Joseph Conrad: Nostromo

3. CHAPTER THREE (continued)

He grounded his old gun, and, turning his head, glanced at the
coloured lithograph of Garibaldi in a black frame on the white
wall; a thread of strong sunshine cut it perpendicularly. His
eyes, accustomed to the luminous twilight, made out the high
colouring of the face, the red of the shirt, the outlines of the
square shoulders, the black patch of the Bersagliere hat with
cock's feathers curling over the crown. An immortal hero! This
was your liberty; it gave you not only life, but immortality as

For that one man his fanaticism had suffered no diminution. In
the moment of relief from the apprehension of the greatest
danger, perhaps, his family had been exposed to in all their
wanderings, he had turned to the picture of his old chief, first
and only, then laid his hand on his wife's shoulder.

The children kneeling on the floor had not moved. Signora Teresa
opened her eyes a little, as though he had awakened her from a
very deep and dreamless slumber. Before he had time in his
deliberate way to say a reassuring word she jumped up, with the
children clinging to her, one on each side, gasped for breath,
and let out a hoarse shriek.

It was simultaneous with the bang of a violent blow struck on the
outside of the shutter. They could hear suddenly the snorting of
a horse, the restive tramping of hoofs on the narrow, hard path
in front of the house; the toe of a boot struck at the shutter
again; a spur jingled at every blow, and an excited voice
shouted, "Hola! hola, in there!"

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