The coach, that had been slowly proceeding through the starless Italian night by the light of the two lanterns either side of the box seat came to a stop, with a violent jolt, and lurched heavily to one side on the cumbrous leather straps. Guard, postilion, and coachman dismounted, and their short, vigorous Italian curses disturbed the heavy, warm stillness. With exclamations, complaints, and much reluctance, the passengers opened the now slanting door and descended into the circle of lantern light that revealed the broken wheel. Two of these passengers were Italians, and, after the first annoyance, took the discomfiture good-humouredly; the other two were Englishmen, and bore themselves with all the haughtiness customary to their race when travelling in a foreign country. "Harry," came the severe and proud voice of one of these gentlemen, "we had been better situated if you had taken my advice and hired a coach for ourselves. See what comes of travelling in a public stage!" The other responded more quietly; he had, in fact, been roused from sleep, and still yawned and blinked too indolently for bad temper. "We can walk into Bologna," he replied; "we must be near the gates." He stretched himself and flung back his fawn-coloured mantle. "And leave our baggage in charge of these?" asked the first speaker, pointing a shapely hand at the five Italians gathered round the broken wheel. "Come, Frank, thou art too suspicious," answered his companion, with familiarity and good-nature. "Even though these be Papists and cut-throats (and I make no doubt they are), they must deliver the portmantles in Bologna." So saying, he strode up to the guard and demanded, in a tone of command: "How far is it to Bologna?" He spoke a tolerable Italian, though his accent was without grace; he translated the man's courteous answer as: "Two miles-and the alternative to sleep here all night!" With that he pulled out a gold repeating watch and glanced at the dial.
Used availability for Marjorie Bowen's Because Of These Things
December 2013 : USA Paperback
September 2010 : USA Paperback
January 2010 : USA Paperback
Title: "because of These Things "
Author(s): Marjorie Bowen
ISBN: 1-152-74790-8 / 978-1-152-74790-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: General Books LLC
Availability: Amazon UK
October 2009 : UK Paperback
September 2009 : USA Paperback
September 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition