night after night, in my own bedroom in the country, I have given ear to this perturbing concert of the wind among hte woods; but whether it was a difference in the trees or in the lie of the ground, or because I was myslf outside and in the midst of it, the fact remains that the wind sange a different tune among those woods of Gevaudan."

It was late September. Sleep came slowly. He woke up briefly when Modestine pawed and stamped "and saw a star or two overhead, and the lace-like edge of the foliage against the sky."

At dawn he lay wondering "how easy and pleasant it had been, even in this tempestuous weather." He breakfasted on chocolae, brandy, and a cigarette. Modestine finished the rest of her loaf, and they set off again. "It was wild weather, and famishing cold."




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