A BUNCH of workmen were lying on the grass of the park beside Macquarie Street, in the dinnerhour. It was winter, the end of May, but the sun was warm, and they lay there in shirt-sleeves, talking. Some were eating food from paper packages. They were a mixed lot-taxi-drivers, agroup of builders who were putting a new inside into one of the big houses opposite, and thentwo men in blue overalls, some sort of mechanics. Squatting and lying on the grassy bank besidethe broad tarred road where taxis and hansom cabs passed continually, they had that air ofowning the city which belongs to a good Australian.Sometimes, from the distance behind them, came the faintest squeal of singing from out ofthe "fortified" Conservatorium of Music. Perhaps it was one of these faintly wafted squeals thatmade a blue-overalled fellow look round, lifting his thick eyebrows vacantly. His eyesimmediately rested on two figures approaching from the direction of the conservatorium, acrossthe grass-lawn. One was a mature, handsome, fresh-faced woman, who might have been Russian.Her companion was a smallish man, pale-faced, with a dark beard. Both were well-dressed, andquiet, with that quiet self-possession which is almost unnatural nowadays. They looked differentfrom other people.A smile flitted over the face of the man in the overalls-or rather a grin. Seeing the strange, foreign-looking little man with the beard and the absent air of self-possession walking unheedingover the grass, the workman instinctively grinned. A comical-looking bloke Perhaps a Bolshy.The foreign-looking little stranger turned his eyes and caught the workman grinning. Halfsheepishly, the mechanic had eased round to nudge his mate to look also at the comical-lookingbloke. And the bloke caught them both. They wiped the grin off their faces. Because the littlebloke looked at them quite straight, so observant, and so indifferent. He saw that the mechanichad a fine face, and pleasant eyes, and that the grin was hardly more than a city habit. The manin the blue overalls looked into the distance, recovering his dignity after the encounter.So the pair of strangers passed on, across the wide asphalt road to one of the tall housesopposite. The workman looked at the house into which they had entere.
From 1974, University Press Books has stoked the blaze of well over ten thousand minds on fire, carrying new scholarship published by the great university presses in the English-speaking world.
For more than 45 years, UPB operated out of the west half of 2430 Bancroft Way in Berkeley. We presently operate on line and stock a sales wall within the Musical Offering, same street address, east half.
Order from us. Shop us. Let well-wrought words churn and burn within.