The Luminaries

January 15, 2018

 

The twelve men congregated in the smoking room of the Crown Hotel gave the impression of a party accidentally met. From the variety of their comportment and dress -- frock coats, tailcoats, Norfolk jackets with buttons of horn, yellow moleskin, cambric and twill -- they might have been twelve strangers on a railway car, each bound for a separate quarter of a city that possessed fog and tides enough to divide them; indeed, the studied isolation of each man as he pored over his paper, or leaned forward to tap his ashes into the grate, or placed in the splay of his hand upon the baize to take his shot at billiards, conspired to form the very type of bodily silence that occurs, late in the evening, on a a public railway -- deadened here not by the slur and clunk of the coaches, but by the fat clatter of the rain.

 

 

 

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